Places to dine al fresco are plentiful in the Ghanaian capital. Whether you're after beachside dining or looking for a breezy terrace, Accra will have something to offer. Time Out's pick of open air restaurants - or restaurants with outdoor space - serve up a range of dishes, from traditional West African to less traditional - but equally delicious - pizza, fresh from a proper wood-burning oven. Here's where to go for great food in the great outdoors.
The Labadi Beach Hotel is probably Accra’s plushest residence. In keeping with its reputation, its restaurants are also highly renowned, particularly the Akwaaba Restaurant under the keen eye of chef Gary Howard. There are buffet and à la carte options. The menu includes some superb fish options.
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).
In one of the most prestigious spots in the city, overlooking the Polo Club’s field, Il Cavaliere Pazzo rises to the occasion. It’s also one of the most impressive buildings in Accra, making effective use of wood, both on the interior and exterior. It’s refreshingly understated – the polo field is the focal point. Up the elegant wooden staircase is the principal dining area, with windows overlooking the field, but to get closer to the action there’s a balcony. The menu is unswervingly Italian, with genuine risottos, gnocchi and ravioli with spinach and ricotta.
This attractive thatched restaurant and beachside tables at the back of La Palm Royal Hotel’s expansive grounds make a delightful place to sample some of Ghana’s most distinctive flavours. Try the simple but much-loved red red (bean stew) and delve into a bowl of chicken and peanut soup or fish with palava sauce. There is often highlife music at weekends.
The best pizza in town? Despite stiff competition from Bella Roma and Mamma Mia, the wood burning pizza oven at Nicolino and a super tasty crust pip the other two. The set up is professional too, the staff are efficient and courteous, but it’s the head chef Humberto Dettori that has come to Ghana with real provenance – his previous posting was under two Michelin-starred chef Douglas Santi in Rome. Nicolino couldn’t have a better location – it’s in the pleasant grounds of the Alliance Francaise, in a breezy, open-sided area. Pizzas such as a Libanese with halloumi and zaatar, or Toscana with spicy sausage arrive on an artfully rustic piece of wood, but if you’re really hungry, try the Nicolino burger – a beef patty enveloped in pizza crust. Soon opening, is a small terrace bar with a barbecue. It’s also open for breakfast, which is Lebanese style.