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Accra--good eats?

It looks like I'll be spending some time in Ghana during 2008. Never been to Africa before. Previous posts about places to eat have been few and far between. Can anyone help with some up to date info on where to eat in Accra, and any places along the coast to the west? Certainly interested in indigenous cuisine but anything goes, especially local variations of anything (Chinese, Middle-eastern, etc). Anything good, from high end to local.

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  1. In Accra, there are lots of good options:

    In terms of high-end food: Monsoon is a swanky option on Oxford Street. It features game meat and sushi. While the menu sounds very exotic, the dishes are actually pretty straight forward fare. But the dishes are well put together and the service is very good, so it is worth a visit. Also in the high-end area is la Chaumiere, out by the aiport. The food is very traditional french, but the dishes are well spiced and the seafood I find to be excellent, especially the soup au poisson, which is highly recommended. The room is also very comfortable.

    In terms of local fare: I would start at Asanka Local. It is kind of like eating in a high school auditoriu, but the food is VERY traditional fare and you get to try everything, not just what is currently on the menu which is usually the case at most chop bars. I love the groundnut soup there. They do rice balls on Sunday.

    As far as ethnic type foods, I think the Haveli is always a great option (also on Oxford Street) but the service and air condition can be very variable there. The naan is some of the best I have ever had.

    There were a number of newer restaurants in Accra, opened in the past few years, which I did not get a try but they looked very interesting. Most of the good stuff is near Oxford Street.

    Heading west of of town, if you do end up going to the Castle at Cape Coast, there is a lovely open air restaurent right next door which is great, mostly for the view, but the menu is pretty consistent. In Elimina, there is a great restaurant at the Bridge (called the Bridge Hotel or something). I had a wonderful grilled whole red snapper there recently which was fantastic and the bathrooms are simply fantastic. No joke.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MaggieMuffin

      I went to the French restaraunt la Chaumiere - excellent. Have also eaten twice in Heritage India - which is above Noble China. Heritage is OK - but much better Indian restaraunts in other African countries.

      Subodh

    2. If you haven't already arrived and figured out where you like to eat here are my suggestions.

      I agree that Monsoon and La Chaumiere are worth trying for the high end meals. Plus both have a good atmosphere expecially with the bar right next to Monsoon. I thought the sushi was really good.

      For more casual lunch option try Cuppa Cappuccino in 3rd Close, Airport Residential. Try Tribes off Beach Rd for outdoors casual (it is part of a hotel by the beach but can't remember the name). Also try Osekan which is local and basic but cheap and right on the beach - but if there is a band at the time you'll be hit with an entry fee. Plus go to the toilet before you go there.

      Try Maquis Tante Maria in Labone. They have opened another one in the Shoprite complex but I'm told it is not as good. They serve West African food. And also dinner only and also casual and outdoors off the main rd in Osu defn go to Mama Mia for the wood fired pizza! Champs in Osu serves good burgers (traditional pub set-up) and I hear good big breakfasts on the weekend.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Accra

        Maggie and Accra------Thanks for the suggestions. I'm actually in Accra right now, but am with a group so don't have full freedom on restaurant choice. Also spent some time during the first week in Takoradi so that was a different scene. In Takoradi we tried both the Joy Chinese (not so great IMO) and Captain Hook where the seafood is pretty good--we had their mixed seafood platter. A bit heavy on fried but otherwise worth it in a place without too many choices. Also had the CH lunch special on the way out which was bratwurst, and not too bad. Unfortunately we didn't have a chance to try the Bridge or other places recommended above--always late for the next appointment.

        In Accra we have tried Gaucho which has good beef and good onion rings. Found a place not listed anywhere called Old Bob's Place in Osu off on a side street, where we also had the mixed seafood platter--asked for it to be light. Really good, including the little whitebait or whatever they were--platter included grilled shrimp and lobster--seems to be some sort of Lebanese background there, since hummus was the first thing on the menu (and is good). Also tried Dynasty Chinese which was good but not special. Have also eaten a the Chinese place in Tema (Imperial Palace??) for lunches--again, OK, not exceptional---the Chinese restaurant industry here is in need of fresh blood.

        Will be in town for most of the coming week. I'll report what we find. I definitely want to try Monsoon and/or Chaumiere, and maybe some good local stuff if we can find any--perhaps Marquis Tante Maria.

        1. re: johnb

          Johnb,

          Do let me know what you find. I'll be living there most of this year, so I'll be happy to try your recs.

