In 2017, someone snarkily asked me: “What is there to do in Abuja, even?” And I answered: “Bruh, eat.” And I wasn’t lying. Eating out is relatively cheaper here than in other big cities and we have hella cute cafes scattered all around. Now, as luck would have it, the angels of food have smiled upon us by giving us EatDrinkLagos’ very famous EatDrinkFestival! So, on the 8th of June, we will all troop (fork in hand) to Harrow Park to get a taste of Lagos’ finest food festival, tailored to our very eclectic taste buds.
I know, I too am overwhelmed at ALL the possibilities and ALL the food but it’s okay, I’ve created this guide to help you (you, me, everyone on the C.F.Eats team) navigate the festival and get a taste of flavours from all around the world along the way!
Remember, it’s a marathon, not a race, so if you get there early, you can pace yourself and pretend you’re doing a Tastemade food festival review at the same time!
CrazyPe0ple Cocktails To Start The Day
As soon as we walk through the gates, we’re heading for the CrazyPeople’s Cocktail stand because it’s only right that we start with an Abuja fave.
Everything on the menu looks inviting but we’ll start with something light, like a Bay Breeze for example, because we want a drink to whet our appetite and put us in the mood for the food, which we’re always in btw, but this will allow us take cute pictures with our cup in hand before our inevitable food pouch starts showing itself :)
Buttercream Abuja for something sweet
Now that our pictures are taken, it’s time to get down to business with an amuse-bouche. Buttercream Abuja’s Nutella Banana Bread is on our list because Nutella, duh, and one slice sounds like a nice way to exercise our jaw muscles.
I know amuse-bouches are meant to be free but the price of these items can technically be considered free if you close your eyes and don’t think about it too much.
The Vegan Trip to China
Vegans aren’t left out as Lily’s Hands make Deep Fried Seitan Cutlets and if you’re into this sort of thing, you get to take a quick food-inspired trip to China!
because there will be several others
After getting an appetiser, we’ll head for Ette’s Barbecue because that Famous Turkey and Plantain will not eat itself. Fun Fact: Chef Ette is from Calabar and my family used to have him over to do barbecues for us during Christmas and other random occasions, so I can tell you for free, his grill is magic.
You can head to Jaka’s Grill for a taste of what I think is also from Calabar (or maybe I just think all the grill people come from Cross River State) and try the Grilled Sticky Chicken Combo Box.
Waffle Stop for Another One
After our first main, it’s important to take a step back and appreciate our ability to taste food. What’s a better way to do this than to taste even more food? Trick question, there’s no better way.
At this point, we’ll saunter over to the Waffle Stop stand for a Waffle Pop! Our food pouch has started to rear its head but we’re sure we can still squeeze out a few more pictures at this point. We’ll pick up a chocolate covered waffle pop and take all the pictures we can get at this point.
Thirst Quencher Time
After a sweet treat, we’re going to need an alcoholic drink to lift our spirits (and counter the pending sugar rush). So, to Entree’s Cocktails we go! They have a drink called Tiger’s Blood and by virtue of its name alone, we have to try it.
(At this point, you can convince your friends to try the Watermelon Agua Fresca from Legal Tenders Cocktails and take a sip of it because you’re a sophisticated person too dammit!).
because we’re just getting into it
If you’re a lasagna fiend like my friend Amiola, you can hop over to Melo’s Kitchen stand for a taste of Italy and try their Mini Lasagna! Honestly, eating lasagna at a food festival is my aesthetic but if it isn’t yours, there’s a bunch of other things to try on the menu here.
You can head back to Lily’s Hands to try the Garlic & Rosemary Infused Slow-Baked Chicken and dodo because, honestly, I’ve been eyeing it since I saw Deep Fried Seitan Cutlets.
Now, at this point, it is important to know you have done your best, honestly. Cool off with a Strawberry Basil Lemonade treat from Ice Pop.
If parfaits are your thing, try one of France’s more popular exports in the form of the Medium Cup Parfait from Parfait Cafe (tongue twister? No?)
Now, congratulatory high-fives are in order because you made it!! You came, you ate, you conquered! You can go home feeling well accomplished because you really did the damn thing.