Whether you’re visiting Ghana for the first time, coming back for a proper visit, or simply looking at exploring and eating out in Accra during December in Ghana, you will want to indulge in Ghanaian cuisine . Being a foodie myself, I understand that food can be one of the most personal and culturally immersive experiences one can indulge in. With this Circumspecte guide on going out in Accra, I’ll help you eat your way through a satisfying menu of traditional, continental, healthy and Afro-fusion delights in the Ghanaian capital. Pair it up with Circumspecte’s guide on exploring Ghana as well as my tips on using Uber in Ghana, and you’ll be good to go! But that’s not all – I also have recommendations on Accra nightlife and entertainment; which December in Ghana experiences you should look out for; and where to go for updates on events in Accra during and beyond the Year of Return. Don’t forget to look out for my insider foodie tips and discounts. Bonne appétit!
Eating Out in Accra
Authentic Ghanaian Food
With the possible exception of Ghana jollof; you may not have heard of most Ghanaian food. But take it from us, your visit won’t be complete if you don’t stray off the beaten path! Ghanaians love food, especially Ghanaian food. From the rice and tuber meals to the pudding-like family of dishes like banku, tuo zaafi and kenkey; you’ll be more than happy with the food variety Ghana has to offer. While salads do not feature strongly in Ghanaian food, there are many healthy legume and vegetable-based dishes to sample. These include visitor favourite groundnut soup and lesser-known fonio; a super grain from Ghana’s north.
// Insider foodie tip: a large crowd or long queue is usually a good indication of good food, but make sure to double check on hygiene.Circumspecte.com
Of course, your eating out in Accra menu won’t be complete without fresh tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, watermelon, or the sweet, inviting smell of plantain; a starchy fruit that can be eaten boiled, roasted or fried. Oh, and don’t worry about getting your hands dirty – many Ghanaian dishes are eaten by hand. Thanks to rap star Cardi B, chichinga is on trend as a must-have street food. The popular khebabs can be found on most major streets, but head to largely Muslim neighborhoods like Madina and Nima if you want the best seasoned and succulent khebabs. Celsbridge Pub in Labone has a good khebabs seller, and there’s another great khebab joint at Kotoko Avenue in Asylum Down, right next to VAT house.
If you haven’t yet received an invitation for home chow – a homecooked meal – you can easily find some Ghanaian food buffet style or otherwise in well-established local and continental restaurants like Starbites, Azmera, Nyo Nyo or Mangoes (also known as Mango Ase). To sample local delights from Ghana’s north while in Accra, get a dose of Fulera’s Special for the best waakye Accra has to offer (you can quote me on this). Want more variety? Indulge in some tuo zaafi and ayoyo – the dumpling-like maize meal and green soup dish that is a staple for most Northern Ghanaian households – at Mma Zaraa’s Restaurant or Jada’s Garden. Ready to try your hands at some new dishes from up north? Visit the newly opened Northern Platter restaurant in East Legon and ask for dawadawa (locust bean) Jollof or tubani (steamed bean cake). Feel like a more casual vibe? Get ready to try fufu at a chop bar like Bush Canteen, Asanka Local or Heavy Do. These relatively cheaper, canteen-style every day eateries never go out of style and are a go-to for many Ghanaians. For more cheap eats and dining, check out food guide Zubaidah.x, budget traveller AkosuaShirley, and Where Ghana Eats. DIY-er? Ghanaian food bloggers TelandeWorld and Ndudu_by_Fafa offer easy cooking recipes and tutorials to try.
