Eating out is cheap and enjoyable in Ivory Coast, even when you’re just picking up a light snack from one of the street stalls. Great places can be found in the city centers, especially in Abidjan and Yamoussoukro. While you're here, don’t forget to try local favorites like alloco (fried plantains served with boiled eggs and a spicy vegetable sauce) and l’attiéké (a couscous-like dish made from grated yams accompanied by vegetables and grilled fish). Other must-try dishes include braised poultry and fish, and shougoulla (charbroiled meat). However, if you are craving something more familiar, you can always find a French restaurant or a hamburger shack in the city. Bars and clubs are plentiful though it is important be conscientious of your surroundings when going out at night.
Bars and Pubbing in Ivory Coast
Cities around the Ivory Coast have their fair share of nightclubs and bars. Zone Quatre in Abidjan is known for its lively dance venues, but many hotels have their own watering holes. For example, Hotel des Sports (Rue du Commerce Le Plateau, Abidjan) is home to Bar des Sports, a friendly sports hangout catering to business professionals and French expats. Butterfly Lounge (Zone 4, Abidjan) is a hip jazz bar with a garden frequented by Ivorian elites because of its trendy New York vibe. Le Village Ki Yi (Les Deux Plateaux, Abidjan) features resident singers, musicians and dancers from the famed Le Groupe Ki-Yi M’bock troupe, while Scotch (Zone 4, Abidjan) is known for its courtyard pool. Le Cabane Bambou (Ave 27, Treichville, Abidjan) is an all-time favorite, along with its main competitor, Midnight (Blvd Delafosse, Treichville, Abidjan).
Place Vendôme (Blvd de la Republique, Le Plateau, Abidjan) is the go-to spot for Afro Cuban rhythms on the Ivory Coast. If it is reggae music you are looking for, Jamaica City (Zone 4, Abidjan) is praised for its cheap drinks. Jaguar Bar (Blvd Delafosse, Treichville, Abidjan), featuring live bands from Wednesday through Sunday, has an altogether different atmosphere.
Dining and Cuisine in Ivory Coast
Good restaurants abound in the up-and-coming neighborhoods of Abidjan and Yamoussoukro. Restaurant des Combattants (Ave Marchand Le Plateau, Abidjan) is a local favorite for fine African cuisine. Specialties include escargot and manioc leaf sauce with delicious crab, fish and beef tail (sauce feuille). Also in Le Plateau, La Cascade (Av Chardy, Le Plateau, Abidjan) offers superb dining in an enticing ambiance, complete with gushing waterfall and a pretty pond.
Other great places to try include Allocodrome (Rue Washington, Cocody, Abidjan), known for its outdoor grill and delicious barbecue and Espace 331 (Rue 12, Cocody, Abidjan), which touts the best grilled snail kebabs in the Ivory Coast. La Caravelle (Ave 8 Treichville, Abidjan) is another go-to destination, featuring its own sweet shop for delicious desserts after a hearty meal.
The best Yamoussoukro restaurants include Maquis le Jardin (Habitat Market, Yamoussoukro), which is frequented by an upscale crowd. The food is excellent, but much more expensive than what you will find at other eateries in the area. A la Bella Pizza (Ave Houpouet-Boigny, Yamoussoukro) is worth a try if you're craving Italian and succulent pasta dishes. The restaurant also serves local fare and tasty crêpes.