London is home to an estimated 100,000 Nigerian nationals and plenty more visit on a regular basis from Nigeria for business, study or simply to have a good time. As the emerging hub of the Nigerian diaspora, all your needs are catered from ranging from banks to restaurants and much more. Here is our guide to navigating Nigerian London and we start with the most important question of all – which is the best Nigerian restaurant in London?
London has a wide array of options for those looking for Nigerian restaurants or a Nigerian takeaway. If you’re feeling a little home sick, head down to Mama Cass (196 – 198 Burnt Oak Road, Edgware) which is the London branch of Nigeria’s favorite fast food chain. Here you can find all your favorite Nigerian dishes including goat meat pepper soup, moi moi and meat stew and fried plantain.
If you’re based “south of the river” as the locals say, a fantastic option for Nigerian fine dining in London is 805 Restaurant (805 Old Kent Road). 805 Restaurant offers delicious home style Nigerian food in a swish setting – they also have the best Okra Soup we’ve eaten anywhere else outside of Naija! Finally, the newest kid on the block is Enish (228 Lewisham High Street) which is a bar-restaurant serving Nigerian food which you can wash down with Chapman, Alomo Bitters, Palm Wine or Orijin.
If you’re looking for a Nigerian bank in London, quite frankly you’re spoilt for choice. Almost all of the major Nigerian banks have a presence in London including Zenith Bank (39 Cornhill), First Bank of Nigeria (28 Finsbury Circus), Access Bank (1 Cornhill), Union Bank (14 – 18 Copthall Avenue), Diamond Bank (14 – 18 Copthall Avenue) and Guaranty Trust Bank (60 – 62 Margaret Street). These banks can help you with the full range of banking services such as current accounts, foreign exchange and both personal and business loans. Although these banks are London branches of Nigerian banks, all of them are registered by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority meaning that they are subject to the FCA’s various different rules aimed at protecting consumers.
Whether you’ve got your eye on the latest aso ebi lace styles or want to buy African fabrics for a special occasion, there are a few Nigerian tailors in London who can help out. For simple tailoring and sewing services, we recommend the traditional Nigerian home based Oshile Fashions and Mama Ibeji as well as Giwa (77 Middlesex Street). At the upper end of the market, several cutting edge Nigerian designers have made London their home including Nigerian born Duro Olowu (14 Masons Yard; Off Duke Street) known for his vivid prints and flowing dresses.
London, the home of the Nigerian diaspora, has a whole host of Nigerian clubs worth checking out. In east London, Club Afrique (145 – 149 Barking Road) is a popular hot spot for Nigerian clubbers in London and plays an eclectic mix of music ranging from Afro-Caribbean to RnB and Hip Hop. If you live in south London, check out the Nigerian owned 203 Wine Bar (203 Streatham High Road) which plays the very best Nigerian beats, both contemporary and other golden oldies ranging from D’banj to Fela Kuti.
Planning a Nigerian wedding or other event in London? Look no further than Nigerian photographer Adebayo Deru. Adebayo’s photos perfectly capture the joy and happiness of the wedding day and he comes highly recommended. He also organizes workshops if you’re looking to improve on your own photography skills. Another fantastic option for a Nigerian photographer in London is Obi Nwokedi. Obi does photography work all across the world including Nigeria and the US. His site also contains an extremely helpful FAQ section answering questions on insurance, expenses, camera type and other must know issues.
The Final Word: If you have any tips or recommendations on Nigerian services in London, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below and one of our London based team members will contact you to find out more.