Brazzaville tea photo by Peter Forret via Flickr Creative Commons

Gastronomy in the Congo is as varied as its landscape. Specialties differ by region and ethnic group. The area near the Atlantic is known for its seafood and fish specialties. Most meals feature shrimp, oysters, snapper, and mackerel. Inland regions, meanwhile, use country meats and poultry. Rare hunted game like monkey and snake are also consumed along with local favorites like goat, lamb and mutton. Beef is expensive, but vegetables and fruits are abundant throughout the country and much more affordable. Starchy foods are the base of many dishes, like makobe, a tasty plate made from freshwater fish seasoned with pili pili or hot red pepper. Moambe is another local specialty with chicken flavored with palm oil, onions and groundnut paste. This popular dish is often served with plantains or rice.

Bars and Pubbing in Republic of the Congo

Dancing and partying is big in the capital of the Congo and the commercial town of Pointe Noire. The nightclubs often are a launching pad for local bands. Some may have a cover charge, and drinks are overpriced everywhere. Ask your hotel concierge for directions to the best bars in the area. Taxi drivers are also very knowledgeable about hotspots.

Ram Dam (Plato, Brazzaville) is a good choice for a typical night out. The DJ spins French, local and English music. Diplomat is one of the most popular spots in the city, as it features local bands and dancers. It also has a disco with a large dance floor at the back of the bar, accessible through a separate entrance. Those who want a quieter place to sip a cocktail while enjoying good tunes may try the Boom Boom Afrique lounge (Beach Road, Brazzaville).

3 D Bar (Brazzaville Roundabout) attracts younger crowds. This bar and lounge boast relaxing seating areas, including a lounge, a patio and stools that create a great environment for socializing. Les Rapides (Riverside) is a good place for those who want a riverside ambiance, while Chateau Rouge (Hotel de Ville area, Brazzaville) is a good stopover after late dinners at the nearby restaurants.

Dining and Cuisine in Republic of the Congo

Pointe Noire and Brazzaville offer the best dining establishments in all of the Congo. Mami Watta (Centre-ville, Brazzaville) is a popular seafood restaurant serving a range of seafood specialties. It boasts an excellent location on banks of the river, looking across both the capital and Kinsasha in DRC. O Symphatic (BP 329, Brazzaville) offers good French-inspired dishes, while Le Jardin des Saveurs (Olympic Palace, Brazzaville) has an international menu. The restaurant also features a well stocked bar.

Nenuphar Bar and Restaurant (BP 326, Brazzaville) offers continental flavors in the Congo and is best known for its poulet Satanic dish, a very spicy grilled chicken. Pointe Noire also has its share of excellent dining, starting from Sea Club Espadon (Pointe Noire), an open air restaurant with great location and equally delectable food. Villa Antonetti (Centre Ville, Pointe Noire) is a popular choice for those craving for traditional French, along with Chez Denise (Centre Ville, Pointe Noire).

Quality French cuisine can also be enjoyed at Le Derrick (Cote Sauvage, Pointe Noire), formerly known as Club Total Restaurant, while L’Arbalete (Avenue Denis Goma, Pointe Noire) is a sought after African-French joint serving particularly good drinks. Make reservations early, as this joint is almost always full.

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