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The 10 Best West African Restaurants in the US

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The United States has several exceptional West African restaurants that excel at creating memorable African foods and dining experiences. From the aromatic jollof rice to the fiery suya skewers to the delicious omu tuo, these West African restaurants showcase the region’s gastronomic treasures.

These restaurants offer dishes that are a staple food in Nigeria, Mali, Senegal, and Gambia.

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They offer warm hospitality and meticulously crafted dishes, allowing you to savor West Africa without leaving the country. Whether you’re a connoisseur of African cuisine or an adventurous food enthusiast, these culinary gems promise to satisfy your cravings.

Here are the 10 best West African restaurants in the US you should visit.

1. Brooklyn Suya

Brooklyn Suya. West African Restaurants
Image source: Brooklyn Suya, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Brooklyn Suya introduces fast-casual West African cuisine to the United States. The West African restaurant is the collaboration of Chef Folusho and Chef Hema Agwu, “The Suya Guy”

Brooklyn Suya represents a merging of Brooklyn and Nigerian culture centered around what we call a Suya Bowl.

You can create your own suya bowl by selecting the protein and toppings of your choice. And this includes avocado, egg, kale, plantains, mushrooms, eggplant, carrots, and vegetable.

Additionally, you can request a rice or kale base with a mild, medium, or spicy sauce. The suya spice mixture, which is made up of ground pepper, aromatics, and peanuts, is the star of every bowl, though.

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2. Papaye

Papaye jollof rice.
Image source: IG,  licensed under CC BY 2.0

Its name, Papaye means “doing good is good” and the restaurant is owned and operated by Kwame Bonsu, the nephew of Osei Bonsu. The restaurant is located on the Grand Concourse as well as in Morrisania.

While most West African restaurants only offer a few dishes at any given time, Papaye’s extensive menu offers you a wide variety of options.

Among the dishes you will enjoy are goat meat and peanut butter groundnut soup and mashed, boiled rice known as omo tuo. It’s also a good idea to try jollof rice.

3. BlackStar Kebab 

Blackstar khebab
Image source: BlackStar Khebab, licensed under CC BY 2.0

The owner of Blackstar Kebab, Priestwick Sackeyfio, enjoys making traditional Ghanaian family recipes for people who’ve never experienced them before. 

Blackstar is a food cart that prepares dishes like Jollof rice, beef, chicken, or lamb kebabs, tomato stew, plantains, and more using top-notch organic ingredients.  

They provide catering services in addition to operating at various locations around the Seattle region.

4. Teranga

Image source: Teranga, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Pierre Thiam is a renowned chef who has published several West African cookbooks. 

He’s in charge of two cafes in downtown Brooklyn and Harlem that specialize in salad and rice bowls with yassa and beef suya and have modernized the collective cuisines of West Africa. Beer, wine, and cocktails are available. 

5. Grin

Image source: Grin, licensed under CC BY 2.0

This quaint, homey restaurant serves Ivory Coast cuisine, including attieke, a coarse, white cassava stodge with a delightfully sour flavor. 

The menu comes with a few relishes, a salty Maggi cube, and fried fish that is covered in mustard-flavored onion and tomato mince. There are options for fried chicken and roast lamb, and stews with okra and palm oil as thickeners are frequently served. 

Grin also serves espresso, a ubiquitous vestige of French colonialism in the Ivory Coast.

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6. Appioo Bar and Grill 

Appioo Bar and Grill. West African Restaurants
Image source; Appio Bar and Grill, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Chef Prince Matey serves a variety of Ghanaian dishes in his Appioo Bar and Grill, including a minced goat burger, seafood okra stew, and light pepper soup with fufu and meat or fish. 

He also serves waakye served with black pepper sauce (Shinto) and ampesi (boiled yam and boiled green plantain) served with spinach stew. And, of course, jollof rice and fufu.

You can locate Appioo Bar and Grill in Washington or visit their website to make a reservation.

7. Voilà Afrique

Voila Afrique.
Image source: Voila Afrique, licensed under CC BY 2.0

George Quainoo, a Ghanaian, and chef Margarete Duncan, a Nigerian, own Voilà Afrique, resulting in this tag-team restaurant with food from both countries. 

The menu at the restaurant includes Kenkey, a fermented cornmeal mash wrapped in corn husks widely consumed in Ghana, and Suya,  a Nigerian delicacy made from peanut-dusted beef. 

Sauces are the focus of most main courses here, including egusi made from pumpkin seeds and a novel peanut sauce that’s vegan. Pair them with rice or mash for a full meal.

8. Aduke Nigerian Cuisine

Image source: Aduke Cuisine, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Prior to becoming a fine-dining restaurant serving homey Nigerian cuisine, Aduke Nigerian Cuisine was first established as a catering business.  

The menu at Aduke Nigerian Cuisine includes traditional Nigerian fare like pounded yam and Ila Alasepo, a stewed okra soup with meat or seafood. 

Popular dishes on the menu include the Moin Moin, a steamed bean pudding made from cleaned and peeled black-eyed peas, and the Suya Beef Kebab. 

9. Pikine

Image source: Pikine African Restaurant, licensed under CC BY 2.0

The name Pikine refers to the prosperous farmland that lies to the east of the Senegalese capital of Dakar. 

Amadou Ba, the chef and owner of Pikine, prepares dishes that showcase this luxuriance. One such dish is a bluefish thiebou djeun, which boasts an impressive six vegetables and red rice that has developed a nice crust on the bottom of the pan. 

With the addition of okra, the peanut sauce known as mafe becomes even more slick. Visit for lunch if you want traditional Senegalese food and the occasional Gambian dish; for dinner, the menu takes its cues from France and North Africa.

People Also Read: Top 10 Ethiopian Restaurants in the US

10. Dundu

Image source: Dundu, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Newly opened south of Grand Central, Dundu serves Nigerian food in lunch bowls, a fast-casual concept by Foluso Salami.

From the above fine dining restaurants, you’ll enjoy your favorite grains and other African cuisines made from nutritious ingredients like garlic, ginger, and chickpeas. To get more information about them to make your reservations, follow them on their Facebook and Instagram pages to be updated.

Pick from a variety of categories to put together your meal, but do not forget the jollof rice and the moin moin bean fritters, both of which pair well with habanero hot sauce. However, eating indoors is not an option.

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Sedi Djentuh
Sedi Djentuh
Hey, Sedi here, a content writer. She's fascinated by the interplay between people, lifestyle, relationships, tech and communication dedicated to empowering and spreading positive messages about humanity. She's an avid reader and a student of personal weekly workouts. When she's not writing, Sedi is busy advocating for plastic-free earth with her local NGO.


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