An Essential Guide for Vegetarians in Accra

Palaver stew
Palaver stew | © benketaro/WikiCommons
Rajaa Banda

Ghana is a country of meat lovers, but despite an increasing amount of vegetarians and health-conscious citizens, many people worry about being stuck in the unimaginative grind of vegetables and rice. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your veggie meals in Accra.

Vegetarian-friendly Ghanaian dishes

Red red

Simple and delicious, red red is a bean and plantain dish best eaten plain or with a side of egg. Cheaper chop bar versions are available, as are fancier restaurant styles, where the beans are cooked more as a stew.

Waakye

A hugely popular breakfast food, waakye is great for vegetarians, as all its parts are sold separately and each customer can customise the type of meal they want. Skip the fish or meat and go for egg instead, load up on the rice and beans, and throw in some plantains, salad or spaghetti if you so wish.

Palaver stew

A leaf-vegetable stew that can be eaten with rice, yams, or boiled or fried plantains.

Palaver stew

Egusi

A delicious stew made from ground melon seeds.

Jollof rice

The famous rice cooked with tomatoes and spices. Always inquire whether meat (or meat stock) has been added to the cooking pot for flavour.

Kenkey and banku

Kenkey and banku are fermented corn balls, a bit like dumplings. Kenkey are made with the corn husk, with the fiber left in, while banku are a more refined version. Skip the usual fried or smoked fish side, and opt for the beans (an underrated specialty), with a side of onions and peppers for dipping.

Typical banku plate with fresh peppers, onion, tomato and fish

Vegetarian-friendly restaurants

PAT Vegetarian and Health Food Restaurant

The gold standard in veggie chop bar food. Find all the standard dishes here, without a meat or fish stock in sight. From okro stew to deliciously rich groundnut, relax and try them all.

PAT Vegetarian and Health Food Restaurant, Off Giffard Road, Accra, Ghana, +233 24 346 9541

Simret Ethiopian

This authentic, cozy and home-style restaurant is open five days a week and is a veggie delight. Here you can find wholesome lentil- and chickpea-based stews, soups, salads and much more.

Simret Ethiopian, 7A S Ridge Road, Accra, Ghana, +233 50 740 8938

Ethiopian lentil stew

Kohinoor

Indian is always a great bet for vegetarians, and in Ghana, thanks to a large Southeast Asian community, there are lots of places where you can get fantastic and fragrant dishes, and Kohinoor is one of them.

Kohinoor, 13 12th Lane, Accra, Ghana, +233 30 277 1999

Tarka Daal

Sunshine Salad Bar

The gold standard of salad bars in Accra, Sunshine has an extensive menu of quality foods, including curries, hummus, wraps, sandwiches, salads and a full bar’s worth of homemade sweets and desserts.

Sunshine Salad Bar, H P Nyemitei St, Accra, Ghana, +233 24 431 5703

Zion Thai

A popular restaurant in Osu, where you will find authentic and tasty Thai dishes and flavours, and veggie versions of all the meals on offer.

Zion Thai, Mission Street, Accra, Ghana, +233 54 996 7644

Thai curry

The Counter Burger

This burger joint boasts Ghana’s first fully vegan burger. Impressively, this relatively new restaurant also has a tasty selection of salads and sandwiches, as well as a ‘create your own’ option, where you can mix all manner of veggie delights together.

Counter Burger, Accra Mall, Accra, Ghana, +233 54 685 5540

Veggie burger

Best street food options

Roasted plantains with roasted nuts

A surprisingly filling snack that is also super healthy and found at most street food stalls.

Roasted corn

Usually seasonal, when plantains are out of season, roasted corn is an ideal snack when on the go.

Fried yams

Sold almost everywhere, dip them into some freshly ground pepper, or enjoy them solo if they are of the sweet puna variety.

Kelewele

A mainly evening snack, kelewele is plantain fried in ginger and a mix of spices that both highlight and compliment the plantain’s sweetness.

A seller of peanuts and plantains

And don’t forget…

Don’t take it for granted that soups are vegetarian. Ask how the soup is cooked, as many will be made with some kind of meat stock.

Watch out for pepper such as shito, which is made with fried fish skins.

Snack on the seasonal produce. Avocado, for example, is often spread across bread thanks to its creamy texture and fragrant varieties.

Fried plantains

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