• Saturday, December 09, 2023
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Street food like no other: The best Suya spots in Lagos


Every culture has it. Their own special way of grilling meat.

In East Africa, they call it nyamachoma, in southern Africa, it is called shisanyama, in Senegal, it is called dibbi, in Sudan, it’s agashe and in Nigeria, we call it suya.

For our non-Nigerian readers, suya is a traditional street food that has been responsible for the cravings of millions of people for decades.

It is a delicacy that you must try if you ever set foot in the country. Suya is the creation of northern Nigeria. The Hausa, the Tuareg, and the Berber tribes have a similar North African culinary culture, with meat featuring heavily in their cuisines or tsire is a spicy meat skewer that is a popular food in Nigeria.

Suya is generally made with a skewered beef, ram or chicken. Innards such as kidneys, liver, and tripe are also used.

The thinly sliced meat is marinated in various spices which include peanut cake, salt, vegetable oil, and other flavourings, and then barbecued. Suya is served with extra helpings of dried pepper mixed with spices and sliced onions.

Due to its popularity, you can find a suya spot in Lagos every 4-5 minutes. Suya is not a part of the mainstream restaurant dining experience and I think it’s okay like this, as suya is not just about eating grilled meat, it’s a whole experience on its own.

Some places offer suya on the menu but nothing beats the taste of suya from a Mai Suya (a suya seller). Suya preparation is not for the novice. It is a skill but also an art that must be learned. Suya chefs are those who know how to prepare the spices and skew the meat before placing them on the grill.

Read also: Is Slow the most exclusive restaurant in Lagos?

Experience and expertise are needed in order to bring out the unique taste of suya. It is a wonderful pleasure to experience at least once in a lifetime in Lagos.

Suya can be delicious but can also cause serious indigestion if bought from the wrong place. We have therefore put together a list of places in Lagos we love to get Suya from.

Polo Club Suya

Located in Ikoyi, the polo club is a members-only club known for polo matches, networking, and socialising.

However, Lagosians know that possibly the best thing about the polo club is the suya they offer. I have never had stomach issues from their suya and it is just yummy. Whenever I crave suya, I remember that Yakubu, the main man behind the delicious grills, does house deliveries.

Glover Court Suya

For 20 years Glover Court has been offering delicious Suya. As the name indicates, Glover Court is located on Glover Court in Ikoyi. In my humble opinion, it’s a close second to polo club Suya, and I also love the fact that they sell Massa and northern Nigerian drinks right in the same complex. The food is delicious and the service excellent. To avoid the lines that can sometimes be long (a great testimony to the delicious nature of the Glover Court Suya), you can also order online via https://www.glovercourtsuya.com.ng/.

Sooyah Bistro, Surelere

With 6 locations across Lagos, Sooyah Bistro is fast becoming a favourite around town. They have also been very creative with their menu and offer a variety of options. Whether you are in Illupeju, Suruelere, Landmark Beach, Lekki, or Ikeja, Sooya bistro has you covered. We tried the one in Surulere. You can order here: https://surulere.sooyahbistro.com/

University of Suya

As the name suggests the University of Suya is notoriously known as an expert when it comes to grilling suya. Located on Allen Avenue Ikeja, they have a reputation to be one of the best in town.

Akerele Hub

Located in Suruelere, on the mainland, Akerele Hub boasts some of the freshest suya in Lagos. Make sure to check them out.

There you have it. A list of the best Suya spots in Lagos for the next time that craving kicks in!