Arts + Culture

Diaspora Eats: 10 of the Best African Restaurants in London

Some of the best African food that London has to offer.

DIASPORA—It’s “No Borders” month here at OkayAfrica, which means we’ll be highlighting travel and intercontinental relations between people on the continent and in the diaspora.


Food is a major part of the travelling experience, and if you're like us, then you’re looking for tasty delectables in any city that you might find yourself in. Good food only amplifies the travelling experience and thankfully, the diaspora is brimming with a variety of restaurants that offer savory dishes that’ll make your trip even more memorable. They might even remind you of mom’s cooking.

Whether you’re looking for options to fit your dietary restrictions or you’re simply looking to stuff your face with quality eats, there’s a spot in the city that will cater to your palette. Below are 10 African restaurants to check out while you’re in London.

Check out some of the best African food in ParisDCHouston, and New York

805

With locations in Southwark and Hendon Central, this restaurant’s mission is to serve good Nigerian food presented in a creative way. Their dishes are sure to be both a feast on the eyes and on the palate. Doesn’t their Monika Fish look yummy?

Momo

The popular eatery in Mayfair, offers a selection of classic Moroccan dishes like Zaalouk, Couscous, and Tagine. If you’re in the mood to share, try the Couscous Mechoui for two, a slow cooked whole lamb shoulder marinated in a secret spice accompanied by semolina.

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Adulis

With three locations in Oval, Clapham Junction, and Brixton, this restaurant offers traditional Eritrean dishes such as Injera and Tsebi.

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Tasty’s

If you’re on a budget, live in South East London or Kent, and are in need of some Nigerian comfort food, this popular chain restaurant has you covered. Some of our favorites include the Ofada Stew and Ewariro.

The Queen of Sheba

This family-owned restaurant in Kentish Town offers a selection of traditional Ethiopian dishes. If you’re vegetarian make sure to try the Goman Injera which consists of cottage cheese and spinach rolled in Ethiopia’s signature sourdough flatbread.

Khamsa

Located in Brixton, this BYOB restaurant’s mission is to offer hearty North African food at a reasonable price. Be sure to sample their 15p/head party menu for an authentic overview of Algerian cuisine. Standout dishes include their Spiced Meatballs and Vegetarian Tagine.

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Vivat Bacchus 

Located a few steps away from the London Bridge on Tooley Street, this restaurant offers a fusion of South African, French, and Italian food. Whether you’re in the mood for Wild Mushroom Risotto or Ostrich Steak with Biltong Crust, the staff is likely to recommend a wine pairing to go alongside your dish.

Zamsareh Jambo 

Looking to get your fix of Chapati, Matooke or Goat Curry without breaking the bank? Be sure to check out this Ugandan restaurant in North London.

Zoe's Ghana Kitchen 

With two pop-up locations in Brixton and Soho and a catering service, this restaurant offers traditional Ghanaian dishes like Groundnut Soup, Bambara Bean Stew and Tatale, with a twist. If you can't make it and want to sample some of the dishes check out owner Zoe Adjonyoh recently published cookbook.

Jamma Rekk 

This catering service fuses Gambian and Caribbean food to your tummy’s delight! For more information on their current menu and where to find them check out their website. But for now feast your eyes on this delicious Gambian Veg Stew.

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Op-Ed: Kanye West In Africa Is Music Marketing At Its Worst

Scream all you want. Feel the euphoria of Kanye moving to our drums, but don't forget he's here for marketing.

One of the most interesting parts of the music industry is the marketing of an album. In developed music markets, accomplished professionals and creatives sit in a room and decide how best they want to sell the music. It's the norm. Many people deliberate and develop a roll-out plan that is improved until it's perfect for execution.

When JAY-Z rented out billboards for 4:44, with everyone wondering what it meant around the world, that is marketing. Mr Eazi drawing a towering mural of himself and Giggs in London, was another marketing tactic to push his single "London Town." Falz created an entire movement filled with conventionally attractive men, and named it the 'Sweet Boys Association,' because he had a single that needed to be sold to fans. Perhaps, what takes the cake in the world of African music marketing is one crazy move by a little known Nigerian artist named Skibii. You see, this guy died and rose again from the dead, just like sweet biblical adult Jesus. He had a single somewhere that needed the attention. Death and resurrection was his thing.

Kanye West is in Africa for marketing. The US rap superstar is holed up at the Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda, surrounded by his friends, colleagues and family. He is here because he has an album to release named Yandhi, and somehow, he found his way to the Motherland, where's he's built two outdoor domes, as his working studio. He isn't working from inside a house like a mere mortal. He's in the wild, connecting to Mother Nature and nourishing foliage. This is Africa, Kanye West is an African-American. His ancestors came from this part of the world. He has a claim to this soil.

Kanye West was supposed to drop his ninth studio album on Saturday, September 29. After two days of waiting, three Saturday Night Live performances, one tweet from Kim Kardashian-West and an appearance on TMZ Live, Yandhi was pushed back to Black Friday, November 23. West admitted that he "didn't finish" the album in time, and a member of his management staff suggested pushing the release back.

