A Friendly Guide to Restaurants in Cameroon
Cameroon, often referred to as “Africa in miniature,” is a beautiful country with diverse landscapes and a rich cultural heritage. The country’s cuisine is as diverse as its landscape, and when you travel there, you’ll discover a wealth of delicious dishes and unique dining experiences. In this travel guide, we’ll explore some of the best restaurants in Cameroon, as well as local dishes you won’t want to miss. Let’s embark on this mouthwatering journey together!
1. Introduction to Cameroonian Cuisine
Cameroonian cuisine is influenced by the country’s diverse ethnic groups and colonial history, blending flavors from indigenous communities, as well as French and British culinary traditions. Staples like cassava, plantains, yams, and maize are common, often served with spicy sauces and stews. Fish and meat are also widely consumed, including chicken, beef, goat, and bushmeat.
2. Douala: A Culinary Hub
Douala, Cameroon’s largest city and economic capital, offers a wide range of dining options. You’ll find everything from fine dining to street food, representing various cuisines from across the country.
One of Douala’s finest establishments, La Falaise is known for its luxurious ambiance and excellent service. The menu features a fusion of French and Cameroonian cuisine, with dishes like grilled fish, poulet DG (chicken with plantains and vegetables), and pepper soup. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine list and a variety of decadent desserts.
For a taste of traditional Cameroonian dishes, visit Le Bouchon. This family-run restaurant offers a cozy atmosphere and serves generous portions of home-cooked meals like ndolé (bitterleaf stew with meat or fish) and eru (spinach and waterleaf stew). Make sure to try their popular brochettes (skewered grilled meat), served with a side of spicy sauce.
3. Yaoundé: The Capital’s Culinary Delights
As the political capital of Cameroon, Yaoundé offers a mix of traditional and international dining options. Here are a few must-visit restaurants:
La Salsa Restaurant
La Salsa offers a unique fusion of Cameroonian and Latin American flavors. The menu features dishes like plantain empanadas, enchiladas, and grilled fish with a side of attiéké (cassava couscous). The restaurant also hosts live music and salsa nights, adding a lively atmosphere to your dining experience.
Located on the top floor of the Mont Fébé Hotel, Le Panoramique offers stunning views of Yaoundé and a sophisticated dining experience. The menu features a mix of French and Cameroonian cuisine, with options like grilled prawns, filet de bœuf, and a selection of gourmet desserts. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a special celebration.
4. Buea: A Taste of the Southwest
Buea, the capital of the Southwest Region, is home to the iconic Mount Cameroon. The city also boasts a rich culinary scene, showcasing the region’s unique flavors and ingredients.
For an authentic taste of Southwest Cameroonian cuisine, look no further than Country Foods. This family-owned
restaurant offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere, serving traditional dishes like ekwang (cocoyam dumplings in a spicy sauce) and koki (steamed black-eyed pea pudding). Be sure to try their mbanga soup, a rich palm nut soup with fish or meat, served with boiled plantains or cassava.
IYA Buea is a popular restaurant known for its delicious local dishes and eco-friendly practices. They source their ingredients from local farmers, ensuring the freshest and most flavorful meals. The menu includes options like achu (pounded cocoyam with yellow soup) and njama njama (huckleberry leaves sautéed with spices). Don’t miss their refreshing fruit juices and smoothies, made with local fruits like pineapple, papaya, and passion fruit.
5. Bamenda: Discovering the Northwest
Bamenda, the capital of the Northwest Region, offers a unique culinary experience with its distinct Anglophone influence. Here are a couple of standout restaurants in the area:
Blue Pearl Hotel Restaurant
Located within the Blue Pearl Hotel, this restaurant offers a mix of international and Cameroonian dishes, with a focus on the flavors of the Northwest Region. Try their fufu corn and njama njama, or opt for something more familiar like a juicy burger or pasta dish. The restaurant also offers a daily buffet, giving you a chance to sample a variety of dishes.
Savoury Kitchen is a cozy, family-run restaurant that serves delicious home-cooked meals in a relaxed atmosphere. The menu includes dishes like corn fufu with khati khati (grilled chicken), solomon gundy (smoked fish pâté), and a range of savory pies. Pair your meal with a local beer or a refreshing fruit juice.
6. Street Food and Snacks
Cameroon’s street food scene is not to be missed. Throughout the country, you’ll find vendors selling delicious snacks and meals at affordable prices. Some popular options include:
Roasted Plantains and Corn
Often sold by roadside vendors, roasted plantains and corn are a simple yet satisfying snack. They’re typically served with a spicy pepper sauce, perfect for adding a burst of flavor.
Suya is a popular West African street food, consisting of skewered, grilled meat coated in a spicy peanut sauce. In Cameroon, you’ll find vendors selling beef, chicken, and goat suya, often accompanied by raw onions and tomatoes.
These deep-fried dough balls are a popular snack across West and Central Africa. In Cameroon, they’re commonly enjoyed with a spicy sauce or a sweet, fruity jam.
With its diverse culinary scene and range of delicious dishes, Cameroon is a food lover’s paradise. From upscale dining to street food, you’re sure to find something that tantalizes your taste buds.