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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Gabon

Gabon Food and Drink

Gabonese food is a distinctive and delicious blend of traditional African ingredients and French flavours, though it jostles for space on local menus with Senegalese, Cameroonian and Congolese dishes, which are commonly served here.

Meals typically consist of meat or fish served with stewed vegetables and a sauce, generally sporting very hot chilli flavours. Having maintained strong links with France since independence, French staples such as croissants and baguettes can be found in the cities.

In more rural areas of the country, dishes tend to be simpler, relying on cassava, rice or yams. Bush meat such as monkey and antelope has been a traditional part of the Gabonese diet.

Specialities

Braised fish: Bass or red fish braised with chilli flavours and served with rice or French fries.
Brochette: Meat skewered and slow-roasted over an open fire.
Nyembwé: Chicken in a sauce made from the pulp of palm nuts.
Manioc leaves: Served wilted in place of spinach, the leaves are a common addition to sauces and stews.
Atanga: Also called ‘bush butter’, the hard atanga fruit is boiled and the flesh spread on baguettes.
Mustard chicken: Cooked with onion, garlic and lemon juice.
Bouillon de poisson: Fish stew.
Beignet: Deep-fried doughnut, the best are liberally covered in sugar.
Régab: Recognised throughout the country as the best local lager.
Plantain fritters: Deep-fried slices of plantain, as tasty as they sound.

Tipping

10 to 15% unless service is included in the bill.

Drinking age

18.