Restaurants in Burkina Faso: A Friendly Travel Guide
If you’re planning a trip to Burkina Faso or you’re simply curious about the local culinary scene, you’re in for a treat. In this friendly and informative guide, we’ll take you on a journey through the vibrant restaurant scene in Burkina Faso. With a diverse range of eateries, from traditional to international cuisine, there’s something for everyone’s taste buds in this West African nation. So let’s dive in and discover the best places to savor a delicious meal!
Introduction to Burkina Faso Cuisine
Before we jump into the restaurant scene, let’s first get a taste of Burkina Faso’s cuisine. The culinary culture in Burkina Faso is heavily influenced by the regional ingredients, with staples like millet, sorghum, rice, and maize forming the basis of most dishes. Local specialties include tô, a doughy dish made from millet or sorghum, and riz gras, a flavorful rice dish cooked with meat and vegetables. Now that you have a sense of the traditional dishes, let’s explore the best places to try them!
Le Maquis de Sissin
Located in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso, Le Maquis de Sissin is a popular spot for sampling authentic local cuisine. With an open-air setting and a warm, welcoming atmosphere, you’ll be able to enjoy traditional dishes like riz gras, brochettes, and tô. As an added bonus, the restaurant often hosts live music performances, offering a delightful cultural experience alongside your meal.
Le Gondwana, another gem in Ouagadougou, serves a variety of West African dishes that showcase the flavors of Burkina Faso. This restaurant is known for its cozy atmosphere, friendly staff, and a menu that changes daily. Be sure to try their grilled fish, yassa poulet (chicken in a tangy onion sauce), and a local favorite, dolo (a traditional beer made from fermented millet).
La Dolce Vita
If you’re in the mood for Italian food, La Dolce Vita in Ouagadougou is the place to be. This charming restaurant offers a wide range of delicious Italian dishes, from pasta and pizza to gelato and tiramisu. The cozy atmosphere and attentive service make it a perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a gathering with friends.
For those craving French cuisine, La Palmeraie in Ouagadougou is a must-visit. This upscale restaurant serves a mix of French and African dishes, creating a unique fusion experience. With an extensive wine list and delicious desserts like crème brûlée, this is the perfect spot for a special occasion or a sophisticated night out.
Vegetarian and Vegan Options
Located in Ouagadougou, Natama is a vegetarian and vegan-friendly restaurant that offers a range of healthy, tasty dishes. With a focus on organic and locally-sourced ingredients, you’ll find a variety of salads, sandwiches, and smoothies to choose from. The relaxing ambiance and friendly staff make it a great spot to grab a healthy meal while exploring the city.
Street Food and Local Markets
Marché des Artisans
For a truly local experience, visit the Marché des Artisans in Ouagadougou. This bustling market offers a variety of street food options, such as brochettes, beignets, and freshly squeezed fruit juices. Strolling through the market, you’ll also find local artisans selling handmade crafts, making it a perfect spot for picking up souvenirs and enjoying the flavors of Burkina Faso.
Bobo-Dioulasso Street Food
When in Bobo-Dioulasso, the country’s second-largest city, don’t miss the chance to indulge in the local street food scene. You’ll find vendors selling delicious and affordable dishes like poulet bicyclette (grilled chicken), aloko (fried plantains), and foutou (mashed yams or plantains). The lively atmosphere and authentic flavors make it an unforgettable experience.
Food Safety and Tips
While enjoying the local cuisine, it’s essential to keep food safety in mind. Stick to reputable restaurants and eateries, and when trying street food, opt for freshly cooked dishes from vendors with a high turnover. Avoid tap water and ice in drinks, and instead choose bottled or boiled water. Lastly, wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer to reduce the risk of illness.
Burkina Faso’s restaurant scene offers a diverse range of dining experiences, from traditional eateries to international cuisine and bustling street food markets. With this guide in hand, you’ll be well-prepared to explore the delicious flavors of this West African nation.