Explore cuisine from five African countries at these Charlotte restaurants

Explore cuisine from five African countries at these Charlotte restaurants
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Zanzibar Cafe

Address: 3720 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC
Cuisine: Liberian

Although named after an island city off the eastern coast of Tanzania, Zanzibar Cafe actually features cuisine from the west African country of Liberia, including traditional dishes like potato greens (the leafy greens of sweet potatoes), fufu (a starchy dough), bitterball (an eggplant-like vegetable) and jollof rice. They’ve also got an American menu with burgers, wings and more.

Zoewee’s

Address: 4112 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC
Cuisine: Liberian

Liberian specialties also take center stage at Zoewee’s, located in a small strip center just north of Uptown. You’ll find things like cassava leaf, palm butter, fried plantains, potato greens, fufu and more.

Queen Sheba

Address: 4808 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC
Cuisine: Ethiopian

Traditional Ethiopian meals consist of several thick meat and vegetable stews, called wats, that are scooped up with injera, a light, spongey flatbread made of teff flour.

The Cooking Pot

Address: 5622 E. Independence Boulevard, Charlotte, NC
Cuisine: Nigerian

Esther Ikuru, a Nigeria native, opened her restaurant on Independence Boulevard in late 2015. Her menu features comfort food from home like coconut rice, jollof rice (with a mix of tomatoes and spices), fufu (a starchy dough made with the flour from root vegetables like cassava and yams), stews, meat pies and more.

Motherland

Address: 6024 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC
Cuisine: Nigerian

Motherland, a market and cafe in east Charlotte, is also serving up Nigerian specialties. Try a Scotch egg. Although they didn’t originate in Nigeria, these hard-boiled eggs wrapped in sausage and then fried are a very popular snack there.

Mama Gee’s

Address: 509 Beatties Ford Drive, Charlotte, NC
Cuisine: Ghanaian

Mama Gee’s, a small takeout restaurant in west Charlotte, serves food from Ghana. Traditional dishes include waakye (rice and beans), kelewele (fried plantain), tsoofie (turkey tails) and kenkey (fermented corn dough).

Jamile’s

Address: 4808 Central Avenue, Charlotte, NC
Cuisine: Somali

Food from Somalia is diverse with Arab, Indian and Italian culinary influences, among others. Staples include canjeero (a thin, pancake-like sourdough flatbread), chicken and beef suqaar (quick fried meat), goat meat and baasto (pasta) dishes.

Header photo by Cece Stronach via Instagram

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