When ranking African fast food eateries, there are restaurants among restaurants when you visit Monrovia, Liberia. Here, we provide insights into what plant-based travelers can expect when evaluating food in Liberia. This information is also helpful to general travelers who want the best experience from restaurants in Monrovia Liberia. This, and budget-friendly options. Coal bowl shops are highlighted in this article. This is because they are dismissed, overlooked, and ignored among the ranks of food in Liberia when compared to the Libassa ecolodge restaurant. Grab your chanchulu, or subscribe and be notified monthly on this journey of learning about African nations through plant-based foods.
What Is African Fast Food?
Sometimes the industry definition from abroad does not consider the local insight into terms like ‘fast food.’ Liberians understand fast food as fresh ingredients served hot in 5 mins or less. You can expect this at coal bowl shops and most restaurants. Although, restaurants with posh appearances try to convince you they are different from zinc house eateries. Like many coal bowl shops, restaurants in Liberia cook single batches of the meals offered in the early morning and this food is available to patrons from 10 am until it is finished. To us in the West, African fast food implies coal bowl food. Africans remain aware that fast food means pizza, burgers, and fries (hardly fresh, and heavily processed). Whereas African fast food: nuts, beans, greens, and rice or jollof rice, would have fresh ingredients.
How Plant-based Person Navigates Food in Liberia
How did I make it work? By being flexible and open-minded. While living in Margibi, my daily adventure consisted of finding good food. It is difficult to be a plant-based person in a predominantly carnivorous society. But Margibi County is home to our beloved Libassa ecolodge. I will share more about my plant-based experience there. Did you know that Margibi has good coal bowl shops and affordable African fast food eateries? Though not in comparison to restaurants in Monrovia, Liberia. It has many pan-African establishments offering some of the best food in Liberia.
Posh Restaurants in Monrovia Liberia
Understandably, posh restaurants are hyped by locals who are filled with love for subpar pizza, burgers, and fries (basically Western food). Locals like to eat there for coleslaw, and other Western foods for photo opportunities and to flex on each other. To make it worse, food prices at those restaurants in Monrovia Liberia are high! You might consider coal bowl shops to live your best plant-based life on a budget. That is where I experienced some of the best African fast food. 😊
Road Less Travelled Serves Nice Food in Liberia
This has been my experience then and now. Below is a general list of restaurants and coal bowl shops that helped me live my best plant-based life in a budget-friendly capacity:
1)-Aunt Sophie’s Coal Bowl Shop
When you get to the Boystown/Marshall Junction, ask any of the motorcycle taxi vendors for Sophie’s Coal bowl shop. Some pronounce it as “Aunt Sophay’s.” If you are at the Libassa ecolodge area, hire a motorcycle taxi and tell them to take you to Red Bricks (clay) Factory. Sophie’s coal bowl shop is right near there. Tame your expectations about its surroundings, the food is good and the portions are fair. Plus, it is made fresh daily (as with reputable coal bowl shops). I ate there twice and cannot wait to revisit. Even though it is freshly made on a daily basis, we call it African fast food because they cook a big batch and serve it until it is complete.
2)-Zinc Structures Coal Bowl shop & Stationary Food vendors’
Vendors who sell under umbrellas offer good food that I trust is partly fresh and affordable. Things like pepper sauce can be days old though. I believe this is a good option if you look past the shop’s appearance and location. The ordeal of finding affordable plant-based food proved that these places are good options when you need fresh hot meals. It is difficult to find all the ingredients I need to cook a plant-based dish. So why not go with this affordable option? I ate in a zinc-house shop one time (may not be the last time), and I ate at a school cafeteria (aka coal bowl shop) at ELWA Junction. Oh yes, I ate amazing Attieke from vendors selling under umbrellas.
3)-Libassa Ecolodge Restaurant
I am grateful this establishment exists to offer fresh salad with cheese and generous fresh fruit plates. If you are plant-based and struggling to keep a balanced diet with the foods you are used to, try Libassa Ecolodge restaurant. They offer good Western food in Liberia and, by request, Liberian food which is pricier than regular coal bowls.
If you want affordable African food, skip to the top of this list or check out other coal bowl shops in central Monrovia. I enjoyed staying at Libassa Ecolodge because I got fresh breakfasts along with fruits and drinks that I’m used to. Libassa Ecolodge has fresh salad! 😊 It is difficult to find assorted fruits (individually, yes, but not assorted). Even though this place is in Margibi County, it is listed among good restaurants in Monrovia, Liberia. For anyone living a meat-free lifestyle, Libassa Ecolodge is a wholesome place to stay and thrive nutritionally.
There you have it folks! These are my suggestions based on my personal experience navigating the African fast food scenes in Liberia. Of the places mentioned, there are restaurants in Monrovia Liberia that didn’t make the cut. What are your thoughts? Are there eateries in Liberia you’d suggest food tourists explore? Comment below.