You could also just chill at home, skip the Year of Return and December in Accra crowds, and place an order through food delivery service Jumia Food (see above for discount). You can also try local food apps and platforms Homechow (Accra & Kumasi), Eziban (Accra) and Yom-Yom (Tamale). While most Ghanaian dishes tend to be the slow-cook, homey kind, you can increasingly find yummy grab and go options like jollof burritos by Mukase Chic. Need a quick bite? Try popular fast food joints Papaye, Celsbridge, Epo’s or Duncan’s, opt for a neighborhood eatery like Casa Tomato or ask a local to recommend a good street food vendor. Die-hard foodie? Make space for the Jerk Festival (Dec 21), Accra Food Truck Fest (Dec 24) and Waakye Summit (Dec 26). Alternatively, you can sharpen your Ghanaian food making skills with a Cook Accra session (Dec 17-18) or a Mukasechic Cooking Masterclass (Dec 26). For even more food experiences during December in Ghana, check out this Dine Diaspora blog post.
(West) African Cuisine
Want to explore a safari of African food? Chez Clarisse, Au Grand Ecuyer, Lytanan Chez Christine and ‘the Ivorian’ maquis behind Shoprite Osu do justice to poisson braisé (grilled fish) and avocado salad. Choose between Côte d’Ivoire’s staples alloco (friend plantain) and attieke; a couscous-like accompaniment made from cassava. Buka Restaurant and Living Room also offer mouth-watering menus of West African cuisine including Nigerian, Ivorian and Senegalese dishes, while buffet dinners at Simret give a delicious dive into Ethiopian cuisine. For a unique culinary experience, plunge into Sierra Leonean cuisine with a Dine on a Mat experience or book in advance to experience the inviting warmth of nomadic dining with Midunu. Re-connecting with family? Consider a carefully curated menu by private chef Biishville or request boutique catering by Villa Grace. If you took us up on our Year of Return Ghana travel guide suggestion to visit Legon Botanical Gardens, Tayiba bar and grill will make a great lunch stop.
// Insider foodie tip: Great dining experience? Leave an anonymous Mystery Diner review.Circumspecte.com
Eating Out in Accra: Breakfast and/or Brunch
Your hotel probably offers a continental breakfast, but if you’d like to switch up your December in Ghana food experience, you certainly can. Ask about for the best Hausa koko and kose (millet porridge and bean cake – pictured) joint in your neighborhood. Bistro-style Café Kwae serves great beverages, food and the best customer service Accra has to offer (another thing you can quote me on). Visitor favorite Coco Lounge offers a satisfying breakfast all day long in the midst of Instagram-worthy décor, alongside its (slightly more expensive) sister restaurant Urban Grill. Thinking of brunch? Kukun’s platters are good for sharing and cost-splitting with friends; while Sai Champagne Bar puts a “Ghana” spin on a traditional Sunday brunch. Are peace and quiet top of mind for you? Munch on a fresh pastry at La Villa Boutique’s poolside or lose yourself in Villa Monticello’s greenery, while enjoying their carefully prepared meals. Accra’s first coffee shop Cuppa Cappucino also offers an extensive menu of breakfast and brunch delights all day long. If you really want to go all out on a traditional Ghanaian Sunday brunch in Accra, head to Labadi Beach Hotel for that delicious, five-star treatment.
Coffee Shops, Cafés & Dessert Spots
For a nation of tea drinkers, coffee shops have caught on like wildfire in the Ghanaian capital. That said, don’t be surprised if you find full-fledged Ghanaian meals on the menu. Venture a little beyond the Airport area to discover a plethora of other coffee shops to satisfy those coffee cravings. From pioneer coffee shop Cuppa Cappucino to franchise cafés like Vida E Caffe from South Africa and Canada’s Second Cup. Like a bit of character with your beverage? Do try out Theai Coffee House, Moka’s Café, Bourbon House Café or J’s Coffee and Creamery (Tema). Prefer tea over coffee? Go for the ‘high tea’ vibe at Orchid Flowers or have a bit of fun with some iced tea at Baa and Bean or Bobafro’s bubble tea. Like to keep things all the way healthy? Order some Wholly Kombucha probiotic tea for a fizzy experience in pineapple, apple and hibiscus ginger. Sweet tooth or just in the mood for some dessert? You’ll be spoilt for choice with Zisung’s home-delivered (cup)cakes or Zeno’s delightful yoghurt which can also be found in major grocery stores. Pan & Cook brings a unique spin to pancakes, while Cupcake Boutique and Pinkberry have no qualms helping you indulge your sugar cravings. With Crumb and Crunch, you can have your cookie and eat it – simply order 48 hours in advance to spoil yourself or a loved one. Pick up some 100% dairy-free and vegan ice-cream by Ghanaian brand Blue Skies on your way home or excite your senses with an array of Italian gelato at Pinnocchio’s. Whatever you do, don’t forget to indulge in typical Ghanaian snacks kelewele, bofrot (doughnut), nkate cake (peanut cake), boiled corn, coconut water and wagashi (fried cheese).
