Everyone from government ministers to beach lovers flock to laid-back Sao Brasil on Sunday evenings, when huge, fresh pizzas roll out of the wood stoves and cool bottles of rosé are uncorked by the charming older waitstaff.
A five-minute stroll from Ngor beach, Sao Brasil has very little to do with the country for which it was named. Instead, this is probably Dakar’s best pizza restaurant, although the seasonal salads – there’s a mean salade nicoise – and fish dishes are pretty good too. Wooden tables are assembled on the terrace, and the chefs churn out their pizzas under the stars, the sea breeze and the gentle hum of the soundtrack.
The menu includes everything from good margaritas with fresh basil and mozzarella to meaty delights and pizza flambees – made French or German style, with bacon, herbs and a generous dollop of crème fraiche. There’s a decent kids’ menu, too, and a backyard play area with swings and slides to keep them entertained as you linger over your meal.
If there’s a downside to this popular spot, it’s certainly not the relaxed atmosphere or the delicious pizzas. But you might want to bring a bottle of anti-mosquito spray with you; the waitstaff have mosquito coils on hand, but on muggy evenings, insects seem as impressed by the restaurant as its customers.
Head to the main thoroughfare in the seaside Almadies district of Dakar. Sao Brasil is tucked away behind the Shell gas station, about halfway between the Village de Ngor roundpoint and the Virage roundpoint. Closed on Wednesdays.