Good Eating in Ghana

For travelers fresh off the plane in Accra, these places offer a middle ground between the roadside chop bars and upscale cop-outs.

1. Country Kitchen – Osu

The covered outdoor Country Kitchen is in the Ringway Estates area, traditionally an enclave of rich Ghanaians and civil servants. Current president John Mahama’s father, a politician himself before the 1966 coup, once owned a house here.

Omo tuo — rice balls in groundnut soup — is a Sunday special, but come early for lunch; once the church opposite has turned out the place becomes packed, and the crowds clear the kitchen of everything other than chicken and jollof rice. Portions are huge, but just take your time — the location makes this an interesting place to linger and people-watch.

2. Asanka Local – Osu

Asanka is really a chop bar on a grander scale, with certain refinements — printed menus, sufficient seating, cutlery if you ask for it — that make it more accessible. Go for a soup here, either thick groundnut or spicy, tomato-based “light soup.” If you aren’t ready for fufu, plain rice is the best accompaniment.

The high, vented ceiling keeps it cool, and there’s a lively soundtrack from a set of ancient speakers in a corner, but you may find you have the place to yourself in the evenings. Many restaurants around the local market are busiest at lunch and close up relatively early. Aim to be there by 7pm at the latest.

3. Maquis Tante Marie – Labone

A relaxed garden restaurant in the affluent Labone district, this one is popular across the spectrum. You might see Ghanaians on a date, well-off family groups, or volunteer teams on R&R. The extensive menu includes dishes from all over West Africa, and the waakye — a mix of beans and rice, served with grilled meat, shito pepper sauce, and salad — is great.

Gari foto, a preparation of fried, spiced cassava chips that’s often described as “Ghanaian couscous,” is also good here, but it’s worth asking for extra sauce as it tends to come up rather dry. Go for a seat upstairs, on a wooden balcony surrounded by leaves and cooled by a light breeze.

4. Blue Gate – Osu

Some say the best banku and tilapia in Osu is at Blue Gate; others claim Duncan’s. But Blue Gate has the nicer environment, with an airy upstairs bar looking out over the bottom of Mission Street, complete with pool table and blaring TV. There’s also a small terrace out front, flanked by a barbecue cooking up chicken and fish.

Your tilapia will come fresh from the grill, with a relatively sensible portion of soft, sourish banku, a salad, and dishes of hot pepper sauce. Unlike soups, this is a meal easier to eat with your hands, even if you’re a beginner…

Read more: Matador Network


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