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Flavors from Afar in Little Ethiopia rotates menus from different refugee chefs, including a chef from Eritrea.
Flavors from Afar rotates menus from different refugee chefs, including one from Eritrea.
[Official Photo]

Where to Find the Best of 12 African Cuisines in LA

From Egypt to South Africa, these restaurants are exemplars of African food less common in Los Angeles

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Flavors from Afar rotates menus from different refugee chefs, including one from Eritrea.
| [Official Photo]

Africa is the second largest and second most populous continent in the world and yet the cuisines from its 54 countries can sometimes be difficult to find in Los Angeles with the exception of Ethiopian, which has a thriving scene along Fairfax Avenue. From Tunisian couscous to Nigerian fufu, African food is incredibly varied due to a wide range of climates and colonial influences. Here’s a guide on where to find African cuisines in Los Angeles.

Removed: Taste of Senegal, Oasis

Added: Cafe Dahab, Flavors From Afar, Revolutionario

A number of LA restaurants have resumed dine-in service. The level of service offered is indicated on each map point. However, this should not be taken as endorsement for dining in, as there are still safety concerns: for updated information on coronavirus cases in your area, please visit the Los Angeles Public Health website. Studies indicate that there is a lower exposure risk when outdoors, but the level of risk involved with patio dining is contingent on restaurants following strict social distancing and other safety guidelines.

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Uganda: Jaliz Cuisine of East Africa

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Jaliz Cuisine mostly operates as a catering business. Most diners choose from three proteins: goat, chicken, or fish. The protein is served as a soup next to a plate of matooke (mashed green plantains) topped with peanut sauce, jollof rice with fried goat meat, chapati bread (an Indian flatbread), and collard greens. 

Jaliz Cuisine of East Africa
Jaliz Cuisine of East Africa
Fiona Chandra

South Africa: Springbok Bar & Grill

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Springbok in Van Nuys may seem like a regular sports bar, but look closer to find South African staples like chicken liver peri peri or prawns in pili pili sauce. There’s also a daily Durban curry special made from tomatoes and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. [FYI: currently only open for takeout]

Springbok Bar & Grill
Springbok Bar & Grill
Fiona Chandra

Morocco: Mizlala

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Mizlala took over Simon’s Café, an old standby for Moroccan cuisine in Sherman Oaks. In addition to modern Mediterranean fare, Mizlala owner Danny Elmaleh has retained some of his father’s iconic Moroccan dishes, including the apricot lamb tagine served with saffron rice. Mizlala recently opened a second location in West Adams. [Open for delivery and takeout]

Mediterranean Restaurant Los Angeles
Mizlala
Joshua Lurie

Eritrea: Flavors from Afar

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Eritrean cuisine is similar to its neighbor Ethiopia, but it isn’t as widely available in LA. Enter Flavors from Afar in Little Ethiopia, a cafe extension of the nonprofit Tiyya Foundation. The cafe rotates menus from different refugee chefs, including one from Eritrea. The Eritrean menu only pops up every few months and includes a vegetarian hash with curry powder (alicha) and a braised lamb shank stew with tomatoes and spices. Flavors from Afar also rotates menus from Somalia, Egypt, and soon, Kenya. [Available for takeout and delivery]

Ethiopia: Meals By Genet

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All of the restaurant’s dishes, meat and vegetable stews called wot and stir-fried dishes called tibs, are centered around injera (a spongy and subtly sour flatbread made of fermented teff flour) and a spice mixture called berbere. Don’t come to Meals by Genet without ordering chef Genet Agonafer’s doro wot (chicken stew), which takes three days to make. [Takeout available from Thursday to Sunday; no delivery available]

Tunisia: Harissa Restaurant

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Alain Cohen shares a bit of his French-Tunisian heritage at Harissa, which is located next door to his better-known Got Kosher Deli & Bakery. Try the brick à l’oeuf au thon, a crispy crepe stuffed with tuna, capers, and eggs. The chebtiya, Tunisian meatballs served over couscous with a tomato-based broth on the side, is also worth a taste. [Open for takeout and delivery]

