Typical West African cuisine is served in most restaurants in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. Burkinabé dishes typically consist of rice, chicken or beef. Poulet Telévise or “televised chicken” is a specialty, but to some visitors, it may be no more than a novelty because it is actually just roast chicken. Locals say that watching the roaster is as fascinating as watching TV, thus the name.
Menus are diverse, and you will not have a hard time finding a restaurant serving international dishes, especially in the main cities. Food is generally cheap and nightlife never boring. Bars and dance clubs dot the cities, especially in areas near hotels.
Bars and Pubbing in Burkina Faso
Beer is reasonably priced and nightlife is always exciting in Burkina Faso. The cities offer all kinds of venues, from sports bars with pool tables to large dance spots. Most stay open late, which is good news for night owls who want to mingle. Bars and clubs draw mixed crowds, so you will get a chance mix with the locals, as well as other tourists. For late night drinking and lively entertainment, Le Festival (Ave Kouanda, Ouagadougou) is a good choice, but if all-night partying is what you’re after, head to Palladium (Ave Yennega, Ouagadougou).
There are a couple of long-standing bars in Ouagadougou, Le Monde (Ave de la Liberté, Ouagadougou) and La Concorde (Ave Louveau, Ouagadougou). Those who want a more laid back and relaxed atmosphere will love Jardin de l’Unité Africaine (Ave de l’Aeroport/Ave Bassawarga St Léon, Ouagadougou), located south of the Burkina city center.
Live music is popular in Bobo-Dioulasso. Bar-Restaurant Les Bambou (Ave du Gouverneur Binger, Bobo) is known for its traditional beats, great drinks and fantastic outdoor garden. Le Makoumba Plus (Ave de la République, Bobo) also has a great patio that turns into a hip dance club on the weekend. Bar Matata Plus (Ave de la Liberté, Ouadougou) is known for its live bands.
Bobo-Dioulasso is all about the café culture, evident in the wealth of bar-restaurants in the city. Café de Paris (Rue Malherbe, Bobo) is worth checking out, along with Restaurant aux Delices (Ave de la République, Bobo). Both offer great food and drinks in Burkina Faso.
Dining and Cuisine in Burkina Faso
Burkinabé cooking is much like typical West African style. Some local favorites include tô (dough topped with vegetable sauce), fufu (boiled yams or plantains made into dough), ragout d’igname (beef and yam stew), and soupe, along with popular rice dishes like riz sauce and riz gras, which are typically white rice served with either tomato or peanut sauce and flavored stock.
Restaurant l’Entente (Rue Delafosse, Bobo) is popular for its African and European-inspired dishes. It is a great place to people watch and enjoy the Burkinabé cuisine. Grilled meats and foutou (plantains with eggplant sauce) along with hamburgers are the specialties in Maquis Le Pouvoir (Ave Dimdolobsom, Ouagadougou), an African restaurant in the heart of Ouagadougou. It is one of the classier places in town, with a good central location and relaxing outdoor seating. La Forêt (Ave Bassawarga, Ouagadougou) is an established place in Ouagadougou frequented by an upscale crowd.
A couple of French, Italian, and Chinese restaurants can also be found both in Ouaga and Bobo, along with a few other international cuisines. Le Coq Bleu (Rue Patrice Lumuba, Ouagadougou) and L’Eau Vive (Rue Delafosse, Bobo) are great choices if you are craving French in Burkina Faso. If you are looking for Italian dishes, visit Sindabal’s (Ave Loudun, Ouagadougou). Restaurant de Chine (Ave Houari Boumedienne, Ouagadougou) is a favorite of wealthy locals and expats who love Asian food.