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“Abismal service”
Review of Travellers Cafe

Travellers Cafe
Ranked #23 of 77 Restaurants in Stone Town
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$10 - US$20
Cuisines: Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene
Dining options: Breakfast
Description: Tasting food, refreshing drinks and a nice terrace with fantastic view on the Ocean.Intimate place, informal friendly atmosphere.
Cork, Ireland
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
101 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Abismal service”
Reviewed 29 October 2013 via mobile

My wife and I arrived in Stone Town today on our honeymoon, we decided to go for a stroll in the evening and get something to eat. As we don't really know our way around yet we didn't venture too far from our hotel, the Tembo House Hotel.

We stumbled upon the Travellers Cafe which is down a side street and is beside the sea. There was a nice crowd in there and it looked to be a really nice place...then we met our waiter!!

I asked for a table for two, he stared at me blankly. I thought maybe he didn't understand me because of my accent, so I tried again. At this point he rolled his eyes and rudely pointed at a table in front of him, it seemed like we were just an annoyance to him.

The menu looked to be nice, plenty of seafood and some nice sounding Pasta dishes. My wife ordered a pasta dish and I was thinking of ordering the grilled Kingfish. I've never had Kingfish before so I asked our waiter what kind of fish was it like, and was it a white fish. Both fairly reasonable questions I think. He looked at me as if I was something stuck to the bottom of his shoe and just kept saying 'grilled, it's grilled'. My wife asked if she could have French fries instead of salad with her pasta and he just said 'no' that the pasta only comes with salad...we asked if we could get a side order of fries which again he said no to...to be honest both of us were in complete and utter shock at how we were being treated.

My wife and I have had a few bad experiences in restaurants (not many mind you, I could count them on one hand), but this topped them all. I have never been treated with such distain and contempt by anybody in the service industry. My wife and I have never once walked out of a restaurant, but tonight that changed.

We returned to our hotel with out blood boiling and our first taste of Stone Town and Zanzibar leaving a very sour taste. Thankfully we had a gorgeous meal at our hotel, where the service was excellent and we also had a lovely beach side table.

In short, my wife and I have 3 more days in Stone Town and if we were offered free dinner and drinks in Travellers Cafe for the rest of our stay we'd turn it down.

Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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116 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“My little happy get away place”
Reviewed 11 October 2013

Try as I might to find good basic food with friendly service and a stunning view Im always left unimpressed elsewhere...

This little haven may have the odd short comings , but we love this little reason for happiness !!
.I along with countless guests and friends frequent Traveller's Cafe .It is one cafe we can count on for friendly service and consistent food quality. Affordable to every budget.

We never hesitate to recommend Traveller's Cafe

Visited October 2013
Thank JoAnne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tyne and Wear
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“Beautiful sunset spot”
Reviewed 7 August 2013

After a day of sightseeing around Stone Town we headed to the Travellers Cafe to watch what was to be a beautiful sunset. It was a perfect end to our day, as well as the sunset it was lovely to see the local children playing football on the beach below and the wine we were served it was well priced and a lovely treat.
It's a must visit to watch the sunset.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Thank LauraMitford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Zierikzee, The Netherlands
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“enjoyable dinner”
Reviewed 22 July 2013

Food was tasty, prompt and the service was very good from the waitress who appeared to be working the whole outdoor area alone.

Visited July 2013
Thank richard c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Excellent location, shame about the staff”
Reviewed 15 July 2013

This place has the markings of a good cafe... if you don't mind the mismanagement and unhygienic food prep you'll be fine!

I'd checked prices earlier in the day and based on that, and the excellent location, I decided to come back in the afternoon. The cafe is set off the street, overlooking the water. With minimal noise and such a tranquil vista it seemed like the perfect location to relax after walking around town. There is no wifi but that is not a major drawback. The staff however!

I wanted a drink straight away so, as the menu was being delivered, I asked for a beer. Unfortunately, the waiter didn't hang around long enough to realise I was trying to place an order. He plonked the menu on the table and without making eye contact kept walking. I can live with that, perhaps he's busy, should I be so quick to judge?

I got my beer eventually, although the same waiter seemed a little incredulous that I was only ordering a drink. There was the same lack of finesse in delivering of beer as with the menu.

I needed to go to the bathroom so I asked for the key. The bathroom has 2 access doors, one from the kitchen, one from outside. Staff use the former, customers the latter. As I unlocked the door and entered, one of the cooks was just finishing going to the toilet. He hadn't bothered to shut the cubicle door. Not exactly a sight a customer wants to see. Zipping up his pants in front of me he returned to the kitchen without washing his hands. At this point I was rather glad I had not ordered any food.

The final whammy of my fairly poor experience at this cafe was to go to the counter to pay only to see the waitress write down the incorrect total. 2 drinks Sh 8,000. When I corrected her she told me the price had changed. Not on the 2 menus I had been given that day! I then looked at the stack of menus and saw that on some a piece of paper had been stapled across the beer section. This temporary and very flimsy solution only remained on a few menus; lone staples on others; nothing at all on others.

It doesn't take much to print a new menu. However if that is not a priority then it is the responsibility of the staff to inform the customer prior to purchase. Some might pass this off with a "this is Africa"; however with the multiple failures in staff management witnessed in a short period I tend to disagree.

I won't be going back. There are plenty of other nice cafes in Stone Town.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
1 Thank WalkaboutKen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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