Egypt: Cafe Dahab

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Restaurants specializing in Egyptian food are hard to come by in Los Angeles — though there are a few more options in Anaheim. Instead, look to Egyptian-owned hookah lounges that serve food like Cafe Dahab. At first glance, Cafe Dahab serves a mix of Middle Eastern and American foods. However, look under the “specialty entrees” section of the menu for Egyptian specialties like the national dish koshari that’s made with rice, macaroni, and lentils in a tomato sauce with chickpeas and fried onions. [Open for takeout and delivery]

Algeria: Revolutionario North African Tacos

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Algerian-French owner Farid Zadi combines North African cooking and tacos at Revolutionario. Experience the flavors of the Arabic and Berber cuisine of Algeria with chickpea tagine or shakshuka tacos. On the more traditional side of the menu are Algerian briks, fried pastries stuffed with egg and cheese. Look for harira, a meat and chickpea soup, as well as Merguez sausage on the specials menu occasionally. [Available for takeout only]

Aduke African Cuisine

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Aduke African Cuisine on Pico Boulevard serves hard-to-find Nigerian dishes. On the menu is fufu, a dumpling made of mashed cassava, as well as its cousin amala, which is made of dried yam flour. Served alongside is ewedu, a soup made of jute leaves and meat or seafood. The most approachable dish is suya, grilled meat skewers seasoned with chili pepper, spices, and peanut powder. For the adventurous, Aduke serves igbin alata, sautéed snails in a spicy tomato sauce.  [Open for takeout only]

Aduke African Cuisine
AdukeAduke African Cuisine
[Official Photo]

Somalia: Banadir Somali Restaurant

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Banadir in Inglewood, the only Somali restaurant in LA, is a hub for the area’s Somali community. For breakfast, there’s anjera, a fermented sorghum flour pancake similar to Ethiopian injera. The anjera is served with chicken suqar, a type of stir-fry. For lunch and dinner, find large rice platters with choice of meat (goat, chicken, or fish). Both rice and spaghetti meals are served with bananas meant to be eaten with the meal. [Open for takeout and delivery]

Cameroon: African Chop Food Truck

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African Chop, which is owned by two Cameroonians, serves typical West African and Cameroonian fare. The wild mackerel, a specialty from co-owner Hector Tantoh’s hometown of Douala, is served with plantains and Cameroonian hot pepper sauce. The puff puff, a fried dough snack similar to a beignet, is a popular street food in Cameroon. Order it with beans like the locals do.

Cameroonian Food Los Angeles
African Chop Food Truck
Joshua Lurie

Ghana: Airport Royal Cuisine

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Airport Royal Cuisine serves traditional foods from across Ghana. Try waakye, a mixture of rice and beans, which are served with garri (grated cassava) and spaghetti with a choice of goat or fish. Another popular item is red-red, beans cooked with plantains and palm oil—the reddish palm oil gives the dish its name. The red-red here is served with eggs and fish. [Open for takeout only]

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Uganda: Jaliz Cuisine of East Africa

Jaliz Cuisine mostly operates as a catering business. Most diners choose from three proteins: goat, chicken, or fish. The protein is served as a soup next to a plate of matooke (mashed green plantains) topped with peanut sauce, jollof rice with fried goat meat, chapati bread (an Indian flatbread), and collard greens. 

Jaliz Cuisine of East Africa
Jaliz Cuisine of East Africa
Fiona Chandra

South Africa: Springbok Bar & Grill

Springbok in Van Nuys may seem like a regular sports bar, but look closer to find South African staples like chicken liver peri peri or prawns in pili pili sauce. There’s also a daily Durban curry special made from tomatoes and spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. [FYI: currently only open for takeout]

Springbok Bar & Grill
Springbok Bar & Grill
Fiona Chandra

Morocco: Mizlala

Mizlala took over Simon’s Café, an old standby for Moroccan cuisine in Sherman Oaks. In addition to modern Mediterranean fare, Mizlala owner Danny Elmaleh has retained some of his father’s iconic Moroccan dishes, including the apricot lamb tagine served with saffron rice. Mizlala recently opened a second location in West Adams. [Open for delivery and takeout]

