With its location close to the sea and mish-mash of practically every culture in Nigeria, Lagos is a steaming pot of tastes and olfactory delights. From VI on the Island to the streets of Ojuelegba, there are local restaurants that serve a variety of food from every nook and cranny of the country. And what better way to experience Nigeria than through its food?
The Place Restaurant
Diner, African, $$$
Fufu and Efo Elegusi | Courtesy of The Place Restaurant
With a wide variety of food from the southeastern and southwestern part of Nigeria, The Place is a great restaurant to have pocket-friendly meals that are delicious and homely. Designed along the lines of a fast food restaurant, it aims for an open and airy feel. Ideal for groups and family friendly, the place has several outlets both on the Island and mainland of Lagos.
Tip: They make a mean efo-riro that can act as an accompaniment with pounded yam or any other meal of choice.
A very ambitious restaurant that has tried to incorporate meals from every part of the continent into their menu, Yellow Chilli, with two outlets (one on the Island and the other on the mainland), does best with meals from the southwestern part of Nigeria. The restaurant is cozy and makes an ideal place for romantic dinners.
The only vegetarian restaurant in Lagos, they specialize in using locally sourced ingredients to prepare local meals that taste like heaven. An open-air restaurant, it is ideal for groups and also family friendly.
Traditionally styled a Yoruba Buka, Olaiya Food Canteen specializes in meals predominantly from the southwestern part of the country. For your piping hot amala, it is advisable that you check out this joint. The environment is unpretentious and totally committed to the gastronome experience. Ideal for groups and family friendly.
Amala ati ewedu with fish and goatmeat stew |Courtesy of Bukka Hut
Primarily dedicated to providing cuisine from the southeastern part of Nigeria (particularly Cross River), Calabar Kitchen is great for getting a taste of Nigeria through Lagos. With offerings like fisherman soup, banga soup, yam porridge and several other soups and swallows (pounded yam, garri/eba, starch, etc), the kitchen has come to establish itself as one of the go-to places for homey, well-prepared meals.
Another restaurant where you can experience southeastern cuisine in Lagos, but with primarily igbo dishes. Utazi restaurant makes really delicious local means like beans, plantain and fried fish. Their seafood okro is delightful and they make really great peppered snail.
The restaurant specializes in meals from the southern part of the country, they also feature food primarily considered “street food” (like roasted plantain and ugba with fish), they also offer abacha and various other delicious meals. They also prepare meals on order.
Styled as a quick service restaurant, Mama Cass provides a variety of local and continental dishes, they also have a wide array of pastries. Their specialty is southwestern and they sometimes put a twist on time-honored local ingredients, inventing new dishes to titillate the palate.
Ofada Rice with turkey, vegetables and moinmoin |Courtesy Bukka Hut
Bukka Hut specializes in rice dishes made locally. The rice is locally grown and unprocessed, thus bringing its own distinctive flavor to dishes like jollof-rice, fried rice, coconut rice, and more. They also make stews and soups as an accompaniment to the rice dishes.