Travel

An Anxious Girl’s Guide to Eating Out in Lagos

The chaos of Lagos is universal knowledge. For people who don’t mind the extra insanity, it’s a “hot and happening” place. But when you’re dealing with anxiety, just eating out can be a mission. Here are a few ways to ease those nerves:

Set a Date

There are always people in Lagos, all the time. But going out in Lagos on Saturdays, Sundays evenings and on public holidays is a death mission. It’s hoards of human bodies.

Weekday mornings after “rush hour”, and brunch before 2 on Saturday and Sunday afternoon are a good time to enjoy the attention of your servers. If you’re lucky, there won’t be anyone else there yet, and you won’t have to deal with the obnoxious guy at the next people making all his phone calls on loudspeaker. 

 

Ditch the “Hotspots”

Asides picking the right time, different places in Lagos have busy days and peak hours. La Taverna on a Friday night is perfect if you’re looking for company. If you aren’t, you’ll be better off at an inconspicuous cafe. 

 

Pick a Ride

If you can, rent a private car –  charm one of your buddies to drive you around.

You could drive like a normal person too I guess, good luck with that. 

Ah, the chronicles of Lagos Uber drivers. If you have the personally do not drive in Lagos. It’s not me you people will kill.

If you’re going to Uber; be sure to call one at least 25 minutes before you actually plan to leave the house. Your driver is going to get lost, or cancel after making you wait 10 minutes. There’ll be so many calls that you may be exhausted by the time you hit the road. Also, prepare to play navigator. If you had plans to sit in silence and enjoy the drive, you can forget it because somehow, your driver won’t know how to use the map. I may or may not have cried on a few trips.

“I’m on my way ma” *yinmu*

I would honestly not recommend public transport. Too many people, too much talking.  People here talk so damn much. 

 

Find a Comfort Zone

Variety is the spice of life; unless you’re in Lagos. Very few places are special here, so when you find a place you enjoy visiting, don’t feel bad about being unadventurous. 

Go there as often as you want. It’s nice to not have to worry about getting the food you ordered, and a sweet server who remembers you prefer the table in the quiet corner. Trust me, the last thing you want

 

Find Your People

Socialising can be less daunting when you find company you enjoy. While going out alone can be relaxing, having friends with you will help you feel less self conscious (I hope).

 

Prepare for Surprises

This city is always going to throw you a curveball. Mentally prepare for a tiny disaster.   

 

Wear a Jacket (Or Not Tbh)

You can rock your backless number once you’re inside, but the people of this city can stare. If you’re uncomfortable with attention, I’d advise covering up till you’re at your destination. 

All the Nigerian aunties when you walk by

No one’s going to give you weird looks at a bar in Ikoyi for the most part, (this is why we love mainland slander) but you might end up receiving a lecture from your Uber driver about accepting Jesus. But, at the end of the day it’s your body –  and you can do whatever you want. 

 

Call Ahead

If you’re worried about the place you plan to visit is closed on the weekends, or having a new dress code; calling ahead is a good idea. Lagos is abounding with bad behaviour anyway, and they can decide they no longer allow women in unaccompanied. Make that reservation for one and you can stop panicking a bit about all the “what ifs”.

Read More: How Some Lagos Restaurants Deny Entry & Service To Women

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The most important thing is to have fun, and of course, stay safe. Let people know where you are, and don’t forget to take pictures. Don’t be like me. 

Cover: Me after brunch at The House. Go there! Everyone is so nice.

How do you eat out in Lagos with all the insanity? 

Tafiya, Love

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