Taste of America… in Dakar!

Buttermilk pancakes, bacon, hash browns, Western omelette, breakfast burrito, sausage patties, biscuits and gravy… I got your attention, didn’t I? Well save your appetite and mark your calendar for Wednesday, October 23rd, when Taste of America restaurant opens in Dakar!

Hi Mame. Thanks for taking the time to talk with us, even though I’m sure you’re running in a thousand different directions getting ready for the big opening. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Well, I am a Senegalese born woman who went to school in the US in the 80’s. Later I married a New Yorker and we have four sons. In 2005, I started in the food processing field and became an FDA certified Food processor authorized to make sauces in jar.

My husband and I later opened two restaurants, Mawa’s Taste of Africa, with a diverse menu covering the rich African continent and it was a huge success. We were rated 4.5 on urbanspoon.com, 4.5 on tripadvisor.com and 4 in Yelp.

That’s impressive. And making me hungry…

Yes, in fact we won Best Food in the Taste of Morrisville 2011 and Indyweekly (a local newspaper) named us best African food 2011. (http://bestof.voiceplaces.com/raleigh-durham/w/best-african-restaurant-finalist-2011-57230)

Here are a a few more newspaper and magazine articles about Mawa’s Taste of Africa:




So then what happened?

When all the boys went to college, we  sold the restaurant in November of 2011 and came to Senegal in a partnership with the Senegalese Government’s institute of food technology (ITA) in a “meals ready to eat” project. 

In Dakar, we now run three restaurants serving Senegalese food and have a line of sauces and condiments. 

And with your newest restaurant, you’ll be taking a new direction I hear.

The absence of real American food in Dakar is the reason why we decided to convert one our shops into a  American-African restaurant featuring “the best of both worlds”. It’s in Zone A, across from Point E and is a family-style restaurant. Not very fancy, but cozy, and we guarantee a true American dining experience.

That’s awesome. I love that you took Africa to the US and now you’re bringing the US to Africa.

Exactly. Mawa’s Taste of America will is designed to reach Americans and American food connoisseurs, so the taste is authentic and will not be altered. The menu includes the all-time favorites of American cuisine but also features a regional or ethnic cuisine every night. We also have an American pizza shop on-site and will soon deliver throughout Dakar.  

Mmm… American pizza. You have got to let me know as soon as I can order!

For the first few weeks, we will be serving dinner and weekend brunch but we will be adding lunch in the near future.

Download full brunch menu here.

That sounds great, Mame. Thanks so much and best of luck to you guys!

Mawa’s Taste of America
N°1B Zone A, Dakar
33 827-0487
Find them on Facebook.



  1. Sounds amazing, can’t wait to try Taste of America! I also love that you came home and brought a taste of your amazing cooking with you!! See you soon.

    • It is located near Eglise Sainte Therese, ENAM (Government School of Law) or Clinique Internationale. Call 33 827-0487 for directions. Thanks

  2. I went to Mawa’s two weeks ago with a group of 5 and we enjoyed the food and the people very much. As the only non-American in the group I did not notice but my friends identified the menu as ‘very North-Carolina’. The pizza’s were thick, my chicken and dumplings delicious (with home made mac and cheese), as were the appetizer chicken wings.
    I see that they hired another bilingual server but I was already getting confused, ordering in French and being answered in English (no problem, just an odd experience in Dakar).

    Jeff, it’s fairly easy to find though the front of the building is small and unassuming. I was for a moment unsure if I had come to the wrong restaurant, cause it looks like your regular ‘Thieb for lunch’ place. But anyways you turn off the highway at Colobane, direction of the busstation (West), then straight on the next two roundabouts, right to Rue 10 at the first main intersection. You park at the next intersection and the restaurant is on the street on your right (north side of the road, next to a pharmacy)..

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