The Eat.Drink.Lagos Guide to Drinking in Lagos

Ever wondered how people cope with the stress and the heat in Lagos?

Lagos stress will have you parking your car in the road, curling in the foetal position, and crying. At the end of every workweek, every Lagosian goes to get what they deserve - a cold one. Eat.Drink.Lagos is here to give you a lowdown of how it goes,

The drink… Wahalarita @ 355 Bar & Lounge 

9A Oko Awo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

NOSA: Doesn’t really matter what the question is; the answer is the Wahalarita. How do you deal with heartbreak in Lagos? Drink a wahalarita. How do you deal with losing your job? Drink a wahalarita. In fact, you don’t even need a reason to drink a wahalarita. You just do.

FOLLY: What is in a Wahalarita? No one really knows. Okay, to be honest we do. It’s a combination of a few margarita flavours. The end result is magnificent, it’s like fruit punch for grown ups.

The bar… RSVP

9 Eletu Ogabi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos

FOLLY: RSVP opened late last year, so it’s technically not still a new restaurant, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still hot on everyone’s lips. With it’s lofted ceilings and exposed ventilation, the space itself is not very Lagosian in design. In fact, two Passionfruit martinis later you’d swear you’re in New York.

NOSA: The food might be the big draw, but don’t sleep on the bar at RSVP. RSVP doesn’t have bartenders, they have mixologists. If ever you want to wait out traffic, drive down to RSVP, head straight to the bar, and the owner Nahi will mix you the drink of your life.

The bartender… Kingsley @ Cafe Royale

267A Etim Iyang Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos

NOSA: The saddest part of that Cafe Royale raid wasn’t the sudden unavailability of their donut selection or Tex Mex. Neither is really any good, to be honest. The real loss in the Cafe Royale raid was Kingsley, the ever smiling Cafe Royale bartender.

FOLLY: Kingsley has a secret menu. What you need to do was go to the bar and ask him to make you ‘a drink’. Then, he’ll “freestyle” you a signature creation and also give it a name if he is in the mood. The best part is that these freestyled drinks only cost 1500 Nigerian Naira, which is about $7.50. Pretty cheap by Lagos standards.

NOSA:  Thank God that Cafe Royale witch hunt is

The scene… Bar Enclave

1 Adeola Adeleye Street, Ilupeju, Lagos

NOSA: On 1 April, 2015, Muhammadu Buhari beat incumbent Goodluck Jonathan by about 2.5 million votes and in the process became first opposition candidate to win a presidential election in Nigeria. In my entire lifetime, never have I seen Nigerians full of so much hope for the future. A wave of change truly swept through the nation and nothing personalized this pervading feeling quite like Bar Enclave.

Yes, a bar.

It might seem like a reach, but Bar Enclave is truly a microcosm of the new Nigeria. On the surface, there’s perhaps nothing spectacular about this tight little bar. Sure, many swear by the turkey, but there’s really nothing that suggests this bar is beyond the ordinary. To understand the allure of Bar Enclave, one has to look beyond the surface. In the midst of all that nondescript lies youthful exuberance that can’t be matched. A feeling of shared hope by an emerging generation of Nigerians. Bar Enclave is more than just a bar; it’s a culture.

And on the day Buhari was announced as the clear winner of the Nigerian elections, where did these young Nigerians go celebrate? Bar Enclave.

For the Winos… The Wine House

19A Mekunwen Road, Ikoyi, Lagos

FOLLY: Winehouse is one of Ikoyi’s best kept secrets. I think that’s one of my favourite things about it, it’s untainted and undiscovered.

NOSA: Winehouse is a hidden gem in every sense of the word.

FOLLY: You wouldn’t even know it was there if you drove past it. There’s no signage outside, just a curious looking lime green gate.

NOSA: Winehouse boasts an incredible selection of wines from all over the world making it the perfect place to spend wine o’ clock.

This post originally appeared in OURS Magazine.