Mauritanian fare is quite simple and heavily based on meat and starch dishes. There is only a small drinking and clubbing scene in the country, as Islam is the dominant religion, but if you're looking for fun after dark, there are a few places in the capital which are worth a visit.

Mauritania Bars and Pubbing

It is important to remember that Mauritania is an Islamic country and thus there is a relatively small bar and pubbing culture. Since the drinking culture is not part of everyday life, travelers should prepare themselves for high alcohol prices.

Club VIP (Rue de l’Ambassade du Senegal, Town Center, Nouakchott) is the most popular spot in Nouakchott. With live music almost nightly and some of the best specials in town, it is the place to be. It is also one of the few clubs which stays open until the early hours of the morning.

Modern KTV (Ave du Palais des Congres, Town Center, Nouakchott) is similar to Club VIP, but a bit more underground, which makes for a less crowded clubbing experience. Live music can be enjoyed on any night of the week, but the most popular are on weekends when residents, mostly expats, let their hair down.

Mauritania Dining and Cuisine

Mauritanian cuisine is quite simple, based largely on dishes made from lamb or goat meat paired with rice or other grains like maize meal or couscous. There are several international options available for travelers who would like more variety. Vegetarians, in particular, will be happy with the many Chinese, French and Moroccan options available in the large cities. Most of the best restaurants are found in the capital, with fewer in remote areas.

Seafood lovers should head to La Palmeraie Pâtisserie Restaurant (Rue Alioune, Town Center, Nouakchott), a lovely little outdoor restaurant that has a great deal of charm and an upscale feel. According to reviews, it also serves a mean breakfast.

Moroccan fare is very popular in the Mauritania's capital with the best being Restaurant El-Bahdja (Route des Ambassades, Town Center, Nouakchott). Providing guests a cozy atmosphere and a menu rivaling actual Morocco, this restaurant makes for a lovely evening out. There are also several vegetarian options.

If it’s real home comfort you’re after, make a stop at Pizza Lina (Route des Ambassades, Town Center, Nouakchott). As the name suggests, this popular hangout serves up the cheesiest, most delicious pizza in the city. While prices aren’t the cheapest, it is well worth the splurge.

For a taste of the East in Mauritania, look no further than Le Bambou (Ave de General de Gualle, Town Center, Nouakchott). Not only is the cuisine top notch, but the setting is great as well. Patrons get to step back in time in the old-world dining room and a traditional garden.