I have been meaning to write this post for a while now. Lagos can be a hard place if you are cash-phobic and brandishing and international credit or debit card. Every single time I go to Lagos and Nigeria in general I am usually confined to eating in hotels or carrying insane amounts of cash with me. That needed to change.
Back in September, I spent a month in Lagos to learn about its media landscape and also more about entrepreneurs (post on this coming). I couldn’t eat all my meals in hotels, or carry cash around like I was in some sort of business transit. So I decided to go hunt for some places that will accept my international Mastercard/Visa! So here goes:
Nok by Alara
This is quite the gem, I enjoyed the service immensely and the food was pretty good though on the expensive side. The ambience was conducive to chatting and the cocktails were divine. Nok specializes in African fine dining cuisine, its menu looking at food not just from Nigeria but Ghana, Senegal and Ethiopia. Little twists are added to how food is plated to create visual and tasty journey with the food. I am still a bigger fan of the bartender who pretty much made me anything I wanted, all I had to do was ask and give a recipe if needed.
Okay, this place is only on the list because I needed places that indeed accepted cards. Cool for the after work hangout crowd but so expensive. The food was not worth the price we paid for it. Starters show promise, but the mains left much to be desired and we didn’t stick around for dessert. Wine list wasn’t terrible, there were some South African wines on the menu and I am partial to those. But good for after work drinks some starters, not sure about mains.
Hard Rock Cafe
An obvious choice but actually quite a fun place. Cocktails are on point (yes, that is a big thing for me) and the bartender will do his best to give you what you want. It wasn’t as expensive as I was expecting. Hard Rocks around the world aren’t usually but you gotta make allowances when in Lagos. I liked it a lot and good hang place with cool music.
Chocolate Royale and Cafe Royale
This is more your coffee shop vibe and yes I am aware of that scandal they had a few years ago. BUT… It’s your basic sandwich/pizza and cola place when the manager isn’t busy screaming at staff from across the room. We went on a Sunday and it was moderately busy with the international crowd, word got out about the card thing. The cafe is all about the sit down food vibe and the chocolate (not quite) shop below sells baked goods! Cookies for days. There is also a very friendly sales lady who will talk you into your weight in sugary goodness.
Maison Fahrenheit rooftop bar
Yes, I know this is technically in a hotel but the rooftop vibe is amazingly chilled you don’t feel it. I have always liked this spot in Lagos, it makes me remember what an cosmopolitan incredible city it is. It feels like the hang for the young people with a few old people and their young “friends”.
I never thought those words would come out my mouth: I ate sushi in Lagos and I liked it! Anyone who knows me in Lagos will know I have a thing about seafood in Lagos, I will eat fresh fish but not seafood. I discovered this place quite late in my stay but found it quite lovely, the teppanyaki was very nice and it pretty packed on the Thursday night. Staff was super friendly and we loved every moment there. Yes, a technical hotel but you wanna go.
Yes another Japanese offering so clearly I am into that. Though I think it’s more of an “around the world” cuisine that just Japanese. Also another late discovering during the trip but quite nice. We tried the set menu, which was pretty good. There are a lot of options on the menu, whatever you are in the mood for, I would recommend trying the Tuna steak.
Crust and Cream
Yes, they too have a pastry shop but walked pass that and a restaurant with wifi awaits. One of the things I quite liked about this place was that it wasn’t insanely priced. You get your money’s worth. I had the chicken roulade, which was way more tastier than I had expected, the staff was awesome even when I spilled my Old Fashioned all over myself than their table cloths. They brought me a new one very quickly, yes me and those cocktails. Go here!