The most important tip I can give you on Cote d’Ivoire local food, and the only one that will make you elevate from being a tourist to becoming a real traveler immersed in the local culture, is “Stay away from McDonalds“. When visiting Cote d’Ivoire, there is awesome local food to try. Head to the local eateries too, and go where the locals go. For me, the food, wine and and even the water is part of the travel experience.
What to Eat in Cote d’Ivoire
Good eats are cheap and you can find very good restaurants in Abidjan. You should get a vaccine for Hepatitis A before coming but even street foods are fairly clean. Try the national dishes like “garba”, “alloco” and “attiéké”. Alloco is simply fried plantains, mostly accompanied by a spicy vegetable sauce and boiled eggs. L’attiéké–grated yams that look like couscous but taste slightly sour–is often served with grilled fish and vegetables (tomatoes, onions, cucumber) and a must-try. Braised fishes and chickens are also very good and can be found on every corner.
The most established chain is Coq Ivoire. When you order, make sure that you let them know whether you want the intestines. You can always ask for extra vegetables, especially avocados, which are amazing during the season. Another specialty is the excellent “shougouilla” a blend of charbroiled meat! For the ones who are not adventurous you can find the Hamburger House or the French restaurant at the Sofitel Hotel.
What to Drink in Cote d’Ivoire
It is recommended for visitors from the west to visit bars and night clubs with security. Havana Club and others are in Zone 4 or Zone Quatre. If you do go, be aware of prostitutes that will want to talk to you. Other places are in Treicheville and Cocody but you should have private transportation or a cab. If you do drive at night do not stop fully at lights or signs. Be aware of car jackers. Keep a brisk pace so they cannot carjack you.
Other local foods, or drinks that you recommend? Please add and comment.