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As the most populous city in Nigeria, Lagos is one of Africa’s most eclectic mega-cities and the country’s definitive city of culture, thanks to its art, music and culinary scene. Here are 10 places to get a taste of Lagos.
Celebrating Lagos’ European culinary influences is Villa Medici. This restaurant has been developing its reputation and status in Lagos for the last 15 years and, as a result, has become a favorite among locals. The menu has a French influence, with frogs’ legs and escargots a la bourguignonne among the highlights of les hors d’oeurve. These continental dishes are perfectly accompanied by an extensive drinks menu of wines and cocktails. There are also al fresco and private dining options for a memorable Lagos dining experience.
Lagos’ premier arts, education and food centre, Terra Kulture has been a leading promoter of Nigerian culture since 2004. The food court at Terra Kulture celebrates the very best of Nigerian cuisine, offering an ample choice of locally grown and traditional gastronomic delights, such as the ofada rice, catfish and boiled yam or plantain. Not only is the food quintessentially Nigerian, but so is the food court’s décor of hand-crafted wooden furniture, and even the waiter’s uniforms. When visitors have finished dining, they can view the rich Nigerian art on display in the adjoining gallery space by travelling across the bridge located in the restaurant.
Away from the hustle and bustle of Lagos is an oasis of calm called The Jazzhole. A trinity of culture, The Jazzhole is an iconic record shop, a renowned bookshop, and a café. The café offers nearly forty varieties of tea in individual tin teapots and complements them with freshly made sandwiches and cakes. The Jazzhole invites visitors to sit back, relax and escape chaotic city life, often with the help of live jazz and soul performances.
The Jazzhole, 168 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria. +234 702 559 5697
A great way to take a break from the busy streets of Lagos is the Sky Restaurant and Lounge at the Eko Hotel, the highest restaurant in the city. With unbeatable views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean, the Sky Restaurant and Lounge takes diners on a round-the-world tour, with Nigerian, Asian, European and North American food available. The cuisine is complemented by a delectable wine and cocktail range. This, combined with the restaurant’s tranquil atmosphere, means the Sky Restaurant and Lounge should be at the top of any visitor’s list.
Offering traditional African dishes with a contemporary twist is one of Lagos’ newest restaurants, The Yellow Chilli. For those feeling adventurous, The Yellow Chilli’s menu offers exciting options such as Isi-Ewu, which is goats head pieces drizzled with a spicy palm oil broth, and a yam pottage special with beef and snail. There are also continental plates available, resulting in a diverse menu that fuses the very best of local and international gastronomy. With two bars, a large dining area, a smaller private room and a terrace, The Yellow Chilli caters for any Lagos visitor’s gastronomic needs.
Rodizzio is not only a restaurant, but it also promotes itself as a bar, café and events centre. Inspired by the culture and cuisines of Brazil, Europe, and Nigeria, Rodizzio offers an array of barbequed meats and grilled seafood, flavored in the local Naija style. Rodizzio also prides itself on its extensive cocktail menu, with a drink to suit any mood. While visitors dig into their food, they can also enjoy live comedy and music. The restaurant states it has a few house rules, one of which is that knives and forks are optional.
Rodizzio, 29, Isaac John Street, G.R.A. Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria. +234 703 004 4414