Resy predicted African food would be one of the big restaurant trends of 2023 – spearheaded by a handful of buzzy recent openings. It was right: these days London is home to plenty of great African restaurants, showcasing food from all over the continent. Whether you’re craving a hearty Moroccan stew, fiery South African grills or contemporary twists on classics, there’s something to satisfy all tastes in our guide to African food in London.
7 African Restaurants To Visit Now in London
A new addition to the O2’s ever-expanding culinary scene is a new branch of vibrant eatery Afrikana, the third franchise in London (with ten more on the cards for the capital). Originally opened in Aldridge in the Midlands, the restaurant group is the brainchild of Omair Ali, who spotted a gap in the market for an authentic, home-cooked African-inspired restaurant. ‘Our aim is to create a space where people can experience something like no other and enjoy an unforgettable dining experience,’ he says. ‘We want to tantalize the taste buds and showcase the beautiful culture, art, music and food through our restaurants.’ Diners can enjoy an array of flavoursome, creative dishes: specials include slow-cooked curry goat, jerk-fried chicken and plantain, and lamb chops with African seasoning, alongside sides of jollof rice and mango salsa. On the drinks side, mojitos are a highlight here, and there’s also an impressive selection of mocktails.
Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX; afrikanakitchen.com
Part of the charm of West African restaurant Chishuru is the story that comes with it. Nigerian-born chef Adejoké Bakare spent years hosting dinner parties and supper clubs before winning a competition which allowed her to set up her own restaurant in Brixton Market. It opened in September 2020, a tricky time for hospitality (remember the tier system?), but against all odds Chishuru survived – and thrived, cultivating a loyal fan following. So much so that the restaurant has outgrown its 35-cover site. Bakare recently announced the new space will be located on Great Titchfield Street in Fitzrovia, with a larger dining area plus an open kitchen. The menu will continue to pay homage to Bakare’s heritage with dishes like cod fillet with mbongo tchobi (spiced black sauce), and Sinasir rice cake with white and brown crab.
3 Great Titchfield St., London W1W 8AX; chishuru.com
This two Michelin-starred restaurant hit the headlines recently after being named in the prestigious World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards, coming in at number 49. Founded by friends Iré Hassan-Odukale and Chef Jeremy Chan, it combines West African spices with British ingredients, made using organic meats, biodynamic vegetables and fish from UK waters dispatched using the Ikejime method. Think aged sirloin with salted citrus and lobster, turbot and caramelised chicken wings, smoked jollof rice, and a poppyseed and rum cake.
1 St James’s Market, St. James’s, London SW1Y 4AH; ikoyilondon.com
A friendly BYOB in Balham, Tagine focuses on North African cuisine, served amid cosy, vibrant settings. The extensive menu features an array of mezze plates and dips, grilled meat skewers, couscous dishes, and of course plenty of the titular dish, tagine – from chicken and duck breast to sea bass, plus a vegetarian option. It’s a great spot for groups, with a special ‘Party Menu’ designed for sharing and a basement room which can be hired out for private functions.
3 Fernlea Rd, London SW12 9RT; zizoutagine.com
Amy Corbin and Patrick Williams’ family of Peckham-based South African eateries Kudu Collective has been pulling in diners since 2018. The latest addition to the gang, Kudu Grill is a love letter to the art of braai (or open coal South African barbecue) – and what a tribute it is. Discreetly housed in an old pub, Kudu Grill has a secret, underground feel about it. Candlelit marble tables, emerald velvet benches, exposed brick walls and burnished mirrors only add to the effect. If this wasn’t all sexy enough, then the sizzle of the red-hot braii and the flare of flames behind the bar is sure to get you fired up. Beef tartare comes piled high with crispy shallots and the fresh Irish oysters are dressed with tomato dashi and trout roe. But the star of the show is the fried pigs tails: bite-sized balls of crackling which arrive at your table piping hot and dripping in honey mustard glaze. The hottest mains, meanwhile, are the ones made for sharing. You won’t find better date food than the beautifully butterflied black bream, or the T-bone steeped in beer pickled onions and sweet treacle bordelaise.
57 Nunhead Ln, London SE15 3TR; kuducollective.com
Putting a fresh spin on fusion dining is Stork, opened a few years ago in Mayfair by young couple Michael Adjovi Kalu and Nadina Grigoras. The concept is based around the journey of the migrating stork bird, which flies from Eastern Europe to Western Africa, picking up flavours from the countries it passes – from crushed yams to tarragon. Head Chef Victor Okunowo and his team then craft these into unique dishes, such as coal roasted plantain, yam with sweet potato ketchup, and miso-glazed cod with crayfish and rainbow chard. The restaurant is well known for its weekend brunches too, which feature sharing versions of Stork’s signature dishes alongside lashings of champagne.
13-14 Cork St, London W1S 3NS; storkrestaurant.com
Aji Akokomi’s Fitzrovia restaurant Akoko is a celebration of West African food, focused around three key pillars: fire, umami and spice. It underwent something of a revamp last year, paving the way for new executive chef Ayo Adeyemi, formerly at the Tippling Club in Singapore. He brought his culinary finesse to the eclectic tasting menus, which feature dishes like Waina, a fermented rice snack served with Oscietra caviar, Otoro, a tuna croustade with scotch bonnet kani, and Asun, a smoked goat dish with mustard seeds and burnt cucumber. Wine pairing is also available, with Akoko specialising in rare wines, alongside African-inspired cocktails like a G&T with coconut and pineapple, and an Old Fashioned with plantain.
21 Berners St, London W1T 3LP; akoko.co.uk