So’ Beach in Almadies

Oh no. No… Really? How is that possible? Yup. I guess I did forget to publish the post I wrote about So’ Beach restaurant in Almadies! Maybe these photos of their gorgeous food that tastes as good as it looks will encourage you to forgive me…


Every few months there’s a new, amazing place that opens and becomes IT for Dakar’s food scene. Some fade quickly, others more slowly, and some become landmarks on our map. So’ Beach has serious landmark potential.

The menu is seafood-inspired, but not limited. (I laughed to myself when the server proudly declared that the steak was from Senegalese beef, but my friend said it was delicious and tender.) The bruschetta are amazing and each one unique. The fish carpaccio looked amazing and my friend joked she’d order another one for dessert. The mixed seafood platter with garlic aïoli was wonderful. Bref… everyone loved everything. Really.

But you can’t talk about So’ Beach and not talk about the atmosphere. Gorgeous. Calm. Bright. An Instagrammer’s dream. and comfortable too!

I haven’t yet been at night, but I’m sure it’s beautiful. One tip from a friend: go early enough that you finish before the Sharkies crew next door gets loud.


So’ Beach
On beach road in Almadies, next door to Sharkies
Find them on Facebook.

NEW pizza from Yum Yum (also my new favorite!)

YUMYUM_Divine Pepper_vinyle

Last night we tried out Yum Yum’s newest pizza special, the ‘Divine Pepper’, which launches officially today.

3 things to know:

– I ate the first slice so quickly this was all I had left in my hand to photograph.

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 8.45.04 PM

– Americans, you will LOVE this pizza! The spicy ground beef and herbs with just the right amount of tomato and cheese. Yum. (Yum.)

– It’s my new favorite. And my husband says his too.

YUMYUM_Divine Pepper_vinyle

Guest post: grocery shopping tips for Dakar

20151021_181849-01My name is Téclaire Ekédi. I’m from Cameroon and it’s been almost 10 years now that I’ve lived in Senegal. I work as French content manager for I’m also a lifestyle blogger on La Bulle de T, and I love working on creative projects.

While living in Senegal I have tried to learn and understand the complexity of the culture. Each country in Africa is different and Senegal has taught me so much. This month, to celebrate my 10 years in Senegal, I am posting each day a picture that show “my Dakar” (in French “mon Dakar”). You will find all the pictures on my Instagram account @labulledet and you can also participate with the hashtag #mondakar or #mydakar.

The term “ravitailler” in French is mostly used by students to describe the time of the month when they shop and restock grocery provisions. For many Senegalese families, going to the market is done daily, based on their budget what’s available at the moment. Other homes choose to do it once a week. In my case, and probably for many former and current students, buying groceries is once a month event (the Western Union factor ;)), except for fruits and vegetables which are purchased weekly, so four times a month.

When you live in an expensive town like Dakar (by comparison to some African cities), you must constantly juggle your budget. Here are my tricks and the places I frequent.

To start, let’s talk about fresh foods (produce and meat).

I recommend considering the proximity to your home: this allows you to save both time and on transporting.

Marché Tillen is the one I go to most. In case of small emergencies, neighborhood markets also do the job but do keep that as a plan B because the prices are higher than those of the major markets.

Other fresh produce: fruit. The legendary Sandinierie street in Plateau is the one I recommend to have fruit at reasonables prices. When you come from a country where 200 FCFA or less is enough to buy bananas for the week, it’s a kind of shock when hearing prices in Dakar. Street vendors also fall under plan B because their prices are sometimes too removed from the Sandinierie street.

For fish, Soumbédioune remains my favorite market. The trick is to buy fish where fishermen are located not in the big market. You just have to find where the boats arrive, and the vendors are set up right next door. Ideally it’s better to go between 4:30pm and 5:30pm.

Once bargained and purchased the amount of fish needed, there are several women offering to clean it at a relatively affordable price. Another time-saver. And while this is done take a sit in a bench and admire the sea view.

In terms of grocery stores, Casino long had the monopoly. Now the competition is tough. City Dia, Atac and Hypermarché are the three competitors most feared by the iconic brand. So how do I make my purchases?

Casino → Go there on Wednesday to take advantage of the 5% reduction with the loyalty card. I mostly buy dairy products and cold cuts.

City Dia → The chicken (already cleaned on the inside, yeah yeah), some cleaning products and some fruits that come from local cooperatives, often in nice packaging, are always tempting.

Atac → all my breakfast essentials, cleaning products

Hypermarché → Olive oil and some spices

Finally, with the e-commerce boom, some websites offer to do the shopping for you and deliver the items to your home. There are also on-the-spot markets that emphasize cooperatives and organic products. These are all interesting initiatives to test. I certainly will talk about it in another article!

I hope that these tips will be useful and please feel free to share yours in the comments.

Planning Thanksgiving 2015 in Dakar

Now is the time to start gathering all you’ll want for a festive Dakar Thanksgiving! Here’s a general checklist to be sure you’ve got your bases covered in time. Please comment below if you have anything to add!

Let’s talk turkey.
Due to restrictions on importing poultry, the options have been limited in the past. These are the best bets:

Poulet Express will have around 1400 turkeys available Nov-Dec this year. You do not need to call to reserve your bird, but do call in plenty of time so they can organize deliveries. 33 842 9686 or 33 821 5888.

