From the traffic to the heat, Lagos can be a ball of stress. It’s not all doom and gloom, however. Hidden in our city are some wonderful gems that you just have to indulge in. Here are seven things we believe you absolutely must try if you find yourself in Lagos. A Lagos bucket list, perhaps, before Lagos kills you.
Wahalarita @ 355
NOSA: Nobody really knows what goes in a wahalarita. We know it gets us drunk and makes us do things we regret. That much we’re sure of.
FOLLY: I suspect it’s a mishmash of a few common margarita flavours. If that’s the case, I find the name incredibly brilliant. “Wahala” is a pidgin English word meaning trouble that is used commonly by Nigerians, so a wahalarita is definitely ideal for when you really want to be up to no good.
Amala @ White House
NOSA: I have this little theory: if you want delicious authentic food, go to the hole-in-the-wall spots. You want good Tex Mex in Texas, go to dodgier looking spots in San Antonio. If you want proper amala, go to White House. This is the quintessential Lagosian gastronomic experience. Have doubts? Ask any Lagosian on the street, White House amala is a state treasure.
Frozen Yoghurt @ Cafe Jade
FOLLY: The space is a little weird as you need to go through a hair salon to get to the cafe upstairs, that then overlooks the parking lot and they only have one flavour (original tart). However, all of that is excusable because original tart is the most important froyo flavour and theirs is absolutely delicious. It’s infinitely better than that place which shall not be named.
Suya @ Glover Court
NOSA: Glover Court is a Lagos institution. Your cool uncles took you here. Then, your big brother did. Then, you grew up and started coming here on your own. Glover Court suya is synonymous with Lagos street food.
FOLLY: You leave Lagos for a little bit and you just don’t crave suya generally, you crave “Glover Court suya”. And oh if you’re looking out for this place, the new street sign says “Clover Court” and not “Glover”. Yeah, I don’t know either.
Apple Crumble @ Orchid Bistro
FOLLY: For the longest time I didn’t like apples or “derivatives of apples” but then I tasted this dessert at a family wedding in June 2013 and the rest they say is history. Once, I went to the bistro for Sunday brunch and they tried not to have apple crumble. As I live really far away from Orchid Bistro, in my mind “they really tried it”. Anyway, after a minor hissy fit, they all of a sudden had apple crumble.
Sunday Brunch @ Southern Sun
NOSA: Southern Sun is the only place in our wonderful city that offers a true bottomless brunch. Other establishments haven’t hopped on the boozy brunch wave for some reason but I bet the folks at Southern Sun are all too happy with that. Brunch at Southern Sun is slowly becoming ingrained in the post-church rituals of Lagos families. The days of Sunday rice aren’t gone, but the times they are a-changin’.
Caramel Macchiato @ Cafe Neo
FOLLY: There’s absolutely nothing not to love about Neo. If Victoria Island traffic wasn’t so annoying in the morning, I would take a detour to Cafe Neo on my morning commute everyday. I love their caramel macchiatos and the sugar topped muffins are sinful. And the customer service from their awesome baristas is the best you’ll find in Lagos.
NOSA: Lagos has been pining for a proper coffee shop. Many a place has claimed to be a cafe, but none has truly delivered. Well, until Cafe Neo came along. Bosco, their champion barista, creates the some of the most beautiful latte art you’ll find anywhere. That, alone, makes it all worth it.
What's on your Lagos bucket list? Share with us in the comments.