As the world’s second-largest continent, Africa is a hub of cultures. And over the years, tastes of the diaspora have made their way to our little isle. Fried plantain topped with raspberry dust? Spiced biltong? The fight over which country makes the best jollof rice? You name it, we’ve had it. Unpacking the finest flavours from Marrakech to Cape Town, Asmara to Lagos, and a few stops in between, this is our guide to London’s best African restaurants.
Souk Medina: A West End favourite, Souk has been tantalising diners with its belly dancing shows, intimate atmosphere and menu of North African cuisine for years. Whether you came for the shisha or a quality meal, you can guarantee interiors that are sure to impress and service that charms.
Khamsa: Hailed as one of the best Algerian restaurants around, this BYO spot is bringing a taste of North Africa to Southwest London. Dig into zalouka (a grilled aubergine dish), fish tajines, spicy lamb meatballs, homemade noodles and more. Be sure to save room for desserts because the artisan house-made cakes are a must.
Momo: Occupying a plot on Mayfair’s Heddon Street, Momo is the North African eatery from Algerian restaurateur Mourad Mazouz (you may know him as the founder of Sketch). Think couscous, tagines and cocktails in a gorgeous setting that takes you back to the souks of Morocco.
Ahl Cairo: Head here for foole, falafel and more, because Ahl Cairo is the Marylebone favourite that's dishing out traditional Egyptian fare to eat in and take away. It’s fuss-free and brimming with flavourful plates.
The Village: Anyone who knows good Somalian food knows The Village. Based in Hammersmith, it offers the likes of gambar (hot king prawns), digaag (marinated chicken) and anajeero (homemage Somali pancakes).
Blue Nile: Thought Green Lanes was just the place for top-notch Turkish? Think again. This culture-rich slice of North London is also home to Blue Nile; the restaurant fronting Ethiopian and Eritrean eats.
Adulis: A Brixton staple, Adulis is a slice of Little Eritrea in the heart of South London. Whether you came for the vegan special, or fancy making your way through the meat, make sure to get a sip of the honey wine.
The Queen of Sheba: A family-run restaurant in Kentish Town, The Queen of Sheba has been cooking up Ethiopian food for almost 20 years. Take your pick from veggie, beef, lamb, chicken and fish, with chef’s specials through the week.
Ikoyi: When it comes to Nigerian restaurants in London’s Mayfair, there’s only one name you need to know. From elevated takes on plantain to fancy moin moin and jollof fried rice that’ll make mouths water, Ikoyi is the Michelin-starred pick that bring a bold touch of fine dining the usual offering.
Akoko: Between oysters and Gambian stew, caviar-topped turbot, and suya with barbecued hogget belly, Akoko is doing West Africa proud. With founder Aji Akokomi at the helm of this Fitzrovia restaurant, you can count on a tasty spread.
805: Old Kent Road may be home to a host of Nigerian spots, but 805 deserves a special mention. You’ll be taken back to Lagos via pepper soup, beef suya, ogbono stew, pounded yam, and all sorts of authentic comforts. To wash it all down? A boozy Chapman, of course.
Sweet Handz: One of our top choices for Ghanaian restaurants in London, Sweet Handz pairs fresh ingredients and traditional cooking with imported beers and fruity cocktails. Chicken gizzards? Turkey tail? Grilled tilapia? It’s all available in Holloway.
Southern & Central Africa
Kudu: Among the best South African restaurants in London, this Queen's Road plot boasts style and substance. As part of the Peckham collective owned by duo Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams, Kudu rustles up a seasonally changing menu spanning spiced biltong and Braai lamb. Thirsty? Head across the road for bold cocktails at sister bar Smokey Kudu.
Brazza: Those of you after Congolese cuisine should check out Brazza. Owner and head chef Mabina Zinga has set up shop in a shipping container at Pop Brixton, promising mikaté (an African doughnut, also known as puff puff), cassava sea bass broth, moambé palm nut stew, and even bottomless drinks come the weekend.
Visit Bacchus: Artisan cheese, biltong, côte de boeuf, and a South African-led wine list are all up for grabs at Visit Bacchus’s venues in Farringdon and London Bridge. With meat and veggie options on the menu, there’s something for all appetites here.
Deluxe Manna: Inspired by flavours from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Deluxe Manna features a manner of stews, platters and seafood dishes on the menu. Head to Tottenham Hale to try it for yourself.
Stork: Ok, so this one might technically be pan-African but it was too good to miss off the list. Led by head chef Taalib Adanse and senior sous chef William JM Chilila (you may know him from MasterChef), the menu sees yams for brunch, decadent lunches and a la carte options like okra soup with poached halibut.
For more London restaurant inspiration, consult our mega guide.