The 10 Best African Restaurants in Paris


Originally published by Isabel on March 2019 and updated by Vanessa on June 2023.

Paris is an extremely multicultural city. The French have colonies in a number of islands, all across the world, not to mention the fact that the country is one of the links between Africa and the Middle East.

Think Mauritius, Tunisia, Madagascar, Algeria, Morocco, and Guadeloupe. Martinique, and even as far as New Caledonia in the Pacific.

For this reason, the capital offers a huge variety of African, or island-food inspired restaurants. Central Africa is typically known for its cuisine starring green vegetables and meats, as their dishes avoided influence until about the 19th century. On the other hand, West African countries like Nigeria Senegal or Ghana, eat a lot of meals featuring jollof rice, which is rice marinated with tomatoes, nutmeg, ginger, cumin and onions. Today in Paris, restaurants will serve combinations of these once regionally exclusive dishes.

I am going to review and few of my favourites, based on value for money, authenticity and location.

1. Djoliba

Situated in the 3rd arrondissement, this Senegalese restaurant is hidden on a small street that links to the Boulevard de Sébastopol. As soon as you walk in you will notice its simplicity and practicality.

Money isn’t wasted on decorations; however, you do have a television that keeps all diners up to date with news while they eat. I remember that the last time I was there, I watched the excited journalists review the Royal Wedding, taking place in England. It is fair to say that the tables were more interested in their dinner than the dress the bride wore…

If you haven’t been distracted by the television, you have been reading their menu – a choice between 5 or 6 dishes, with an option for entrees. This menu usually rotates, so what you can order from Monday to Saturday will not always be the same. This is the beauty of it, you will have to come back to try everything they have to offer!

I recommend poulet braisé (grilled chicken) or maffé, your choice of meat with a thick rich sauce made from peanut – think satay gravy. Don’t forget to order a serve of alocco to accompany your dish. This is fried banana and adds that sweetness to balance out the salt and spices.

I suggest you visit this restaurant with an appetite, because the servings are very generous. Hungry? Then dig in, and don’t worry about making a little mess. They put down plastic, disposable table cloths so that we can fully savour the meal without worrying about being too neat.

The meal will arrive after a 20 minutes wait – I estimate this is maximum waiting time, as I frequent this restaurant on busy nights.

The staff aren’t very talkative when it’s busy, but very efficient and attentive. Need your jug of water refilled? They will notice this even before you do, more often than not.

One time when I ordered a takeaway meal, I waited at the bar. The man that took my order served me a complimentary glass of hibiscus juice to drink. We didn’t say much but he didn’t wipe the smile from his face. Everyone is very friendly here.

African Restaurants Paris

Chicken dish at Djoliba, photo by Isabel (author)

Practical Information: 6 Rue Blondel, 75003
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday, 11h to midnight, Closed on Sundays

2. Godjo

Godjo serves a completely different type of cuisine. Rather than Senegalese, this is Ethiopian cuisine. On the left bank of Paris in the 5th arrondissement, this restaurant is a hidden gem situated within the academic and literary suburb of Paris.

If you are looking for Ethipoian cuisine in Paris, this will generally be your first result on Google, so expect a wait for a table. The time I visited, we waited for 30 minutes out in the cold. Be smart (like I should have been) and reserve in advance. You can either go through La Fourchette application on your phone to get discounts on your meal, or call them up!

I wouldn’t recommend going with a large group unless you make a reservation, as tables are very cosy and close to each other. They have done as much as they possibly could with the limited space they have.

The restaurant continues sous-sol, and so the waiters are doing a lot of exercise. As soon as you get a seat, concentrate, make a decision and order efficiently, so as not to waste their time coming back and forth, up and down.

For those like me, that like to admire the decorations, this may be hard to do as soon as you arrive, but I promise that once you order you can admire the enormous colourful tapestries and artworks on the walls. Dimly lit lamps create an intimate mood, despite the slightly cramped spaces and how busy it gets.

I recommend ordering enjera, a large platter of meats, vegetables and sauces, all carefully placed upon a traditional kind of galette, made from sourdough-risen flatbread. It looks like a huge brown, spongey pancake that you pull apart and trap the meats within. Here, we eat with our hands. The platter is perfect for sharing, and is extremely filling.

