World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Mauritania

Mauritania Food and Drink

Moroccan, Lebanese, Chinese, Italian and French restaurants can be found in the capital and in Nouadhibou. Local cuisine, based on lamb, goat and rice can be sampled throughout the country. Food is often served in one big dish which all diners help themselves with their hands. Meals have improved with better distribution of food throughout the country.


Thieboudienne: Considered the national dish. It is fish and rice in a sauce usually made from tomatoes.
Yassa chicken: Common in other parts of West Africa too, this is chicken cooked in a sauce made with onions and tomatoes.
Mahfe or Maffe: Usually goat or camel meat in a peanut, okra and tomato sauce served with rice.
Mechoui: Whole roasted lamb.
Couscous: Made from millet, wheat or barley flour and usually served with meat.
Harira: A soup, also served in Morocco, made from tomatoes, chickpeas, lentils, onions, rice and eggs. It can include meat.
Hakko: A sauce of ground bean leaves, which tastes like spinach, is served over couscous.
Dates: Delicious and popular in Mauritania.
Zrig: Camel milk.
Jus de Bouye: A drink made from the fruits of baobab trees.
Tea: Sweet green tea with mint is a big thing in Mauritania severed after most meals. It is usually poured from a height to create froth.

Things to know

Consumption of alcohol is prohibited by the Islamic faith, but alcoholic beverages may be found in hotel bars.


12 to 15% is normal.

Drinking age

Alcohol is official prohibited

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