Insider Travel Itineraries for 9 Far-Flung Cities

Getting around the historic waterside neighborhood of Ikoyi with creative director Papa Omotayo.

8 AM I head to a hole-in-the-wall joint run by a middle-aged woman fondly known as Mama Funke (nr. 40 Glover Rd.). There, I have the best ogi, a corn-based porridge, along with some akara, deep-fried ground beans.

10 AM Next, I’ll walk somewhere with a view of the lagoon. Queen’s Drive (more recently known as Oyinkan Abayomi Drive), with its stretch of palm trees, is five minutes from Mama Funke’s. There, by the water, I’ll jot down notes and plan the day.

Noon My days tend to revolve around southwest Ikoyi, where my office is. The Orchid Bistro (40b Raymond Njoku Rd.), a three-minute walk from work, has great natural lighting, Carrara-marble tabletops, and plants. I’ll get a meat pie and coffee.

2 PM Lunch is always late, if it happens at all. I’ll take the short walk through the traffic on Awolowo Road to Syrian Club (41 Ribadu Rd.), an outdoor restaurant next to the Syrian mosque; there’s something calming about the club’s layout. People relax against distant calls of muezzins, a familiar sound in the city.

4 PM After lunch, I stop at Jazzhole (168 Awolowo Rd.) to listen to some classic high-life records and Chimurenga editions. Next I’ll go to hFactor (26 Moloney St.), a little quirky bar with a great rooftop above some of the oldest parts of Lagos.

A lap around Lagos’s bar circuit with events organizer Mobola Awe.

7 PM Shiro (3 Water Corporation Rd.), a Pan-Asian restaurant nestled in Landmark Village, has an excellent view of the Atlantic and great cocktails, the mojitos especially.

8 PM But the night really starts ten minutes away at Sabor (14 Adeola Hopewell St.), which serves seafood, salads, and grilled meats, but I like to go here to smoke shisha (fruit-flavored tobacco smoked through a glass pipe) and catch up with friends.

9 PM It’s a buzzkill to travel all over the city, so our group tends to keep it local on nights out. Next, we head to BarBar (15 Victoria Arobieke St.), a high-end barbershop and bar, for a few more drinks. We’ll eat some sticky wings, drink whiskey sours, and dance, especially if AYE! is DJ-ing.

11 PM We’ll head to the restaurant RSVP (9 Eletu Ogabi St.) for some tequila and late-’90s hip-hop by the pool.

1 AM By now, the night is getting good. My friends and I will go to Vellvett Lounge (19b Idejo St.). They’re usually playing some mix of Afrobeat and hip-hop; everyone ends up here to dance.

4 AM I usually tap out around this time, though clubs like Escape (234 Adeola Odeku St.) are just getting going around now! But we’re on the hunt for food, trying to sober up. We like Maroccaine (317b Akin Ogunlewe Rd.) for shawarma and rehashing the night.

Wale Lawal

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