Insider foodie tip //: Café Kwae has the best wifi if you need a coffee shop to work from.Circumspecte.com
Eating Out in Accra – The Healthy Way
If you are health and diet conscious, you probably know that 80% of your fitness efforts depend on what you eat. Luckily, there is a growing crop of healthy eateries in Accra with vegetarian and vegan options, and Mahorgany at A&C Mall leads the pack. For a simple salad or smoothie just the way you like it, check out Green Eats, Clean Eats and Smoothy’s. While the term “healthy” is not strictly synonymous with Ghanaian food, we do have delicious healthy meals like plantain and beans; Pat’s Vegetarian behind the Survey Department across from El Wak stadium knows how to put the healthy in Ghanaian food. I have also heard good things about Asaase Pa; self-proclaimed vegetarian and vegan specialists. Newbie Tatale Vegan Restaurant is creating quite a buzz with their African interpretations of “plant based”. If you’re a creature of habit, Mango and Wheat will keep you fed on nutritious bulgur wheat jollof at their three outlets. For a South-east Asian twist on healthy food, head to Little India Sunshine Salad Bar. Like it spicy? Try the Taj Mahal wrap with sweet potato fries on the side. Neem Grill may be understated, but it is well-worth a visit, especially if you like your dinner light, grilled and satisfying. Want a moment or two of “curated calm”? Download this unique guide by plant-based vegan Nana Konamah for ideas. Don’t forget to use Circumspecte’s guide on top gyms in Accra to keep your fitness topnotch while eating your way through Accra.
Eating Out in Accra: Continental & Global Cuisine
Ghanaians may have a strong preference for their own food, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take your December in Ghana to the rest of the world while eating out in Accra. From pizza and Italian food at Mamma Mia, Cavaliere Pazzo, La Piazza, and Osteria Michelangelo to great sushi and more at Santoku, Rockefella’s and XO, you can literally make your way from west to east, north to south. Love Caribbean food? You’ll be happy to know about Jamaican restaurant Jamrock. Accra offers a plethora of French restaurants including La Chaumiere, Le Must, Le Tandem and Bistro 22 – not surprising, considering Ghana is surrounded by Francophone African countries. For more fine dining, make your way to the Accra Polo Club restaurant.
// Insider tip: Beat the traffic and order ahead; see Zubzz for over 150 restaurant menus.Circumspecte.com
Need a break from chicken, beef or goat meat? Swim over to Patagonia or Fat Fish for some pescatarian delights. If burgers are your thing, you need to have Burger and Relish, Lord of the Wings, and Counter Burger (halal) on speed dial. For most Ghanaians, Asian cuisine equals Chinese or Indian, and no one does both quite like Noble House. For more Asian delights, consider Tandoor Indian, Zion Thai, or South Korean restaurants Ninano Korean, Seoul Grill and The Debak. Accra’s sizeable Lebanese community doesn’t disappoint either – between Vixie’s Delicacies and Zaytoun, you’ll get to sample some Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. Don’t sit out on the Turkish delights either at Capitol and DNR Turkish restaurant. Top it all off with some Latin zest at Little Havana.
