Dakar Eats cheat sheet

Poultry

I order chicken legs, wings, breasts and whole birds from Poulet Express. I order regularly and am continually impressed by the speed of the delivery (usually under an hour) and the freshness and cleanliness of the chicken – plus their prices are the best in town. The owner speaks English, so you can call and say, “English, please!”

Beef

I used to buy at Hypermarché. Never bought ‘bad’ meat there, but the smell has gotten so ick that I no longer buy there. Casino is more expensive, but until I find a new option, it’s worth it.

Tip: The best beef in Senegal comes from BeerSheba Project. They deliver ground beef to Dakar weekly.

Pork

I’ve heard that if you do, there’s a market in Grand Yoff that butchers pigs every Saturday and you can get any cut you want at a good price. I haven’t ventured there yet, so for now I stick with the occasional Casino pork chop and regularly buy ground pork for making sausages from there. Oh, and CDA has little hams we really like so I buy those and freeze them.

Seafood

I order filets de lotte and shrimp from Abdou, who delivers all over Dakar. Good prices, always fresh and very punctual.

Pantry items

For canned and baking goods, Hypermarché has a good selection, but more often, I go to City Dia. Casino is most expensive.

Be sure to check out your local buutik too!

Fruit & Veggies

Mr & Mme Ba come by each week selling from their car. They have all I need at good prices (and they sell all around Dakar). Or go to your nearest stand and get to know the vendors there. Frozen fruit is at larger grocery stores, CDA (cheapest strawberries), Patisen, Saprolait (blueberries!) and Passion Nature delivers frozen mango and organic strawberries.

Tip: If you’re new and want to know what’s available in Senegal, go to marché Kermel.

Dairy

I buy mozzarella in 2-kilos blocks at about half the price of the grocery stores from CDA. (But I don’t care for their grated mozzarella or their Gouda.) For lower-priced Gouda in bulk, Saprolait is the place to go. We buy Laitcran brand powdered whole and skim milk and prefer Ardo brand lait caillé (non-sucré). I use it to make ‘Greek yogurt’ and sour cream.

Bakery goods 

You probably already know about Eric Kayser bakery and that they also sell from Le Parcours. But beyond EK, Dakar has some amazing breads!

Daily bread that’s good enough to be special occasion bread: Sam’s Bread. Naturally leavened hearth breads made from 100% organic stoneground flours. We’re doing the subscription plan so get a fresh 1-kilo loaf delivered to our door each week!

Whole wheat sandwich bread, sliced: Shady Shack. It’s delicious and exactly what I want in a sandwich loaf. They also have white bread, if you prefer.

Everyday baguette: Ask for tapalapa at your local buutik. Freezes well, makes good sandwiches and great garlic bread.

Baked-to-order whole wheat tortillas, English muffins, pizza crusts, bagels, banana and apple breads… Marie’s Kitchen delivers. And I am so, so glad!

(See more here: 2014 Dakar Bread Reviews!)

Organic goodness 

Organic fruits & veggies, eggs, poultry, jams, amazing dairy products… all by delivery from Passion Nature / Keur Normand. Seriously. You need to try it.

Pain chinois, delivered!

Khady makes delicious pain chinois, which uses the same spiced beef and glass noodle mix of Vietnamese nems but wrapped in soft fataya dough and fried.

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So good. Can’t stop eating them. And they freeze/reheat beautifully for snacks, light lunch, appetizers…

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Khady’s pain chinois are 200cfa each and delivery in Dakar is free for orders of 15 or more. (I just stocked my freezer!)

775532835 (French or English)

 

 

Vacationing/Staycationing in Dakar

My friend Angie, a missionary in Thies, wrote this post on vacationing/staycationing in Dakar and I thought it had some great tips. She’s kindly agreed to let me share it with you here on Dakar Eats, just in time for the Toussaint holiday in early November!

I love Dakar. We spent our first three years in Senegal living in Dakar’s Liberté VI neighbourhood and since moving to Thiès three years ago, I’ve considered each visit to the big city a real treat. Recently, our family took a brief vacation in the capital and we had a blast. Some like to get away to Saly or some other beach town, and those places are fine, but this city girl gets bored with nothing to do all day but sit by the pool or swim in the ocean. Dakar offers you great beaches and so much more. So, I thought I’d pass on some tips on how to vacation (on a budget) in Dakar.

1. Buy or borrow The Dakar Guidebook of the Dakar Women’s Group. Sure, you could probably find some of the information it contains on the Internet, but why scramble to search for phone numbers, addresses and recommended spots when you can get this all on one handy location. I’m super frugal, and I found it to be worth every penny. (And, FYI, I did not receive remuneration for this plug!)

2. Consider your objectives. We have a five year-old and a 20-month-old, so we wanted to show them a good time without wearing ourselves out. While keeping nap times and bed times in mind, we planned strategic stops at kid-friendly places like Magicland, Zippyland, Hann Park Zoo trampoline and bouncy castle park, a friend’s house for a pool play date, the beach and Ngor Island.

TIP for missionaries: As missionaries, we have access to a few different inexpensive lodging options in the Dakar. The NTM guesthouse is a great option for those who want to be in the heart of the city (Point E) and in walking distance from several decent restaurants (not to mention in delivery range for several others). UWM’s Le Phare de l’Esperance in Ouakam is a nice option for those who want to relax in a quiet environment close to the beach and a short drive away from Almadies, Ngor, and the numerous restaurants on that side of town.