African Restaurants Paris

Alicha Begie and Chicken Injera by Rama, sourced from Wikimedia Commons

Practical information: 8 Rue de l’École Polytechnique, 75005
Opening Hours : Monday 18h – 23h30, Tuesday to Sunday 12h to 16h then 18h to 23h30
Contact: +33 1 40 46 82 21

3. Babylone Bis

Babylone Bis is an unimposing little restaurant in the 2nd arrondissement. If you didn’t know to look for it, you could easily walk past without ever realising. It doesn’t try too hard to attract people.

You walk inside and you will be taken to a table all the way at the back.

Typical of this area, most restaurants and bars are cave-like. The menu is bigger than the other two restaurants I mentioned, as the cuisine is inspired by various different cultures. Curries and seafood are available, along with maffé and alocco.

The walls are lined with photos of celebrities that have visited the place. I spotted Snoop Dog and Akon.

Despite being discreet, you hear more English in this restaurant than in the aforementioned, and it is considerably pricier. This being said, it is a lot quieter and more stylish than its competitors that serve the same foods.

For romantic dates and long chats with old friends, this is the place you want to go. Some of the others get too crowded, or they are for local workers that just want a quick lunch at midday. Babylone Bis is African food for a special occasion.

African Restaurants Paris

Fish dish at Babylone Bis, sourced from their Facebook page

Practical information: 34 Rue Tiquetonne, 75002
Opening Hours : Times vary, check website here

4. YA KWA by Jungle

 For fast food, ditch the nearest Macdonalds for Ya Kwa. It is not only healthier but it is also prepared for you at lightning speed. If you want a quick fix of chicken, rice and a nice cold soda drink, this is where you should go. Plus, while you are waiting for your meal you can enjoy free wifi!

You will get a balanced meal for under 10 euros here, which is a considerable price drop from the previously mentioned Babylone Bis.

You can choose from fish, beef or chicken here, and the sauces range from mild to very spicy. The variety of combinations is enough, but not huge, so you won’t waste time in choosing what to order.

Another great thing that Ya Kwa has in common with Djoliba is that the cooks don’t try to satisfy every taste bud, but rather focus on perfecting a few great dishes.

What I also love about this place is that it’s open till late. If you need a snack on Friday night after too many beers at around 1.30 am, you will find it open. They also do catering, delivery, buffets, private events, and even weddings of all things!

African Restaurants Paris

Takeaway box from YA KWA, photo by Isabel (author)

Practical information: 1 Rue du Cygne, 75001
It is parallel to the metro Etienne Marcel on Line 4, in the 2nd arrondissement.
Opening hours: Monday – Thursday & Sunday 11h00 – 22h00, Friday & Saturday 11h00 – 02h00

5. JAH JAH by Le Tricycle

This place serves up Jamaican-inspired vegan and vegetarian dishes! For anyone who thinks vegetables are synonymous with bland will feel silly and naïve after coming here. Rated 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor, this is not one to miss. The food is a fusion of island and European cuisine, and as you sit at the tables in the Rastafari decorated space, eating a hot dog, you might be surprised at how well the combo goes together.

Yes, these hot dogs are vegan, on vegan brioche bread with vegan smoked sausage. Heaven.

Similar to YAKWA, you can eat for an average of 10 euros, which is good for Paris unless you’re living off kebabs, which will save you money…

African Restaurants Paris

Vegan bowl at Jah Jah, photo by Basia Diagne

Practical information :
11 rue des Petites Ecuries, 75010 Paris
Opening hours: 3-7 pm is sweets and drinks only. Monday 12h00-18h00, Wednesday – Saturday 12h00-22h30, Sunday 12:00-17:00

6. BMK Paris – Bamako

KVDP, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

This restaurant is a must-do in Paris if you want to sample some of Africa’s best delicacies. While here, try the Mafé, Yassa, and Thieboudienne as well as innovative creations (African salads, delectable desserts, specially created from flour cassava), and 100% natural drinks.

Everything made here is from scratch, with love, using fresh ingredients and French meats. There are also vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free alternatives available, there is something for everyone here.

