Benin

Communauté Financière Africaine Francs (XOF)

French, Fon, Yoruba, Dendi, Aja, Bariba and more than 50 local languages

Restaurants

Top ChoiceBeninese in Abomey

Chez Delphano

This delightful maquis is a winner. Marguerite prepares exquisite Beninese cuisine in a jovial atmosphere. She also prepares crêpes in the morning, with freshly ground coffee and a mountain of fruit. Yum! Chez...

Top ChoiceEuropean in Route des Pêches

Bab's Dock

This hidden gem near the Route des Pêches is on the edge of the lagoon. Food is European in style but local in production. A secure car park is signposted from the route; from there, a boat takes you to the...

Top ChoiceFrench in Cotonou

L'Atelier

Considered by some connoisseurs to be one of the most refined restaurants in town, with excellent French and fusion cuisine, and an ambience that's as optimal for business lunches as it is for a romantic evening...

Top ChoiceFrench in Cotonou

Chez Clarisse

This small French restaurant, in a pretty residential area next to the US embassy, is a perennial favourite that churns out excellent French and local specialties, such as fish with moyo sauce, as well as...

Top ChoiceBeninese in Cotonou

Maman Aimé

This is a super atmospheric Beninese maquis (rustic open-air restaurant) with little more than a few wooden benches and tables under a corrugated iron roof. Here you'll get a blob of pâte (starch staple, often...

North African in Natitingou

Maquis Savanna

The chef, Guillaume, serves up French-Moroccan–North African fare such as Moroccan lamb and tagine, creamy hummus, excellent meats and river fish, all with a smile and remarkably attentive service. There's often...

African in Natitingou

La Brèche

Highly original is this appealing eatery set in a tata somba house with superb views of Nati and the Atakora Mountains. Book ahead for the house specialities: canard au tchouk (duck cooked in tchoukoutou –...

Seafood in Ouidah

Côté Pêche

Fish lovers, you'll find nirvana here: Côté Pêche has a wide assortment of fish delivered daily from the harbour, including barracuda and grouper. The menu also features meat dishes, pasta, salads and sandwiches....

African in Ouidah

Restaurant d'Amicale

This colourful, friendly spot serves a mix of sandwiches and pizzas, fresh salads and attiéké (a dish from Côte d'Ivoire made with cassava, beans, fish, plantains and pasta). It's a spacious spot with shaded...

African in Porto Novo

Java Promo

No one seems to remember a time before Java Promo. Hidden behind the aquamarine shutters of a crumbling colonial building and shielded from the sun by a big paillote (straw awning), this is a popular haunt for an...

African in Cotonou

Chez Maman Bénin

This long-standing no-frills canteen off Blvd St Michel has a large selection of West African dishes scooped from steaming pots. There's no decor except for a couple of blaring TVs showing the latest football...

French in Cotonou

Les Trois Mousquetaires

This fine establishment serves delicate French cuisine and features an extensive wine list. The old colonial dining room is the perfect setting for a sophisticated evening.

Seafood in Route des Pêches

Wado

This eatery overlooking the beach has garnered high praise for its ultra-fresh fish and seafood platters.

Beninese in Adjara

Chez Houssou

This unpretentious maquis, with no more than a couple of wooden benches, is famous for one thing and one thing only: porc grillé sauce sang (grilled pork cooked in a blood sauce). Houssou cuts morsels of pork,...

African in Cotonou

Maquis du Port

Great-value local food. More an upmarket African eatery than a maquis, this hugely popular venture serves a good mix of local classics such as ndole (a stew made of leaves and nuts), salads, braised fish and meat...

African in Cotonou

Chez Léa

Fill up on poulet moyo at this crazily popular lunch joint set up under an awning and corrugated iron roof. Plates are piled high with chicken, aloko (fried plantain), fries, rice, peas and salad. Perfect for...

Chinese in Cotonou

Hai King

One of Cotonou's older Chinese restaurants, this has an atmospheric covered roof terrace overlooking the bustling Carrefour de Cadjéhoun, a row of red lanterns, a comprehensive menu and a complement of Chinese...

African in Cotonou

Maquis Pili Pili

This well-run eatery rates equally highly with Beninese and expats for its amazing West African food. Prices are very reasonable and the jugs of freshly squeezed pineapple juice at lunch time are a refreshing...

African in Porto Novo

Chez Mahi

Locals swear by this restaurant, just south of Pl Kokoyé. It's not an attractive place (bare concrete walls), but the mashed yam is excellent and the atmosphere jovial.