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CREDIT: M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

CREDIT: M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

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The Best West African Food in Philadelphia

A guide to the flavors of West African cuisine throughout Philly

Spanning countries like Ghana, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal, the West African region has an array of cultural cuisine that has inspired Caribbean and American soul food today. Platters contain a foundation of starches — fluffy jollof rice, acheke, couscous, or fufu — alongside stews, soups and whole grilled fish.

In Philadelphia, West African immigrants have established neighborhood blocks full of cafes, take-out spots and grocery stores. Journey through our guide of West African dining, below.

Tip: Be sure to bring cash, as many of the restaurants don’t accept credit cards.

Note: The list below is NOT in a ranked order.

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Bintou

Grilled fish with sauce is a favorite with regulars here, as well as the delicious lamb dibi and bigger portions of acheke (a side dish made from shaved cassava). Customers love this Malian menu’s fresh ingredients and affordable prices.
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Le Mandingue

Le Mandingue has been serving the community for over 12 years, and its menu reflects the diversity of their chefs who come from all over West Africa, including Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea, and the Ivory Coast. Their specials are offered every day, and there are vegetarian substitutes for their entire menu. Their lamb and attieke, salad, and jollof rice are only a few of their select dishes, and there’s always live music at the venue. They were even featured in an episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on Food Network.
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Wazobia

Wazobia serves authentic Naija (Nigerian) food, as evidenced by the Nigerian weddings and events they cater throughout the region. Amala (a mashed paste of yam) and fufu (another paste made of cassava and plantain flour) are both available here, ready to scoop with your hand and eat with vegetable stews, tomatoes and okra and other varieties of soups.
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Memdee's

This small Liberian restaurant in West Philadelphia was profiled in the Philadelphia Inquirer many years ago, and still has a reputation for its African cuisine.
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Emma's Liberian Kitchen

Emma runs the counter window in this intimate neighborhood spot, with a full menu of West African and Caribbean platters. Emma’s wedding announcement is displayed in the takeout window and customers exchange banter while waiting for takeout or dining in with the local news. A dish like tender meat in spicy cassava red gravy is only one of their menu’s highlights.
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Angie's Kitchen

Within the orange walls of Angie’s Kitchen is upbeat music and a daily menu of Liberian specialities including sweet and moist plantains, flavorful rice, and whole fried fish browned beautifully. The portions are generous and there are daily specials. Angie has passed away but her family still runs the restaurant.
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Le Nile

This family-owned Malian restaurant is also a big part of the West African community in Philadelphia, catering special events and cooking African, African-American and Caribbean foods.
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Goree

Mafe (a dish of tender pieces of lamb in a peanut butter sauce) is one of Goree’s signature dishes. The restaurant proudly offers Halal food, made fresh and cooked to order. The large menu also contains soul food dishes and plenty of fresh juices.
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