          1. re: MaggieMuffin

            Have now returned from Accra. Tried a few things after my most recent post.

            La Chaumiere is good. Basically very French, and full of ex-pats mostly speaking French. The best bread I found in town by far.

            Made it to Marquis Tante Marie. Very very slow service but the food was pretty good. I had a grilled tilapia which was covered with peppers and other stuff. Spicy and flavorful.

            Had Sunday brunch at Labadie not La Palm. It was quite good. Whole lamb on a spit with other grilled items, good and fresh salads, and excellent deserts, all in a very pleasant setting.

            Stayed in La Palm for several days and ate both at their Bali Hai and the main restaurant with the buffet (not on Sunday). Neither was anything to rave about, although the complimentary breakfast buffet was at least better than at the Novotel. In fact, I'd definitely avoid staying or eating at the Novotel.

            Last was a bit of a "find." Captain Hook has a location in Accra too, it turns out. Very upscale by local standards, large, and clearly a diplomatic-type clientele. Very heavy on lobster dishes, and that's what folks seem to go there for. I had a grilled snapper which was unfortunately overdone, but my dining companion had a lobster (actually there were two on the plate) and he reported it as being good. Certainly worth a try. In Cantonments, and not easy to find.

            Maggie--I'll be back in a few months. My e-mail is in my profile. If there are some other chowhound types around I'd be pleased to hook up and try some other spots.

            1. re: johnb

              Johnb - I should be in Accra more or less full time starting in mid-May or June. Let me know when you are back and we should grab dinner!

              1. re: MaggieMuffin

                Am in Accra right now but it's a short trip and I will be out Friday morning (back in a month or so). Will try to give more notice next time. Have made two worthwhile finds this trip so far. The new Holiday Inn at the airport is a nice hotel and seems to have a good restaurant--the chef is supposedly German. Went with my colleague on Tuesday for their seafood night (also done on Thursday) which turned out to be a buffet, but a pretty good one. Not a huge selection, and I wouldn't strongly recommend the stir fry (sort of like a Mongolian grill) or the deserts, but everything else was quite good and reasonable at 28 cedi's (also $28--about 1:1). Also tried the "Dutch Hotel" just off the Tema road--strangely located place, a long way away, but a very large menu featuring local items (and others) which seemed to be pretty good--better than Tante Marie IMO. If I find anything more this trip I'll post again.

                1. re: johnb

                  In answer to your query about Tribes restaurant, it is at the Afia Beach Hotel, on Liberia Road Extended, and has some fairly good food in a very pleasant atmosphere. try the Afrokoko (sp?), a side of spicy, moist plantain fritters. shakes are good too, as are omelettes, and it is righht by the ocean.

                  If you go back to Takoradi, Busua, a wonderful beach village is just 20 k further on, with quality French food in an informal setting at the Busua Inn. Fish is specially good, and NOT overcooked!

                  1. re: johnb

                    I forgot to update the board with some of my new finds from a trip back in June...so here goes.

                    I had an absolutely fantastic meal of fresh fish at a place called Duncan's just off Oxford Street. The place, which is actually a bar, does not really seem to have a restaurant but if you ask your server a woman comes over and takes your order. There is fish (snapper I think) for two prices, no other options. But it is absolutely fantastic. I can't rave about this enough.

                    Next, I have also fallen in love with the Cafe mentioned above in Airport Residential Area. Josies or Cuppa Cappucino, whatever it is called. Great food, great atmosphere, real coffee, and shakes. Yum. To get there it is quite close to the "Aviation" trotro station. It is close to the Lavender Lodge, the WHO, the Nahoe clinic, etc.

                    Also in ARA, there is a new restaurant called Osteria. It is run by an Italian guy who is very passionate about food and all things Italian. He grows his own arugula in his yard to ensure a regular supply. The salads are to die for and the pasta not bad either. It is near the Saudi Embassy and/or Galaxy International School. It is across the street from CDD-Ghana, just follow the signs to it.

                    I'll be back again in a couple of weeks, and will keep scouting.

