With over 20 million people in the metro area, it’s no surprise that Lagos packs a punch in terms of fantastic cuisine. The city also has a large amount of expats, and they have brought their food with them from places like England, France, India and Lebanon to mix with the already delicious Nigerian fare. Here are our picks for the best restaurants in Lagos, Nigeria.
From outside, Villa Medici could be a residential property apart from the small porch with inlaid mosaic and discrete signage. Those who do spot it are rewarded with a bamboo screen garden fringed by palms. Bamboo seating lie scattered around a centerpiece water feature. Inside the main bar runs the full length of one wall and it’s well stocked with premium spirits. The cuisine sets a high standard with starters like Duck Roulade and Carpaccio alongside prawns in a variety of guises. For seafood lovers there is a choice of snapper, sole, sea bass, and yet more prawns whilst carnivores can pick from chicken, steak or lamb cutlets or shank. All dishes are cooked in a European style and served with panache equal to the surroundings. The eagle-eyed Lebanese manager runs a tight ship and there is a keen eye for detail occasionally missing from other establishments.
Getting to La Scala is worth the effort, for those who do venture here will be rewarded with some of the best French food the city has to offer. From the crabe diable (fresh flaked crab and chili served hot in the shell) to classics like tournedos rossini, the food is classically, deliciously French. It is expensive; however it’s no worse than many of the hotel restaurants that serve as its main competition. The restaurant is a single-storey brick summerhouse overlooking a well-tended patio area. It is kept well shaded by a variety of potted plants and a magnificent creeper strewn indigenous tree. It is definitely one of the greener spots on Lagos Island. The interior is neither the most stylish nor the most refined in Lagos but that is partly as a result of having been open for longer than most of its competition. However, the food is why most people go here, and it speaks for itself.
For those looking for the best Nigerian cuisine has to offer, Yellow Chilli has a pretty strong claim to the title. It has been here for over a decade and through that time developed a reputation for great quality Nigerian food amongst expat and locals alike. Most of the dishes are stews and come with a variety of accompanying starches (pounded yams, semovita etc.) This is true Nigerian food and not all dishes may appeal to the western palate (offal, snails etc.) but the chicken beef and prawn dishes are spectacular. Downstairs is a non-smoking section whilst upstairs is smoking with both areas seating 20-30 people in comfort. Decor is tastefully African with dark carved wooden doors, Ostrich egg lamps and Benin brass. For those wary of venturing too far into Nigerian cuisine there are also a range of milder alternatives such as breaded prawns.