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two skewers with thing slices of beef next to halves cherry tomatoes and sliced red onions
Meat skewers at Sabo Suya Spot
Sabo Suya Spot/Facebook

Where to Eat Excellent West African Food in Houston

Find perfect jollof rice, okra stew and fufu, and so much more at these local icons

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Meat skewers at Sabo Suya Spot
| Sabo Suya Spot/Facebook

As one of the most diverse cities in the nation, Houston boasts a thriving immigrant population. Among a sea of newcomers that have brought and shared their traditions, values, and cuisines with the city, West Africans stand out as a community who’ve placed an increasingly tangible influence on what makes Houston the city that it is.

Comprising 4.5 percent of the city’s foreign-born population — equal to that of European immigrants — African immigrants are a present and invaluable part of Houston’s immigrant community. With most African immigrants hailing from Nigeria, followed by Ghana, Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Africa, it’s easy to see why West African cuisine is so prominent and beloved.

Spanning throughout the city, from the heart of Houston to the suburbs of Sugar Land, West African food is plentiful and growing. Whether you’re in the mood for suya, okra stew and fufu, or the ubiquitous jollof rice, Houston’s got something for you.

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Aria Suya Kitchen

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Nestled in the Galleria area, Aria Suya Kitchen offers an impressive menu of Nigerian fusion food. Try out their spicy beef with traditional jollof rice, and plantains, or the okra seafood soup and fufu, a starchy ball of dough made from boiled, pounded white yams that often accompanies West African soups and stews. Order online from UberEats.

Cafe Abuja

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Open for delivery, takeout, and curbside pickup orders, Caju Abuja — named for Nigeria’s capital — offers spicy smoked goat with chopped onions, fresh peppers, and a side of rice, and light options like abacha, a salad of dried, shaved cassava seasoned with African spices, served with fried mackerel.

Jollof Rice King

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A fast-casual version of Taste of Nigeria, says they have one rule: come hungry. Try their coconut rice and stewed goat, efo riro — a Nigerian spinach stew — and of course, their jollof rice, the classic, beloved, and much argued over one-pot rice dish. Call the restaurant at (713) 589-4699 for delivery and takeout.

an overview spread of a table filled with African food including jollof rice and condiments
A spread from Jollof Rice King
Jollof Rice King/Facebook

Taste of Nigeria

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The brain child of Tiffaney and Rasak Odewale, who also own Jollof Rice King, Taste of Nigeria was created to provide more Nigerian food options in the community. It’s a hub for the West African immigrant community thanks to its impressive offerings of Nigerian pepper soups, hearty meat selections of fish, oxtail, and goat, and delectable plantains. Find them on Uber Eats.

Trinity

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On the occasional cold day Houston gets during the winter, Trinity’s piping goat soup can quickly warm up the day. The yam porridge with meat or fish is also not to be missed. Check out the weekday $10.00 lunch special from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to dig into old favorites, or try new sure-to-be-classics. Order from Postmates,

Amala Joint Restaurant

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With a bustling immigrant population, Sugar Land has made sure that local Nigerians don’t have to drive too deep into Houston to enjoy some good food. Amala Joint Restaurant is known for its efo riro, okra stew, and jollof rice, but their coconut rice with gbegiri — a Nigerian bean soup — red stew, and pepper snail, is worth a try — or three. Order takeout and delivery through Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates, and Doordash.

Sabo Suya Spot

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Suya — a spicy meat skewer — is just as popular in Houston as it is in West Africa. Sabo Suya Spot digs into that popularity, providing options like beef and chicken suya with chopped tomatoes and onions, as well as non-suya meals like grilled tilapia, fried yam, red stew, and of course, fried plantain. Order from Postmates.

Afrikiko

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A tasty, harmonious ode to the wonders of Ghana, Afrikiko brings the seasonings and delights of Ghanaian cuisine to Southwest Houston. Their groundnut soup and fufu will fill you up and give you leftovers for days. Fried fish with stew for $10 will fill your stomach without emptying your wallet, and their egusi soup, a soup made of egusi seeds and popularized in Nigeria and West Africa, is sure to satisfy the hungriest among your lunchtime crew. Order takeout and delivery from Grubhub or Postmates.

Calabar Cuisine

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A no-frills eatery, diners will find comfort in home cooked-style meals like grilled fish and jollof, stews, and vegetables at Calabar Cuisine. Another plus? Afrobeats that occasionally add to the ambience when the DJ is in town. Order delivery on Uber Eats, Grubhub, Seamless, and Postmates.

Baba Jollof

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Citizens of Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana have playfully (sometimes) argued over who has the best jollof for centuries. Baba Jollof removes some of the lighthearted competition by just offering some darn good jollof that can appeal to anyone from here, and from the coast of Africa. In non-COVID times, Baba Jollof’s Hookah Lounge is also worth a visit. Don’t skimp on the plantain. Find them on Uber Eats, Grubhub, Doordash and Postmates.

