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9 African Restaurants You Need To Try In Atlanta

The Atlanta metropolitan areas has a massive number of African restaurants. Here are 9 to check out.

After Washington, DC and New York, the Atlanta Metropolitan area has the third largest population of African immigrants from Sub-Saharan Africa. This is reflected in the massive number of African restaurants in the metropolitan area—Yelp lists more than 50 restaurants that serve African cuisine in Atlanta—an impressive number even if it doesn't compare to the hundreds of African restaurants in the D.C. and New York area.

READ: 8 African Restaurants You Need to Visit in Sâo Paulo

African cuisine in this black metropolis spans the usual gamut—Senegalese, Nigerian and Ethiopian. Although Ethiopian restaurants have long dominated the African dining scene (there are at least 7 Ethiopian restaurants in the area), new West African restaurants are starting to attract curious diners as well. As a bonus, there are also several restaurants dedicated to South African cuisine. Restauranteur Justine Anthony launched his first South African restaurant—10 Degrees South—more than 10 years ago and today he has five restaurants focusing on everything from South African beef jerky to sandwiches.

Check out 9 of the best African restaurants in Atlanta below.


DESTA

LOCATION: 3086 Briarcliff Rd NE

There are four Ethiopian restaurants at the intersection of Clairmont Road and Briarcliff Road, making the area Atlanta's own "Little Ethiopia". But Desta is by far the most popular and established of the lot. It's the most popular African restaurant in Atlanta. Period. Desta combines Ethiopian flavors with modern American dining expectations—individual plates, bar-like atmosphere, and bold colors. It's a formula that works, even though Ethiopian food purists might be put off. Signature entrees include Lamb and Tibs (sautéed meat and vegetables), Filet Mignon, Fish Tibs, Biret Mitad Tib, Ribeye Tibs, Chicken Tibs, among others. Their lamb is the best. For people with limited time, the restaurant even has a drive through.


Bahel

LOCATION: 3125 Briarcliff Rd NE Ste C

Desta may be more popular, but those who really know their Ethiopian cuisine swear that Bahel is better and more authentic. Since opening across the street from Desta in 2010, Bahel has been grateful for the overflow of business. The food here is made for Ethiopians and people who know Ethiopian food so communal eating rules.


10 Degrees South

LOCATION: 4183 Roswell Rd NE

When a knee injury sidelined South African soccer player Justin Anthony, he looked to the restaurant business to reinvent himself. The South African opened America's first restaurant serving South African cuisine twenty years ago. The menu features Peri Peri Chicken (a Portuguese- spiced chicken that South Africans love), boerewors (farmer's sausage), malva pudding and South Africa sparkling grape juice. Diners love the back bar and patio area.


Biltong Bar

LOCATION: 675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE

In 2015 the owner of 10 Degrees South launched Biltong Bar, a cocktail restaurant dedicated to South African dried meat. Biltong is like beef jerky but much smoother and not as tough. People come for the beef jerky but they stay for the craft cocktails.


Café Songhai

LOCATION: 3380 Holcomb Bridge Rd

The Songhai Empire was a state that dominated the western Sahel in the 15th and 16th century. At its peak, it was one of the largest states in African history. Café Songhai is well on its way to becoming the most frequented West African restaurant in Atlanta. This strip mall African restaurant serves a mixture of Nigerian and Ghanaian food—Jollof rice, light Goat soup, okra soup, egusi soup with pounded yam. In recent months the restaurant started offering entertainment on the weekends - everything from music to comedy.


Bamba Cuisine

LOCATION: 3700 Campbellton Rd

It's crazy to know that before the mid-2010s, Atlanta didn't have a proper Senegalese restaurant. Bamba offers a broad selection of Senegalese cuisine - Theibs, Yassa, Mafé and even Dibi (Senegalese Barbecue). The $12 takeaway plates can feed two people. They even serve Fattayah—a beef & lamb patty in a crispy flour tortilla.


Imperial Fez

LOCATION: 2285 Peachtree Rd NE

Imperial FEZ is not your run in for a quick meal type of restaurant. People go there for the Moroccan food and a 2.5-hour experience that

typically includes belly dancing, a five-course meal of lentil soup, salad, Bastilla pastry appetizer, mixed roasted and rice course, dessert, and tea.


AfroDish

LOCATION: 209 Edgewood Ave SE

This popular lunch restaurant serves up African and Caribbean staples like Jerk chicken and jollof rice. Most African restaurants are located on the edge of the city, so it's nice to have one right downtown that caters to lunchtime customers.


Yebo Beach Haus

LOCATION: 111 W Paces Ferry Rd NW

In the summer it's a beach house and in the winter it's a ski lodge. It's a tapas style restaurant that serves South African and American dishes. So alongside a charcuterie board are ostrich sliders.

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The 10 Best Ghanaian Songs of the Month (July)

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It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

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