MARCH 26, 2022
OUR TOP 6 SPOTS IN ABIDJAN, CÔTE d’Ivoire
Exploring the City’s Rich Culture & Cuisine
1. Villa L'epic - Boutique Hotel
This black-owned boutique hotel, rightfully describes itself as an oasis in the city. The hotel's simple design, beautiful infinity pool and unique art collection makes it such a memorable place to stay during your trip. They also have amazing co-working spaces for digital nomads and a wonderful bar some of the best cocktails. Oh, and the peacocks give you a live fashion show all day long!
2. CAVA - Crafts Market
Explore Abidjan’s artisan village and discover the world of African arts at CAVA - Centre Artisanal de la Ville. You will get to meet local craftsmen both from Abidjan and Senegal, presenting their cultural heritage through cloth paintings, wooden sculptures, ancestral masks, vibrant textiles, jewelry, and folk art. My favorite part of browsing through these local creative ecosystems is getting to listen and observe so much talent, displaying creativity live, in an authentic unedited form. The market also shows artworks from other African countries like Mali, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal. This is a must!
3. Couleur Concept - Lifestyle Shopping
We love Couleur Concept as it is one of the first places to stock DIARRABLU in Africa. I got so emotional going there for the first time with my parents and meeting the amazing Fabienne Dervain, founder and creative, who just opened the new store in the Sofitel Ivoire hotel. We met after my birthday brunch and I was so amazed at the store’s design and selection of unique African brands they represent. This is such a perfect lifestyle boutique for resortwear, evening and event outfits, designed by African designers for that ‘voyage lifestyle’ we all love.
4. Bushman Cafe - Lounge & Art
This boutique hotel, art gallery, cafe and lounge was literally my favorite place during my trip. It felt like home, with a beautiful pool surrounded by lush plants and an incredible art gallery across multiple floors. On the roof, they serve local Ivorian foods from the grill, while an amazing DJ entertains you. It is such a vibe! We had one of their many grilled chickens served on banana leave wraps with sides of Attieke and plantains. We stayed late and enjoyed an early evening of coupé décallé music and got to chat a bit with the charismatic owner, who shared how important it was for him to leave him career in NY and come create something in his home country that would bring people together.
5. Chez Ambroise - Local Dining
This place is one of the most popular maquis in Abidjan. A maquis is a unique Ivorian concept; think of street food but with a community. You all sit together, watch a soccer game or vibe to live music, while enjoying local cuisine made right in front of you. Chez Ambroise is known for their amazing ‘poisson braisé’ aka grilled fish. They specialize in freshwater fish from the nearby laguna and serve it with the typical attieke, alloco and fresh onion sauce (Ivory Coast’s take on Mexican salsa, but with more pimentos). Their setup is so simple and lowkey, plastic chairs and table, breach umbrellas, all on beach sand. The place literally feels like vacation every day. I loved being able to experience street food while feeling part of a group. Felt so magical.
6. Sofitel Ivoire - Tropical Brunch
We went here for my Birthday brunch and it was one of the best brunches spots I have ever gone to worldwide. The selection of fresh tropical fruits, handcrafted french deserts, curated cheese options, fresh fish and seafood and high quality meats is unbeatable.