Shared with permission by our friends at Dakar Eats (https://dakareats.com/)
*Side note – this is a great resource for food and restaurant questions in general in Dakar!
January 1, 2018
2018 Dakar Eats Cheat Sheet for new arrivals
I order chicken thighs (hauts de cuisse) from Marché du Poulet les Alliés, which is based at Kermel market so they butcher fresh daily. Mmm… delivered warm. 🙂 Their prices are unbeatable and they deliver the same day.
For whole chickens or chicken breasts, I buy from Sensa Agri (organic!) at the American Food Store in Almadies or chicken breasts from La Boucherie Nouvelle (free delivery to some areas!). The only reason I don’t buy chicken breasts from Alliés is that their cuts aren’t as clean as I’d like. I don’t notice it much for thighs that will go in soup, but for chicken breasts I want prettier cuts.
There are only two Dakar beef options in my book: BeerSheba organic beef, which is available in the freezer section at the American Food Store in Almadies or at the monthly Dakar Farmers Market. They have ground beef, 100% beef hamburger patties, stew meat, beef sausage, steak or roasts… Or I order ground beef and stew meat from La Boucherie Nouvelle (free delivery to some areas!).
Again, the same two choices for me.La Boucherie Nouvelle does amazing thick-cut pork chops and also ground pork for making your own loose sausage. Also a huge fan of their smoked poitrine fumée, my go-to bacon source. BeerSheba organic pork sausages are incredible. Bratwurst, Italian sausage in spicy or mild and also breakfast sausage links. You can also get other pork cuts, but I’m mostly just in it for sausage varieties.
For years I ordered filets de lotte and shrimp from Abdou, who delivers all over Dakar. Always fresh and very punctual. The only reason I changed was that a new vendor knocked on my door one day and came highly recommended by the neighbors on a day that I happened to want seafood. Mr Sarr’s prices are lower and the quality and freshness are excellent. However with Abdou you can order a specific quantity of filets and he will bring them bagged and ready to go. With Mr Sarr you buy a whole fish and then he filets it for you in your kitchen. He’s fast and good and clean up is spotless, but if you don’t want someone in your kitchen, call Abdou.
Mr Sarr: 775408378
For canned and baking goods, I go to the little Supermarché Utile in Ouakam or Leader Price in Almadies because they carry 80% of what I want…and without that funky smell from Hypermarché Exclusif, although they do have a wide selection of spices and items I haven’t found elsewhere. Casino is generally most expensive, but a decent selection if you need a one-stop shop. I want to love Auchan (and I do love the prices and their generic brand), but some of them just feel like the aisles are really crowded in, making it hard to see items up high, and the “lines” require busting out your elbows to hold your place.
Be sure to check out your local buutik too! You’ll be amazed…
Fruit & Veggies
Mr and Mme Ba come by each week selling from their car. They have all I need at good prices (and they sell all around Dakar). Or go to your nearest stand and get to know the vendors there. Ask lots of questions. Some of the produce you will never have seen before, but some of it is just a different variety, like the little Charentais melons that are so delicious but are 1/4 the size of a cantaloupe!
Watch the Dakar Farmers Market Facebook page for updates on their monthly market. It’s THE best place to get organic produce from various farmers, including Taaru Askan which is launching its CSA program soon!
Frozen fruit is at larger grocery stores, like Casino and Auchan.
Tip: If you’re new and want to know what’s available and in season in Senegal, go to marché Kermel.
For home delivery of fresh milk and artisanal plain and vanilla yogurt, you will love Club Dolima. (I do!)
For supermarket shopping we buy Laitcran brand powdered whole and skim milk and prefer Ardo brand lait caillé (non-sucré). I use it to make ‘Greek yogurt’ and sour cream. Labneh, the Lebanese cream cheese made from yogurt, is so yummy too.
The best selection of European cheeses is at Casino supermarkets. Gouda nature is a good all-around mild cheese that works for everything from cheeseburgers to tacos to omelettes. Some people prefer Mimolette, and the orange color does make your brain think it tastes kind of like cheddar… Mozzarella can be found at most supermarkets, or fresh from CIBUS (disclaimer: new owner, haven’t tried it yet).
You probably already know about Eric Kayser bakery and La Graine d’Or. But beyond these, Dakar has some amazing breads!
Baked-to-order whole wheat tortillas, English muffins, pizza crusts, panini bread, bagels, banana and apple breads… Marie’s Kitchen delivers. And I am so, so glad!
Everyday baguette: Ask for tapalapa at your local buutik. Freezes well, makes good sandwiches and great garlic bread.
Whole wheat sandwich bread, sliced: Shady Shack. It’s delicious and exactly what I want in a sandwich loaf. They also have white bread, if you prefer.
Go to the Dakar Farmers Market to browse, or in grocery stores, look for products marked ‘bio’.
Gluten-free options, restaurant reviews, a comprehensive list of what to find where… All on Dakar Eats! Just use the search bar. Happy browsing and eating!