Café Javas

Cafe Javas

Café Javas is part of a Kampala-wide chain that seems to be slowly taking over the city (not that I’m complaining!). With branches at Oasis shopping mall, Old Kampala,  Kisementi and Bombo Road. You can’t go far these days without stumbling across one (and if in doubt just look out for a large neon City Oil petrol station sign and there it will be…)

Mushroom CheeseburgerThanks to a new branch opening quite near my home in Old Kampala (and to the lack of reliable power at home during the evenings), I have spent many an enjoyable evening in Java’s – stretching out my third cup of coffee (which by the way is great coffee) and maxing out their 30 free minutes of free wifi. Java’s is Somali-owned but serves standard western cuisine including a range of toasted sandwiches, wraps, salads, curries, burgers and perhaps, most randomly, Mexican food.

I have to say, however, that I think Java’s does the best Mexican food in town, controversial perhaps – but probably more an indication of the dismal alternatives available. The selection is limited to quesadillas and burritos, but the refried beans, salsa and guacamole are brilliant. Also recommended are their BBQ burgers, club sandwiches, milkshakes and chocolate croissants (pain au chocolat for the more continental amongst you).

Cafe Javas, Kampala

They also do a selection of breakfasts that I have yet to sample but have also heard good things about. The Farmhouse breakfast includes coffee, passion fruit juice, toast, eggs, potato wedges, two sausages and two rashers of bacon all for 21,000 UGX.

Coffee & TreatsAll Javas cafés tend to follow a similar format and layout – orange and brown themed, modern and minimalist – but they do have air-con for those super-hot days and service is quick and very good – not something to be taken lightly in Kampala.

Walk in on an average evening and you will find the standard table of Somalis, clumps of NGO workers, backpackers, wifi freeloaders (myself included), and a smattering of middle class Ugandans.

And, best thing about Javas? …The portions! I am yet to finish a meal there but it’s becoming a personal mission to do so… my ‘personal best’ is currently about a 20% leftover ratio. Being on somewhat of a limited budget, there’s nothing better than taking the other half of your club sandwich home to eat for lunch the next day. Coffee prices are around 6,000-9,000 UGX, milkshakes are 12,000 UGX and food prices are around the 15,000 – 25,000 UGX mark.

Cafe Javas, Kampala

There are various locations around town.

Hours: 6am – 23pm


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About Lucy

A Kampalite as of the start of 2012 - I'm really loving my time here and planning to stay for a while. I’m originally from London where I’ve worked for a range of NGOs and am now hoping to try my hand overseas, plus London is way too cold and grey and full of pigeons. I’m currently in search of interesting job opportunities and experiences here and elsewhere – until global warming kicks in that is and then I can head back to the UK as it should have removed the pigeons. Get in touch at