While it may come as a surprise to some, Luanda – Angola’s capital city – consistently tops the list of the most expensive cities for expatriate living. Perhaps as a result of its status as an expensive expat hub, Luanda also boasts some of the most exciting and upscale eateries in the country. Enjoy our guide to some of Luanda’s most sophisticated restaurants that should not be missed.
Nikki’s House restaurant is located in the Maianga neighbourhood in Luanda and features an international fusion menu. This venue requires reservations and is one of the most unique restaurants in the region. The restaurant is nestled in a quaint house which has been transformed into a fine-dining experience, with each room arranged in order to serve different patrons. The first area is a quiet hall with small couches and pillows, followed by the more intimate setting of the living room which features romantic lighting and coupled tables. The lively dining area is found on the large downstairs patio at the back of the house, complete with abundant seating. The décor is as much playful as it is meticulously designed and the perfect food coupled with the great atmosphere makes Nikki’s House one of the best restaurants in Luanda.
Chill Out Restaurant, though better known for its club vibe, has some of the best culinary offerings in Luanda. Chill Out is situated along the scenic coastline, providing a calming and natural setting to the restaurant’s already laid-back ambience. If diners so choose, meals can even be prepared on the beach itself. White and purple lighting reflect off of the white table linens and into the carefully arranged seating area, while the menu offers Eurasian fusion with Angolan accents. Detail and focus not only go into the restaurant’s quality dishes, but also into the service, making Chill Out certainly one of the best venues within Luanda’s high-end restaurant circuit.
At the more expensive end of the Luanda restaurant scene, Lookal Mar is renowned for its beautiful seafood dishes. The restaurant has its seafood supply flown in nearly twice weekly from Portugal, and some of it even arrives still alive. Diners who visit the restaurant are informed of when a new shipment is anticipated to arrive. The spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore and the sights of ships docking at the Porto de Luanda also adds to the grandeur of the dining experience. Lookal Mar’s offerings are fresh, tasty and unrivalled in Angola – a true African treat.
Located inside the newly constructed shopping gallery known as the Atlantic Business Center, Luanda Chic is one of the top places in Talatona – Luanda’s downtown – drawing locals and tourists alike to the area. Luanda Chic lives up to its name within moments of arrival. Stunning multi-coloured lights adorn the veranda bar, smiling wait staff are ready to greet incoming diners and the modern décor combine to make an elegant dining atmosphere. Luanda Chic’s menu experiments with the concept of gourmet Angolan cuisine, reinventing the traditional flavours and dishes of the region, executing them with modern and unexpected twists.
Oon.dah is one of Luanda’s most refined restaurants. The décor upon entering the space is striking and elegant, the design having been created by award-winning British firm Julian Taylor Design Associates. Oon.dah is in the Escom Skyscraper in Luanda and features the sophistication characteristic of its designers, catering to the city’s upscale and international clientele. Not only does Oon.dah have an exquisite atmosphere and visually stimulating décor, but the restaurant also presents some of the finest dining the city has to offer.
Pimm’s is one of Luanda’s very best restaurants, particularly known for their service, ambience, and the stellar quality of the food. Pimm’s specialises in traditional Portuguesecuisine with local Angolan flair. The restaurant is famed for its fish and seafood dishes, as well as its extensive wine lists. The ambience is sophisticated and combines hints of traditional décor with more modern features of interior design. The service is consistent and their staff knowledgeable on both entrée and wine recommendations. Pimm’s is also one of Luanda’s most premium dining experiences, but the service and refined atmosphere makes this one of Luanda’s finest venues.
Switch Supper Club
The Luanda Switch Supper Club is one of the newest and hottest restaurants in Luanda. There is an inevitably long wait for a table if turning up spontaneously, so it is recommended you book in advance. The Switch Supper Club is located beneath the Epic Sana Hotel and draws its inspiration from the culture of Supper Clubs – the trend for dining, socialising and dancing all in the same place. The Switch Supper Club is an Asian/Mediterranean fusion restaurant and also one of the trendiest places to dance and have drinks at the end of an evening. The restaurant is luxurious and the lighting expertly adjusted to accent the beautiful ornate décor. Dishes are expertly plated and wine and champagne can be served by the glass.
Kook is also a newcomer to Luanda’s restaurant scene, but differs from its counterparts both in its unique ambience and in the kitchen’s ability to consistently keep the menu evolving and the choices diverse. Kook is located in the business park of Talatona, which reflects the crisp, clean and modern interior, offering the perfect backdrop to the restaurants shifting menu choices and creative entrées. The tasting menu offers a variety of dishes and explores the marriage of seafood and fruit. The restaurant’s sushi selections are also immensely popular amongst local diners. Kook’s kitchen continually brings new dishes into the dining room and the variance in tastes, colours and textures make this restaurant one of Luanda’s very best.
For incredible teppanyaki beyond the shores of Japan, Shogun in Luanda’s city centre is the restaurant to visit. This beachside sushi restaurant boasts incredible atmosphere and unrivalled views of the ocean, whilst simultaneously awakening all the senses as the chefs prepare the meal right before your eyes. The food is beautifully plated to reflect the colours of the fish, seafood, and vegetables, whilst the slow hiss of the griddle provides a merrily sonorous background to the meal. For those wishing to enjoy a feast for the senses, Shogun provides great food with a sense of showmanship.
Restaurante Vitrúvio prides itself on offering one of the most extensive wine lists in the area. With over 120 quality Italian, Portuguese, French and New World wines – as well as high-quality, distinctive champagnes – a visit to Restaurante Vitrúvio would not be complete without making a selection from their wine list. The restaurant is hailed as the best Italian in Luanda and Vitrúvio holds the honour of being the first restaurant to reside in the Epic Sana Hotel and offer an a la carte menu. The restaurant has knowledgeable waiters and sommeliers, a diverse Italian menu and uses only the highest quality ingredients for their recipes. The prices reflect this premium service, but one taste of the incredibly smooth, silky pasta dishes and diners will understand why Vitrúvio’s is considered to offer the best Italian fare in town.