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Where to find good African food in Oakland?

I tried Lam-Toro West African restaurant (which serves Senegalese food) and Addis Ethiopian restaurant, both on Telegraph Ave (Oakland/Temescal), a couple of weeks ago. Absolutely DELICIOUS food at both places. I'm now hooked on African cuisine - where can I find the best in the Bay Area?

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  1. I highly recommend A Taste of Africa, which is in South Berkeley on Shattuck. www.atasteofafrica.net.
    It used to be in a location right across from Ashby BART, and I was crushed when it closed down. I spent many happy evenings there, talking politics with the owner, drinking an incredible ginger drink, and eating delicious Cameroonian food.

    I live in SF now so I am out of touch with the East Bay food scene, but then I discovered a few months ago that the owner has a truck that he sets up at the Ashby Flea Market. I was so happy to know that this food would once again pass my lips! Imagine my delight when I was walking down Shattuck one night a few weeks ago and found they have reopened at a new location! They were closing, and I was on my way to dinner at Herbivore, but I went in to talk to the owner for a moment and it's still the same charming, gracious guy.

    So I can't recommend the food with any recency - I've never even eaten from the kitchen they have now, for example - but it is most definitely worth checking out. Here's a chowhound thread about the new restaurant: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/360390.

    Do check it out and give a report! I'd love to know how you like it.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Mariposa

      Cafe Afrique near the McArthur Bart station-- great food and HUGE portions. I am finding all sorts of amazing food outside of Oakland. The community is definitely spreading out all over the Bay Area (Santa Rosa, Marin, South Bay)

      1. re: drmimi

        I second that recommendation- they have the best vegetarian sampler around, both in terms of variety (you get about 10-12 different dishes) and quality. The restaurant is actually:

        Cafe Eritrea d'Afrique
        4069 Telegraph (Telegraph and 40th St.)
        Closed on Tuesdays (which for some reason is when I always crave it!)

        1. re: ace

          Thanks for the recommendation. I've passed by the restaurant before, and will definitely try it when I'm in town again next month.

          BTW, any good Nigerian restaurant to recommend in the Bay Area, please?

    2. In my experience, you can't beat Ethiopia Restaurant at Telegraph and Ashby for Ethiopian cuisine. Its even quiet and cozy enough for a date and you'll never get the cold or rude service common at the nearby Cafe Colucci.

      Ethiopia Restaurant
      2955 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA

      1. Place linking.

        A Taste of Africa
        3015 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA

        6100 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

        Cafe Eritrea
        4069 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609

        1. I think that for Ethiopian you can't beat Ensarro on Grand. I'm a big fan of Ethiopian, and this is by far my favorite. Amazing Gored Gored and anything with lamb is good. Service, while friendly, is extremely slow. So go when you don't mind a wait.

          1. Taxi Brousse is always good down on San Pablo somewhere near Marin Ave. They also have dance shows time to time. Look for the website. It's Senegalese.

            1 Reply
            1. Lagosia is new on University Ave in Berkeley. A couple of good reports have been floating around

              1 Reply
              1. re: nicedragonboy

                I had one of the most disappointing meals of the year there. The food varied from bland to inedible.

              2. Place linking. It's a helpful feature! When you respond to posts, or make your own, please feel free to use the "link to place" feature to link to places you mention, and make it a more useful feature for Chowhounds! (:

                1725 University Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703

                Taxi Brousse
                1101 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

                366 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA

                1. Cafe Colucci for Ethiopian.

                  1. I just had lunch at Asmara, 5020 Telegraph Ave, today. It's only opened for lunch Fri-Sun, but dinner daily.

                    There were 2 of us and we ordered for starters a combination platter consisting of:
                    * Ziggni - strips of marinated beef cooked in berbere sauce & spice (very robust & chewy);
                    * Dorro Watt - menu said "hot, spicy chicken cooked in berbere sauce, serve with hard-boiled egg" (the egg seemed missing from ours);
                    * Ye-beg Alicha - cubes of lamb, stewed with curry & spices; and
                    A large entree of Tibsy Fit fit, i.e. pieces of Injera bread with beef strips, soaked in spicy tibsy (beef) sauce. It was the most delicious item in our lunch.

                    We had two glasses of Asmara's Comfort - a non-alcoholic drink which was said to consist of banana, coconut milk, orange juice, mixed fruits & honey, though it tasted just like a banana shake to me.

                    Asmara seemed to be very popular with the local Ethiopian/Eritrean community & the restaurant was very well-patronised.

                    Their food arrangement on the common sharing platter (very important in Ethiopian dining culture, from what I see on the Web) didn't seem as colorful nor as attractive as the one at Addis Ethiopian Restaurant (just a block further up at 6100 Telegraph Ave). I also thought I liked Addis' sunny dining room much more, although the service at Asmara is more competent & much friendlier.

                    Both Asmara & Addis were replete with beautiful handwoven rattan screens, African artworks & posters of Ethiopian scenery. But one thing Asmara's got in its favor, it's next door to Bakesale Betty so you can go & grab dessert there after lunch.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: klyeoh

                      Nice report. Thanks.

                      5020 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609