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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.

Listen to 10 Great Songs From Johnny Clegg

Here are some of the best songs to remember South Africa's son of the soil.

Yesterday, it was confirmed that South African musician, Johnny Clegg, passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Understandably, heartfelt tributes have been pouring in ever since. Long before it was cool (or even legal) to be in close proximity to blackness and anything attached to it in South Africa, Clegg, a white man, was doing just that. That is exactly why he was given the endearing title of South Africa's "son of the soil."

Growing up during Apartheid, Clegg was taught how to speak the Zulu language by a domestic worker named Charlie Mzila. In his teenage years, his appreciation for the Zulu culture continued and he soon learnt the traditional dance styles known as isishameni and also learnt how to play the Maskandi guitar. Clegg's music was a beacon of light during a very dark time in South Africa's history and his songs about Nelson Mandela (at a time where songs were banned for merely mentioning the name of the late statesman and other key struggle activists) brought the country together.

It is irrefutable that a music giant has fallen. However, Clegg leaves behind a wealth of music featuring other great South African artists and groups such as Zakwe, Brenda Fassie, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela and Juluka/Suvuka, among several others. His music undeniably brought South Africans and people all around the world together.

We've picked ten of our favorite songs from the late musician's discography in honor of a life that was lived to the fullest.

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The 12 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Stonebwoy, Mahmoud Ahmed, Tiwa Savage x Zlatan, Africa Express, Juls x Mr Eazi and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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Beyoncé Wore These 2 African Designers in Her Music Video for 'Spirit'

Queen Bey continues to include and give a nod to African talent in her visuals.

As we draw even closer to Disney's The Lion King opening in theaters this week, Beyoncé continues to lead the way with her new music video for "Spirit"—the first single off of the film's album she produced and curated, The Lion King: The Gift.

Shot in the Havasu Falls in Arizona's Grand Canyon, Beyoncé and her legion of beautiful dancers are one with nature and its various elements as she beckons us to be brave and hear the calling of spirit. As we noted when she announced the album, the track opens with a call and response in Swahili that translates to "Long live the king": Uishi kwa mda mrefu mfalme—uishi kwa.

Keeping our eyes peeled for African influences in the music video, it's evident that is seen in the choreography. We even spotted our extended fam with the afrobeats moves—the AVO Boys: Stephen Ojo and Caleb Bonney—as two of her dancers in the video.

Beyoncé continues to also give a nod to African talent through the looks she donned in "Spirit" styled by her mainstay, Zerina Akers.

Take a look at the two African designers she wore in the video below.

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