3. Plan your menu in advance. An advantage to guesthouses or renting a room with kitchenette is having means to cook or heat meals. This allowed us to save a bundle. I’m a big fan of canning and freezer batch cooking, so self-catering the majority of our meals was a breeze. On the eve of our departure, I packed up dry food goods like coffee, tea, powdered milk, sugar, “triangle cheese,” home canned salsa, pizza sauce, chili, and tomato soup, and homemade granola, crackers, and tortilla chips. I froze several plastic bottles full of water ahead of time, and the morning we headed out, I packed up our freezer and fridge goodies: blocks of cheese and tortillas, homemade raviolis and empanadas (Latino fatayas), and prebaked pizza crusts. We enjoyed a few meals out, including Planet Kebab (in Almadies) and Sunu Makane, Chez Seck (on Ngor Island), as well as a pit stop at Yum Yums for doughnuts. Yum Yum has high chairs now, by the way.) And because we planned ahead, we didn’t find ourselves stuck with a car full of hungry people and nothing to eat.

4. Make a party out of it! An older couple who served for over 30 years in Haiti recently moved to Senegal to join our team. It didn’t take long for them to become like grandparents to our daughters. That’s why I consider it a stroke of brilliance that it occurred to me to invite them to join us! :) Not only were they a huge help when chasing after two active girls at the various kid-themed places we put on our itinerary, but they were also delightful company in the evenings after we got the girls down for sleep at 7 PM. For families with small children and early bed times, having friends to hang out with at night can really make the vacation memorable. We played board games, rolled paper beads, ate chocolate and other homemade treats and talked theology, and it was wonderful.

TIP for vacationers coming from outside Dakar: Make room in your schedule and your budget for shopping. This is probably a no-brainer, but I thought it worth mentioning that we can’t get all the cool stuff out here in Thiès that you can get in Dakar. A pit stop at the American Food Store, CityDia, Marché Kermel, Hypermarché Exclussive, and even a fëgg jaay (Monday Market being my swap meet of choice) are all well worth the effort. I should add that they’re not very fun places for kids (unless you want to listen to the usual, “Mom, can you buy me this?!” at nauseum!), so we split up: ladies shopped and men watched the kiddos. Considering the goodies we brought them, it seemed like a fair exchange!

5. Don’t hesitate to over-pack. When it comes to vacationing with kids, it’s best to prepare for every scenario. Sure, our little one didn’t end up soiling every outfit she wore, but if she had, I would have been ready. And while a high chair may be cumbersome to travel with, it made meal times a lot more relaxing, with her strapped into her baby jail! I can’t remember an instance in which I’ve regretted over-packing for a trip involving children, but I can certainly recall times where I was scrambling to figure out a solution for a problem that would’ve been solved if I’d only packed properly.

6. Have a Plan B in place for a rainy day. My husband and I recently planned a day by the coast. As we were packing up the car to head out, a huge storm rolled in. It nearly ruined our plans, as we knew that other than sitting by the pool or the beach, no alternative existed for a rainy day. This, of course, is not the case for those who choose to vacation or choose to make a day trip to Dakar. Kid-friendly options abound that offer shelter from the rain. Consult The Dakar Guidebook for more ideas.

TIP for a super-sunny day: Zippyland now has a fully covered play area in addition to the air-conditioned ball pit play area and movie theater!

I hope North American friends get a glimpse into our life from reading this, and that local friends find these tips helpful. And for you fortunate enough to live in Dakar, consider a stay-cation! People do it who live in gorgeous cities in N. America with great weather (like any coastal city in my home state of California!), so why shouldn’t we? I know it’s not exactly the same as getting away, but if your budget doesn’t allow for an extended stay at a resort in Saly, I hope you are able to enjoy all that your beautiful city has to offer.

NEW: Annapurna Indian

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I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much about Indian food. But I’ve had it enough to know that, in general, I like it. Today I found out that I actually love it.

Annapurna Indian opened this week on route de Ngor, just across from the stade de Ngor. (Look for a big green and white sign.) I’d heard a couple good reviews so when the opportunity presented itself to try it for lunch, I jumped on it.

There were five us and we decided to order all over the menu and share. Brilliant decision on our part. One of our group is very well-versed in Indian cuisine so helped us navigate and choose. Vegetable samosas with green sauce, grilled chicken tikka skewers, butter chicken, mutton masala, dal makhani, bondi raita yogurt sauce, roti bread, two orders of garlic nan, two orders of cumin rice and mango some drinks. Our total bill (with a couple bottles of water) was under 45,000 cfa.

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We ate… and we ate… and we ate well. I would order any and all of it again – no question. But if I had to choose my favorites, I’d go with the vegetable samosas, butter chicken, dal makhani, cumin rice, garlic nan and raita. And if you’re nice, I might share some with you. :)

The restaurant itself is pretty spacious, simply decorated and was very comfortable temperature-wise, even on this steamy hot day. If they get super busy, the service might get slow, but it was fine for us today.

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Delivery is not (yet) available, but that’s okay. We have Sen Express. :)

PS. Vegetarians, rejoice!

Annapurna Indian
route de Ngor, across from the stadium
Tel: 77 394 15 90

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New in Dakar: CIAO Café

Feta and spinach

CIAO Café has recently opened in Hann Maristes, which is great news for a part of town that has been quite lacking in restaurant options. They serve Lebanese cuisine and even make their own chawarma bread. The owner has lived in Canada (and speaks English!) and plans to open a second location on the VDN in February.

Thanks for the information and photos, Stan!

Upstairs seating

CIAO Café is located just ffter the Mariste school round point and before Pridoux on the lefthand side. It is in the old Scorpion fast-food restaurant building. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Charwama

Downstairs

Dessert

Menu