Even if you live under a rock, it wouldn’t stop you from feeling the biting effects of the inflation in Nigeria. According to recent data, January 2024’s food inflation stood at an alarming 35.41%. God, abeg.

It’s not surprising that fine dining restaurants that’ve always charged through the roof for their meals are moving madder than mad. If you don’t plan to spend two weeks worth of your hard earned salary on a plate of food, these alternative spots should be on your radar.

Your parents’ house

Alternatives to Consider Now That Inflation Has Driven Restaurants Mad

If you have a date, take them to your parents. It’s a huge step, but beloved, your pocket might not survive the effects of that creamy pasta and strawberry daiquiri. Ten minutes after your arrival, your mum or dad will ask, “So, what is your friend going to eat?” And the good thing is you’ll also get a plate.

Your grandparents’ house

Alternatives to Consider Now That Inflation Has Driven Restaurants Mad

Lagos restaurants can argue all they want, but ₦14k for a plate of abula is wild. That’s a pot of soup for a week, if you think about it. Everyone knows baby boomers make the best abula anyway, so why not just visit your grandparents. You even get a wide option of paternal or maternal. Alternate between their houses, and you wouldn’t have to pay a thing for homemade local delicacies again.

Don’t forget the Mama Put on your street

Alternatives to Consider Now That Inflation Has Driven Restaurants Mad

If you’ve rolled your eyes at all the Mama Put spots in your area, it’s time to do better. They might bump up their prices a little, but you’ll still fix yourself a decent plate with a ₦500 – 1k budget. Some of them even throw in garnishes like red onions to help your food cosplay as a fine dining meal.

Or that friend that knows how to cook

It’s fine if they weren’t inspired to start cooking until after Hilda Baci’s cook-a-thon. Now, you can fill their ears with sweet whispers of how food is the new crude oil. If they’re scared to start a food business, offer yourself up as their first paying customer and let them cook.


Alternatives to Consider Now That Inflation Has Driven Restaurants Mad

If you’re in Lagos, the weekdays have nothing on you. Search the nook and crannies of your neighbourhood and you’ll find an owambe to gatecrash. Just make sure you wear white so you can blend in no matter the theme of the day. Find a good spot and make yourself comfortable. If the food doesn’t come, find a waiter to tip. 

People outside Lagos should target the weekend though. 

Fast food chains

Just a reminder that you can still dine like a second-class king with a ₦3k budget when you walk into any franchise outlet near you. Swallow your pride today.

The house of God

Perish the idea that you’ll get small chops, coffee or even jollof because inflation has made that a thing of blessed memories. But remember, feeding your spirit is just as important as feeding your earthly body.

If you need even more places for your must-visit list: These Are the Best Suya Spots in Lagos.



Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.