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!.
Today we’re hearing from Meagan, a former food writer (but still food lover). She will be leaving soon, so we wanted to get her opinions before she goes. Thanks, Meagan!
Favorite pizza: Sam’s hands down!!
Favorite burgers and fries: I have to say that as a Plateau person I like the diner feel of Times Café. They have the most delicious fries and milk shakes for when you need a fix.
Favorite ice cream: When I first arrived in Dakar I heard about the famous “Obama” flavored ice cream at N’Ice Cream and now it is a household staple for me. I usually order it with a scoop of cherry and it’s perfection.
Favorite ethnic restaurant: Fuji is my favorite place to go for date night. The service, the food and the ambiance are excellent as well as the sake! Don’t eat sushi? They have delicious fried rice and miso soup.
Favorite Senegalese meal: I’m a big Poisson Yassa fan because of the bright citrus flavors of the sauce. The best version I’ve had was at Lagon 1 on the Petite Corniche.
Favorite breakfast or brunch: This Texan takes breakfast very seriously and I usually make it for my family, but I’ve had Mawa’s cinnamon roll pancakes and they are fantastic.
Favorite little beach restaurant: Le N’Gor restaurant in Almadies has the best view at sunset. Hand me a Gazelle, the Serere tapas platter and I’m willing to stick around all night.
Favorite old standby: Le Farid is my standby and was my first dinner in Dakar when we arrived two years ago. What a sight it was to ride downtown with our friends who promptly parked on the sidewalk, in front of a broken door only to have a restaurant on the other side that looked like an oasis, with a flat screen and delicious Lebanese food. After that I knew we would have a fantastic time here.
Favorite splurge: Isn’t everywhere kind of a splurge? If someone else is paying I enjoy Alkimia or Le Cozy. I think all of the big hotel restaurants are overrated.
Favorite place to enjoy a good coffee: I’m a big espresso lover and Eric Kayser makes a great cup that I enjoy with their pastries. Go right when they open at 7 and you’ll be in pain au chocolat heaven.
If I were stranded on a deserted island and could have only one of Dakar’s restaurants, it would be: If I can’t have access to Marche Kermel instead (ha!) I would choose Shady Shack so I could enjoy the hummus and chicken.
What is missing from the Dakar food scene?
There are lots of things missing, but I feel like it has evolved so much since I arrived that I’m sure the future is bright. I do think it would be a wasted opportunity if someone doesn’t start a taco truck soon!!