The most important tip I can give you on Guinea 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 Guinea, 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 Guinea
Many options are available for dining. For a mere 20,000 Guinean Francs (roughly $4 USD), you are able to dine on delicious cultural foods from Africa. If your tastebuds would prefer something international, many other choices are available as well. The beef in Guinea is very good, and is highly recommended. Pork isn’t served because of the religion.
There are good restaurants that are Lebanese which has European styled breakfasts. Outside of the Capital, Conakry, you can can often enjoy local dishes (consisting of Guinean style rice and one of the 4 main sauces with sometimes beef or fish in some cases) at a’hole in the wall’ local restaurant for less than $1 (3,000-6,000 Guinean Francs depending on the exchange rate). Trust me, you will leave full! In Kankan, Guinea (Haute Guinee), there are few places to choose from if you wish to eat at a more decent restaurant.
There is Hotel Villa and Hotel Bate. As of mid 2008, these were the top two places for lodging and meals. A typical plate can cost anywhere between 35,000 and 55,000 Guinean Francs. Note that prices of food and drinks can often dramatically increase at the spur of the moment and without any explanation! Fruits are very inexpensive here, especially compared to the higher costs in neighboring countries (Mali, Ivory Coast and Senegal). For those who love pineapples, on the national road (which literally goes from the North of the country to Conakry in the South) you can find people selling this tasty fruit very cheaply on the side of the road in and around Kindia.
Mango fruits, oranges and bananas can also be found in abundance throughout the country and at a cheap rate, especially at road sides. Another alternative to eating out is eating “IN”. Since Guineans are generally welcoming and friendly people you may be invited to their home to share a meal. Most Guineans eat together from one big dish. Enjoy the experience and don’t drink the local water if and when they offer it to you. Please have your bottled water handy (Coyah, Milo, etc).
What to Drink in Guinea
Canned European beer is available as well as a local “Skol” lager beer. Water bottled in the name of Coyah is available everywhere for about US$ .50 per 1.5 liter bottle and is very good. Conakry’s tap water is generally not safe unless filtered/boiled.
Other local foods, or drinks that you recommend? Please add and comment.