As the Lagos restaurant and bar scene continues to grow, so do the opportunities for dining and drinking outdoor. There’s little better than enjoying good food and cheer outside, with a view of the skyline.
I had presumed that one major drawback that outdoor spots in Lagos may experience would be constant rain during the rainy season, but I quickly realized that most, if not all of these spots, have indoor spaces as well.
Lagos has an impressive array of unique outdoor restaurants and bars, and so offers a lot to both Lagosians and Tourists alike. However, with a wide variety to choose from, here are the 5 spots I checked out during my tour:
- The Orchid Bistro
58A, Isaac John Street, Ikeja.
The Orchid Bistro has two branches in Lagos; one in Ikeja and another in Victoria Island (called Orchid Bistro Express). I chose to visit the one in Ikeja because it was the first one opened, and from pictures online, I could tell that it had a bigger outdoor space.
It was raining when I got there, and so I had to sit inside the restaurant while waiting for the rain to subside. The general ambience of the indoor space was great, there was classical music playing in low volume, and the waiter was very helpful with his menu suggestions. I ordered the Prawn Relish and Mixed Fruit Smoothie, which was a great choice, even though I felt the portion of the food could have been bigger. Their food menu is very extensive with breakfast to dinner, mains, sides and dessert inclusive.
Thankfully, it stopped raining so I had the chance to sit at the outdoor space, and the waiter was kind enough to find a mini Bluetooth speaker so I could have music playing outside. This space is unlike any other space I’ve visited in Lagos. If you’re drawn to spending time around plants and nature, then you could easily decide to live there. The outdoor space at Orchid Bistro was designed primarily using plants, real plants, by the way, to create a garden ambience. The space simply exuded an air of tranquility, the waiters were kind and well-spoken and the service was fast and impressive.
Prawn Relish (Spicy prawns served with sweet potato parcels) – N6000
Mixed Fruit Smoothie – N1500
- Nok By Alara
12A, Akin Olugbade Street, Victoria Island.
This restaurant bills itself as a Fine Dining Contemporary Pan-African Restaurant.
Nok by Alara has an indoor restaurant, outdoor garden restaurant and a concept store.
Nok garden’s very unique and eclectic space, displaying vibrant furniture and decor pieces, makes it look pretty as a picture. There was no music playing at the garden on the evening I visited, not sure if this is a regular, so the atmosphere was generally quiet.
It took me nothing short of 10minutes to select a meal from 3 extensive menus and I finally chose the “Red Red” Beans Stew with Steamed Plantain, simply because I’d been craving beans for quite some time. I thought the beans could have tasted less sour and spicier but I wouldn’t say the food was terrible, I’m excited to revisit and try other options from the menu.
The concept store, called Alara, collects and stocks various fashion, art and design objects from all over Africa, alongside western brands.
“Red Red” Beans Stew with Steamed Plantain – N3200
Coke – N700
- Bolivar Bar
Plot B20, Wole Olateju Crescent, Lekki.
This gem is located in the heart of Lekki Phase 1, just by the Lagoon waterside. Having visited this spot at night in the past, it was definitely a different experience being there in the early evening. One thing I’ve always taken out of Bolivar Bar is great vibes from the music and the ambience of the space.
The space is adorned with a lot of Wall Murals and Sculptures which makes the design really gorgeous. There are regular outdoor seats, hammocks and cabanas, which used to be free in the past, from what I remember, but are charged for now. I was told to either pay fifty thousand Naira or spend up to thirty-five thousand Naira on a bottle, to get access to the Cabanas. I wasn’t having any of it, I had experienced sitting on the cabana in the past and that was enough for me Lol.
The Menu at Bolivar Bar is very sparse. It shouldn’t be your first choice if you’re looking for a space with fine dining because they only serve finger foods. I ordered a Hamburger with fries on the side and it was a fairly good tasting burger. There is a gallery in the premises which houses some good paintings and I got myself a cute painting postcard.
Hamburger – N3500
Beer – N1000
- Atmosphere Rooftop
The Roof Terrace, Lennox Mall, Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1.
There is a growing number of rooftop restaurants and bars in Lagos, but this one has the most stunning décor I have seen. The restaurant is spacious, surrounded by a lot of greens and is beautifully furnished. I must admit though, that it was a little bit difficult locating the entrance to the space. The main building elevator was faulty, and there were no signs at all or security guards in place, to direct intending visitors to the entrance.
The menu was not extensive, so it was easy to settle for the Alfredo Pasta and a glass of homemade lemonade. The Pasta was basically Mac and Cheese and could’ve used much less cheese than what was served. I cannot recommend the pasta but I’d be willing to go back and try something else if the menu is expanded.
Generally, Atmosphere Rooftop could be a great place to get drinks after work while enjoying the view of the skyline. It’s also an “Instagrammable” space for picture lovers.
Alfredo Pasta – N4000
Homemade Lemonade – N2000
- Hardrock Cafe
Plot 3&4, Block XVI, Oniru Estate, Victoria Island.
As a beach lover, this space could not have been left out of my list. Hardrock cafe Lagos is situated just by the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, which if you already haven’t guessed, makes it a very relaxing space, thanks to calming sounds of the waves and the soothing ocean breeze.
The classic RnB music playing contributed to how much I enjoyed being in this place. I ordered the Smokehouse Chicken and a Bitter Lemon, and the speed with which the food was served was very much unexpected. The waiter had asked if I wanted the chicken spicy and I agreed, but the level of pepper I tasted in the chicken threw me off balance. I adjusted anyways and enjoyed the roasted chicken and fries on the side.
The beach is freely accessible by visitors from the outdoor space of the cafe, so I took a walk down to the shore, sat on the sand for a bit, took pictures and just enjoyed watching the waves of the ocean. The outdoor space of Hardrock cafe is very family-friendly, and a great place to get food and catch up with a group of friends.
Smokehouse Chicken – N5800
Bitter Lemon – N700
This article was written by Mercy Imiegha