After husband-and-wife duo Hamissi Mamba and Nadia Nijimbere immigrated to Detroit, they launched a series of pop-ups serving dishes from their homeland, Burundi, in 2017. Their business quickly developed a strong local following, thanks to specialties such as nyumbani, tender braised beef in a tomato gravy served with peanut-stewed spinach and fried plantains. In 2021, the couple were able to put down brick-and-mortar roots.
Baobab Fare’s goal is to give other refugees and immigrants employment opportunities. Mamba and Nijimbere work directly with Freedom House, a local nonprofit dedicated to helping asylum-seekers. The couple believe in bringing the community together and making diners feel at home. It’s hard to miss the wall saying, ‘Baobab Fare is a gathering place where all are welcomed and embraced.’
A few must-try’s include the samaki, flash-fried fish filets, and the mbuzi, fork-tender goat shank served with fresh corn. The accompanying stewed yellow beans are full of flavor with a hint of spice. Don’t forget to order the tamu, a blend of creamy avocado and tangy passionfruit, for dessert. It goes perfectly with the strong coffee perfumed with cardamom.
Baobab Fare partners with city festivals, local farms, and other community groups to share their love of food. In addition, the restaurant sells East African products, including passionfruit juice, Burundian coffee, and clothing.
Know Before You Go
The restaurant is located on Michigan Avenue in Detroit, near the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Motown Museum.