Mediterranean Restaurant Los Angeles
Mizlala
Joshua Lurie

Eritrea: Flavors from Afar

Eritrean cuisine is similar to its neighbor Ethiopia, but it isn’t as widely available in LA. Enter Flavors from Afar in Little Ethiopia, a cafe extension of the nonprofit Tiyya Foundation. The cafe rotates menus from different refugee chefs, including one from Eritrea. The Eritrean menu only pops up every few months and includes a vegetarian hash with curry powder (alicha) and a braised lamb shank stew with tomatoes and spices. Flavors from Afar also rotates menus from Somalia, Egypt, and soon, Kenya. [Available for takeout and delivery]

Ethiopia: Meals By Genet

All of the restaurant’s dishes, meat and vegetable stews called wot and stir-fried dishes called tibs, are centered around injera (a spongy and subtly sour flatbread made of fermented teff flour) and a spice mixture called berbere. Don’t come to Meals by Genet without ordering chef Genet Agonafer’s doro wot (chicken stew), which takes three days to make. [Takeout available from Thursday to Sunday; no delivery available]

Tunisia: Harissa Restaurant

Alain Cohen shares a bit of his French-Tunisian heritage at Harissa, which is located next door to his better-known Got Kosher Deli & Bakery. Try the brick à l’oeuf au thon, a crispy crepe stuffed with tuna, capers, and eggs. The chebtiya, Tunisian meatballs served over couscous with a tomato-based broth on the side, is also worth a taste. [Open for takeout and delivery]

Egypt: Cafe Dahab

Restaurants specializing in Egyptian food are hard to come by in Los Angeles — though there are a few more options in Anaheim. Instead, look to Egyptian-owned hookah lounges that serve food like Cafe Dahab. At first glance, Cafe Dahab serves a mix of Middle Eastern and American foods. However, look under the “specialty entrees” section of the menu for Egyptian specialties like the national dish koshari that’s made with rice, macaroni, and lentils in a tomato sauce with chickpeas and fried onions. [Open for takeout and delivery]

Algeria: Revolutionario North African Tacos

Algerian-French owner Farid Zadi combines North African cooking and tacos at Revolutionario. Experience the flavors of the Arabic and Berber cuisine of Algeria with chickpea tagine or shakshuka tacos. On the more traditional side of the menu are Algerian briks, fried pastries stuffed with egg and cheese. Look for harira, a meat and chickpea soup, as well as Merguez sausage on the specials menu occasionally. [Available for takeout only]

Aduke African Cuisine

Aduke African Cuisine on Pico Boulevard serves hard-to-find Nigerian dishes. On the menu is fufu, a dumpling made of mashed cassava, as well as its cousin amala, which is made of dried yam flour. Served alongside is ewedu, a soup made of jute leaves and meat or seafood. The most approachable dish is suya, grilled meat skewers seasoned with chili pepper, spices, and peanut powder. For the adventurous, Aduke serves igbin alata, sautéed snails in a spicy tomato sauce.  [Open for takeout only]

Aduke African Cuisine
AdukeAduke African Cuisine
[Official Photo]

Somalia: Banadir Somali Restaurant

Banadir in Inglewood, the only Somali restaurant in LA, is a hub for the area’s Somali community. For breakfast, there’s anjera, a fermented sorghum flour pancake similar to Ethiopian injera. The anjera is served with chicken suqar, a type of stir-fry. For lunch and dinner, find large rice platters with choice of meat (goat, chicken, or fish). Both rice and spaghetti meals are served with bananas meant to be eaten with the meal. [Open for takeout and delivery]

Cameroon: African Chop Food Truck

African Chop, which is owned by two Cameroonians, serves typical West African and Cameroonian fare. The wild mackerel, a specialty from co-owner Hector Tantoh’s hometown of Douala, is served with plantains and Cameroonian hot pepper sauce. The puff puff, a fried dough snack similar to a beignet, is a popular street food in Cameroon. Order it with beans like the locals do.

Cameroonian Food Los Angeles
African Chop Food Truck
Joshua Lurie

Ghana: Airport Royal Cuisine

Airport Royal Cuisine serves traditional foods from across Ghana. Try waakye, a mixture of rice and beans, which are served with garri (grated cassava) and spaghetti with a choice of goat or fish. Another popular item is red-red, beans cooked with plantains and palm oil—the reddish palm oil gives the dish its name. The red-red here is served with eggs and fish. [Open for takeout only]

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