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Making cocktails © Stefan Giesbert/Wikipedia
Making cocktails © Stefan Giesbert/Wikipedia
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A Millennial's Guide to Osu, Accra

Picture of Hakeem Adam
Updated: 6 February 2017
In Accra, no place exercises a stronger magnetic pull on the youth than Osu. It is one of the most visited and dynamic cultural hotspots in Ghana, with people of all ages from near and far flocking to its streets for the restaurants, cafes, clubs, casinos, fast food joints and boutiques.

Osu is a suburb of Accra, close to the centre of the city. Traditionally, it was a settlement of close-knit coastal fishing communities inhabited the Ga ethnic group. However, it has grown into a network cosmopolitan neighbourhoods. The majority of activity is concentrated around Oxford Street, the main artery running through the heart of district. This street, however, is nothing like the favoured shopping destination in London as it runs through a largely residential area with a good number of stores and office complexes on either side of the road.

Oxford Street, Osu
Oxford Street, Osu | © lucianf / Flickr

This compact community is the premium cultural spot in Ghana because of the density and variety of activities available. It has seafood restaurants, cinemas, street food stalls, art and crafts stalls in close proximity to one another. Getting there should also be quite straightforward. You can drive, take a taxi, use Uber, or catch a trotro (public minibus) to Danquah Circle, on the Ring Road. This major intersection marks one of the many entry points to Osu.

Food and Drinks

Be sure to check out any of the numerous local and continental restaurants and eateries. Relax and reflect in cafes like Pinocchio or Frankie’s for a light brunch or ice cream. You could also visit Tea Baa, a little cosy restaurant with the best zesty cold teas in an eclectic, African-inspired décor that will embrace you with its warmth. Buka Restaurant and Chez Clarisse are other eateries in Osu where you can buy traditonal Ghanaian dishes like fufu and goat soup. The night market is a great place to find local street food like banku, kenkey with grilled tilapia, crabs, oysters and octopus. The market is open daily from 6pm. It resembles a bazaar and is primarily a food market. Fishermen from nearby communities such as Ladabi and Jamestown come here to sell their catch under sheds illuminated by coloured lights and kerosene lamps. The original fishing settlements are also good places to explore Ga culture and experience the effect of its mixture with British colonial culture in the age-old architecture.

Banku and tilapia
Banku and tilapia | © sshreeves / Flickr

Nightlife

The Republic Bar is a favourite night time destination for many Osu-goers. Their potent cocktails will have you dancing all night under the sky to the live band or to spiritual afro-house and funk sets from some of Accra’s greatest DJs. Shake of the stress of the week in clubs like Bella Roma, Venus, Carbon and Twist (which is just a few minutes outside Osu) to the latest local and international hits, with some of the coolest people in Accra. Kona Bar and Grill is the best place in Osu to go to for live music. Their open mic session is hosted by Kacey Moore and DJ Mitchy every Wednesday. Up-and-coming singers, rappers, instrumentalists and poets all come to get discovered at this incubator of creative talent.

Jojo Abot, a neo-soul artist from Accra
Jojo Abot, a neo-soul artist from Accra | © Steven Pisano / Flickr

Fashion

Despite its raving reputation for being fast-paced, you can also enjoy the town for its mellow and relaxed moments. Take a scenic walk along Oxford Street and observe the buzzing energy of Accra or do some leisurely browsing and perhaps pick up a momento or two. The paintings and clothing on sale on the side of the road brighten the streets of Osu with their bold and iridescent colours. There are also shops like Christie Brown and Elle Lokko who specialise in contemporary fashion from well known local brands like AAKS, Sophie Zinga and Charlotte Privee. Clothing items on sale range from casual comic t-shirts, to bespoke gowns and suits, pendants, rings, and other accessories.

Elle Lokko
Elle Lokko | Courtesy of Elle Lokko (Stefania Manfreda)