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Visiting Nigeria For The First Time? Here Are 9 Dishes You Should Absolutely Try Out

Spoiler: There is no jollof!

Photo credit: Instagram/foodace

I mean, you most probably have heard of our legendary jollof rice. It’s our biggest natural resource next to Wizkid and crude oil. So chances are, it’s one of the first things you are offered when you walk into a Nigerian restaurant – and by all means, take it!

But jollof aside, Nigeria is blessed with more tasty meals than you’ve ever had anywhere else in the world. And you’re also unlikely to eat all of it in the duration of your visit, so where do you start from? This is a guide!


Photo credit: Instagram/foodace

This local Igbo dish is what I imagine heaven would taste like. It’s made from sliced cassava, mixed in palm oil sauce and garnished with vegetables and a couple of other stuff that come together so perfectly to guarantee that you keep coming back for more.

Amala & Ewedu

Someone I know once said he’d die a happy man if he had to eat amala and ewedu for the rest of his life. That pretty much sums up everything I have to say about this Yoruba dish.


Gizdodo is a simple spicy side dish that is a combination of gizzards and dodo (plantain). It’s usually served with rice but you can also choose to eat it alone. Either way, the taste it leaves in your mouth is orgasmic.

Small chops

This is the Nigerian version of finger food. You’re most likely to find people fighting for it at parties, and my advice is: fight with them, it’s worth it. But, you can also find it in a few restaurants in major cities across the country.

Banga and starch

The Deltans swear by this soup and swallow combo, and a trial will show you why.

Ekpang Nkukwo

Photo credit: Dooney’s Kitchen

Preparing this native Efik porridge is a labour of love, so if you find someone who goes out of their way to make it for you, marry them. Ekpang Nkukwo is made with a mixture of cocoyam and water yam, and garnished with a mixture of seafood – periwinkles, prawns etc.


Nkwobi is diced goat meat mixed in a sinfully delicious palm oil sauce. It has its origin in the eastern part of Nigeria but it has become widely popular in other parts of the country for obvious reasons. It’s usually served in a wooden bowl which looks gigantic from the outside but is really a heartbreak waiting to happen once you dig in.

Tuwo Shinkafa & Miyan Wake

Popular in the Northern part of the country, Tuwo Shinkafa is a delicacy made from mashed cooked rice or rice flour. It can be eaten with a variety of soups but I personally recommend the Miyan Wake (beans soup).

Bole & Fish

This is basically roasted plantain and fish. It’s a very popular street food in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. You haven’t been to PH until you’ve eaten their bole and fish. Lagosians might try to tell you otherwise, but this is absolutely the best and only way roasted plantain should be eaten.


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