This month I visited my 10th African country, Mozambique, a country in East Africa bordered by Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, South Africa, and the Indian Ocean. The tourism industry in this Portuguese-speaking country is small, but growing due to its beautiful beaches, national parks, wildlife reserves, cultural heritage, and abundant seafood. Maputo is the capital and largest city.
As a seafood lover, I’d heard about Mozambique’s great seafood and was excited to see what it had to offer. It didn’t disappoint. I ate my fair share of fish, prawns and crab, both grilled and cooked in curry, garlic and peri peri sauce. But my favorite seafood experience was at the Mercado do Peixe (Maputo Fish Market).
In Maputo, Sunday is the favorite day to relax and socialize with family and friends at the Fish Market, a lively waterfront attraction popular with locals and tourists alike. The market is located in a newer seaside building where local vendors sell fresh fish, lobster, prawns, calamari, crab, clams and more, pulled straight from the waters surrounding Mozambique. Seafood is sold by the kilogram and can also be cleaned on request. Prices are definitely negotiable and affordable (our group of five paid the equivalent of $55 USD for one kilogram each of clams, calamari, and prawns, two whole fish, and one crab for me).
Opposite from the market is a waterfront patio with umbrella-covered tables and seating. Several restaurants there will cook your seafood for an additional fee (approximately 150-180 Meticais per kilogram [the equivalent of $3.00 USD], cash only). They also offer a number of accompaniments, including salad, rice, and fries, as well as water, sodas and alcoholic beverages. The service is slow, but the end result is delicious.
To say this seafood was fresh would be an understatement. As you can see by the smile on my face, I ate well and left happy.
Have you been to the Maputo Fish Market? What did you enjoy the most? Share your comments below.