Gusto

Gusto

Gusto opened to little fanfare last year. But brightly colored lights, tables, and a hip cafe atmosphere have quickly set it apart from many of the cafes in the Kisimenti area. Hop on most boda boda motorcycles, tell them Iguana (a Kisimenti landmark nightspot), and they’ll know exactly where you’re going, as Gusto is located directly underneath Iguana.

You can eat inside or outside. Their small, stone patio is set with 4-6 tables, most with umbrellas to provide you with some shade during hot days. Inside, which is still fairly open air, as there is only a half wall at the front, you can choose between eating at a regular table with normal chairs, or on a small colorful box, while reclining in what can only be described as “car-style” seats. They are small, gray-backed cushioned chairs that are perfect for seating an informal group or working on your laptop.

This is, perhaps, what draws in the Gusto staple. If you head there during lunchtime, you’ll see plenty of people enjoying food with friends. However, a huge number of patrons are on their laptops, working through the afternoon. The Internet is fairly reliable, although it does tend to drag if everyone in the cafe is using it.

At least you can always take a break and sample some of the food. This includes burgers, pizzas, a wide range of salads, and tapas. All of the food is reasonably priced with very few items breaching 20,000 UGX and only one or two heading towards 30,000 UGX. The pizzas are excellent, and it’s quite easy to add toppings or take away from it for the perfect slice. However, the salads are what really got the buzz about Gusto going. Options like a smoked salmon salad (15,000 UGX) or a Carpaccio pesto (same price) are fresh, delicious, and such a nice break when you’re used to getting ‘chips’ with every single meal.

The tapas are also consistently well made. BBQ beef skewers, papas bravas, Spanish chicken strips, and beef strips are fantastic to snack on together when you’re in a large group. Most of the tapas range from 6,000–12,000 UGX.

Gusto

The service at Gusto is also quite nice. The staff is quick, friendly, and often takes the time to get to know their regulars. I’m not at all embarrassed to say that when I come in, they often start making a cappuccino and bring me a soda water right away (later the chicken and fruit salad). This is what happens when you work from home and Gusto is nearby. You end up spending all your money there.

On weekends or evenings, it’s normal to see large crowds come in, ramping up for the evening. They eat at Gusto, start their pre-funking there (with cocktails like the Caipirinha and Long Island iced tea why wouldn’t you?) before heading up to Iguana to dance the night away. On Friday night Gusto plays to this crowd by offering the Sundowner BBQ. A few chairs outside are taken indoors and they set up a proper grill with loads of options. Shrimp, chicken, pork, and beef are all available on skewers. There is also a salad option that you can buy into and a DJ to top off the atmosphere.

Gusto is a great cafe offering good coffee, fresh salads, and all the olives you can get your hands on. It excels in bringing a bright, unique option to an area that already has so much; it’s sort of hard to believe we needed another place to eat there. And yet, we very much did. Gusto also offers Brood Bread, take away, and will make reservations for large group upon request.

Hours: 10am – Late
Address: Bukoto Street, Plot 8
Phone: 0784 161 542
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gusto.gusto.98

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About Lizabeth Paulat

Hi, I’m Lizabeth, a freelance writer whose been stomping around Kampala for the better part of two years. I came here while pursuing a story and decided never to leave. I’m originally from Seattle and have found refuge in both the sun and the culture of Kampalans (plus I still get the rain when I’m feeling homesick).I’m always trying to unearth new and interesting stories about Kampala’s culture and development and am so exited to have an amazing platform to explore the city with. I hope to bring a bit of know-how and a bit of fun to Living in Kampala. Feel free to contact me any time at lizabeth@livinginkampala.com.