places for dates

Date Night in Accra: New Loves, New Locations!

As a follow up to our Ten Places to Eat: First and Second Date Style, we asked Lydia Elim, of Lydia Loves Good Food (LLGF) fame to guest write a post about some really great places to eat in Accra. Given her experiences roaming about the city finding the best (and worst) Accra has to offer, we figured she would be perfect for giving us the scoop around town. We know that the holidays are prime time for rekindling old flames and meeting new ones. Nothing like a Christmas chill up to bring two wandering souls together under the mistletoe  next to the kebab table. So this is dedicated to the abaa fresh love birds about town. Go and spend your money… and your Christmas cheer, and tell us what you think!


Date night in Accra

Happy New Year to you and yours! So my friends asked me to write a blog post for them on good spots to eat at in Accra. Unfortunately, the Christmas spirit has hit me hard and I’ve been a lazy bum. It’s a known fact that a lot of relationships are birthed during the Christmas season, and I know you lovebirds need places to go eat. So if that relationship continued on into the New Year, congrats! Keep it going strong by checking out some of the restaurants listed below. But don’t worry singletons, you can also enjoy these restaurants with your friends and family! No matter your budget, you should be able to find something to enjoy!

Now THAT is a breakfast of champions. #hearty

Now THAT is a breakfast of champions. #hearty

Bosphorous-Turkish Food: Breakfast

Turkish breakfast? Yup! I was pleasantly surprised at how good the breakfast was, and how reasonably priced it was as well. I couldn’t even finish everything! It’s definitely a nice spot to go to if you want to do a relaxing breakfast or brunch over the weekend. Sleep in, get some good food, go home and sleep some more…now that’s my kind of weekend! Amma: I have not had this meal, but what is appealing is that its perfect for girlfriends who like picking off of plates ahem.guilty.ahem. There is so much to go around, it looks like a breakfast tapa plate. It’s also a good mix of English and American with a smattering of Ottoman delight… love!

Screenshot 2015-01-07 02.31.10Burger and Relish: Burgers

As soon as the owner came by to tell us his experience making such burgers in France, I knew I could expect some kind of European twist. Whether you’re a carnivore, a vegetarian, a pescetarian or a vegan, you can be sure to get something you like. Oh my! And the onion rings! I’m almost tempted to say I loved them more than the burgers. They’re. Fried. To. Perfection. Make sure you get a side of those too. Trust me, our onion breath will be forgivable!

Apple Goodness!

Bistro 22: Bistro Food

Who doesn’t love a good bistro?

Good food.

Good ambiance.

Good music.

This place definitely has all three of these. My favourite? The apple crumble. I wanted more. Actually, I just might go back there this week just for that! Amma: I should also add that the service is probably the best you will get at a restaurant that isn’t a high priced hotel. And that says a lot since service is generally about as elusive as the end to our dumsor issues  missing in action in Accra. The fact that the food is good feels like icing on the cake, and good service and good food always make for great accessories to good company.

D-Den: Nigerian Food

When I was traveling to Lagos often for work some years back, I would also be sure to get some Eba and Egusi. I always loved that dish, and it’s the one dish I’m sure to get when I go to a Nigerian Restaurant. While it’s not easy getting very good food in the East Legon Area, this place is quite good. Warning: If you’re on a lunch date, pre-order your food or you’ll be waiting a while! The good thing about this place is it’s also a lounge, so you can have a drink before going into the restaurant.

Coco Lounge: Various

Wanna dress up? Look cute in that little black dress? Wanna look ever-so-dapper in your evening suit? Want somewhere nice and quick to eat before the next part of your date…at a lounge, perhaps? If so, you should start your night out at Coco Lounge. The good service and light meals mean you won’t be too exhausted and full and you’ll be able to hit the town afterwards!

Screenshot 2015-01-07 02.41.58 Orient Health and Wellness: Thai Food

A few new Thai restaurants have popped up in the past couple of years, but this one is still my favourite. You will most definitely love their Phad Thai, and pretty much anything else you order. I’ve never heard anyone say they didn’t enjoy the food they ate from here! You just can’t get better Thai food in Accra, but if you just so happen to fine one, do let me know. And hey, you could even get a massage pour-deux before your meal. Amma: It always saddens my soul when I go to a Thai spot that does not serve Thai Iced Tea. This is one such spot. Nevertheless, the food is good and well priced, so for all of the complaining I would like to do, I think the food more than makes up for it. But if you could whisper in their ears, anyone out there, let them know.. Thai Iced Tea… would be the cherry on a very delectable cake. 

