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Vancouver African Food Guide: Find Your Perfect Spice Adventure!

Vancouver African Food Guide Find Your Perfect Spice Adventure!

Within the eclectic dining scene of Vancouver, African restaurants beckon with a rich tapestry of flavors. Let’s uncover these diverse array of tastes, aromas, and spices as we navigate through the city’s best African restaurants.

From savory stews to mouthwatering grills, this guide is your passport to a spice-filled adventure that will introduce you to the unique culinary traditions of the continent. So, get ready to savor the essence of Africa right here in Vancouver!

1. Simba’s Grill

Address: 3300 Boundary Rd, Burnaby, BC V5M 4A4


Contact Details: +1 604-974-0649

Operating Hours: Monday: Closed, Tuesday-Sunday: 11:30 AM–10 PM

Simba’s Grill is a culinary gem, embodying the essence of East African cuisine with a unique twist. Owned by Kurshid Khan, hailing from Kenya with an engineering background, it seamlessly blends Indian, Middle Eastern, and East African flavors.

Khan’s dedication to authenticity, coupled with his Canadian touch, crafts an unparalleled culinary experience not easily replicated in North America. Simba’s Grill beckons diners seeking a distinctive taste of African culinary artistry.

Their menu boasts an array of delights, from impeccably prepared filet américain and halibut to succulent prawns. For dessert, you can indulge in the delectable cheesecakes that perfectly conclude the flavorful journey.

Pro tip:
Simba’s Grill has a gem in its tea selection. Try the chai for a comforting and aromatic sip that complements the bold flavors of the East African dishes perfectly.

2. Arike Restaurant

Address: 1725 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6G 1W5


Contact Details: +1 604-336-9774, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Sunday & Monday: Closed, Tuesday-Saturday: 5:15–10:30 PM

Arike Restaurant defies expectations, inviting diners into a culinary experience that surpasses its dimly lit exterior. Under the guidance of Chef Sam Olayinka, the restaurant embraces its namesake, Arike, Chef Sam’s Nigerian grandmother.

Their menu seamlessly blends personal touches with inventive flair. The singular tasting menu reflects a depth of flavors, showcasing Chef Sam’s mastery in weaving local ingredients into a global tapestry.

Standout dishes include grilled leeks with a crayfish ginger chili sauce, and seared boar with grilled plantain and sweet onion. The dessert, a chocolate cake infused with Thai basil oil, vanilla, and citrus crème anglaise, concludes a dining experience.

Pro tip:
Arike’s cozy ambiance makes it an excellent choice for a date night or an intimate gathering. The subdued lighting and thoughtful decor create an atmosphere that feels both elegant and comfortable.

3. Fassil Ethiopian Restaurant

Address: 736 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T 1X9


Contact Details: 736 E Broadway, Vancouver, BC V5T 1X9

Operating Hours: Monday: 12–10 PM, Tuesday: 5–10 PM, Wednesday-Sunday: 12–10 PM

Fassil Ethiopian Restaurant earned its reputation as one of the best African restaurants in Vancouver. Renowned for its friendliness, the staff ensures a warm welcome, with the chef personally offering insights into the menu.

Brace yourself for a flavorful experience; Fassil is celebrated for its notably spicy dishes, ideal for those with a penchant for bold flavors. The enjera, a traditional Ethiopian bread, adds to the authenticity and is a delightful accompaniment to the diverse menu.

Specializing in African and Ethiopian cuisines, Fassil offers braised lamb, spicy beef, and daurade, showcasing a culinary journey through rich and aromatic flavors. You can also indulge in a selection of good wine, delicious beer, or the rich Ethiopian coffee.

Pro tip:
Embrace the communal dining style. Many dishes are served family-style on a large injera, making it a shared and interactive experience.

