Here’s another round of ‘My favorite restaurants’ on Dakar Eats! Today’s recommendations come from Meg, a journalist who grew up in Dakar and is now back for a long visit.
If you’d be willing to participate by sharing your recommendations, please email me!. Thanks!
Favorite pizza: Maristes, at the corner of Front de Terre and Maristes. Thin crust on a wooden slab with a good amount of cheese. They have take-out in front and eat-in inside. You can also do karaoke here, and there are Moroccan-style places to sit. Fun!
Favorite hamburgers: Maristes again, for the perfect egg to cheese to meat to fries to bread ratio (Hamburger Complet). Bonus points for never messing up my order.
Favorite ice cream: LGM at Point E. It was here before the crop of new, trendy ice-cream places. Everyone scoffs at me when I say I like it better than N’ice Cream, but it’s true. I like it simple, and that’s what you get here. The Gianduja ice cream satisfies any craving for frozen things I may have, and if you need something salty after, the Croque Monsieurs are my all-time favourites here.
Favorite ethnic restaurant: Fuji. It’s hard to find (I still don’t know if there is even a sign outside) and costs about as much as I make per assignment, but it’s worth it. I was in food love from the first bite. I’ve never had sushi like this before, and I despair of ever finding somewhere as good again. A word to the thrifty- I was happier with the cheaper menu items I ordered than the more expensive- they just seemed to have more flavour. So don’t feel like you have to order the priciest dish to enjoy this place.
Thank you to some lovely expat journalists for showing it to me. I think they might live there on the weekends. I certainly want to.
Favorite Senegalese restaurant: Chez Loutcha. Rumor has it Danny Glover ate here. Just sayin’.
Favorite brunch: Brioche Dorée has the yummiest pastries if you want to grab and go.
Favorite little beach restaurant: The tiny crepe place beside Le Recif at Point Almadies. It’s name escapes me, but just turn a bit to the left instead of going into Le Recif and you can’t miss it. The Choco-Coco is my favourite. All the crepes are cooked with citrus peel in them, which should be patented because their is nothing as good as the paper-wrapped fresh-from-the grill flavour of coconut, nutella and zest all rolled into gooey perfection. Can you tell I love this place? If they ever close down I will have to start my own crepe place in exactly the same spot with exactly the same recipe.
Favorite old standby: Le Recif at Almadies is just plain good, all the time. The servers are really sweet too, and the place hasn’t changed much since the 90s- which is a good thing in their case. If you like seafood, go for the brochettes with pommes sautés. The restaurant has a beautiful view of the ocean, is sufficiently romantic for a date, and has rocks for the kids to climb on. There are so many reasons why this is a favourite- you need to see it for yourself!
Favorite splurge: Maison D’Italie (N’Gor Island) is like a dream. You take a boat across blue waters, eat right on the ocean, and then you can swim in the sunshine. Their food is also delicious- no boring so-so Italian food here!
If I were stranded on a deserted island and could only have one of Dakar’s restaurants: La Palmerie. It’s delicious, and has all the Italian, Senegalese and French options you could want. They also had amazing chocolate mousse, but I’m not sure if that’s true anymore. It’s a little pricey, but I’m guessing that wouldn’t be an issue in this scenario 🙂
What is missing from the Dakar food scene: Somewhere with better specialty tea choices, especially of the loose-leaf variety. You can get a pretty good variety (in tea-bag form) in grocery stores, but not being able to have it on the go makes me miss Starbucks and David’s Tea.