United Sisters

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Like many Houston restaurants, United Sisters has an unassuming appearance alongside its strip mall neighbors. However, once you walk in, the smells of spices and grilled meats offer a hint to the meal you’ll be treated to. A family-style restaurant, United Sisters offers heaping portions of okra soup and suya, as well as more traditional dishes from Southern Nigerian, such as edikaikong soup and afang soup.

Suya Hut

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Another suya-friendly spot, Suya Hut pairs beef and chicken suya with jollof rice and plantains, tilapia pepper soup, and, for just $16, whole roasted hen. Meat lovers, unite. Order delivery on Postmates and Grubhub.

Aria Suya Kitchen

Nestled in the Galleria area, Aria Suya Kitchen offers an impressive menu of Nigerian fusion food. Try out their spicy beef with traditional jollof rice, and plantains, or the okra seafood soup and fufu, a starchy ball of dough made from boiled, pounded white yams that often accompanies West African soups and stews. Order online from UberEats.

Cafe Abuja

Open for delivery, takeout, and curbside pickup orders, Caju Abuja — named for Nigeria’s capital — offers spicy smoked goat with chopped onions, fresh peppers, and a side of rice, and light options like abacha, a salad of dried, shaved cassava seasoned with African spices, served with fried mackerel.

Jollof Rice King

A fast-casual version of Taste of Nigeria, says they have one rule: come hungry. Try their coconut rice and stewed goat, efo riro — a Nigerian spinach stew — and of course, their jollof rice, the classic, beloved, and much argued over one-pot rice dish. Call the restaurant at (713) 589-4699 for delivery and takeout.

an overview spread of a table filled with African food including jollof rice and condiments
A spread from Jollof Rice King
Jollof Rice King/Facebook

Taste of Nigeria

The brain child of Tiffaney and Rasak Odewale, who also own Jollof Rice King, Taste of Nigeria was created to provide more Nigerian food options in the community. It’s a hub for the West African immigrant community thanks to its impressive offerings of Nigerian pepper soups, hearty meat selections of fish, oxtail, and goat, and delectable plantains. Find them on Uber Eats.

Trinity

On the occasional cold day Houston gets during the winter, Trinity’s piping goat soup can quickly warm up the day. The yam porridge with meat or fish is also not to be missed. Check out the weekday $10.00 lunch special from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to dig into old favorites, or try new sure-to-be-classics. Order from Postmates,

Amala Joint Restaurant

With a bustling immigrant population, Sugar Land has made sure that local Nigerians don’t have to drive too deep into Houston to enjoy some good food. Amala Joint Restaurant is known for its efo riro, okra stew, and jollof rice, but their coconut rice with gbegiri — a Nigerian bean soup — red stew, and pepper snail, is worth a try — or three. Order takeout and delivery through Grubhub, Uber Eats, Postmates, and Doordash.

Sabo Suya Spot

Suya — a spicy meat skewer — is just as popular in Houston as it is in West Africa. Sabo Suya Spot digs into that popularity, providing options like beef and chicken suya with chopped tomatoes and onions, as well as non-suya meals like grilled tilapia, fried yam, red stew, and of course, fried plantain. Order from Postmates.

Afrikiko

A tasty, harmonious ode to the wonders of Ghana, Afrikiko brings the seasonings and delights of Ghanaian cuisine to Southwest Houston. Their groundnut soup and fufu will fill you up and give you leftovers for days. Fried fish with stew for $10 will fill your stomach without emptying your wallet, and their egusi soup, a soup made of egusi seeds and popularized in Nigeria and West Africa, is sure to satisfy the hungriest among your lunchtime crew. Order takeout and delivery from Grubhub or Postmates.

Calabar Cuisine

A no-frills eatery, diners will find comfort in home cooked-style meals like grilled fish and jollof, stews, and vegetables at Calabar Cuisine. Another plus? Afrobeats that occasionally add to the ambience when the DJ is in town. Order delivery on Uber Eats, Grubhub, Seamless, and Postmates.

Baba Jollof

Citizens of Senegal, Nigeria, and Ghana have playfully (sometimes) argued over who has the best jollof for centuries. Baba Jollof removes some of the lighthearted competition by just offering some darn good jollof that can appeal to anyone from here, and from the coast of Africa. In non-COVID times, Baba Jollof’s Hookah Lounge is also worth a visit. Don’t skimp on the plantain. Find them on Uber Eats, Grubhub, Doordash and Postmates.

United Sisters

Like many Houston restaurants, United Sisters has an unassuming appearance alongside its strip mall neighbors. However, once you walk in, the smells of spices and grilled meats offer a hint to the meal you’ll be treated to. A family-style restaurant, United Sisters offers heaping portions of okra soup and suya, as well as more traditional dishes from Southern Nigerian, such as edikaikong soup and afang soup.

Suya Hut

Another suya-friendly spot, Suya Hut pairs beef and chicken suya with jollof rice and plantains, tilapia pepper soup, and, for just $16, whole roasted hen. Meat lovers, unite. Order delivery on Postmates and Grubhub.

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