Normally I try to keep my posts here related to health related topics rather than boring you with other aspects of my life, which are rarely interesting to anyone other than myself. However, it is that time of the year where dozens of people that I know are heading off for field research and people are always asking me for tips on where to eat in Accra (I am a failed food blogger). So I have decided to put this all here. Feel free to send this along to anyone who would be interested. Also, do send along any tips or comments and I would be happy to update this with your ideas. Happy eating!
Best Local Food:
1. Asanka Local: One of the challenges in getting good Ghanaian food is that when you go to a restaurant you are presented with a long menu, but rarely do they actually have anything other than “chicken” or “fish”. This place never has that problem. Perhaps the largest of the chop bars in town, it has a build-your-own approach that really works. Choose your protein (ranges from chicken to fish to snails to grass cutter), choose your sauce, and then choose your starch (fufu vs. plaintain vs. kenke). It is all here and it even has live music and dancing sometimes. Sundays they do the Omo Tuo or rice balls. It is located in Osu on a side street off Oxford Street. Ask around.
2. Tilapia: I think grilled fish is my all time favorite African dish. I originally fell in love with in when I lived in Burkina Faso and there were these great restaurants up by the reservoir where one could order grilled “Capitaine” with fresh tomatoes and onions. It is even better here in Accra where the fish has some reasonable chance of being fresh. Old timers swear by a place called Blue Gate – where I have never been – but I have heard that the woman who used to cook there is now at my favorite place – Duncan’s. For either 6 or 8 cedis you get an amazing grilled tilapia with fresh tomotoes and onion. Delish. To get there, take a taxi to Frankie’s in Osu and then Duncan’s is off the side street immediately on the ocean side of Frankie’s.
Best High End Eats:
1. Osteria: This place is truly amazing. As soon as I get to Ghana I start dreaming of this place and then wait until I am really, really craving good food and treat myself. Run by an Italian man who is very passionate about food, this place is an oasis in Accra. The owner grows his own arugula and spices to ensure supply and flies in clams and other ingredients from Italy. Amazing pasta and salads are available here, as well as a full italian wine list. Not cheap, but it is worth it. It is located in Airport Residential Area close to the Galaxy International Area. Tell a taxi to take you towards this area and then look for the signs to CDD-Ghana. This place is right across the street.
2. Chaumiere: Remarkably good french food can be had at this restaurant located across the street from the Shangri-La hotel. The soup au poisson is great, as is the steak au whatever. Over air conditioned, though, so be ready for a blast.
3. Monsoon: Located above the Osu food court is a swanky place called Monsoon. Here you can get sushi or eat off of their Southern African menu, which includes things like warthog. It all sounds very exotic, but the food tends to be a bit more straightforward than it sounds (the warthog looks and tastes exactly like pork chop). But it is decent, and it is fun to try this place for no other excuse than to be seen.
Best Destination Eats:
1. Waterfront dining: Despite the fact that Accra is a coastal city, it is harder than you think to eat out on the ocean. There are at least a few good options in the immediate downtown area (excluding going out to La Palm or further). The first is called Tribes, which is located at the Afia Beach Hotel, the second is called the Osekan Bar, and the third I forget what it is called but it down the road from the La Polyclinic. The Osekan bar actually has terrible food, but the view is perhaps the best in town, so go for drinks or fried chicken and enjoy the sights, especially as the sun goes down.
2. Osu night market: The night market in the old part of Osu is a lively experience. You can wander around and try local foods. Sometimes hard to see what you are eating, but lots of fun just the same.
3. The mall: The biggest change to the Accra food scene has to be the opening of the food court at the Accra Mall. You could be anywhere in this place. Grab a movie in the new 6 theatre movie complex, shop for books, CDs, and new fashions, and then grab dinner at the open air food court. Great chicken, high end restaurants, cafes, and pizza all under one roof.
Best Ethnic Food:
1. Haveli: I ate at this restaurant the first time in 2004, and have probably eaten here about half a dozen times since then. I love this little Indian restaurant tucked in a lovely setting just off of Oxford Street in Osu. The food is really tasty, not too pricey, and is always satisfying. I love the salted lassis.
2. Lebanese: There is good Lebanese food around town, which can be a nice break from more standard fast food. I enjoy the food at Venus, which is located behind the gas station near the round about at the top of Oxford Street. However, I do find that the smoking policy inside the restaurant detracts from the food. So eat outside if you go.
1. Cafes with real coffee: After a few weeks of Ivoirian nescafe I begin to really crave a good cup of coffee. Cuppa Cappuccino in airport residential area (across from the WHO or the lavender lodge) is my little heaven in Accra. I am usually found here every Saturday when I am in town. They serve coffee, lattes, cappuccinos and some might tasty shakes (I really like chocolate banana). They also have lovely sandwiches with ham, avocado, tomato, and other good stuff. Melting Moments in Labone is also a really good cafe.
2. Local honey: Last June I stayed in a Guest House in North Dworzulu (pronounced something like Jolu). There is a man who lives up that way who runs a meditation center and selves bio-organic locally produced honey, which honestly, is very tasty and is a great gift for people to bring home that supports the local economy. Look for his stand at the light (usually not working) in front of the Fiesta Royal hotel on the motorway.
3. Fried chicken: Fried chicken has become immensely popular in Ghana with fast food shops popping up everywhere. I also love it as it is cheap, safe to eat, and almost always available wherever I am. I really like one of the original joints: Papaye’s on Oxford Street in Osu. I love the garlic sauce, which is kind of like tzatziki sauce. So, so good. The portions may be partly responsible for the rise in obesity ongoing in the country. My friend Mary and I once celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving at this place.
4. Shakes: I always find it weird that is sometimes really hard to get good fresh fruit in Africa, despite the fact that being hit in the head by a mango is a real threat. A new place recently opened up on Oxford Street called NourishLabs where you can get fresh fruit smoothies and free internet.
5. Dried apricots: I have only seen these a few times around town, but always buy them whenever I do see them. There is a local producer in town that is now selling locally produced dried apricots for retail sales. For about 4 cedis you get a whole tray. They are delish and great snacks to keep on hand.
Here is my best attempt to put it all on one map.
Here is a link to another great blog posting on eating in Ghana.Share on Facebook