Equatorial Guinea — Food and Restaurants
Equatorial Guinea boasts a wide selection of Atlantic-caught seafood and tropical produce. Spanish colonial influences also play a part in what's eaten as some locals prefer to use imported ingredients and cooking techniques. However, Equatorial Guinean cuisine for the most part stems from the native tribes, particularly of West African ethnicities from Bantus and the pygmies. Even city dwellers use yams, plantains and cassava as staple ingredients for every meal. Stewed chicken with creamy peanut sauce served over boiled plantains or rice is one of the regional dishes to try, as well as fresh fish wrapped in leaves and grilled. Nowadays, it is common to find a range of European and Spanish dishes, including marinated meats and tapas in restaurants. Cocoa and coffee help drive the nation’s economy, but Equatorial Guineans prefer palm wine, Osang (African tea) and malamba, which is local sugar with alcohol. Imported and locally brewed beers are commonly available in restaurants, but are quite expensive.
Bars and Pubbing in Equatorial Guinea
Bars and pubs make Equatorial Guinea’s nightlife lively, but they can only be found in major cities, particularly in Bata and Malabo. Some of the best are in hotels, such as Complejo El Caribe Hotel (Carretara del Aeropuerto, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea), whose discotheque is free for guests. Another notable dance venue in the capital is Discoteca Le Select (Malabo, Equatorial Guinea). Bahia Club (Hotel Bahia Club, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea) is strategically located near Malabo Port, and it is a good place to enjoy a few drinks while listening to live music.
Visitors to Bata can also find a range of bars and clubs in Equatorial Guinea’s second major city. Bata may seem quiet and peaceful during the day, but it comes alive late at night with a good selection of nightlife venues. Hotel Millennium (Bata, Equatorial Guinea) is home to one of the best discos in Bata, especially for tourists.
Dining and Cuisine in Equatorial Guinea
Like bars and pubbing, Equatorial Guinea’s food is best experienced in the major cities. Most of the restaurants are in Malabo, and they serve a range of international dishes, including Moroccan, French, Chinese, and Italian. Bata’s restaurants have these, too, along with some local and Spanish fare. Tourists are expected to tip 10 to 15 percent unless there is already a service charge included.
Bar le Paris (Malabo, Equatorial Guinea) is ranked among the best places to dine in the capital because it is welcoming to foreigners. It boasts a good international menu with Thai, Italian, Chinese, and Manchurian favorites. American desserts like apple pie and banana splits are also available. For themed dining, Paris Gastro (Carretera de Luba S/N, Malabo, Equatorial Guinea) is recommended which has a tropical backdrop of palm trees and the sea along with makossa music and traditional soukous tunes. Specialties include fresh crayfish, oysters, prawns, crab, and lobsters.
For a mix of meat and fish, Africana (Malabo, Equatorial Guinea) is the go-to restaurant. It has local specialties like African tea (osang), chucku-chucku, bitalif soup and mendjaa, which is highly recommended. Hotel Sofitel (Plaza De La Independencia Centro Historico, Malabo 099940, Equatorial Guinea) is home to a café that serves French cuisine if you'd prefer something recognizable.