A globally recognized technology hub and the entertainment heartbeat of West Africa, Lagos has a boundless, creative energy wired into the fabric of the city. The biggest names in Afrobeat are, more often than not, native or adopted Lagosians, and the food scene here pulsates with equal force. First-time visitors encounter a barrage of sights, sounds, street food, and restaurant options representing the foods of immigrant populations from across West Africa, much of it lush with spice and oil. Rice dishes anchor Nigerian cooking: specialties like jollof, white rice with a tomatoey sauce, and locally grown ofada rice with a stew of peppers and palm oil. Fish pepper soup dispensaries double as photography galleries, and international tech-industry transplants have brought with them the flavors of Ethiopia, Lebanon, south India, and beyond. By day, vendors selling crispy puff puffs and other “small chops” line the sidewalks, while flickering streetside grills illuminate the night. The forthcoming Eko Atlantic City project — a 4-square-mile patch of land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean that plans to house 250,000 new residents — is expected to bring an influx of new chef-driven and fine dining restaurants, but amplified flavors and a boisterous spirit infuse all levels of eating here, in Nigeria’s buzziest metropolis. These are the most essential eateries in Lagos.
Editor’s Note: Eater is not updating international maps at this time given disruptions to global travel during the COVID-19 crisis.
Prices per person, excluding alcohol:
$ = Less than 500 naira (Less than $1.40 USD)
$$ = 501 - 2,000 naira ($1.40 - $6 USD)
$$$ = 2,000 - 5,000 naira ($6 - $14 USD)
$$$$ = Over 5,000 naira ($14 USD and up)
Kay Ugwuede is a Nigerian writer and photographer based in Lagos.Read More