4. Harambe

Address: 2149 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4B3


Contact Details: +1 604-216-1060

Operating Hours: Monday-Thursday: 12–10 PM, Friday & Saturday: 12–11 PM, Sunday: 12–10 PM

Harambe is a haven for African and Ethiopian cuisine enthusiasts. This restaurant beckons those in search of perfectly cooked filet américain, chicken, and beef.

Here, you can indulge in the recommended pancakes and pair your meal with a choice of delicious wine or draft beer. The beverage selection extends to memorable choices such as great coffee, tea, or refreshing juice.

The homely atmosphere at Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant provides a tranquil backdrop. This allows the patrons to unwind and rejuvenate after a demanding day of work.

Pro tip:
If you’re a first-timer, go for the combination platter. It’s like a culinary safari on a plate, offering a taste of various dishes and flavors Harambe has to offer.

5. Moltaqa Moroccan Restaurant

Address: 1002 Mainland St, Vancouver, BC V6B 6J8


Contact Details: +1 604-841-1182, [email protected]

Operating Hours:

  • Monday:   4–11:30 PM
  • Tuesday:  12–11:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 12–11:30 PM
  • Thursday: 12–11:30 PM
  • Friday:    12 PM–12 AM
  • Saturday: 12 PM–12 AM
  • Sunday:   12 PM–12 AM

Moltaqa Moroccan Restaurant is more than a dining destination. It’s a journey into the rich and flavorful tapestry of Maghreb countries right in the heart of Canada.

The restaurant’s classic ambiance, subtly adorned with Moroccan heritage, provides a relaxed setting suitable for families and groups. It has also a semi-circle bar counter and patterned textile decor which add a touch of authenticity to the dining experience.

Their menu is a delightful exploration of flavors, featuring tender meats ranging from lamb to duck and seafood. Carefully prepared and seasoned vegetables elevate each dish, with the saffron lemon drop as a standout among their exceptional drink selection.

Halal lamb tagines and seafood pastilla are also cherished favorites, showcasing the restaurant’s commitment to culinary excellence. Completing the exceptional experience is the opportunity to indulge in traditional Moroccan tea and a variety of sweets.

Pro tip:
Opt for the mixed grill if you’re in the mood for variety. It’s a carnivore’s delight featuring a succulent blend of lamb, duck, and seafood, perfectly seasoned and grilled to perfection.

6. Jambo Grill & Paan House

Address: 3219 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5R 5K3


Contact Details: +1 604-433-5060

Operating Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11 AM–10 PM, Friday & Saturday: 11 AM–11 PM, Sunday: 11 AM–10 PM

Jambo Grill & Paan House is celebrated for its diverse offerings of both African and Indian cuisines. The restaurant, with its spacious interior, exudes a cool and inviting atmosphere reminiscent of a summer sunset.

The family behind Jambo Grill boasts over 15 years of expertise, ensuring a seamless dining experience. A standout on the menu is the pili pili masala mogo, a popular Ugandan snack featuring spicy cassava fries.

Guests rave about perfectly cooked garlic naans, lamb curry, and butter chicken. Meanwhile, the dessert selection features ice cream, kulfi, and doughnuts, which promises a sweet conclusion to your meal.

You can kickstart your dining experience with a choice of delicious beer, house wine, or chardonnay. For a refreshing touch, you can have great iced tea, masala chai, or mango lassi, completing the culinary journey at Jambo Grill & Paan House.

Pro tip:
You can embrace the fusion of African and Indian flavors by trying the butter chicken alongside a traditional Ugandan dish. It’s a unique combination that highlights the restaurant’s diverse culinary offerings.

7. Gojo Café

Address: 2838 Commercial Dr, Vancouver, BC V5N 4C6


Contact Details: +1 604-708-5394, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Friday: 4–10 PM, Saturday & Sunday: 12–10 PM

Gojo Café is an Ethiopian gem, offering classic cuisine and the cherished traditional coffee ceremony. The quaint location exudes a friendly atmosphere, making it a welcoming spot to savor delicious Ethiopian fare with attentive service.

