Food, Meats

10 must-try street foods in Nigeria

Street food is part of the culture in Nigeria. No matter the season or place, there’s always a street for everyone. We listed 10 of the street foods you must try in Nigeria.

“There’s no [more] sincere love than the love of food” is a befitting summary of Nigerians’ love for food, which explains why street foods are popular in the country. Beyond satisfying your cravings, street food also promotes camaraderie among people. Depending on where you stay, there’s always street food for you. But which ones should you try? Read the list to find out. 

10 street foods you should try in Nigeria

1. Grilled meat (“suya”)

Prices of suya ingredients, a popular street food in Nigeria, on Pricepally. Suya is a national meat delicacy that roadside vendors sell mostly at night in Nigeria. It’s grilled beef or ram with onions, cucumbers, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, and cabbage. Suya is typically served in a newspaper wrap and is a good source of iron and vitamins, both of which strengthen the immune system.  


Prices of suya ingredients, a popular street food in Nigeria, on Pricepally.

2. Boiled beans and pepper sauce (“ewa agoyin”)

Ewa agoyin, a popular street food in Lagos, NigeriaNothing screams Lagos as much as “ewa agoyin”; it’s everyone’s favorite street food, irrespective of social class. The food is made by boiling beans until it becomes tender and mashable. The mashed beans is served with a spicy sauce made from bell peppers (tatashe), chili peppers, onions, and crayfish

3. Agege bread and butter

Agege bread Agege bread is so unique and popular that it was named after a community in Lagos (Agege). The bread is soft, white, and dense. It’s usually served with butter or the delicious ewa agoyin. 

4. Abacha

Abacha, a popular eastern street food in Nigeria Abacha, or African salad, is a popular food in the eastern part of Nigeria. It’s a blend of cassava and vegetables, like garden egg, onion, African oil bean seed (“ugba”), and “utazi” leaves. It also contains proteins like meat, fish, and crayfish.

5. Roasted plantain or boli

Roasted plantain or boliThe range of plantains is unmatched. You can boil it, fry it as dodo, or in this case, roast it as “boli.” Boli is one of the few street foods with a dedicated celebration, the “boli festival.” The plantain is often served with a pepper sauce filled with meat, cowskin (ponmo), and grilled fish. 

6. Maize 

Roasted cornMaize hits the streets during the rainy season. You can eat it alone (boiled or roasted), with coconut, or with Nigerian pear (ube). 

7. Akara

AkaraAkara (bean fritters) is a deep-fried, crunchy bean cake. It’s a vegetarian-friendly meal commonly eaten with bread or pap. It’s best eaten hot for breakfast or in the evening. Because it’s rich in protein and fiber, Muslims often consume it alongside pap to break their fast during Ramadan

8. Moi moi

Moi moi Moi moi, like akara, is made from beans. Unlike akara, moi moi is tender because it’s made by cooking bean peas. It’s garnished with eggs, fish, and crayfish. Moi moi is often prepared with nylon or the leaves of the miraculous fruit, which gives it a unique taste. 

9. Roasted yam 

Roasted yam served with pepper sauceYam is a big deal in Nigeria, so much so that its new season calls for celebration (the new yam festival). On the street, roasted yam is eaten with beef-filled pepper sauce. 

Fried yam, which Yorubas call “dundun,” is another version of yam on the street. Like roasted yam, you can eat it alone or with pepper sauce. 

10. Puff-puff

Puff-puffPuff-puff is a spongy, deep-fried brownish snack. It’s made from flour, yeast, butter, eggs, and vegetable oil. In some parts of the country, pepper is added to the ingredients. It’s a snack best eaten during lunch or as an appetizer. 

Is street food the same as fast food? 

Street food and fast food are convenient foods. But they’re not the same and shouldn’t be used interchangeably. 

Restaurants and local shops deliver fast food within minutes of placing an order. Examples include shawarma, pizza, burgers, fried chicken, etc. They’re less accessible and more pricey compared to street foods. 

On the other hand, roadside vendors sell street foods. They’re primarily prepared with locally sourced ingredients. As such, they’re less expensive than fast food and readily available. 

Depending on the ingredients and preparation methods, both types of food can be unhealthy. But fast food contains high amounts of sugar and fat, which are unhealthy, especially if you’re diabetic. On the other hand, Nigerian street foods are rich in vegetables, protein, and essential nutrients that benefit the body.  

Frequently Asked Questions about street foods in Nigeria

Is street food the same as junk food?

Junk food contains fat, salt, processed sugar, and high calories. They’re often packaged and highly processed meals with little or zero nutritional value. Examples are cheese balls, chips, chocolates, and biscuits. 

In contrast, street foods are prepared from locally sourced food items. While the cooking methods and quality of ingredients determine its nutritional value, street food likely contains a healthy mix of vegetables and other essential supplements, like vitamins and proteins. 

Is fast food the same as junk food? 

Fast food is a type of food service that prioritizes fast delivery. Easy-to-prepare, high-calorie foods like chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, pizza, etc are typical examples. 

Similarly, junk food contains little nutritional value and is highly processed with food color, preservatives, and flavor. Unlike fast food, junk food isn’t necessarily designed to be prepared and served quickly. 

Can children eat street food?

Children can eat street food like maize, bread and butter, ewa agoyin, etc. But ensure they consume street food in moderation and in a clean and tidy environment. 


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