The best restaurants for local dishes

Where to sample traditional Ghanaian fare

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Dan Neilsen

While Accra offers a wide range of international cuisine, there's nothing quite like sampling traditional dishes in some of the capital's best-loved spots. From jollof rice to waakye, freshly-caught fish to spicy stews, you're bound to find something on the menu to tickle your tastebuds. Dining Ghanaian-style is an experience for the novice - you'll often find yourself navigating a dish without a knife and fork, for starters. It's all part of the fun. Here's our pick of the best places in Accra for some local flavour. 


Buka

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Conveniently situated close to the centre of Osu, Buka is, without question, one of the best lunch spots in the city. More often than not it has the full tables to show for it. Set on the first floor, so there’s a sense of escape from the throng, with lively music and wraparound wooden trellises adding to the ambience. The food itself hinges largely on Ghanaian and Nigerian specialties – dishes include okra stew and eba (a dough ball eaten with stews). Service can slow down during busy lunches.

  1. 10th Lane, near the old American Embassy
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Country Kitchen

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

You would have thought, judging by the government officials, the occasional tribal leader and the Reverend Jesse Jackson (whose picture in the restaurant hangs in pride of place) that Country Kitchen is an upmarket joint. However, the main appeal here is hearty home cooking that remains true to Ghanaian classics. The atmosphere is as relaxed as the staff, but the food is freshly cooked. Fufu, banku and jollof rice each come with a choice of chicken, beef, mutton or fish, usually ‘red fish’. The larger grilled tilapia comes with banku, a bowl of water, washing up liquid and a lack of cutlery. It offers a take-away and delivery service.

  1. 2nd Ringway, Roberto Road
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Maquis Tante Marie

  • Price band: 2/4

There are two branches of Maquis Tante Marie.  The newer is in Accra Mall, but the original Labone branch is the most atmospheric. All the seating is open-sided and the tasteful bamboo furniture and bright yellow tablecloths add to the exotic vibe of the place. The menu is definitively African with authentic dishes predominantly from Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, such as tilapia and banku, nyama choma (grilled, spiced meat, usually mutton) and fish yassa (grilled in a tangy lemon marinade). It’s a great place for some traditional West African food. Other location Accra Mall (0224 322 5181).

  1. 5th Norla Link near Metro TV
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Katawodieso

  • Price band: 1/4

More of a street stall, Katawodieso is almost legendary in Accra. Run by the matriarch Ruby Duff-Tay and her sisters, it serves traditional Ghanaian food. Within a courtyard are bubbling pots of banku, fufu and jollof rice. The speciality here, however, is waakye – a dish of refried beans, rice, spicy sauce, some well-cooked meat and a bit of fish, usually eel. Walk in, take a seat if there is room, or order in the kiosk from one of the smartly dressed waitresses and see what arrives. The restaurant has been at this location for a quarter of a century and is known by everyone in Accra.

  1. Labone Junction
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Auntie Muni’s

  • Price band: 1/4

Although it is practically a roadside bar, Auntie Muni’s has earned a formidable reputation in Accra for waakye (waa-chey), a mélange of dark black-eyed beans and rice, with meat and some fish, often eel. Customers queue up at a netted bar to pick from ingredients. Stringy noodles, hard-boiled eggs, various vegetables and hunks of steamed meat tumble in the waakye (only available on weekends) like an ungainly salad. The hub of the assemblage is shitor, a peppery condiment made of chilli, dried shrimp and ginger. The place for authentic Ghanaian cuisine – on our last visit we saw a Bentley outside. Is it better than Katawodieso?

  1. Orphan Crescent Road
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