Are you a foodie and a sucker for local Nigerian foods? This post is for you.
The culture of buying roadside or street foods in Nigeria is one that has been strongly built and is not going anywhere anytime soon.
If you live in a city like Lagos and you have experienced the hustle and bustle of this city, you will understand why roadside or street food businesses are thriving. Not to mention that these foods are normally affordable, tasty and handy, unlike the food sold in upscale restaurants.
In no particular order, these are the yummiest roadside foods or snacks available in Nigeria and equally loved by Nigerians.
Also known as bean cake, Akara is ground beans, mixed with pepper, onions and other spices, then fried till it turns golden brown. It is a popular roadside food in Nigeria and can be eaten with bread or pap (corn pudding).
Also known as bean pudding, moin-moin is a delicious roadside food made from ground beans mixed with onions, pepper, oil and other spices. It is then steamed till it solidifies. It is normally wrapped in leaves or nylons. Some people add fish or boiled egg to their moin-moin, depending on individual taste. It can be eaten as a meal on its own with pap or garri or as a jollof or fried rice complement.
This is a popular Nigerian street delicacy that originated from the North. It is barbecued meat or chicken that is sliced and sprinkled with a special dry pepper from the North known as “Yaaji" and onions or any other vegetable of choice. You can find suya vendors known as “Maisuya" in almost every street corner in Nigeria at night.
It is a tasty street food made from flour, sugar and other ingredients. It is usually soft and fluffy and can be eaten as a light snack with any drink of your choice.
● Boli and groundnuts
This is a combination of plantain that is roasted whole and groundnuts. Ripe or unripe plantain with groundnuts is a popular roadside food in Nigeria. You can always find vendors roasting plantains and putting them on display for customers to pick from at almost every street corner. Sometimes, they can roast yam and potato too and serve them with pepper sauce and fish or kpomo (cooked cow skin).
● Boiled or roasted corn
This is usually seasonal but always hot cake when in season. It can be eaten with sliced coconut pieces or cooked pear. Corn sellers and hawkers can be found on every street or roadside, as it is always in high demand.
● Boiled groundnuts
Also known as peanuts, this is simply cooked groundnuts. It is quite popular and can be eaten as a snack on the go. It is affordable and hawkers of groundnuts are never in short supply on any street corner or roadside and sometimes even in traffic.
● Garden egg and peanut butter
This combination is also a snack that can be eaten on the go. Garden egg sellers can be found everywhere all the time as it never goes out of season.
This is also known as African salad and is a special roadside delicacy that originates from the Igbo cultural tribe in Eastern Nigeria. It is made up of shredded cassava and other ingredients like garden egg leaf, onions, pepper, salt, spices, oil, ugba etc. It can be eaten with fried fish or kpomo depending on the personal choice of the buyer. Abacha sellers can be found on every road and street hawking their products. If you have never eaten Abacha before, you need to because it is delicious.
● Ewa Agoyin and Agege bread
This is another popular delicacy on the streets, especially in Lagos. It is cooked mashed beans, served with peppery oily sauce and eaten with a popular bread known as Agege bread. There are many roadside bukas on every street corner that serve this yummy delicacy.
● Wanke rice
This is actually a Ghanaian delicacy that has become popular in Nigeria, especially on the streets of Lagos. It is made up of cooked rice and beans mixed together with a peppery oily sauce and served with fish or meat. It is a tasty delicacy that is always a delight to busy folks who can easily buy it after work, take home and eat after a busy day instead of going through the stress of cooking a meal. It can be found at any roadside buka on the streets.
● Fried yam and potato
This is another handy Nigerian street food, also known as Dundu, that can be eaten on the go. It is made up of slices of yam and potato fried in oil and served with a peppery sauce and fish, meat or kpomo. It can also be bought on every street corner, as it is a tasty delicacy.
● Ofada rice and pepper sauce
This is another delicious delicacy on the streets. It is cooked local rice served with peppery ofada sauce and an assortment of meat. The sellers are always everywhere hawking their products from street to street. You can also get it at any local restaurant or buka on the roadside or streets.
This is also a local delicacy that originates from the Igbo cultural tribe of Nigeria. It is made up of grounded “cowpea" which is a specie of beans mixed with other ingredients and cooked in the same process as moin-moin. It is a delicious street food that can be eaten on the go.
● Gala and Lacasera or any other soft drink
This list will not be complete without mentioning our beloved gala which is a sausage roll like snack that is popular in Nigeria. It can be found in shops, in any roadside or street corner, in traffic and even while travelling to and fro in the country. It is the best on-the-go Nigerian snack and is usually eaten with Lacasera apple flavoured drink or any other drink chosen by the buyer.
● Plantain chips
Just like gala, this is another nice on-the-go snack that can easily be bought in traffic and eaten while on the move. It is made up of unripe or ripe plantain fried dry and crisp and packaged in branded packs and nylons.
Over the years, a lot of people have criticized the patronage of roadside or street foods because of hygiene issues and the health risks involved but the reality is that these businesses still thrive and will keep on thriving for now because they are meeting an important need in a fast-paced world where everyone is busy chasing their dreams and trying to make a living and don't want to have to worry about the strenuous task of meal preparation. They can easily walk down their street and get a delicious roadside food to satisfy their hunger and go back to work.