A cup of coffee, a book, computer, newspaper or a phone, a sandwich to the side and nice subtle music, that’s my idea of a ‘me time’ and a cafe is a serene place to provide this vibe! Cafe’s aren’t only for ‘me-time’s’, you can also grab a friend and spend an afternoon together catching up over coffee and some crepes or a good English breakfast. You can also go in groups for a rendez-vous. The list is endless. Either ways, here are some cafe’s situated in Abuja, Nigeria that will give you all that ambiance and more. Personally took me the last 2 weeks trying most of these cafe’s out to give you a firsthand review, so enjoy!
Ambiance; Salamander gives you that “I am in a UK pub/vintage cafe feel. Nice and dark lighting too. Music wasn’t on when I got in though but I am guessing they normally have it on.
Food and drink; Their food was really good. Got the ultimate mushroom (creamy mixed mushrooms and onions with grilled Swiss cheese on toast) which came with a glass of freshly squeezed juice. Would have personally preferred less cream on my toast but I guess the menu said “creamy”. You can try their English breakfast, steak and eggs, crepes or even their ‘big Nigerian’; boiled or fried yams or plantain with corned beef and eggs… The list is endless.
Quantity: Quantity was a bit disappointing. Would have preferred it if all that filling was shared on two toasts and not one; would have tasted way better and quantity would look better too.
Cost; Their cost is generally decent but could be a bit cheaper. My meal cost me 2,400 Naira but a nicer plate e.g English breakfast or the big Nigerian costs 4,500 Naira, excluding any ‘ordered’ drink. You will however get a free glass of freshly squeezed juice. Finally, there’s 10% service charge on whatever you get.
Customer service; Customer service was great. Loved the waiter who served me; good humour and on time service.
Style and design; Their general style is vintage; nice write ups and frames, with a library area stocked up with tons of books, although you have to buy them. Though a really nice cafe, it can do with some renovation as they are little hiccups here and there; e.g mirror upstairs is seriously cracked.
Location: 5 Bujumbura St, Wuse, Abuja
2. Cafe de Vie;
Ambiance; The ambiance in this cafe is amazing. Feels warm and welcoming. Nice music on with very interesting and engaging art pieces around. Has that, je ne sais quoi.
Food and drink; Food was really nice. Loved the sandwich I got; beef and cheese sandwich with chips on the side. Went with a friend and we also got a pot of tea (really cute container) and an iced coffee. Their menu in general is really good and cafe ‘friendly’.
Quantity; The serving size was great and feeling too. So I think the cost was worth it.
Cost; The food cost us 3,500 whilst both drinks cost 1,500 each. There was no service charge added. Believe the price was fine.
Customer service; Loved the customer service. The waiter was very nice, cheery and smily. Great humour.
Style and design; Interesting sense of style. Personally loved all the painting, writings on the walls and stash of books. If you are a creative, I believe Cafe de Vie is an amazing place to get those ideas flowing. In conclusion, I had a great time; the fact I was there with a friend might have also influenced that :).
Location: 12 Amazon St, Maitama, Abuja
3. Cube Cafe
Ambiance; The ambiance here was great with nice, simple, educative and interesting art pieces. Loved loved loved it. Loved the music playing too! Cube cafe is a great place to meet people from across the globe as they host several activities on certain days. They have open mic nights, painting sessions (called “Sip Dip and Plant”), barbecue nights and cloth sales/exchange events.
Food and drink; The food was really nice. Went for a healthier option. I had the avocado and chicken sandwich, which tasted refreshing. Had a cup of coffee to go with it; latte and was honestly one of the best made latte’s I have tasted so far. Their menu in general is great for a cafe; from crepes, to nice sandwiches.
Quantity; The sandwich was nice and feeling for me, so it’s a yes. If hungrier though, would have added a side to it (chips).
Cost; Cube cafe was very cost effective. The latte cost 1,200 whilst the sandwich cost me 2,500. The cost was totally worth the quantity. No service charge.
Customer service; Getting there, I wasn’t just welcomed into the cafe, I was welcomed to the cube family which was totally sweet. Learnt a lot during my visit about the cafe and their values.
Style and Design; Not only are almost all the art pieces African or African inspired, they have a great book collection; you can either exchange your personally books with any of the books or just buy a book from the collection.
