Where to Eat in N’Djamena Chad – 4 Excellent Choices
DO NOT TRAVEL. The same familiar three words we’ve been seeing over the past few weeks. Our travels through West Africa were now complete and we were planning our movements to visit Central Africa. Many countries on this continent are marked as ‘red no go zones’ by most Western governments. This is largely due to insecurity, civil wars, the threat of kidnapping, or worse.
Post updated 28 May 2022
Chad was next on our list to visit every country in the world. The capital is the only area marked ‘visit with caution’. Our intention was to make a brief visit here and explore what to eat in N’Djamena Chad.
We planned ahead and reached out to a guy who was maybe accepting guests on the Couchsurfing website in N’Djamena Chad. He accepted our request to host us during our stay, which was a positive start.
Leaving the Central African Republic to enter N’Djamena Chad
It was a long travel day starting with an early flight from Bangui, the Central African Republic to N’Djamena in Chad (via Douala in Cameroon).
Our flight into N’Djamena Chad arrived just after 7 pm. Our host, Hasan told us he’d be there waiting for us at the airport. What a legend! These are seriously the best words to hear when you’re arriving in any city, especially at night.
Approaching the capital city of N’Djamena in Chad
Meeting our host
Upon meeting Hasan at the airport we instantly felt at ease, what a friendly guy. He’s originally from Turkey, currently working in construction here. We threw our backpacks into his truck and drove towards his place.
The paved roads, yet empty streets of N’Djamena Chad were what I expected as many cities we’ve seen over the past few months are similar. We passed large concrete residences and buildings with big walls and barbed wire lining the perimeters. Every building seems to have a security officer guarding the entrance.
In less than five minutes we had arrived at Hasan’s residence, a security guard peels back the heavy steel gate and we drive in.
Eating out in N’Djamena Chad with new friends
Hasan lives in an apartment with his two other colleagues (one from Niger and the other is also Turkish). They were great guys and welcomed us into their home and made us feel very comfortable.
After some conversation, we were invited to go with them for a late dinner and a drink. Of course, we accepted. We drove to a nearby restaurant called ‘Layalina’ and once passing the obligatory security check for weapons from the guard at the front gate, the large gate opened and we walked into a nice courtyard.
I noticed quite a few Expats eating dinner and a few locals smoking a shisha pipe. It was nice here. I noticed the menu had lots of Lebanese food. It’s a common sight to see Lebanese people own businesses and properties across West and Central Africa.
We ordered beers and falafel wraps from the menu, we weren’t too hungry as we were served the standard chicken sandwich on the flight. To give you an idea of prices here, a local beer (gala) is 1000 XAF (USD 1.75) and a falafel wrap is 3500 XAF (USD 6).
We chatted over dinner and it felt like we could have been anywhere in the world. We returned home soon after and settled in for the night. We had two very comfortable sofas to sleep on and we were tired from a long travel day.
What is there to do here in N’Djamena Chad?
Currently, all Western governments have marked much of Chad as a ‘no go zone’, but when the situation improves, there are some wonderful places to visit here. The two recommended highlights are the Zakouma National Park and Lake Chad.
The capital city of N’Djamena is marked as relatively safe in terms of security. It doesn’t have many things to see and do for visitors but I think it’s one of those cities that is best explored on foot, this way you will get a glimpse into the daily lives and culture of Chadian locals.
Can you take photos in N’Djamena Chad?
We’d read that it is best not to be seen taking any photos in public in N’Djamena. My advice is to not walk around openly with a camera at all. Officers will be onto you within seconds, shouting and demanding money. This apparently happens whether you’re pointing your camera at the ground or at a building.
The other reason to avoid taking any photos here is because of the people – most are not keen on cameras at all. I respect this, so I kept my camera at home and we captured just a few pictures of the Nations monument and some fantastic food experiences we had in N’Djamena on my iPhone.
The Tourist Sites in N’Djamena in Chad
Monument in N’djamena Chad
We visited the sights in N’Djamena that were of interest to us. This included the Nations Monument, a walk through Petit Marche (small market) marvelling at the colourful textiles which have been beautiful throughout Africa. We found the people here were very friendly. The Grand Marche (central market) is much busier yet they have similar products here.
The main street in the city, Avenue Charles De Gaulle is worth checking out.
The sun is blistering hot in N’Djamena, so it takes a toll after walking around for several hours. Finding a taxi in this city is difficult, it seems the only transport willing to offer rides are guys on motorcycles. We were happy enough just to walk around.
Did we experience corruption in Chad?
Chad is known to be quite corrupt and we couldn’t be bothered with the extra hassle if we could help it. We’d already shook off one police officer earlier in the day when we walked over to the Nations Monument.
We didn’t have a camera out at all, we simply just walked over to look at the monument. He approached us within seconds and asked if we were taking film or photos, we answered no. He proceeded to rub his stomach and action that he needed money for food (he was a large man, he clearly wasn’t starving).
