Inzozi Inziza, Butare
Inzozi Inziza is a social enterprise run by the all-woman drummer group, Ingoma Nshya, as an initiative to generate additional income for their families. Inzozi Inziza is famous for being Rwanda’s pioneer ice cream shop. My family and I wentthere a while ago because we had heard rave reviews about this tiny food joint.
As we arrived, we were greeted by two friendly, extremely nice women. They handed us our menu and kindly answered our curious inquiries about their restaurant and their endeavour.
While the menu at Inzozi Inziza was not very extensive, it wasn’t completely conventional either. They had a few dishes on the menu not found in other Rwandan food outlets like “Avocado and Egg Salad Sandwich” and “Bagels” (although it was not available that day). We we
re ravenous during lunch that day so we ordered maniacally: a Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwich, an Avocado and Egg Salad Sandwich, Special Omelettes, African Tea, Special Inzozi Coffee, Slices of Banana Cake and Vanilla Cake and a Coke.
Perhaps the greatest downside at Inzozi Inziza for many might be its ambiance. It was very sparsely decorated. But I, personally preferred this because I found it unpretentious and authentic. Its wooden chairs and benches (covered with local Kitenge material table cloths), streaming sunlight from the windows, and a gorgeous view over the valley in fact make feel you right at home. They have a small room inside and an open patio outside, which can accommodate about 25-30 people in total. While this may not be a suitable location for a fancy or a large occasion, it is perfect for a family affair or a lunch between close buddies.
Our orders arrived within 15 minutes of placing them. The food at Inzozi Inziza definitely made a lasting impression on us because of how ‘home-cooked’ it tasted. This was a refreshing change from the generic dishes and tastes in manyrestaurants. The chef at also was more than willing to customize our orders to suit our preferences.
Inzozi Inziza’s claim to fame is their icecream. And they didn’t disappoint! The ice-cream was freshly made that morning with all local ingredients. We went in the afternoon, so the cool ice-cream was the perfect antidote to the blazing sun overhead. The ice-cream at Inzozi Inziza is presented with style, no doubt! They have special toppings ranging from chocolate sprinkles, granola, roasted peanuts, honey and fruit, among others. I took a chocolate ice-cream with chocolate sprinkles (you can never really get enough of chocolate, you know!) and a vanilla with roasted peanuts. Both were delightful.
Their other speciality is coffee. In fact, the tag line of Inzozi Inziza is “Ice Cream. Coffee. Dreams”. It was charming to watch how the coffee was made at Inzozi Inziza. The rich dark brown coffee beans were carefully hand ground in front of us, and then slowly filtered with hot water so as to extract the wholesome essence of the coffee. This was then served with fresh milk and sugar. It smelled and tasted absolutely heavenly. The prices at Inzozi Inziza are unbelievably inexpensive for the good quality of food, icecream and coffee that they offer.
Inzozi Inziza is a wonderful place for tourists to stop by if they are passing through Butare or staying there for a while. I would happily give our experience at Inzozi Inziza a 4.0/5. We were very impressed by the amazing people and service as well as their delicious “home-cooked” food. While they didn’t have bagels and any other flavour of ice-cream apart from chocolate and vanilla (i was told they offer passion fruit and pineapple ice-cream!), they still offered decent variety of dishes to choose from. If I lived in Butare, I would want to eat here every other day!