With a population of over 10 million people, Lagos is the second largest city in Africa. It’s a city of extreme contrasts, with some of the largest and poorest slums on the African continent (shanties built on sticks and piles of rubbish over the city’s lagoons) and some of the wealthiest individuals as well.
The city is notorious for its traffic jams. Because it has grown so quickly, the roads struggle to deal with the numbers of cars, motorcycles and other assorted vehicles.
I must admit that I didn’t spend much time in Lagos on this visit, so I can’t even begin to rate its restaurants or market offerings for vegan-friendliness. What I can say, though, is that the city has all sorts of cuisines on offer, including Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Thai, Lebanese, etc. While I was there, I enjoyed traditional fried plantains.
Other meals included tabbouleh, which was missing the bulgar wheat (though I think I actually liked it better this way… more greens), and a very decent if slightly too oily foul medames (fava beans).
I also had a rather mediocre stir-fry.
After Lagos, I went to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital for the past 10 years (it used to be Lagos, then Abuja was purpose built in the 1980s to become the capital). Because it’s so new, it feels a bit artificial. The relative calm compared to Lagos is nice, but it’s all a little soul-less. Bizarrely, even the flowers sold by the side of the road in Abuja are fake!
Much of the architecture is very grandiose– the national church above and national mosque below are just two examples.
As the seat of the federal government and thus the home of many bureaucrats and diplomats, Abuja is also a very expensive city. However, once you accept the crazy prices, there’s plenty of good food to be had. For instance, the Salamander Cafe has great coffee, vegan options on the menu (even tofu!) and a nice little bookshop attached.
I also went to a Lebanese restaurant called Al Basha, where I had another very nice tabbouleh, and a decent baba ghanoush (apologies for the bad picture quality, I took them in the semi-darkness on my phone).
I even saw soy milk for sale in the grocery shops. Sadly, I didn’t get to try out any akara (patties made from black-eyed peas, fried of course). Maybe next time. Of course, when all else fails, I always have my raw vegan energy bars on hand to fill in between meals or to take the place of meals if there’s no time to eat.
Any suggestions for vegan eating in Brazil?