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10 Must-Try African Spots Los Angeles Has Been Hiding

The city of Los Angeles is widely recognized for being a melting pot of cultures that produce the best music, film, and FOOD! We cannot stress that last part enough because the different kinds of authentic dishes incorporate recipes from countries like Morocco, Ethiopia, and Nigeria! We put together a list of top ten African restaurants in LA that contain everything from a fusion restaurant that combines traditional Mexican tacos with North African cooking traditions to hidden treasures that will make you feel both relaxed and fulfilled. Take a look and compare our top list to yours!

Messob Ethiopian Restaurant, located in Little Ethiopia, heartily welcomes newcomers with their extremely accessible and informational menu. First time visitors will get a crash course from the page dedicated to explaining Ethiopian table etiquette. Upon walking in you will fall in love with the interior which includes tables with large round plates to create a communal dining atmosphere. Try the Super Messob Exclusive which is served with Doro Wot, Siga Wot, Yebeg Siga Alitcha, Yater Alitcha, Kitfoo, Tibs, and Collard Greens.

Gather up your family, friends, and peers who have a knack for trying flavorful and authentically prepared dishes and take them to Moun of Tunis restaurant! Not only do they have a menu that features cooking traditions from Morocco and Tunisia, but you can also expect to be entertained by exuberant belly dancers while you eat dinner here! For $30 per person, the Moroccan Feast is the perfect order for groups and comes with Brik (a dumpling with potato and eggs), Salads with Mechoui, B’ Stilla (chicken pie), Lemon Chicken or Lamb with Artichokes, Couscous with Boulettes and dessert.

The Notebook star, Ryan Gosling, is a co-owner of this upscale, Moroccan restaurant with a close and intimate vibe in Beverly Hills.  Candles and pillows (and probably Gosling himself) contribute to the restaurant’s intimate setting, creating an almost romantic atmosphere.  Apparently, when he first tried the cooking of Tagine’s Chef Ben, Gosling declared, “This is the food I want to eat the rest of my life!” He must have had the Couscous Royal which you should try too and is served with beef, lamp chops, chicken, queffa, and vegetables!

Revolutionario North African Tacos offers the perfect hybrid of Mexico and North Africa. Want to try some out-of-this-world food without having to purchase a plane ticket? Make your way to USC to find this restaurant which is right around the corner! The customers appreciate that the lamb is smoked all day so that it has the perfect flavor and texture when ordering the Smoked Lamb and Cilantro Yogurt Chicken Tacos. Another awesome choice is the Shakshouka Tacos that include sweet peppers, tomatoes, and eggs. The restaurant offers burritos and bowls, salad bowls, quesadillas, and desserts! Before you leave you must try Makrouds which are Algerian date newtons with orange honey!

Meals By Genet is an Ethiopian restaurant also located in Little Ethiopia. This stellar location has been referenced in City of Gold, a documentary by Jonathan Gold that highlights the 100 Top Restaurants in LA. The lamb served here makes for a great entrée because it is moist yet flavorful and goes excellently with the vegetarian combo that features curried lentils, romaine salad, and pickled beets to name a few. The food prepared here is savory and filling without causing you to feel too heavy which highlights that it is prepared by some of the best chefs in LA!

Azla is one of the select restaurants that can successfully do a 100% vegan take on Ethiopian dishes. It is located in La Paloma Market which offers a nice ambience for a casual lunch or dinner. The service is nothing short of exceptional, and if you are not sure what to try, the servers are very helpful in guiding your choice! Ask for the four-item combo platter which is a great way to try all of their delicious Misir (red lentils and spicy berbere) or Yatakilt (curry potatoes, carrots, and cabbage) but whatever you do not leave out the beloved Tofu Tibs which come with baked tofu, caramelized onions, and pepper medley!

Everyone in Los Angeles knows that Veronica’s Kitchen is the best spot to find Nigerian food. This homey restaurant is located ten minutes away from LAX which makes it an ideal place to visit before catching a long flight or after landing from one. The Nigerian specialty of Jollof Rice with Plantains tastes superb when paired with Fried Chicken dipped in tomato sauce. One thing to note, the food is on the spicier side so we recommend those with less spice tolerance to order mild. Another meal worth trying is the Egusi which is made of collard greens and crushed melon seeds with pounded yam. Also make sure to try their authentic Palm Wine which is a delicious rarity!

If you want to get away from the bustling energy of the city, this quaint slice of heaven is the perfect place to go. Café Chez Marie is the only restaurant in Los Angeles that serves dishes with both French and Moroccan influences! Not only is the ambience relaxing and the outdoor seating a perfect place to get a breath of fresh air, but Café Chez Marie also boasts a friendly staff. For breakfast we recommend the Moroccan Omelet that comes with Moroccan sausage, veggies, French toast, and fruit! If you happen to come later in the evening, we suggest you try the Barley Soup to ready you up for the Moroccan Chicken!

Industry Cafe & Jazz is a restaurant in Culver City that serves Traditional American food and also offers savory Ethiopian dishes and drinks that are enticing and satisfying. If you show up in the evening you will be able to enjoy the live jazz band which features highly talented local musicians. We recommend you try the Yetibs Fit Fit which includes strips of lamb or beef with onions, green chili & tomato. They also have vegetable platters such as the Yatakilt Alitcha (Ethiopian gingered vegetable stew) and Yemiser Wot Collard Greens.

Merkato Ethiopian Restaurant is set in the vibrant area of Little Ethiopia and is a great place to dine in especially because it offers free valet parking! (You do not get that often in LA). The setting is kept fresh and homey with great lighting and décor. If you can find the time to make it here, definitely try the Fried Fish and Zil Zil Tibs which are seasoned strips of steak bound to rock your taste buds!

We’ve walked you through a top ten list of some of our favorite African restaurants in Los Angeles. Whether it was the unique French-Moroccan restaurant in Westwood or Ryan Gosling’s Tagine Beverly Hills that prompted you to explore African deliciousness in LA, let us know if you enjoyed the recommendations OR if there’s any of your favorites we missed!

Did we miss one of the best African Restaurants in Los Angeles?  Let us know in the comments.

Check out Washington D.C.’s Top African Spots!