                    1. re: MaggieMuffin

                      Have been in Accra most of the last year and eaten at most places discussed here. Can certainly vouch for Duncan's as mentioned in the last post, the fish would have been Talapia. There is a similar set up down a side street the other side of Oxford Street called Blue Gate which has a similar food set up in slightly quieter more secluded surroundings (though still very much local style). This was in fact the original place for the grilled talapia and the woman now at Duncans decamped from here. Of the western style places, a few surprisingly not listed. Le Tandem (in Cantonments and a similar area to but harder to find than Captain Hooks referred to in an April post above) is a top notch french place run by a larger than life chap formally in the Ivory Coast. The menu is writted on a chalk board and changes constantly. I have hd three stunning meals here in four visits. It has a reputation for being the most expensive place to eat in Accra, slightly unfair but it is not cheap. Three courses and easily go over 50 Ghana Cedis (25 pounds sterling). In a similar price range is Michael Angelos Italian (Airport Residential) is run by a rough and ready Italian who is a stunningly good cook and able to regularly source fresh clams and mussels and have them flowen in from Italy to compliment the goods he imports. He will try to tell you what to eat, if you are wise you will listen. Both these establishments are significantly better when their owner is around.
                      A much cheaper option in Osu is a place called Livingstones, down a side street by Koala Supermarket and on your right. It is located upstairs and also has French connections but offers a more diverse range of continental food including some great pizzas, in my mind the best in Accra and better value than the over rated Mamamias (previously mentioned in this chain) with the owner who treats his staff like dirt.
                      For up market Chinese or Indian two you cannot beat Nobel House/Heritage respectively. Both are in the same Osu location near the Presbytarian Church. Even my SE Asian wife was impressed.
                      Other more down to earth Indians abound, Kodinoor is a very reasonable place also in Osu but further from the main drag. Not far from here Banana Leaf is another option, they also have an OK Indonesian menu. Accra also have both Vietnamese (at Chez Lien's) and Thai (at Taverna Tropicana - forget the continental menu though) for the adventurous - neither is too easy to find and both can be hit and miss in quality but I have had some good meals at both.
                      Best sushi is at Monsoon as others mention unless you are friendly with the Japanese Ambassadors chef. For good Korean food you have to go to Tema, the sole place in Accra is not good at all.

                      1. re: andrew007

                        The cafeteria at the UN FAO is really good, and very reasonable. You just have to sign in at the guard desk outside and wear a nametag, but it is open to the public. Go early as they tend to sell out of some selections by around 1:30 or so.

                        1. re: marcybeaucoup

                          Always interested in a good recommendation. Where is the UN FAO place though - is it the compound on ringroad where multiple UN agencies operate?

                          Have recently read about Old Bob's; going to seek that out early in the new year somewhere in the depths of Osu's backstreets. Also been told of a guest house near the Alisa Hotel (Cantonments branch) that has geat pizza. I had never taken the signage that carries this claim seriously before but will investigate. Finally, just back from Labadi Beach Hotel. OK today was special but they have a very good buffet there and on a normal day, especially a Sunday, they charge a competative price.

                          1. re: andrew007

                            Andrew Da Double Agent...Could you find out that pizza place .Would ove sumthn new thx...

                            1. re: lerry_ellis

                              The place with the claimed 'best pizza in town' is called Headlines on 5th Circular. It's just south of Alisa Hotel and on the east side of the street (opposite side of Alisa). Never eaten there, but that's where it is.

                              1. re: ktowner6

                                (Late post)

                                So no one tried fufu? For shame!

        2. Wow this is an awesome resource... Has anyone here tried the African Regent Hotel restaurant and lounge? It is definitely worth a try. It's a buffet but the do have an a la carte menu which I haven't gotten round to trying yet. The starters are absolutely delicious the mains consist of a range of things from grills to local dishes. And the desserts... heavenly. You need to try it...

          For more info on great places to try in Accra check out my page
          http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid...

           
          1. Good info in the responses here... I know this thread is a bit older but I thought I might as well add to the mix for anybody else who lands on it... So for some random reason, we had a major hankering for ethiopian food whilst in Accra... There used to be a place called Lalibela in Osu, but after trying several times we could not find it (it may have moved or... closed...??)

            Anyhow, we ultimately found a new restaurant cleverly called "Ethiopian Restaurant" in East Legon, somewhat down the road from the mensvic hotel. they list their location as "Legos Ave. near Abedi Pele's House", 024-3068165

            Insofar as a review, by NYC standards (regrettably the kind of Ethiopian food I am most familiar with), the meat dishes are great, the veggie dishes ok, and the bread "not the best" (they might just not get enough visitors to keep a constant supply of fresh injera going, or we may have come at a weird hour). all in all though, my friends and i had a great time and we all enjoyed our dinner.

            PS - their card claims to offer local ghanaian dishes such as "fufu, omo-tuo, banku" etc... my understanding is that they no longer serve such local cuisine, and only serve ethiopian now...