Their menu boasts an array of authentic Ethiopian dishes, with a focus on a variety of vegetarian options. Every dish is accompanied by Injera, the traditional Ethiopian flatbread, inviting patrons to indulge in the rich flavors using this customary utensil.

Gojo Café elevates the dining experience with well-prepared chicken, daurade, and filet américain, complemented by a delightful selection of tasty pancakes. Moreover, they offer takeout options as well.

Pro tip:
You can engage with the staff about the various spice levels available. They can customize the heat of your dishes to suit your taste preferences, ensuring an enjoyable meal for everyone.

8. Axum Restaurant

Address: 1279 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1S4


Contact Details: +1 604-253-2986, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 12–10 PM

Axum Ethiopian Restaurant is renowned for its authentic Ethiopian cuisine crafted from thoughtfully sourced ingredients, complemented by a well-stocked bar. It emanates the essence of Somali-style decor, adorned with imported furniture from Ethiopia.

A distinctive feature at Axum is the inclusion of fresh-baked inerja bread accompanying every main course. The menu boasts favorites like gored gored, showcasing lean cubed beef, and lamb creations like lega tibs, marinated and sautéed with red onion.

In addition to these delights, Axum presents a diverse array of vegetarian and seafood offerings, including miser wot, gomen with spinach, and fish tibs. There are also special menus that are thoughtfully curated for weddings and parties.

You can complement your meal with a selection from the well-curated wine list or opt for the ever-popular choice of great tea. As the day transitions into the evening, the restaurant comes alive with the sounds of live music performed by talented musicians.

Pro tip:
Explore the full bar offerings. Their curated selection complements the Ethiopian dishes and offers a chance to discover unique beverage pairings.

9. Alebi African Cuisine

Address: 10694 135a St, Surrey, BC V3T 4E2


Contact Details: +1 778-293-2988

Operating Hours:

  • Monday:       11 AM–7 PM
  • Tuesday:      12–7 PM
  • Wednesday: 11 AM–8 PM
  • Thursday:     11 AM–9:30 PM
  • Friday:          11 AM–9:30 PM
  • Saturday:      11 AM–9:30 PM
  • Sunday:        1–7 PM

Alebi African Cuisine stands out for its satisfying and flavorful dishes, with a notable mention going to their coconut milk chicken. Another must-try is the chicken paired with Jolloff rice, plantain, and salad, offering a filling and well-balanced combination.

The restaurant’s commitment to delivering delicious and hearty African cuisine makes it a standout choice in Vancouver’s diverse culinary scene. It’s a go-to spot for those seeking a taste of authentic African flavors in a welcoming and unassuming setting.

Pro tip:
You can talk with the staff about the spice levels. They can customize the heat of your dishes to suit your taste preferences, ensuring an enjoyable and personalized meal.

10. The Taste of Africa

Address: 10663 King George Blvd, Surrey, BC V3T 2X6

Social Media: 

Contact Details: +1 604-582-4803

Operating Hours:

  • Monday:  Closed
  • Tuesday:  12–8:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 12–8:30 PM
  • Thursday: 12–8:30 PM
  • Friday:     12–8:30 PM
  • Saturday: 12–8 PM
  • Sunday:   12–8 PM

At The Taste of Africa, the spotlight shines on their remarkable jollof rice, a dish that captivates with its amazing flavors. Complementing this dish are chicken thighs, impeccably tender and bursting with flavor, adding a satisfying element to the meal.

For those seeking authenticity, the fufu is a great choice, showcasing the restaurant’s commitment to delivering a true taste of African culinary traditions. The Taste of Africa focuses on exceptional dishes and genuine flavors.

Pro tip:
You can explore the variety of side dishes available. They often complement the main dishes and add an extra layer of depth to your meal.

