The Official IJGB* Guide to Lagos - 2014 Edition
*IJGB (I Just Got Back)
The official term used to denote a fresher in Lagos. One who has probably just hopped off a plane at Murtala Mohammed Airport and is ready to pioneer all possible rocks in Lagos. They’re very easy to spot, you pree the air kissin and the constant whining about Lagos heat (Ed. Note: Grow up!).
A lot has changed since the last time you were here, aka last christmas. We finally got Uber and nobody does Churrasco anymore. That “Hey babes! Let’s go for drinks at Churrasco” wave is done. We’re here to guide you to the new spots you should be at this Christmas.
15 Musa Yar'adua Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
NOSA: Basilico makes arguably the best pasta Lagos has to offer. Not just that, the exterior seating area is really delightful. The mosquitoes might try to kill your vibe at night, but don’t let the terrorists win. Basilico is perfect spot for a date.
FOLLY: Nosa is right, it is the perfect spot for a date, and without breaking the bank too! I really love the ambience here.
Art Cafe (Till Late)
282 Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
FOLLY: If you visit Art Cafe, you really must try the banana bread. It’s positively delicious and is baked fresh everyday. What they lack in their coffee offering, they more than make up for with an extensive tea selection. Sheesha is also available (or hookah as you American foreigns have chosen to call it).
NOSA: Art Cafe also has complimentary wifi. Be nice to the waiters and they’ll gladly share it with you.
FOLLY: Don’t stay too long or they’ll change the password on you and lock you out. I’m absolutely certain that’s what happened to me one day as it kept saying “incorrect password” when I tried to reconnect.
NOSA: Also, don’t come hungry.
Cafe Neo (Daytime)
16 Akin Adesola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
NOSA: Not every time “Let’s go for drinks”, sometimes hit up your neighbourhood coffee shop.
FOLLY: It’s just like a Lagos Starbucks. Coffees, teas, smoothies, fruit cups, paninis, pastries, and super fast wi-fi.
NOSA: The baristas are some of the nicest attendants you’ll find in Lagos. Sure, they might forget you’re lactose intolerant sometimes but that’s irrelevant.
FOLLY: Ernest never forgets though! If you do visit, ask for Bosco and let him know we sent you.
267A Etim Iyang Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos.
FOLLY: Sit and the bar and ask Kingsley to make you a drink. For 1,500 naira he’ll freestyle you one of the best drinks you’ll ever have. Oh, if you’re feeling risque ask him to make you a condom.
NOSA: The food might be terribad but the drinks more than make up for it. Cafe Royale is a very underrated as a watering hole.
ALL THE ABOVE (Streets Option)
355 Restaurant & Lounge
9A Oko Awo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
NOSA: 355 might be my favorite spot in Lagos. The Tex Mex is unmatched and the Wahalarita is the single best drink you’ll pay legal tender for in Lagos. Don’t let the typos on the menu keep you from true happiness.
FOLLY: When you’ve had too much to drink refuel with a shrimp quesadilla before you head to the clubhouse so you can continue drinking there. Alternatively, come here on a saturday with friends and grab a table outside; order sheesha and some appetizers to share.
NOSA: “Hey babes! Let’s get drinks at 355”
FOLLY: Oh, if you haven’t been since last Christmas they added a mini clubhouse upstairs over the summer. Good stuff.
ALL THE ABOVE (Lowkey Option)
1 Joseph Naman Close, Victoria Island, Lagos.
FOLLY: Winehouse’s menu is a bit too limited and it also takes them forever to get your food ready. Inspiro has real food and is just as lowkey. That’s a double win.
NOSA: Your girlfriend isn’t back for Christmas and you need to pioneer other rocks? This is the spot. Super discreet and very chill. Nobody is going to catch you creeping here.
FOLLY: Nosa, you disgust me.