popular

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.

Listen to Samthing Soweto’s Album ‘Isiphithiphithi’

Samthing Soweto's highly anticipated album is finally here.

One of the most anticipated albums of the year, Isiphithiphithi by Samthing Soweto is finally here.

The South African artist's project consists of 12 songs and features Makhafula Vilakazi, Shasha, Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa and Mlindo The Vocalist.

Keep reading... Show less
Gallo Images/Getty Images

South African Telenovela 'The River' has Been Nominated for an International Emmy

This is the popular telenovela's first International Emmy nomination.

One of South Africa's beloved telenovelas, The River, has received its first ever International Emmy nomination in the category of "Best Telenovela", according to IOL. The River will go up against other telenovelas from Columbia, Argentina as well as Portugal. The 47th installment of the International Emmy Awards will take place on November 25th of this year and will be held at the Hilton in New York.

Keep reading... Show less
Culture
Photo (c) John Liebenberg

'Stolen Moments' Uncovers the Namibian Music That Apartheid Tried to Erase

The photo exhibition, showing at the Brunei Gallery in London, highlights artists from Namibia's underground scene between 1950-1980, a time of immense musical suppression prior to its independence.

Before its independence in 1990, a whole generation of Namibians were made to believe that their county had no real musical legacy. Popular productions by Namibian artists from previous eras were systematically concealed from the masses for nearly 30 years, under the apartheid regime—which extended to the country from South Africa following German colonization—depriving many Namibians of the opportunity to connect with their own musical heritage.

"Stolen Moments: Namibian Music Untold," a new exhibit currently showing at London's Brunei Museum at SOAS University of London, seeks to revive the musical Namibian musical traditions that the apartheid regime attempted to erase.

"Imagine you had never known about the musical riches of your country," said the exhibit's curator Aino Moongo in a statement of purpose on SOAS' site. "Your ears had been used to nothing but the dull sounds of country's former occupants and the blaring church and propaganda songs that were sold to you as your country's musical legacy. Until all at once, a magnitude of unknown sounds, melodies and songs appear. This sound, that roots your culture to the musical influences of jazz, blues and pop from around the world, is unique, yet familiar. It revives memories of bygone days, recites the history of your homeland and enables you for the first time to experience the emotions, joys and pains of your ancestors."

Photo (c) Dieter Hinrichs

The 'Stolen Moments" project began in 2010 in an effort to champion Namibia's unsung musical innovators. For the collection, Moongo and Assistant Curator, Siegrun Salmanian—along with a group of international scholars, artists, photographers and filmmakers—curated a large-scale photo exhibit that also features a 120-minute video projection, focusing on the dance styles of the era, along with listening stations, a sound installation that features "100-hours of interviews with musicians and contemporary witnesses," and displays of record covers and memorabilia from the period between 1950-1980.

The musicians highlighted, produced work that spanned a number of genres—a marker of the country's vast and eclectic underground scene. Artists like the saxophonist Leyden Naftali who led a band inspired by the sounds of ragtime, and the psychedelic rock and funk of the Ugly Creatures are explored through the exhibition, which also centers bands and artists such as The Dead Wood, The Rocking Kwela Boys, Children of Pluto and more.

"There are many reasons why you've never heard this music before," Moongo continues. "It was censored, suppressed, prohibited and made almost impossible to listen to. Its creators are either long gone or have given up on music making, by reasons of adversity, death and despair. And yet this beautiful music exists with a liveliness, as if it had never stopped playing. It is still in the minds of the few who can remember, with the ones who played it, and on those rare recordings that have survived in archives and record collections scattered around the globe. Allow me to share these stolen moments with you."

Photo (c) Dieter Hinrichs


Photo (c) John Liebenberg

***

"Stolen Moments" is now showing at the Brunei Gallery in London and runs through Sept 21.

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.