11. Nando’s PERi-PERi

Address: 828 Davie St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 2S2


Contact Details: +1 604-678-1217

Operating Hours: Monday-Thursday: 10:30 AM–11 PM, Friday & Saturday: 10:30 AM–12 AM, Sunday: 10:30 AM–11 PM

Nando’s PERi-PERi is a go-to spot for those seeking a delectable fusion of South African and Portuguese cuisines. Specializing in flame-grilled chicken, their signature PERi-PERi sauce adds a spicy kick to the marinated chicken.

Their 24-hour marination process ensures each bite is infused with rich and aromatic flavors. The restaurant’s appeal extends beyond chicken, with an array of customizable options that cater to diverse tastes, from juicy chicken burgers to fresh vegi bowls.

In addition to the mouth watering chicken dishes, Nando’s boasts a varied menu that includes sides and salads, providing a well-rounded meal for patrons. The ambiance is casual and welcoming, making it an ideal spot for enjoying perfectly grilled chicken.

Pro tip:
You can sample the different PERi-PERi sauces available. Each sauce brings a distinct flavor profile, enhancing the overall taste of your meal.

12. Cayenne Bistro & Grill

Address: 7677 6th St, Burnaby, BC V3N 3M8


Contact Details: +1 604-553-7866, [email protected]

Operating Hours:

  • Monday:       12–8 PM
  • Tuesday:      Closed
  • Wednesday: 12–9 PM
  • Thursday:     12–9 PM
  • Friday:          12–10 PM
  • Saturday:      12–10 PM
  • Sunday:        12–9 PM

At Cayenne Bistro & Grill in Vancouver, the menu unfolds a delightful journey into Halal East African cuisine. Its warm ambiance beckons diners to indulge in a unique culinary experience and establishes it among the best African restaurants in Vancouver.

It features an array of mouthwatering options such as Mandazi, Bharazi, Piri Piri Chicken, and Beef Ribs. Beyond the savory delights, it extends to include specialties like Beef Akni, Goat Curry, Masala Fish, and the sweet finale of Lapsi desserts.

Owner Zeimina, inspired by her mother and fueled by a passion for cooking, has curated a menu that reflects her dedication to crafting delicious meals. Her culinary creativity shines in crafting an inviting space for patrons to savor perfected rich flavors.

Pro tip:
If unsure, you can ask Zeimina for her personal favorites. The owner’s recommendations often reveal the heart of the menu and introduce you to hidden gems.

13. Barcelos Flame Grilled Chicken

Address: 713 SE Marine Dr, Vancouver, BC V5X 2T9


Contact Details: +1 604-947-4444, [email protected]

Operating Hours: Monday-Thursday: 11 AM–9 PM, Friday & Saturday: 11 AM–10 PM, Sunday: 11 AM–9 PM

At Barcelos Flame Grilled Chicken, you can experience the fusion of African ambiance with generous servings of Portuguese-style cuisine. Strategically located, the restaurant offers sizable portions, providing excellent value for money.

The well-balanced spiciness in their dishes caters to a diverse range of diners. Known for their delectable peri peri chicken, coleslaw, and grilled chicken, Barcelos also offers the chance to savor a refreshing beer or a cup of great tea.

The cozy atmosphere enhances the overall dining experience, creating a relaxed and enjoyable environment for patrons. With the harmonious blend of African and Portuguese flavors, it’s a standout among the best African restaurants in Vancouver.

Pro tip:
You can pair your meal with one of the Portuguese beers; they complement the flavors perfectly. For a unique twist, you may consider trying a local craft beer.

14. Kilimanjaro Snack House & Catering

Address: 789 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5V 3C2


Contact Details: +1 604-559-7050

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 11 AM–7 PM

Kilimanjaro Snack House & Catering is the ideal spot for East African Ismaili Indian cuisine, offering a fusion of flavors rooted in central Asia and India. The diverse menu features traditional dishes like momos, pitas, and samosas.

The restaurant provides a welcoming environment for meals with friends or family, with a staff always ready to assist. You can delight your palate with specialties like creamy coconut goat curry and chicken akni with cassava stew.