"I started incorporating sounds that you never heard before and pushing and having concepts that people don't talk about," West said. "We have concepts talking about body-shaming and women being looked down upon for how many people that they slept with. It's just a full Ye album and those five albums I dropped earlier were like superhero rehabilitation and now the alien Ye is fully back in mode… We're going to Africa in two weeks to record. I felt this energy when I was in Chicago. I felt the roots. We have to go to what is known as Africa."

In Africa, Kanye West hasn't laid low. Photos from his arrival hit the internet, and somehow, he was filmed listening, dancing and vibing to African music. Those songs include Mystro's "Immediately," and Burna Boy's "Ye." The videos have gone viral, Africans are wowed by Kanye's interaction with their music, reactions and takes, Africa is moved by Kanye West interacting with our music. Somehow, I used to think we are over this type of event. The event where an an American superstar, who has a huge fan base in Africa, dances to our music, and we lose it. But I was wrong. This content format still has power.

Scream all you want. Feel the euphoria of Kanye moving to our drums, but don't forget he's here for marketing. His album is about to drop, and he's publicly alerted the world that he needs to be in Africa and its strong cultural influence to complete the project. Everyone is watching, the conversation has global traction, and Africans are supporting him. Since Kanye got heat for his infamous "Slavery was a choice," comment, I knew Africa will become a part of that story. The past week has seen him visit President Donald Trump at the white house, and further moved away from the love of his African-American base in the US. Black people are not behind Kanye West right now. The media is tearing him to shreds. Celebrities are in a social media race to dissociate themselves from him. Many fans aren't proud of their icon. But he is in the Motherland, dancing to its native music, and we can all cheer.

"I'm in Africa recording," he says in a 9 minute video on Twitter about mind control free thinking and his greatness. "We just took them to the future with the dome. The music is the best on the planet. I am the best living recording artist. We, rather, because the spirits flow through me. The spirit of Fela, the spirit of Marley, the spirit of Pac flows through me. We know who the best. We know."

On the surface, Africa appears to be a gimmick. A play by a great artist to expand the story of his album for marketing talking points. Yandhi is already anticipated, and generations after us will study his art and point to this project as the one where Africa played a direct role. This black continent is a marketing tool for Kanye. Son of Fela Kuti, Seun Kuti, has already disassociated Fela Kuti's spirit from Kanye's claims. "On behalf of the Kuti family, I want to state that the spirit of Olufela Anikulapo Kuti isn't anywhere near Kanye West," Seun announced on Instagram.

Perhaps marketing isn't Kanye's only reason for his African trip. Maybe, the world is too harsh on Kanye West and his new level of introspective vibrations. Maybe we aren't seeing the bigger picture. Oh gosh! We might all be victims of this grand mind control programme that West talks about! What if Kanye West is on these shores for some actual influence? Africa has a rich spectrum of sounds, laden with enough culture, soul and character to influence any type of music. From Cairo down to Lagos, there's enough music to add colour.

A clear way for justification of his African trip is perhaps for Kanye West to give back. He is connecting to the 'roots' after all. He is soaking in the energy for inspiration. Perhaps he might actually get to work with an African artist while on the continent. Already, Perhaps Africa's contributions to the project will be anchored by an African. Already, in his creative dome, Ugandan producer extraordinaire, Benon Mugumbya, has been pictured. If he gets some of that Yhandi shine, it wouldn't hurt.

Kanye officially has to be the first hip-hop star to make a trip to the continent for direct inspiration since Africa began to hug the spotlight as an interesting market for global music players. Recent years have witnessed the penetration of African music into global pop spaces. Africa has become the new cool. And as her sonic influence grows, more artists would continue to find new ways to interact. Kanye is making a splash with this. Perhaps, he will be the inspiration for more exchange between Africa and Europe.

Perhaps, his music isn't his true reason for this trip. Maybe Ye just wants to get away from the madness from the USA, and go find Wakanda. Maybe he will discover Ye-Kanda. Either way, only the final version of Yhandi will contain the answers that we seek, and Kanye West's true intention. For now, he is already winning. All those marketing points are already helping the project.

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Belgium's First Black Mayor Is a Congolese Immigrant

Pierre Kompany, who came to Belgium from the DRC as a refugee in 1975, was elected mayor of a Brussels borough this week.

Pierre Kompany, a Congolese immigrant and father of professional football players Vincent and Francois Kompany, has been elected mayor of the Ganshoren borough in Brussels, BBC reports.

This is a history-making moment, as this victory makes Kompany Belgium's first black mayor.

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Family of Abducted Tanzanian Billionaire Offers Reward for Information on His Whereabouts

The family of Mohammed Dweji, Africa's youngest billionaire, is offering $437,000 for information that will lead to his safe return.

Latst week, Tanzania's richest man and Africa's youngest billionaire Mohammed Dewji was abducted outside of an upscale hotel in Dar es Salam. His whereabouts still remain unknown, and now his family if offering a hefty financial reward to anyone with information that will help lead to his safe return.

Dweji's family is offering 1 billion Tanzanian shillings (~$437,000) to anyone with information on his whereabouts. reports Forbes.

"We would like to thank God, and applaud the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and its institutions for the hard work they are currently doing to make sure that our beloved son is found," says Azim Dewji, the family spokesperson. "We urge you to continue keeping MO in your prayers as our nation continues the search for him."

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