In this article, we will introduce Peri-Peri newbies to Nando’s, with a simple beginner’s guide that details what to order on your first Nando’s visit, from options for the kids to vegan-friendly choices.
Nando’s opened its first UK restaurant in 1992 in West London, initially starting life as a takeaway.
It was founded in 1987 in Johannesburg, focusing on flame-grilled Peri Peri chicken, easily recognisable from its Rooster of Barcelos logo, in homage to the Portuguese explorers who originally produced this style of food in the former Southern African territories.
The classic beginner order from Nandos (first visit order)
For people trying their first ever Nando’s, it is recommended to try one of the restaurant’s famous wraps or burgers, which all come with delicious chilli jam.
The marinated chicken comes in different spice levels, rated by the Peri-meter, with the lowest of those being a simple, but delicious lemon & herb sauce, rising up Xtra Hot.
Even if you opt for a mild option, you can increase the heat with Nando’s range of sauces which include the very spicy, African Vusa sauce which provides an intense kick, perfect for your Peri-Peri chips.
As well as chips, the side options include Portuguese rice, salad, garlic bread, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and Macho peas (seasoned with mint, parsley, and chilli).
You can opt for 1 side or 2, so if you have a particular favourite, you can order a double portion to go with your burger or wrap.
Best starters to order from Nando’s
Nando’s starter menu only consists of five options, however, all four are sure to keep the entire table happy.
Peri-Peri nuts are an excellent accompaniment while enjoying a nice bottle of Sagres lager, as are the spicy mixed olives.
If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, then my personal favourite would be the Nando’s halloumi sticks and dip, definitely the best starter to order at Nando’s in my opinion.
Alternatively, you could also order the Houmous with a Peri-Peri drizzle which comes with warm Pita slices for dipping. Wedges are also a new addition to Nando’s starter menu.
What drinks to order at Nando’s
Nando’s offers a mixture of traditional, African soft drinks and unlimited refills of the usual choices of Coca-Cola, Sprite, and Fanta.
A traditional option is Rubro, a natural and still drink infused with organic Roobios (a South African, red bush herb), available in peach, lemon, or berry. Ginger and Kombucha-based drinks are also on the menu.
If you are looking for something alcoholic, then you can opt for a range of Portuguese and South African wines, Sagres lager, Benson’s cider, a Pilsner, and two pale ales.
What to order from Nando’s if you like spicy
The Nando’s staple is the slow-roasted, marinated chicken which comes whole, in butterfly style, halved, quartered, or as wings. You can order this in Xtra Hot sauce, and if that is not enough, you can take it up a few notches with a healthy dollop of Vusa sauce.
Portuguese rice is always a nice side to go with roast chicken. Nando’s has also recently launched a fiery coconut and lemon sauce for something a little different.
One of the best things about Nando’s is that you are in full control of your spice levels, making it as mild, or as extreme as you like.
Spicy food lover? Check out our post on spicy dishes to order from a Chinese takeaway.
What to order from Nando’s if you don’t like spicy
The lemon & herb option on Nando’s menu is very, very mild, but also extremely tasty. A nice option may be a lemon & herb chicken pitta, with creamy mash, coleslaw, or the standard fries as a side.
Not everyone likes spice, so Nando’s menu is perfect for providing an option for every type of eater.
What to order from Nando’s if you’re vegetarian and/or vegan
For a restaurant that specialises in chicken, it may not come as a shock that there aren’t a great deal of vegetarian/ vegan options.
However, the Great Imitator Wrap tastes just like Nando’s Peri-Peri chicken but is made from pea protein, served with lettuce, garlic Peri-naise, and Chilli jam.
As a second option, Nando’s also offers a healthy and filling bean wrap. For a vegetarian side, we would recommend fresh and spicy Macho peas.
What to order from Nando’s if you don’t like Chicken
Maybe Nando’s isn’t really your choice and you are not a fan of chicken, but your friends or family are insistent on paying it a visit. If this is the case, then you may need to consider the vegetarian options above, with the bean wrap being the better option for anyone who doesn’t like chicken.
Nando’s used to offer a Beef Steak Prego roll option but unfortunately, this has been discontinued on UK menus.
What to order from Nando’s if you are on a Keto diet
Chicken and poultry are a big part of a Keto diet, therefore, Nando’s has plenty on the menu for anyone giving this sort of diet a try.
You should obviously avoid the wraps and burgers if you are trying to stay carb-free, but the whole, half, or quarter chicken served with Macho peas would be a perfect carb-free, Keto option.
You could also opt for the corn on the cob or the mixed leaf salad if you choose to order two sides.
The best thing to order for kids at Nando’s
The Nandinos menu provides a range of options for the kids, helping the young ones customise their order just like the adults, with the option of a dino drink or an ice lolly.
Kids can order a chicken breast fillet, 3 wings, a burger, or beanie wrap, with a sauce that offers less of a kick, or any option from the usual Nando’s Peri-meter.
They will then be able to pick two sides from a set menu of corn-on-the-cob, fries, rice, long stem broccoli, or cherry tomatoes.
Kids will love being able to tailor their meals just like their parents, helping them discover new things and perhaps be a little braver in terms of spice levels.
The most popular Nando’s order
Without a doubt, the most popular Nando’s order is the whole, half, or quarter chicken, bringing out the carnivorous side in everyone.
You can choose from many sauces based on your preferred spice level, or if Peri-Peri is not your thing you could just order the chicken plain or with lemon & herb.
Nando’s Peri-Peri fries are the most commonly ordered side, followed by the Portuguese spicy rice.
If you order too much Nando’s and have leftovers to reheat, check out our post on reheating Nando’s.