From tastes of their east coast to bites of the west, and everywhere in between, even in Canada, you never have to adventure very far to find authentic recreations of African dishes and flavours.
Staple ingredients of these dishes often include goat and chicken while also incorporating rice, sesame, chili peppers, beans, starches and spicy sauces.
To help you on your global flavour journey, if a restaurant of curiosity is labelled as East African, you’ll likely find yourself dining on the cuisines of Tanzania, Somalia, Rwanda, Uganada, Burundi or Kenya. Meanwhile, West African-inspired restaurants draw from the traditional meals of the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Guinea, just to name a few.
Ready to explore? Here are 8 restaurants across Canada to add to your must-eat list today.
Gursha (St. John’s, NL)
Named after the word meaning a “mouthful of food,” Gursha is St. John’s go-to for authentic Ethiopian cuisine, complete with options for meat-enjoyers, vegans and vegetarians.
Enjoy a dish of Keysir Wat (beetroot & potato), Doro Wat or Minchet Abish Wat (spicy beef), made from local ingredients and Ethiopian-sourced spices.
St. John’s Farmer’s Market, 245 Freshwater Road, St. Johns, NL, A1B 1B3
Mary’s African Cuisine (Halifax, NS)
Offering continental African dishes, including an all-day breakfast and special fancy cakes for special occasions, there’s just something about Mary’s.
Try a Juicy Goat Plate, served with Jollof and Egusi or a delicious Mary’s Veggie Platter with lentil rice, black eyed beans and cabbage stew.
1701 Barrington Street, Halifax, NS, B3J 2A4.
1209 Marginal Road (Halifax Seaport Market), Halifax, NS, B3H 4P8
Photo Credit: @shakirahwrites
Le Virunga (Montreal, QC)
Offering takeout from a bistro-style establishment, Le Virunga’s offerings are described as “when African gastronomy meets Quebec.”
Order their Yelpkit for two including St-Chrysostome, QC ground beef, vegetables, herbs and mixed spices, all to make your own taste of Africa from the comfort of home. Rosé and white wines from South Africa are available to add, as well as South African beers like The Legend Lager, The Stranded Coconut and El Capitan from Drifter Brewing.
851 Rue Rachel E, Montréal, QC H2J 2H9.
Sahan Restaurant (Scarborough, ON)
Creating dishes inspired by the Somali area of Africa, Sahan Restaurant prides themselves on their authentic “feels like home” creations, complete with the availability of a prayer room on-site for diners.
Indulge in their Goat Ribs, T-Bone Strak or, if it’s chilly, a Beef or Chicken Suqaar (Stew). Like things spicy? Make any dish Hilac or have the spice added to the side.
2010 Lawrence Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1R 2Z1
Atiga Restaurant (Winnipeg, MB)
A Manitoban destination for “traditional African flavours,” Atiga knows how to make the cuisine fresh, approachable and, of course, flavourful!
Bite into their Grilled Goat Suya kebabs, made with various meats and sauces, or slurp some Egusi Soup with assorted beef, cow leg and goat meat. Like Salad? Add a Smoked Wild Arctic Char Bowl.
186 Higgins Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0C3.
Rosaly’s Pan (Saskatoon, SK)
Self-proclaimed to be “Saskatoon’s favourite African restaurant,” Rosalys encompasses family friendly approachability and the goodness of a homemade meal.
For first timers, Rosalys recommends Egusi (Nigerian beef stew with piri piri sauce, melon seeds and fufu (dumpling)), Grilled Tilapia, BBQ Chicken or Dongo Dongo (smoked fish gumbo with okra, garlic herb sauce, beef, and masala spices). Vegetarian options are also available.
119 Avenue B S, Saskatoon, SK, S7M 1M2.
Koultures Afro-Continental Restaurant (Edmonton, AB)
Specializing in East and West African cuisine, Koultures promotes a welcoming atmosphere and unforgettable dishes made with authentic Ethiopian spices.
Order from the Nigerian menu, consisting of Pounded Yam, Amala, Fufu, Eba or Corn Meal, served with your choice of goat meat, beef, chicken, fish, tilapia or assorted meat, plus Egusi, Efo Riro (Vegetable Soup), Okro Soup, Bitter Leaf Soup or Red Stew.
8803 118 Avenue NW, Edmonton, AB T5B 0T3.
Arike Restaurant & Cocktail Bar (Vancouver, BC)
“Pacific Northwest meets West African” at Arike, just minutes from Vancouver’s English Bay Beach.
Treat yourself to a Braised Goat Spoon made with ata din din pepper sauce, pickled onion and peanut crum, or try the Grilled Suya Beef Strip Loin with suya peanut dry rub, caramelized yogurt and picked vegetables.
For dessert, enjoy the Pof Pofs with ginger honey, mint and cinnamon sugar or Milo Ice Cream with peanut crumb, whipped pumpkin seed and salted caramel.
1725 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC, V6G 1W5. @arikerestaurant