Le Gac butcher in Yoff Virage will have turkeys raised locally on real animal feed, not trash. 😊

Casino grocery stores and Hypermarché Exclusive on the VDN have also carried turkeys in the past. Again, best to reserve. (A word of warning, some turkeys were said to have a fishy taste because they had been raised on food containing, well, fish.)

One bold option (and the one you’ll find on my table) is to order whole smoked chickens from The Smoke Stack. Delicious, special and just a tad off the beaten Thanksgiving path.

(Or ham)
If you’re not set on having something that said ‘gobble’ or ‘cluck’ on your table, here’s a good option for glazed ham that has definite potential.

Between tapalapa bread and cornbread, I think most recipes should work here. The American Food Store also carries Jiffy brand cornbread mix and may have stuffing mix as well.

Good looking celery was spotted recently at CityDia! Buy it now and freeze it.

Sage‘ in French = sauge

Sweet potatoes
Great news! Locally grown orange sweet potatoes have hit the market and are available at CityDia, Castor Market and other places around town – and quite reasonable at 690cfa/kilo.

Local white sweet potatoes aren’t quite right in terms of texture and taste. But carrots work surprisingly well for casseroles and soufflés. (I usually use 4 carrots to every 1 local sweet potato in my recipes. And I’m not above adding a little red/yellow food coloring to make it look right!)

Mashed potatoes
No probs.

Green bean casserole
The American Food Store in Almadies often carries cream of mushrooms soup, and so does Hypermarché Exclusive. You can also buy the powdered soup mix at CityDia. Or make a white sauce, add frozen mushrooms and cube of beef bouillon. This stuff is what you want to look for.

Good news on the crunchy onions front! The oignons croustillants available in the apéritifs section at Casino and Hypermarché work great. And I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the American Food Store has them in stock this time of year.

Cranberry sauce
The American Food Store will have us covered on this one.

From a reader: If you want to enjoy the taste of fresh cranberries all year long, now is the time to stock up on fresh bissap (roselle), as it will be gone soon. Have your housekeeper or a local friend help you get a bunch at the market, wash, chop, and freeze it in small Ziplock bags, and use in any recipe calling for fresh cranberries. Delicious!

For recipes that call for cranberries, you can often substitute… bissap flowers! Just rehydrate them in boiling water, cool and chop. Here’s an example in these white chocolate & bissap oatmeal cookies.

Deviled eggs
Local buutik eggs + cornichons or sweet relish from The American Food Store + mayonnaise + paprika. You’re all set. Here’s a recipe using locally available ingredients.

All ingredients available here, even whole wheat flour if you’re going healthier this year. If you want to get ahead of the game, you could order yeast rolls from Marie and freeze them. On Thanksgiving, just thaw, heat and serve.

Pecan pie
As far as I know, pecans are not easiky available in Dakar. Does anyone know differently? The American Food Store does have Caro syrup in stock.

Frozen pastry crusts are available at most grocery store chains.

Pumpkin pie
The American Food Store has canned Libby’s pumpkin in stock as well as graham cracker crusts.

Or let carrots save the day! Seriously. Try it. You’ll be amazed. (Carrot purée can also be used in all those pumpkin recipes filling your Pinterest feed.) You can also use local potiron, but I prefer carrots.

All the spices are available individually at Hypermarché, with the exception of occasionally hard-to-find ground cloves.

Frozen pastry crusts are available at most grocery store chains.

If you want a perfect dessert and no hassle, order a cheesecake with berries from Simone Café.

As they say in America… bon appétit!

The Smoke Stack is back!

And it’s even bigger and better. Check out their new expanded list of offerings and prices below. Prices are per 500 grams.

Smoked Gouda – 7,500 cfa

Smoked Cheddar – 8,000 cfa

Smoked Parmesan – 8,000 cfa

Smoked Brisket – 8,000 cfa

Smoked Pork Ribs – 6,000 cfa

Whole Smoked Chickens – 7,000 cfa each

Like their Facebook page to find out about specialty items, and look for them at the November 7th Lou Bess? Farmers’ Market! Just follow your nose to the smoked ribs…

To order, call 77 913 0870 or send them a message on Facebook. (English, French, Wolof)

NEW (finally!): Simone Café

I wanted to write this post over six months ago. Simone wouldn’t let me. I had just attended a beautiful baby shower she catered (all these gorgeous photos are from that event) and her cakes, treats and party favors were amazing. Delicious, beautiful… every detail was perfect. But she said no, not yet.

A few months later I was at a dinner where she made gorgeous cakes and mini-desserts for about 100 people. I asked if I could post about her then. She said no. I wasn’t even allowed to give a sneak preview! :) She wanted me to wait until she was completely ready to launch her business.

Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 2.17.53 PMSo today I am very, very happy to FINALLY be able to introduce Simone Café to our Dakar Eats readers! This is truly a day I have been waiting for. Her lovely website is up and running and will make you drool on your keyboard.

More than her incredible desserts, she also caters savory items (and at prices that are very reasonable!).

Simone is a gem. She is professional, detail-focused, reliable and oh-my-word-can-she-bake! Welcome to the Dakar food scene (officially!), Simone!

For more information: