Best restaurants in Benin

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants 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 Delphano is north of Rond-Point de la Préfecture.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants 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 restaurant through thick mangrove. There's an admission fee (CFA2500) for the day, which covers the car park and boat trip.

  • Restaurants 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 live jazz on weekends, but even without, this is a spot where you'll dine in style and want to linger long after the meal ends.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants 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 out.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants 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 pancakes and sandwiches.

  • Restaurants in Parakou

    Le Secret de la Vieille Marmite

    Le Secret de la Vieille Marmite, with its lively ambience and bright-blue cladding, does some of the best Beninese grub around.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants 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 made from millet, corn, plantains, manioc or yams) and ladle of sauce for next to nothin'. And yes, you'll eat with your fingers. There's no signboard; it's in a von (alleyway) off Pl de Bulgarie.

  • Restaurants 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 – sorghum beer – sauce) and lapin au sodabe (rabbit cooked in sodabe – moonshine – sauce). And be sure to try its delicious salade peule (tomatoes with local cheese).

  • Restaurants 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. The owners have three rooms for rent (CFA7000). It's at the beginning of Rte des Esclaves.

  • Restaurants 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 tables and an interior with fans so strong they'll quickly cool your food down.

  • Restaurants 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 omelette at brekkie or rustic European meals for lunch.

  • Restaurants 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 action.

  • Restaurants 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.

  • Restaurants in Route des Pêches

    Wado

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

  • Restaurants 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, puts them in a mud-brick oven, and then serves them on a small plate – it can't get more authentic than that.

  • Restaurants 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 stews. It's in a multistorey building overlooking the fishing harbour.

  • Restaurants 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 taking in the vibe from Cotonou's working crowd.

  • Restaurants 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 expat clientele – always a good sign.

  • Restaurants 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 godsend.

  • Restaurants 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.