Gourmet Guide: The Top 5 Restaurants in Lagos, Nigeria
Finding good food in Lagos is a much easier task than it used to be. In recent times, the array of choices has rapidly grown, and of course half the fun of travel is the joy of discovery. However, there are always times when you need to be absolutely certain that the restaurant you've chosen is among the very best in town.
With this guide to the best restaurants in Nigeria’s Lagos, you'll be able to narrow down your selection and proceed with confidence that you can expect great food and exemplary service.
The top contenders for international cuisine and fine dining
- Bungalow – Don't let the surroundings put you off! Once you get inside this restaurant, you will find it is a lovely place. The choices here are very eclectic. The main speciality is Teppanyaki, and they also have a dedicated Mexican menu. Otherwise there is a wide selection of American and Italian dishes offered. The latter, apart from lasagne and pizza, are virtually unrecognisable. The Mexican and Japanese dishes are much more authentic and are of excellent quality. Prices of most main course offerings are from ₦5,000 (USD 16) and up. Teppanyaki dishes are all over ₦10,000 (USD 32).
- RSVP – Serving contemporary American-style dishes in a delightfully upmarket atmosphere, the food offerings here are somewhat reminiscent of a Denny's diner, but the five star service, excellent cocktail list, and wonderful décor lift the whole experience to new heights. Many of the menu items are suggestive of Louisiana Creole influences, with offerings such as chicken pops, pork sliders, and braised slow-cooked lamb on potato mash. Most dishes come served in sizzling skillets, and much care is put into the visual presentation of the food. For what you get, the food prices are pretty reasonable (expect around ₦8,000 to ₦12,000 / USD 26 to USD 39), but if you're tempted by the excellent cocktails, those will add quite a bit to the bill.
- The Sky Restaurant – To get the most from your visit here, head to the terrace for pre-dinner drinks. The view is the main reason for dining here instead of at RVSP or Bungalow, so you want to make sure you are getting your money's worth. The smaller range of options makes this an ideal restaurant to take somebody who isn't good at deciding what they want to have. Food is served in a nouvelle cuisine style, and includes a modest selection of steak and fish dishes, along with some more unexpected offerings such as gyoza . In terms of both food and service, the other restaurants on the list are better, but for a great location and view, plus a quieter environment, The Sky Restaurant is a reasonable choice. You can expect to spend around ₦15,000 (USD 49) per person here.
- The Villa Medici – The interior is wonderfully soft and casual, ideal for a small party with a group of friends, or simply a romantic dinner date. It's the perfect blend of classy and informal. As for the food, what we get is a selection of grilled meats, including beef, lamb, chicken, and seafood. The seafood selection, especially fish, is the most extensive. Among the more exotic offerings are Oriental Snapper (with a Thai-inspired dressing of ginger and garlic), Crevettes Jaipur (Indian-inspired curry with coconut and lemongrass), and Seafood Ragout (light broth with prawns, mussels, sea bass and calamari). Mains will be in the ₦8,000 to ₦12,000 (USD 26 to USD 39) range.
- Yellow Chilli – For an opportunity to safely try Nigerian cuisine, the Yellow Chilli is a highly recommended choice, especially since it's a stand-out for featuring local foods rather than trying to imitate foreign foods. Service can be a little slow, but it's always friendly, and a great deal of care is put into the preparation and presentation of the food. It's a great venue for a lingering meeting where you won't feel pressured to make room for the next group. This is also one of the few top-tier restaurants in Lagos that offers a wide selection of vegetarian options. Mains here average from ₦2,500 (USD 8)) to ₦5,000 (USD 16). Numerous accompaniments can be added as side dishes from ₦1,000 (USD 3) and up.
Prime – Unpretentious Chinese food at reasonable prices. Examples include Gong Bao Chicken, Sweet & Sour Pork, and Beef with Black Bean Sauce on Fried Noodles. Mains are in the range of ₦2,500 (USD 8) to ₦4,000 (USD 13) but they have regular specials at only ₦2,000 (USD 6).
Sherlaton – They are given a close run for food quality and choice by direct competitor Viceroy, but Sherlaton just manages to edge ahead on price. Just be careful not to confuse it with the Sheraton, where you can expect quite a different dining experience. Mains are in the ₦2,000 (USD 6) to ₦4,000 (USD 12) range.
Best Pizza / Italian
Pizza Rhea – The choice here was obvious. The pizza at Pizza Rhea is cooked in a genuine wood-fired oven, and if you're a pizza aficionado, you already know what a difference this makes. For a lower cost alternative, you could try Taverna Milano, which is great value if you go on a Wednesday.
In some ways, Lagos can really surprise
The quality of the restaurants in Lagos, Nigeria often exceeds the expectations of visitors. What we've described in this article includes the ‘best of the best’, so don't expect that every restaurant is going to be up to these standards, but it is certainly possible nowadays to have a meal of similar quality to what you might find in Sydney, New York, or London. And because you're also experiencing the wonderful atmosphere of Nigeria, you can be sure that you'll enjoy it much more.
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