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Credit: Juji Films
Credit: Juji Films
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10 of the Best Street Food Dishes to Try in Lagos

Picture of Fareeda Abdulkareem
Updated: 12 July 2017
With ever-developing tastes and a proliferation of available culinary options, Nigerian foodies no longer need to choose between luxury and necessity. Evolving from kitchens that fuse varying cultures and influences, street food ranges from basic sustenance to gastronomic adventure. Here are some of the best local dishes, both easy on the palate and pocket, that Lagos has to serve up.

Akara

Akara, the Lagosians breakfast.
Akara, the Lagosians breakfast. | ©YouTube

Akara is the breakfast of local champions. The fried bean cakes are liberally peppered and seasoned and make for a meal to warm the cockles during the rainy season of Harmattan, or provide fuel for the fiercely hot summers. You can find women all over the street with their big vats of oil, which give off delicious aromas while beckoning you with their sizzling goodness.

Puff Puff

No party is complete without Puff puffs
No party is complete without Puff puffs | ©Nigeriafoodtv

As the queen of finger food, Puff Puffs have secured a place in the hearts of Lagosians and Nigerians. The doughy, sweet fried treats are a staple at weddings, anniversaries or any occasion that warrants a buffet, and have secured a place of honour among their peers.

Boli/Bole

Boli/Bole. Found in Lagos and all over Nigeria
Boli/Bole. Found in Lagos and all over Nigeria | ©Naijafoodkitchen

For those in need of a quick and filling lunch, boli – roasted plantain – is the go-to street snack for hungry people on the move. It is sold with roasted groundnuts or fish depending on the area you’re travelling in.

Kilishi

Kilishi. Made for those who can really handle their spice!
Kilishi. Made for those who can really handle their spice! | ©Suya Master

A delight of Northern origins, kilishi is jerky that is a variation on the famous suya shish kebab. Instead of being spiced, roasted and skewered, the meat (from beef, lamb or goat) is marinated so it easily separates from the bone, before being cut into razor-thin slices and sun-dried.

Dambu Nama

Danbu Nama, the Northern ground spiced meat/chicken combo
Danbu Nama, the Northern ground spiced meat/chicken combo | ©YouTube

Another creation from the North, ‘Dambu’ uses traditional spiced meat and chicken and is grounded down until the fluffy shreds can be scooped into soft handfuls. The soft crumbs melt then solidify in your mouth, providing a taste explosion with each bite.

Roasted Corn

Roasted corn, a seasonal street food hit
Roasted corn, a seasonal street food hit | ©Relay Foods

A seasonal street food hit, roasted corn is a roadside staple that goes well with avocados and pears. If the charcoal-seasoned variety isn’t your style, opt for the boiled version.

Fried yam

Fried yam time is always a happy time in Lagos.
Fried yam time is always a happy time in Lagos. | ©Recipe9ja

The yin to puff puff’s yang, fried yam and salt makes the perfect accompaniment to the dough balls or even akara. Nothing is more Lagosian than these delicious staples wrapped in old newspaper.

Dabino/Ofio

A dried fruit mix containing dates or tiger nuts, these sweet street food snacks go perfectly with a glass of wine after work. They are a favourite among Northerners, or anyone with a sweet tooth really.

Make a date with dabino.
Make a date with dabino. | © Daniel Blume/Flickr

Ewa Agoyin

Ewa Agoyin (beans and sauce), one of Lagos’s beloved street staples
Ewa Agoyin (beans and sauce), one of Lagos’s beloved street staples | ©Tatashey

These Togolese beans, which have been embraced and adapted into new forms by Nigerians, are simple to prepare. One easy method to make your colleagues salivate is to boil the beans and combine them with pepper stew, tomatoes and onions.

Abacha

Abacha, a delicacy from Eastern Nigeria
Abacha, a delicacy from Eastern Nigeria | ©Afrolems

The feast from the East is also colloquially referred to as African salad and is a mix of garden eggs and green vegetables, all dressed with palm oil. Abacha will agree with your stomach, but may tickle the nose hairs, so be sure to eat it outside the office.

Lagos contains many more street food options, and this selection is guaranteed to make you come back to find more new and exciting ways to tantalise your taste buds. So if you’re ever in town, dig in and enjoy!