December in Accra: Nightlife & Entertainment
Live Music & Karaoke
If you are making your way around time during December in Ghana, you may want to read my guide on using Uber in Accra for tips. Like to be serenaded while eating? Chez Afrique, Gold Coast Restaurant, +233, Piana Bar, Holiday Inn and Yenkodi offer an eclectic range of live band music covering everything from Ghanaian high life to reggae and popular ballads. On Wednesdays, Afrikiko turns things up a notch with its highly popular salsa and kizomba dance nights, while Zen Garden provides a great roster of feet-thumping concerts and musical acts coming through. It’s live reggae music at Jamrock every weekend, but if your weekend begins on Thursday, you’ll want to get in on Carbon’s Live Lounge. Only have one free night in Accra? Make sure you start your evening with a drink at Accra’s famous and eclectic Republic Bar; there’s an activity every night, including quiz night, karaoke, and paint night. To get a peek into Ghana’s indie and artsy scene, you’ll want to check out Alliance Française for musical events and events. Kona Café is a chill spot to start your night out, but don’t miss out on Bloom Bar’s DJ sets and epic vibes. Football may be a whole lifestyle in Ghana; but that’s not all sports bar Honeysuckle offers: think happy hour and karaoke with friends.
// Insider foodie tip: Make it to Honeysuckle? Get their chicken wings in multiple flavors with a side of sweet potato fries.Circumspecte.com
Accra Bars, Lounges & Night Clubs
Sometimes all you need is a chilled drink and some good company. Precisely why many neighborhoods have a local “spot” where people relax and unwind with a drink. If you don’t drink alcohol like myself, you’ll find that most drink menus limiting. That said, there are increasingly more non-alcoholic (virgin) options and mocktails. Just ask the bartender or stick with a soft drink – my go-tos are Alvaro, Malt, a fresh juice like sobolo (hibiscus juice), or good ol’ water with a slice of lemon.
// Insider foodie tip: Ask for the Lingua mocktail at Republic as an alcohol-free alternative with a side of yam chips and meat balls.Circumspecte.com
The kokroko cocktail helped put Republic on the global map, but it’s their open, chill and hip vibe that keeps people coming – and no, there’s no dress code. Bloom Bar is a current favorite among youth, and many go there to see and be seen, so have fun with it and dress up a bit. Newly opened Luna Rooftop Bar has both the views and the vibes, from what I hear. If you can’t stand the crowds though, head over to The Woods for an equally good time. Sky Bar 25 and Roots Hotel offer rooftop views of the city, while AM:PM, Vine Lounge and Coco Lounge offer cosmopolitan pre-party feels, so you may want to double check on dress code. Serallio usually hosts events with great drinks and finger food, while Sai Wine & Champagne offers specialty wine-tasting events. Night owl? Rockstone’s Office, Twist, Carbon, Firefly, Champ’s and Plot 7 are known for great music, drinks and bites to last you till morning. Early evening or waiting out traffic? Grab a drink at a high rated hotel like Kempinski, Movenpick, or Accra City Hotel; or enjoy the ambiance and drinks at Café Kwae and La Villa Boutique. For more nightlife ideas, follow NightlifeinGhana on Instagram.
Beach Clubs & Restaurants
Your December in Ghana itinerary isn’t complete without a visit to at least one beach club; you may want to think twice about going for a swim though. The Osu and Labadi stretch offers plenty to choose from, including visitor favourite Sandbox, as well as Rehab and Ozzie’s. For a more laid back, local vibe, check out Osekan Bar, La Tawala and Next Door. If you really want to dip your feet in the Atlantic, you are better off at Labadi Beach Hotel or La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel. Alternatively, make a quick Accra cityscape to Sankofa Beach House, Kokrobite Village or Bojo Beach.
Ghana Networking, Concerts & Events
To say the December in Ghana calendar is jampacked would be an understatement; but it’s not just concerts and parties you should keep an eye out for. There’s everything from professional and business networking events to personalized experiences. We’re here to highlight the standouts and (hopefully) help make it all less overwhelming for you.
