Here is your ultimate guide to Nigerian street food.

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Street food in Nigeria is more than just a casual snack. It is a marker of culture, location and more. Across the country, every state and even local government has their local street food that hails from this region, but nowhere is the beauty of Nigeria’s street food more apparent than in Lagos. Nigeria’s commercial capital boasts of a rich fusion of Nigerians from all ethnic tribes as well as some street food that is local only to Lagos.

Getting to know the available street foods is essential in choosing the right one for your palate of tastes and the occasion, as whether it’s eating spicy roasted meat strips in the evening or fire-roasted plantains and eaten with spicy tomato sauce or grated dried cassava eaten with fish the options are almost endless.

Here’s a guide to some of the most popular street foods and where to find them.


Nigerian street marketPhoto by BENSON IBEABUCHI / AFP via Getty Images

Abacha

Nigerians have so many amazing ways to eat cassava. You can do garri from it you can slice it and boil it and make tapioca or you can buy the dried grated cassava which is often sold in big cities in Nigeria called abacha. This oriental delicacy is readily available almost anywhere you turn and especially in traffic where hawkers are always ready to wrap it up and serve it with leaves, fried fish and palm oil sauce. It’s perfect for the return trip just before dinner because abacha vendors tend to hang out between early afternoon and early evening.

Where to get it:

Abacha Salon, 27 Awoniyi Elemo Street: If you need a place to get your abacha repair without leaving your house, this is it.

Restaurant Jevenik, 14B, rue Agoro Odiyan: The portions served are so huge and worth every penny you pay, trust me.

Suya


Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP via Getty Images

Suya is arguably the most popular street food in Nigeria and can be found in almost every state. To prepare it, suya vendors roast tiny strips of beef over a fire in the streets and spice up pepper, Yaaji, and several other spices and sold wrapped in old newspaper. It is usually sold late at night until midnight. However, many new restaurants have now added this popular street food to their menus, which means it can be purchased at any time of the day. Despite this, there is a popular joke in Nigeria that the real flavor of suya comes from the night and old newspapers to enjoy suya at its best, it’s best to buy it from a vendor between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on a street corner.

Where to get it:

Glover Court, 37 Glover Road: Glover’s Court is a big favorite among Lagosians, especially if you are on Lagos Island.

Suya University, 62 Allen Avenue: Just by the name you can tell it’s basically the suya capital of Lagos. This is the best if you want the authentic experience of Nigerian suya in all its glory.

Was

Even if was is available throughout the western part of Nigeria where it is often referred to as boli, the people of Port Harcourt claim to be somewhat of a state dish because they also have the was Festival. Was The meal consists of uncut plantain roasted on a grill and served with a palm oil sauce with sliced ​​peppers and tomatoes and roasted fish. However, boli in Lagos and other western parts of Nigeria, it can sometimes be served with roasted peanuts.

Where to eat:

Bowleboxx, 5 Emma Abimbola Cole Street: Getting your order can be a bit stressful, but it’s definitely worth the wait to experience was as it is meant to be experienced.

But


Image: Getty

Because corn is harvested at particular times of the year, it is not readily available around street corners unlike all of the other street foods on this list. However, for the few months that it is – usually between August and November – it’s a favorite. Over the months, corn can be found on almost every street corner. The most popular ways to prepare it are either to boil it several times in a saucepan, or to roast it over a fire and serve it with ube – local pears. It is very common to see giant pots in many streets as people sell boiled corn or makeshift grills belonging to vendors selling grilled corn. But as a pro tip, to enjoy eating corn you need a side snack, and the best things to go with corn are coconuts and toast. ube – local pear.

Where to get it:

Unlike some others, most restaurants do not sell corn on the cob, so it is best to just take to the streets during the months it is available in Nigeria and find a street vendor.

Akara


Image: Getty

Where most people in the western part of the world consider cereals the breakfast meal, in most parts of Nigeria that honor goes to akara. The beloved breakfast item is made from the paste of fried black-eyed beans and is typically sold on the streets in the early hours of the day or late at night. Akara is very versatile and can be eaten with bread, traditionally prepared corn porridge, custard and just about anything you want.

Where to get it:

MegaChicken, has several outlets in Lagos: MegaChicken, a very popular fast food franchise in Lagos, sells it however, nothing beats buying akara straight from the pan from someone selling it on the street.

Kuli-Kuli

This peanut snack is often sold in small plastic bags and can come in a myriad of forms. Kuli-Kuli can be found in Lagos and other states in Nigeria, but it is more common in the northern part of Nigeria where it is a regular snack. If you love peanuts, then this snack made with dried peanuts with a touch of spice is for you.

Where to get it:

Kuli-Kuli is very popular and you can get it in almost any supermarket you walk in.


Nigerian street market

Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP via Getty Images

Me me

Me me sits between the snack and real food worlds. It can be eaten as a whole snack or as a side dish with jollof rice. A little like akara, it is made from black-eyed bean paste but instead of being fried, it is steamed. However, unlike akara, me me isn’t often found around street corners, but is usually peddled by vendors who have it wrapped in banana leaves or foil. While many restaurants sell me me, maybe more than any other food on this list, nothing beats me me wrapped in banana leaves sold inside the market.

Where to get it:

Chicken Republic, has several points of sale in Lagos: This very popular food franchise in Nigeria is also among the best and most popular. me me in Lagos, and not only can you find a point of sale anywhere and everywhere, you can also place an order easily from your phone.

Bukka Hut, has several points of sale in Lagos: If you want the full me me complete experience with the banana leaves used to wrap it, the Bukka Hut is your best for me me. Similar to Chicken Republic, Bukka Hut is very popular and has outlets almost everywhere.


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