If I ever go on some kind of competitive cooking tv show, I’m taking Shawn as my teammate. He’s a great resource of information for living in Dakar and one of his fields of expertise is restaurants.
People often ask for restaurant recommendations in Dakar. I’m a bit hesitant to do so simply because if there’s one thing that’s consistent about the food scene in Dakar, it’s that it can be inconsistent. So in order to give a nice, well-rounded view of things, I’m asking readers to give their opinions as well. If you’d be willing to participate, please email me!
And now, I’m handing the mic over to my future tv show teammate, Shawn.
Favorite pizza: La Piazza by the Palace and next door to Eric Kayser
Favorite place for burgers and fries: The challenge with burgers is, as soon as you find a good one you go back and they have changed it. I find it a bit overpriced, but Times Café makes some pretty good burgers, and they have been consistent.
Favorite ice cream: Myicecream. I haven’t tried very many ice cream places, but what I have had; the qualities have been the same. The reason I would pick myice cream over N’Ice cCeam is the workers have been trained with some customer service, which makes for a more enjoyable experience.
Favorite ethnic restaurant: Churrascaria Brasil. Unfortunately it can be hit and miss sometimes, and the weekends especially Sunday afternoon is usually the best because they cook with charcoal, and usually have more clients which keeps the meat fresh.
LeJardin Thailandais is very good too, the only problem is when I go there I drop a pretty nice chunk of CFA and then go straight home and raid the cupboards for a snack.
Favorite Senegalese restaurant and/or meal: I like a good Mafé, but I don’t go to restaurants to eat Senegalese food.
Favorite breakfast or brunch: I don’t go to restaurants for either normally but recently went to Presse Café, and they have a very good muffin and coffee.
Favorite little beach restaurant: La Cabane des Surfers in Les Almadies.
Favorite old standby: Les Ambassades in Point E, delivery or take-out. They make a good Chawarma, and a decent hamburger. (Must avoid the mean lady in the dining room.)
Favorite splurge: La Lagon II or Le Jardin in Almadies.
Favorite place to order a good coffee: Presse Café has a good cup of coffee, and it is normal size, not like the” sample” sizes you buy anywhere else. I would say though that you can’t beat going and getting some freshly roasted beans from Cor Coumba, and brewing a nice strong cup at the house.
(Editor’s note: Shawn is a coffee
snob connoisseur. If he says it’s good, it’s good.)
If I were stranded on a deserted island and could have only one of Dakar’s restaurants, it would be: I must say Churrascaria Brasil, good meat, and good buffet, plus the sweet corn ice cream is a must try.
What is missing from the Dakar food scene? A good burger joint where if you ask FOR a fried egg on it they look at you funny.
Mexican food would be nice as well.
Any other suggestions? I also wanted to give a shout-out to Saveurs d’Asie, take-out or delivery. Very good, always consistent, try the My Sao, or Caramel Beef, Chicken, or Pork, and you won’t regret it.