Chez Dior

Rating: ★★★★★

23158387_10155866823318011_1340310584_oNo, Chez Dior is not a designer clothing store. In fact, it’s the DC area’s only Senegalese restaurant and a very tasty one at that. This friendly, welcoming and brightly-decorated Hyatsville spot offers a broad menu showcasing one of West Africa’s most complex cuisines. Start off your meal with a pain de singe juice, made from the fruit of the baobab tree. After that (provided that you like fish), I highly recommend the thieboudienne, which is 23157718_10155866823313011_1219659693_othe national dish of Senegal (and neighboring Mauritania). Thieboudienne is a fish and rice dish that contains delicious, seasoned rice similar to jollof rice, but red in color due to tomato sauce and seasonings. The dish is great, but not if you don’t like fish and other flavors that may be a bit exotic for the American palate. Regardless of whether you go for the Thieboudienne, the laid-back, friendly vibe of Chez Dior is sure to make for a positive dining experience.

Chez Dior is located at 5124 Baltimore Ave, Hyattsville, MD 20781.

Sumah’s West African Restaurant

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13016549_10154138300428011_173605505_oSumah’s West African Restaurant serves up Sierra Leonean food at 1727 7th St. It is a tiny hole in the wall with zero decor, run by Sumah himself, who hails from Sierra Leone. Be aware that this place is super spare. It has the atmosphere of a carryout, though it does have a few tables thrown in for good measure. Comically, the tables have little fake flower bouquets on them, as if that really adds something to the decor. The food, on the other hand, is definitely tasty and authentic. I ordered 13000500_10154138300453011_621868985_oone of my favorite West African dishes, jollof rice with chicken, which was delicious. It’s not as cheap as you might think for this kind of place, though. The jollof rice was a very large portion but it set me back approximately $15. Nonetheless, if you want to eat authentic West African food in DC, Sumah’s should be on your list of places to try.

Bukom

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Gulder, a Nigerian beer that’s barely better than PBR, but a novelty nonetheless.

Bukom is a Ghanaian restaurant located at 2442 18th St NW in Adams Morgan. I spent what were arguably the best two weeks of my life (so far) on a trip to Ghana where I was impressed by the country’s tasty food, friendly people, and beautiful scenery.  Bukom is a friendly (if often very loud) and reasonably priced spot to sample authentic Ghanaian food such as fufu (a gooey pounded cassava dish), groundnut (peanut) soup and jollof rice (which tastes a bit like Mexican rice) and much more. They also serve African beers, which is cool (though the beer that I ordered, Gulder, which is Nigerian, was barely better than PBR and was pretty pricey at $7). They have live reggae music sometimes (even though highlife is the music of Ghana, not reggae), but it adds to the vibe.

 

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Groundnut soup with chicken and fufu (called  Kumasi Nkatikwan on the menu).