Madagascar Food | What food to try in Madagascar

Madagascar Food | What food to try in Madagascar

As a rice lover, I had fun experiencing the Madagascar food. The island is covered with rice fields, and it’s one of the biggest rice producers in the world. The locals eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and it’s the star ingredient of Madagascar cuisine. I ate a lot of rice and most of my meals contain a huge pile of rice along with beans, zebu, or fish. luckily for tjasa who’s not the biggest fan of the famous grain, the Malagasy food is also influenced by Indian, Chinese, and French cuisine and we could also enjoy some no-rice Asian and western dishes at the resultants. Along the coasts of the island, we enjoyed the freshest fishes the sea had to offer and partied with their excellent local rum. And through the long drives passing nature and villages, we enjoyed the tropical fruits and local fried snacks.  

Girls selling fruits…

Want to read more about Madagascar food? Do you want to know what food to try in Madagascar? Here are some of the Malagasy food we tried during our travel.

Madagascar food:

Sambos – Madagascar Food

The Malagasy version of the beloved Indian Samosa. The deep-fried savory pastry is filled usually with minced zebu meat, but it can also be found with vegetables or fish. The best street food snack we had in Madagascar.

Madagascar food
Sambos – our favorite snack in Madagascar.

Vary amin’anana

The breakfast of the locals. Warm rice porridge cooked with green leaves and ginger.

Mofo Baolina – Madagascar Food

The most popular snack on the island. Deep-fried doughnuts made out of flour, sugar, milk, and eggs.  We recommend getting them as hot as possible when there are fresh.

Madagascar food
Very cheap and tasty snack.

Mofo anana

Another deep-fried street food snack. Unlike the Baolina, the Mofo anana is savory and is a mix of dough and green leaves.

Madagascar food
Street food in Madagascar.


Traditional and very unique looking Malagasy sweet. A cake made from rice flour, peanuts, and sugar covered in banana leaves. We had to try, but to be honest we didn’t like it so much.

Madagascar food
They serve it on a paper.


Tjasa’s favorite dish at the restaurants. Instant ramen noodles with stir-fried vegetables, egg on top, or some kind of meat.  


Madagascar food
Tjasa’s favorite dish on Madagascar.

Banana cake

Dense cake made out of bananas, rice flour, and honey. Covered and steamed in banana leaves. What we try was quite tasteless but gave us some energy for the day.

Fish and seafood

The restaurants on the coasts of Madagascar (west and east) offer super fresh catch, from the sea to your plate. Every time we ordered fish we got a different kind and size, but all were delicious and extremely cheap. We also tried a couple of time calamari, but even though very fresh, it seemed the Malagasy are not experts in the seafood cooking department, we recommend staying with the grilled fish.

Madagascar food
If you love seafood, fish is the best option for you.

Zebu meat

The most common cattle in Madagascar and the main protein source on the island. Cooked in a bean stew served with rice, grilled on skewers, or used as filling for fried snacks.

Madagascar food
Zebu meat with beans and rice.


With tropical climate comes also the best fruits u can get. We had some expectations about new exotic fruits we would try but in end, we mostly ate sweet red lychee, bought a huge basket of the best palms we ever had,  drank endless natural juices of mango, and snacked from banana clusters that were sold along the roads. And of course not to forget, chilling on the beaches with a refreshing coconut.

Madagascar food
Local ladies selling fruits.


Madagascar is the biggest vanilla producer in the world and is home to 80 % of all vanilla beans around the globe. Madagascar vanilla, also known as bourbon vanilla has a sweet, rich, creamy, and tobacco-like flavor and it is definitely to try and bring back home after visiting Madagascar.

Wild vanilla.

Chocolate – Madagascar food

This will maybe surprise you but Madagascar also produces one of the best chocolates in the world. Madagascar cocoa has a unique flavor due to the country’s ecosystem. Chocolate has flavors that you can’t find anywhere else in the world, we are talking about fruit, citrus, and forest flavors. Madagascar produces less than 0,2 % of all chocolate in the world, which makes it even more unique. Cacao is grown only in northwest Madagascar.


The best and the most aromatic pepper we tried in our lives! Madagascar is also known for turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, ylang-ylang, and so on.

Coffee – Madagascar food

Yes, Madagascar has good coffee. We enjoyed the coffee in Madagascar very much. Although Madagascar produces hundreds of thousands of bags of coffee, much of it is locally consumed, and very little is exported. Coffee in Madagascar is grown on the East coast of the country.

Madagascar food – a mix of cultures

The cuisine of Madagascar is truly a reflection of the African, Arab, and Asian people that have settled in the country. Of course, there are also French influences – on Madagascar we can for example eat freshly baked baguettes for breakfast. It was a surprise for us, but Pizza is also a very popular dish in Madagascar.

If we are being honest, we didn’t enjoy Malagasy food so much, it was quite blend which was a bit of a disappointment because the island has the best ingredients to cook with.

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