As you embrace the rich blend of African and Indian influences, you can complete your dining experience with a refreshing cup of tea. Another popular option for beverages is a steaming mug of great coffee.

Pro tip:
You can opt for the piping hot paratha as your side. Its flaky layers are a perfect companion to the rich and flavorful dishes, and you can use it to scoop up every last bit of goodness.

15. Dahlak Restaurant

Address: 7868 Edmonds St, Burnaby, BC V3N 1B8

Social Media: 

Contact Details: +1 604-515-7774

Operating Hours: Monday-Sunday: 11 AM–12 AM

Dahlak Restaurant presents a modern twist on the fusion of East African and Middle Eastern culinary delights. Specializing in both Mediterranean and Ethiopian cuisines, their standout feature is the tantalizing veggie combo.

This delectable platter boasts misir wot, yellow lentils, smoked chickpea, and a flavorful yellow cabbage dish. Their menu also includes fresh green salad with three extra pieces of injera, and the injera bread itself is a culinary marvel – moist, bubbly, and airy.

The dishes were offered in generous portion size, ensuring a satisfying and delightful dining experience. A veggie feast with a pleasant kick, indulging in this culinary offering leaves you feeling thoroughly satisfied and content.

Pro tip:
You can use the injera as your edible utensil. Tear, scoop, and savor – it’s a hands-on experience that enhances the authenticity of the cuisine.

16. Madani’s Kitchen

Address: 1205 E Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6A 1S4


Contact Details: +1 778-386-9646, [email protected]

Operating Hours:

  • Monday:       Closed
  • Tuesday:      6–9 PM
  • Wednesday: 6–9 PM
  • Thursday:     6–9 PM
  • Friday:          6–9:30 PM
  • Saturday:      2–9:30 PM
  • Sunday:        2–9:30 PM

Madani’s Kitchen, established in February 2020 by Rokia Koné, is Vancouver’s premier gastronomic catering service specializing in Senegalese cuisine. They offer dishers that fuse African and international flavors.

Despite primarily operating as a catering service, Madani’s Kitchen extends its reach through convenient online options. This allows the customers to enjoy their diverse offerings either through delivery or pick-up.

As they prioritize quality, they carefully select natural ingredients to enhance the rich and varied gastronomy they offer. Their menu, a mix of seasonings and spices, promises to captivate taste buds and is ideal for those longing for African flavors.

Pro tip:
Go for their combo options. They give you a taste of various dishes, and it’s perfect if you’re indecisive on which dish to choose.

17. Aboki Grill

Address: 401 Industrial Ave, Vancouver, BC V6A 2P8


Contact Details: +1 236-863-3115, [email protected]

Operating Hours:

  • Monday:       Open 24 hours
  • Tuesday:      Open 24 hours
  • Wednesday: Open 24 hours
  • Thursday:     Open 24 hours
  • Friday:          1:30–8 PM
  • Saturday: 2–11 PM
  • Sunday:   2–11 PM

Aboki Grill, an embodiment of Nigeria’s rich culinary heritage, is a premier destination for Afro-fusion cuisine in Vancouver. It goes beyond the ordinary dining affair, immersing guests in the diverse flavors of Nigerian gastronomy.

The thoughtfully curated menu at Aboki Grill showcases an array of memorable dishes. Their delectable Nigerian fried rice is a harmonious blend of fragrant spices elevating this classic dish.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian grilled fish is marinated to perfection with their signature spice blend. For a hearty and satisfying option, the Nigerian jollof rice holds its own with its rich and flavorful profile.

The suya, a skewered meat delight, promises an irresistible taste that lingers on the palate. To complement the feast, their Nigerian zobo beverage, infused with hibiscus flowers, ginger, and aromatic spices, provides a refreshing finale to this culinary journey.

Pro tip:
You can start your Aboki Grill experience with their irresistible meat pies. The combination of a perfectly flaky crust and a succulent meat filling creates the ultimate comfort food journey.