London's best African restaurants

The variety of African food available can be overwhelming, so here are our recommendations

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Whether you’re looking for a fragrant North African tagine, or East African injera bread topped with spicy stew, you’ll find them here. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions.

Momo

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Still London’s most glamorous Moroccan restaurant, Momo attracts a fair smattering of beautiful people alongside couples on special dates, hen parties and business types. The soundtrack of classic Maghrebi beats and attractive young francophone waiting staff create a seductive buzz. Sexy Marrakech-style interiors, sparkling with light from intricately latticed mashrabiya-style windows and ornate metalwork lanterns, add to the allure. Tables are small and tightly packed, but

Momo’s brunch! Every weekend from 11am until 3pm.
  1. 25 Heddon Street, W1B 4BH
  2. Main courses £17.50-£28. Set lunch £15.50 2...
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Brilliant

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4

The glitzy interior doesn’t hint at Brilliant’s longevity (a photo of a glossy-haired Prince Charles meeting the proprietors provides a clue), but this Southall landmark has been trading for nigh-on 40 years. It now has a first-floor banqueting hall seating 120 and runs cookery courses – videos of which are shown on three flatscreen TVs in the ground-floor restaurant. Owners, the Anand family, hail from Kenya (see the carvings of Maasai tribeswomen), and the menu reflects

  1. 72-76 Western Road, UB2 5DZ
  2. Main courses £4.50-£14
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Morito

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 2/4

The downside of this diminutive tapas bar, little sister of Moro next door, is its unceasing popularity. You can’t book for dinner (though you can for lunch), which, unless you have the timing of Eric Morecambe, almost always means a wait – though staff are happy for you to decamp elsewhere and will phone as soon as space becomes free. The upside is that the food is fantastic, the staff delightful and the atmosphere properly buzzing, as everyone is so pleased to be there. The

  1. 32 Exmouth Market, EC1R 4QE
  2. Tapas £1-£8.50. Meal for two with wine and...
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Jambo

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Jambo might inhabit a utilitarian building in an economically deprived part of town, but seven days a week it serves up Ugandan food of the highest quality in the warmest of atmospheres. And the portions are unquestionably generous. The £10 ‘variety meals’ here are the best value, comprising hearty relishes (stews or vegetables) and two starch staples. Our meal of beef with groundnuts (ground peanut stew) and spinach was the perfect match for fluffy Ugandan sweet potatoes

  1. 127 High Cross Road, N17 9NR
  2. Main courses £6-£9. Set meal £9.
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Vivat Bacchus

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice
  • Offer

In a bland modern development off Tooley Street, this branch of the South African-owned mini-group sticks to a winning formula, with a basement restaurant complementing the deli counters upstairs. Although there’s wine-themed decoration in the form of posters and crates, the climate-controlled cheese and wine rooms provide the most attractive element of the design. The list pays attention to all the classic French regions (Champagne is particularly well represented) but it’s

  1. 4 Hays Lane, SE1 2HB
  2. Steak & chips with a glass of wine: £15
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Queen of Sheba

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This tiny restaurant is the perfect destination for those unacquainted with the joys of Ethiopian cuisine; the smiley, chatty staff will happily talk you through the menu and, if necessary, offer tactical advice on eating with injera, the sour, spongy pancake that comes with every meal. And you won’t be disappointed if you do know your kitfo (raw beef marinaded in spices; available in two varieties here) from your doro wat (chicken and egg stew): the food isn’t dumbed down,

  1. 12 Fortess Road, NW5 2EU
  2. Main courses £7-£13.50. Set meal £30-£40...
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Mosob

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

A mosob is a handwoven table around which people gather to eat. This is one of the many facts about Eritrean cuisine we learned at this welcoming restaurant. In fact, instruction on Eritrean life and culture goes well beyond food, because the people who run Mosob are on a mission to promote their homeland. A very good job they do too: in the gaps between courses, our beaming waiter produced a well-thumbed book about the buildings of Asmara, and we also learned about the Italian

  1. 339 Harrow Road, W9 3RB
  2. Main courses £8.30-£13.95. Set meal...
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Le Rif

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

It’s tough finding a tagine for under a tenner in this town. But at Le Rif, only one dish on the extensive menu costs more than £5. This Finsbury Park eaterie isn’t remotely atmospheric, although there’s much to be said for a North African restaurant free of Arabic cliches. Instead, it caters to a local lunchtime crowd, many of whom eschew the North African offerings for sandwiches, jacket potatoes and spaghetti bolognaise. While such options seem bland compared to the

  1. 172 Seven Sisters Road, N7 7PX
  2. Main courses £4-£6. Unlicensed no alcohol...
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Red Sea

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The Red Sea is one of those London secrets you almost don’t want to share, lest it should shed the ramshackle appeal of its MDF tables and workman caff aesthetic for mainstream respectability. The menu offers an intriguing mix of Eritrean, Ethiopian, Somali and Yemeni cuisine, plus the odd bit of Italian (African spag bol anyone?), and the food is an eccentric delight. Here you’ll find one of the broadest Horn of African choices around, at almost unreasonably good value. Our

  1. 382 Uxbridge Road, W12 7LL
  2. Main courses £5-£7. Unlicensed no alcohol...
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Adam's Café

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4

With a name like Adam’s Café and a daytime menu of full English and other greasy spoon favourites, you might not expect the nightly transformation into a cosy North African bistro. Head here after 7pm, though, and mottled lampshades scatter pretty patterns of light across a candlelit room that’s decorated in muted blues and greens, with ornate ceramic tiling. In-the-know locals often fill the place. The menu is helpfully split into prices for one, two or three courses; you

  1. 77 Askew Road, W12 9AH
  2. Set dinner £12.50 1 course incl mint tea or...
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Users say

1 comments
Santiago T
Santiago T

Besides these restaurants, which look fantastic, there are also excellent African supper clubs and pop-up restaurants in London. For example, Zoe Adjonyoh is a fabulous African chef who organizes supper club dinners a couple of times a month. I've been to some of her events and her food is really really good. Her online profile with links to her past supper club events can be found here: http://melba.co/users/469