Cuzzy Bro’s: Burgers

I remember the first time I had a burger from here, and I’m sure that memory will stay with me for a very long time. They have so many burger options, both gourmet and not, I really do want to go back and try every single one of them. Even the burger cynics will enjoy these! You can even play a game of pool while on your date. Everyone loves an amusing date, it makes it more enjoyable. Amma: This list is an awesome update to our initial post on ten places to eat in Accra. I am especially excited that Lydia took the time for this guest post because she offers great candid no nonsense in your face details via her blog and Instagram on her eating experiences.  Plus anyone who takes the time to rate the elements of their experience, has the type of detail I am looking for when trying to figure out where to eat. My favorite review is the Cuzzy Bro’s one… because she used “love” exactly 4 times and this is the required number necessary to compel me to try a burger in Ghana (I usually hate them here). So my next visit to Cuzzy Bro’s must include a burger, by hook or crook.  I have to say that Bistro22 is hands down my favorite on the list (though my financially fit in 2015 goals will likely limit my trips there…) but their service, and that artichoke dip are just heavenly. Lastly, along with her great reviews, Lydia also includes some poignant and insightful relationship advice such as the gems below… lol!

Screenshot 2015-01-07 02.48.56

poignant.

Screenshot 2015-01-07 02.50.49

insightful.

Let us know if there are other places to consider and visit Lydia’s blog to get the deets on what is delectable and del-eat-able (that started out more clever then it ended… just roll with it… lol!) around these parts. Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

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The Ten ‘Places’ to Eat in Accra (First and Second- Date Style)

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There’s nothing to do, nothing to eat in this town.

Wrong!

Because we care about our readers (and their dating lives) so much, we thought we’d run through ten categories of good restaurants in town where one can have a nice first AND second date. Bare with us, this is sort of the first time we’re attempting to have a real conversation style blog. The conversation is led in regular font by Afua, and Italicized is Amma.

1. Sushi

first-dinner-dateFirst date: Santoku. 

Af: Make sure you’re ready to pay though, it is not the place for posing either, don’t get there and order water and edemame. Yes, I’m talking from first hand experience.

Am: This is a good first date spot mostly for guys to show off a little bit. I wasn’t overwhelmed by the main course menu but as a desserts girl… they had some really fun things.  

Second date: Rockafellas

Af: Everyone would think to eat at Monsoon, it’s the obvious choice, but give rockafellas a try. A newer, less expensive joint (it is the old 3121) inside the Tantra compound in osu). Nice ambiance, fresher sushi, and not as crowded (like monsoon).

Am: Plus they have edemame… and I can’t stand going to sushi places that don’t serve edemame (ahemMONSOONahem). Since I can’t get my personal fix (I have yet to figure out where I can buy it in bulk and eat it like popcorn while watching the movie channel), I need to have it when I eat sushi.

2. Thai

First date: Thai Island (Afrikiko)
Second date: Zion Thai

Af: I like the feel of Thai Island, but in terms of food, people really prefer Zion. I wouldn’t venture there if your stomach isn’t strong, I’ve known more than a couple of people get sick after eating there- myself included 😦 – So it may not make for a cute morning after the night before situation.

Am: Because Zion Thai is in Osu in this sort of quaint spot on the corner of a street, it seems way more casual and therefore perfect for the second date where you can break out the dark denims and heels. Plus they serve really good Thai Iced Tea (and it’s always available) and Afrikiko has yet to have it when I go. 

3. Pizza

First Date: Mamma Mia

Am: I love thin crust brick oven pizza, especially Margeritta with fresh basil, tomatoes and cheese. Mamma Mia is probably the closest I have gotten to it. The outdoor seating is a really nice way to make a casual affair of a rather formal encounter, it being first date and all.

Second Date: Dine in and order Pappas Pizza

Af: Living with your bestie has some perks, including skipping out on dates, period, and lazying around the apartment catching up on the week’s Newsroom, Scandal, Good Wife, or Suits episodes over some Pappas Pizza. It’s a great stay in option if you’re living in East Legon, and they are SUPER fast – 15min! Plus they deliver the pizza to your car door when you go to pick it up.

4. Traditional

azmeraFirst date: Azmera

Af: Ok, Amma and I differed a little on the first date option. A lot of people say Buka is the spot for upscale traditional food. And although I am not a fan of their wait times, nor impressed with the quality of food, I would put it as #1 for the ambiance. However, I really like Amma’s choice of Azmera in Airport as well, so we’ve gone with that option. It’s really good food. Great for a lunch date, but you will pay a decent penny for the ‘luxury’ buffet. Try their palm wine (not too much if you have to go back to work). I’m not usually a huge fan of Palm Wine, but this one is really fresh.

Second date: Bush Canteen (or any other chop bar)

Af: Second date-wise, you can switch it up for your local chop bar. I’ve been on a date before where the guy took me to a fufu spot under a tree. No lie. And it was definitely one of my most memorable dates. If you can vouch for the quality of food (ie. your date won’t be sick the next day), take her to a ‘local spot’ and see how she fares…. it’s a good litmus test.

Am: Groundnut Soup and Omutuo are my kryptonite. I like that Bush Canteens is spicy without burning my lips, and has a good amount of groundnut paste. I also love the general chop bar vibe because at the point that you can eat with your hands, licking bowls and slurping soup without repulsing the other person, it’s probably a good sign for the both of you.