We The Culture CirqMixer & Other Networking Events
If you are thinking of relocating to Ghana or Africa, Circumspecte’s We The Culture CirqMixer on December 21 in partnership with The Afropole will give you a head-start on building essential connections, real talk and useful insights on that returnee life. Love a good conversation starter? Make your way to the Dzorwulu Flea Market by Terra Alta (Dec 14) for a peak into Accra’s budding circular economy; get all the way real on sexuality at Adventures Live! (Dec 16), and immerse yourself in Ghana culture at The Village (Dec 21-Jan 2). The Mother and Child Fair (Dec 21) is a great place to grab some Ghanaian made baby items. Follow it up with Aha Y3 D3 (Dec 23), the Black Gala (Dec 26), and wrap up at the Curl Experience (Dec 29). The ‘Diaspora- From Local to Foreign’ exhbition by Kuenyehia is a great choice if you’d like a creative take on questions around identity (Dec 5-26). Looking to give back? Consider joining the Labadi Beach Cleanup (Dec 28).
Year of Return Concerts & Parties
Let’s be real, you probably heard about the December in Accra being the new Ibiza experience and decided to see for yourself. Diaspora-led crowd-pleasers Afrochella, Afronation and TINA Fest are already making a splash; but don’t sit out on local circuit staples Rapperholic, Manifestivities, Bhim Concert, Decemba to Rememba, Worla Fest, and Detty Rave either. If you’re all about those celebrity sightings, you’re going to be super busy with confirmed appearances by popular acts like Cardi B, Burna Boy, Rick Ross, Tiwa Savage, Sarkodie, Stonebwoy, Shattawale, Mr Eazi, Wizkid, Becca, Efya, Major Lazer and more. Twitter has also been a-abuzz with speculation that Queen Bey and/or Solange will be in town for their own December in Ghana experience.
Not really one for crowds or wondering about Accra’s sub-cultures? You’ll want to go niche with events like the All White Party, Trap House Party, Pine x Gina, Bloom Bar Day Party and a Carnival Style Block Party. Better still, go full-on Alt-Cember Accra and save those cedis at these free events curated by Nothing to do in Accra.
Whatever you end up doing, you may want to include a spa or salon date in your itinerary. Book in advance; you’ll need it by the time you’re done with the December in Ghana circuit. See Head2ToeGh, Marie Noella’s, Niobe, Nzinga, Twist & Locs, Kora and X-Men for your selfcare and grooming needs – tell them Circumspecte sent you.
Staying Informed on December in Ghana Events
Want even more events during and beyond the Year of Return? Download the Thryll app for discounted tickets and events on the go; and/or sync this comprehensive calendar by Accragenda to your personal Google calendar. If you are active on Twitter, bookmark this AccraWeDey thread and follow Circumspecte on Twitter for periodic event updates. You can also check out this Airtable and/or join the This is Accra December in Accra WhatsApp group to stay in the know. Already know which events you’re attending? See Eventbrite and Egotickets for easy ticket purchase and mobile money payment. Instagrammer? Follow any (or all) these Ghana event-focused accounts to stay in the know: Nothingtodoin_Accra and AccraUnplugged for alternative and creative happenings; Whats_Happening_Accra and WhatsUpAccra for general events in Accra; and When_In_Ghana for events across the country.
Whew, that’s A LOT! I hope this helps you navigate going and eating out in Accra throughout your December in Ghana experience. Know others that should be in this guide? Leave a comment with your suggestions!
Also, remember to check out Circumspecte’s Ghana travel guide for ideas on sights to see, things to do and Ghanaian brands to shop for during your December in Ghana and beyond. Found this guide useful? Share it with a friend. Stay safe and have fun!
Jemila Abdulai is the creative director, editor and founder of the award-winning website Circumspecte.com. A media and international development professional and economist by training, she combines her business, communications and project management expertise with her strong passion for Africa. Besides writing and reading, she enjoys travel, global cuisine, movies, and good design.