The entire personnel is extremely polite and helpful as their crew is always available to provide excellent service and to explain the origins of each item. This is simply the best restaurant you’ll go to in Paris. Come with friends, and you’ll appreciate everything from the decor to the cuisine to the servers.

Practical information :
14 Rue de la Fidélité, 75010 Paris, France
Opening hours:  Mon-thur; 10:30 am-10:30 pm/fri-sat; 11:30 am-11 pm/sun;11:30 am-4 pm

7. Le Petit Dakar

Marie and her crew welcome you to this restaurant in the heart of the Marais with a plethora of flavors, a variety of colors, and a lot of love. Every day, they prepare market ingredients in order to provide you with traditional Senegalese food.

The must-try here is the Mafe and Yassa which are quite tasty. If you know how tchieboudienne (fish, rice, vegetables, and much more) tastes, you will not be surprised by the dish prepared here.

The atmosphere is quite cozy, and the personnel is very pleasant. As soon as you open the restaurant’s entrance, you can smell the delicious food being prepared. The dessert is very stunning, and you’ll enjoy every piece. The prices are also reasonable.

Practical information :
6 Rue Elzevir, 75003 Paris, France
Opening hours:  tue-fri; 11:30 am-11 pm/sat; 11:30 am-11:30 pm

8. Chez Omar

When planning your vacation, keep Carreau du Temple in mind and remember to determine where to eat. This restaurant is directly next to the specified point of interest. Chez Omar restaurant located in the 3rd arrondissement specializes in North African food.

This restaurant has been on Rue de Bretagne for years, giving customers loads of traditional Moroccan food as well as a reasonable quantity of French dishes. Chez Omar may be one of the top Mediterranean and Moroccan cuisine restaurants in town.

You can enjoy delicious cooked méchoui, lamb couscous, and fillet steaks with your pals here. Don’t miss out on the excellent parfait, chocolate mousse, and profiteroles at this establishment. This restaurant is also well-known for its wonderful house wine.

Their mint tea is delicious you should give it a try. This venue’s favorable location makes it easy to reach even during rush hour. The food here is reasonably priced and the wonderful atmosphere and fantastic decor will undoubtedly appeal to you.

Practical information :
47 Rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris, France
Opening hours:  mon-sun; 12-2:30 pm, 7-11:30 pm

9. Le Souk

Kim sosita, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After a long walk along Passage L’homme, this restaurant provides good cuisine and a place to rest. At Le Souk, you may sample the best Moroccan food. Many people come here to try couscous, tajine, and méchoui. If you’re hungry, come here for some scrumptious parfait.

The restaurant features a terrace with wrought iron chairs, mosaic-covered tables, and an entryway that resembles a medina door perfect for outdoor seating during the summer.

The upper area is as charming as it is Moorish, and the menu promises 100% delights. The friendly crew welcomes guests all year. The restaurant’s attractive decor and lovely ambiance make customers feel at ease.

 If you are looking for some more places to try, here are a few others that have great reviews. I have not dined there personally (yet) but they are on my list.

Practical information :
1 Rue Keller, 75011 Paris, France

10. Les marmites de fa

Benoît Prieur, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Les marmites de Fa aspires to offer you a gastronomic stroll with African tastes, prepared with passion, located in the center of Paris’ 9th arrondissement in rue Lamartine, a few steps from rue des Martyrs.

All of their dishes are cooked from scratch using organic and high-quality ingredients supplied from Senegalese farms. Visit this restaurant if you happen to be near Synagogue Buffault.

It is worth a visit if you enjoy African cuisine. While you’re here, try some delicious grillades, and don’t forget their nice parfait. The relaxing atmosphere will be exactly what you need after a long week of work.

Practical information :
46 Rue Lamartine, 75009 Paris, France
Opening hours:  mon-thur; 12-3 pm,7-11 pm/ fri-sat; 12-3 pm,7 pm-12 am/Sun; 7-11 pm

La Banane Ivorienne, Malibu, Le Mar’igo and Le Bois d’Ebène. Most of these are known for their tender and juicy chicken dishes, served with hot spicy green sauce. If you are a fan, check them out!

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