We pretended we didn’t understand him, thanked him, and wandered away.
Where to Eat in N’Djamena Chad
I was excited about this part, let’s find where to eat in N’Djamena Chad. When we travel to places that don’t offer much to see and do, we tend to spend our time eating and drinking coffee. This is exactly what we did during our time in N’Djamena. We found some real gems!
Address: Located a block behind Charles de Gaulle Ave
Easily, the busiest place in town. Here you will find Expats, diplomats, and business people enjoying lunch. You can sit inside or in the courtyard out back which has some beautiful artwork.
The menu includes nice coffee, fresh sandwiches, pastries, cakes, and ice cream. They also sell French cheeses, butter, sliced meats, smoked salmon, and yoghurt. It’s also a bakery, so you can buy some good bread here too. Put this one on your list of where to eat in N’Djamena Chad for sure.
So what else do the people of Chad eat? Below are two of the best local places serving great food at very affordable prices.
The Camel place
Address:Jardin d’amour Al Khadikha.
In this quaint little garden inside the park, you can find many local men tucking into large platters of grilled camel meat for around 4000 XAF (about USD $6.50). What a surprise this place was! I never expected such a comfortable outdoor area to dine in when looking for where to eat in N’Djamena Chad.
The platter is enough for 2-3 people to share and it’s served with baguettes and a spicy sauce on the side.
Where to eat in N’djamena Chad – The Camel Place is recommended
Eat with your hands in N’Djamena Chad
You can choose to have the camel meat grilled on its own or cooked with grilled onions chopped through it. The camel meat is sliced very thinly, then barbequed over a large outdoor grill. It’s then chopped and served with raw onion served on top. The meat was very tender, I really enjoyed it.
This is a meal that you eat with your hands (right hand only please), by simply breaking off pieces of bread, using this to scoop the meat, and spooning it into your mouth.
Travaux Poisson – The Fresh Fish place
Address:Rue Brosset in the direction of going out of town
You’ll find this unassuming line of small make-shift eateries lined up in a dusty side street off the lane, near the lake (at the address above). Ask around, all the locals know it.
Where to eat in N’djamena Chad – Ask around, everyone knows this place that serves the fresh lake fish
There are a few little outdoor simple eateries here, with a simple long table communal wooden table with plank chairs set up under a tarp to shade you from the sun.
At the end, you’ll see several women cooking in a basic little outdoor kitchen. It’s all very hygienic and clean here. I’ve made sure that every place I’ve listed on my ‘where to eat in N’Djamena Chad’ list is clean and hygienic, so you can trust me on that.
Where to eat in N’djamena Chad? Go and eat at this lovely ladies’ fresh fish shack
The price is 5000 XAF (USD $8.00) for a large shared platter with three fish cooked whole (carp or Capitaine white fish from the lake). If you break that cost down to be shared between a group of people, it’s great value for money. No need to look any further for where to eat in N’Djamena Chad, this place is a gem.
Where to eat in N’djamena Chad – This was delicious
This is served with a salad of coleslaw mixed with mayonnaise, fresh baguette, fried plantain, and spicy dipping sauce.
We ate here with our host, Hasan, and his colleagues from work. The fish was perfectly cooked and it was super fresh and tasty. I’d certainly return to this place again if I’m ever back in N’Djamena Chad. Ensure you tick this one on your growing list of where to eat in N’Djamena Chad.
Where to eat in N’djamena Chad with new friends? This place is a great choice
Where to stay in N’Djamena
There is no way to get around it, decent accommodation is expensive here. We were lucky to have been hosted through our Couchsurfing friend during our time here, but this isn’t for everyone.
If you need a recommendation for a hotel in N’Djamena, these two hotels are your best options. They’re not cheap, however, there are very few options to choose from for visitors to this city.
This hotel is in a great location and they offer an airport transfer (recommended). Free WiFi, a restaurant, and a year-round outdoor pool. Each room at this hotel is air-conditioned and comes with a TV. Every room comes with a private bathroom. Prices start from $150 p/night – Check the price on Booking.com.
The Hilton Hotel is always a good option if you’ve got a little more to spend. Room rates start at $180 per night. Expect a comfortable stay with all the latest amenities.
Travel Insurance for Chad is Important
Don’t forget to get covered: If you’re planning a visit to Chad, ensure you have the best comprehensive travel insurance policy there is. We choose World Nomads Travel Insurance for our travels around the world. We highly recommend this company, they’re seriously the best out there.
For the African countries that World Nomads do not offer coverage, we use SafetyWing.
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Rach is a self-confessed travelling foodie. Her passion for food and culture has seen her eat her way through 190 countries. She's currently on a big food adventure to visit EVERY country in the world!
When Rach isn't travelling, you can find her at the beach, drinking coffee or wine with friends or chowing down on the best eats around her home city of Melbourne, Australia.