5. Spanish

First date: Toros Tapas
Second date: Chase El Paso, Osu

Af: Toros Tapas is kind of a given for a first date, but because we do not have very many choices for Spanish/Mexican food in Accra, our second date choice is Chase Tex Mex. It’ll hit your pocket like a first date would, but the atmosphere is more relaxed than toros.  It is across from Koala in Osu.

Side note, if you want to just have some bomb nachos on the fly-by, hit up Rhapsody’s! Their nachos hit. The. Stop. Every time.

Am: I was low key going to just put Rhapsodys as the first choice, SOLELY because of those nachos plus the fajitas! But I do like tapas… I wish they weren’t all so expensive, but the concept of small plates to try together is really cool, and a good way to ascertain sense of adventure… no? If he’s all ‘nachos and quesadillas’ then it’s on to the next, right? haha!

6. Bar Food

Yummy goodness from Republic Bar and Grill

Yummy goodness from Republic Bar and Grill

First date: Honeysuckle 
Second date: Republic

Af: Honeysuckle can be hit or miss depending on the day. Not my idea of a sexy first date, but if she’s into watching football games, you really can’t go wrong here. With the new renovations, make sure to sit in their non-smoking section! Also, get their wings – they’re really good.

Am: Republic has such a chill vibe plus the goat and rice is delicious. It’s definitely one of those places you go to live out your Harlem in the summer fantasies. Sitting outside in the evening, talking really loudly, bumping into familiar faces and enjoying your place in the hipster sub- community makes for a great second date. PLUS the food and drinks are locally sourced. #forallbyus

7. French (we’re not experts in this field)

 

First date: Le Must
Second date: Chez Clarisse 

Af: We’re not experts in the french field, however I’ve had great dinners at Le Must. We have heard La Chaumiere is also good, however we are yet to try it. Note these spots will both put nice holes in your wallet, gentleman. Yes, I said gentleman, as this is a first date spot.

**We must admit, we’ve afua has become a little obsessed with this little Ivorian spot in Osu in the last month, as such it has made it onto the list for a second date spot. For amazingly spiced Tilapia and good attieke, there. is. no. other. place. in. Accra. to. go. **

Am: Chez Clarisse- I think I have been there about four times in the last three weeks. It’s very divey, but the people are so friendly and the bissap is delicious (though it could use some ginger for spice). It’s sort of out of the way, which makes it a bit more intimate without all of the frufru of say, Le Chaumiere.

8. Lunch-date

Sadly, I have so many options for lunch… Sigh

First date: Sunshine cafe
Second date: Starbites

Af: I love me some sunshine cafe. I go there at least once every 2 weeks, and it’s always filled with duos. For nice portions, options, and a great atmosphere, it’s great for nice first date and being in Osu makes it easier for you and him/her to get back to work quickly. Unlike our second choice. Starbites definitely has a special place in our hearts. Not only because Eric the owner is a friend, but because the place is the backdrop to a lot of good laughs in our lives… remember our random run-in?

Am: Starbites is one of those places you go and just expect to make a lazy day of it. Getting your food will likely take a cool hour or so, but that’s great for second date because you aren’t really in a rush to leave and it’s likely that you are completely not even focused on the fact that your drink still hasn’t come around. Plus, the honey wings are absolutely divine and will also help you forget if this date is going really badly and you need to focus your attention on something more— stimulating.

9. Weekend Brunch

brunchThe hotels have monopolized on this so whether first or second date, you’ll be paying for this one

First date: Labadi…

Af: The oldest, and most tried and true breakfasts in Accra, we think at least…-and probably the most expensive.

Am: One thing I like about the general Labadi atmosphere is that it feels other worldly without being super ornate or grandiose. Plus, they have a good lamb tagine. Even if that’s not breakfast food, they are still yummy. The brunch is a good spread of foods and the desserts are also a good array of sweets. 

Second date: Fiesta Royale or others

Af: Our criteria for here is less about costs than just crowds – so for something less frequented, try hotels like Fiesta Royale.

10.Lebanese/Turkish/ Sharwana

First date: DNR
Second date: Chase

Af: I don’t know much to say about DNR. It’s consistent good food. Done. It’s not going to hit your wallet like the other first date spots, but it’s nice. Regarding Chase, they are consistent as well, and though their new renovations have bumped them up the design pole… there’s just a lot of the ‘I’m too cool for school’ crowd of youngins that hang around there, this may turn some people off for a first date.

Am: It’s so sad how I live down the street from DNR but have never been… as for Chase’s though, I think their Shawarmas are allllrrriiigght. I really like the Shawarmas from Basilissa’s, also in Labone, but Chase has a nicer set up inside and there is a little outside venue too in case you want to enjoy the weather a bit (though dry season may not make that so enjoyable). So it’s pleasant.


Af: We’ve definitely not exhausted the list of good eats or date places in Accra (and we’ve left out categories like Indian, Italian, Ulterior Motives and Weekend Trips). So we’ll be coming back to you in part II soon… After we’ve eaten at more places, and gone on more dates perhaps?

Am: Ese Woara Hehe 🙂

So… what are your favorite first and second date restaurants? Let us know, in the comments below!