Location: 16 Usuma Cl, Maitama, Abuja
4. Classic Rock Coffee;
Ambiance; Nice ambiance. You can’t miss the ‘rock’ in ‘Classic Rock Coffee’ because the manager/owner made sure of it by placing guitars and pictures of rock stars all around the place e.g. the Beatles. It apparently doubles as a cafe and bar. From 8pm to 12am, they have life music which I find very cool. Would totally love to come back with friends to enjoy the life music.
Food and drinks; The food was really nice and tasty. Had a ham and cheese Panini with chips on the side. Also got creamed iced coffee which I totally loved. They apparently have a really wide range of food that makes you think of it as a restau-cafe. From your full English breakfast, Panini’s and sandwiches to yams, seafood meals, rice and so on and so forth.
Quantity; Quantity was great. Definitely wasn’t hungry after eating. Hungrier? Add extra sides to your order. Not that hungry? Get small chops and some coffee, Chapman, champagne or a cocktail.
Cost; My Panini cost 3,000 Naira, whilst my iced coffee (creamed), cost me 1500. However, I couldn’t finish my meal, so I got it packed up which cost 800 Naira! Seriously??? Also, 3% vat cost was added to my charge. The total amount boiled down to 5,300 Naira.
Customer service; Customer service was really nice. I had a happy waiter which equals a happy customer :).
Style and Design: Into rock music? You’ll probably love the style. Wasn’t personally too into it though; less of a cafe vibe. However, this wasn’t just a cafe but a ‘cafe-restau. Still liked the arrangement and the fact that they’ve got an outside sitting setting.
Location: By LG Showroom, Aminu Kano Crescent, 12b Ajesa St, Wuse, Abuja
5. Bunna Cafe;
Ambiance; Bunna cafe has a cool and simple ambiance to it.
Food and Drinks; Bunna cafe doesn’t have all the menu there is but specialises more in their coffees and teas. I have had their chai latte which is simply delicious and their iced tea too. They have shawarmas, croissants, pies and on a good day, mac and cheese…
Quantity: Their quantity is fine and tallies with the price.
Cost; Their chai latte cost me 800 Naira and their croissants cost the same. Also had their iced tea which cost just 650 Naira.
Customer service: Nice customer service with really cool waiters.
Style and Design; Bunna cafe, compared to the above cafe’s is quite different. Unlike the other cafe’s above, they do not have a building or an entire property to themselves. They are located on the third floor of Silverbird, Central area. What makes this cafe really appealing to me is the view it provides. Part of it is made of glass and so you can see part of abuja sitting in the cafe.
Location: Third floor, Silverbird, Central Area, Abuja.
6. CCX Lounge
Ambiance; Nice, relaxing and warm ambiance with cool music playing in the background.
Food and Drinks; I just got 2 cups of green tea, sweet potato chips and samosa’s in this cafe but there’s much more to the menu.
Quantity; quantity was fine and suited the price
Cost; The green tea cost 500 Naira each whilst the sweet potato chips cost 1,000 Naira and the Samosa 1,300 Naira.
Customer service; Customer service was just okay. Not too inviting. I visited this particular cafe a while ago though, so its necessary to point out that the waiters may have been changed.
Location: Jabi Laki Mall, Jabi, Abuja.
7. Coco Cafe;
Ambiance: This place doubles as a cafe and restaurant but honestly has more of a restaurant vibe than it does a cafe. Either ways, it has an amazing vibe to it. This cafe-restau, being on roof top gives you an amazing view of the Jabi lake area. Not only is the view beautiful, you get to breath fresh air.
Food and Drink; The food was nice and feeling. Had a panini with a glass of Chapman. I must say that I tasted my best Chapman there yet and would be definitely coming back for more! Also loved the panini.
Quantity: Went with a friend and we decided to share a meal as we were not so hungry. Although we only had half of the menu, we still felt full. So that says a lot about the quantity; Nice and filling.
Cost: Cost was honestly really good. The Chapman cost 1500 whilst the Panini cost 2,500. I believe the quantity and taste was totally worth the price. More so, no service charge was included.
Customer service: Customer service was great. Nice waiters!
Wifi: To be confirmed
Location: 15 Alex Ekwueme Way, Jabi, Abuja
So these are the 7 cafe’s I checked out on behalf of everyone. They are many more cafe’s in Abuja but I will definitely recommend this seven.
Watching your waist line and health in general? The menus of these restaurants actually provide “healthier” alternatives. You can decide to cut off sides of chips and have you sandwich alone. One more thing I do at cafe’s is that I instruct the waiters on how to make my order; be it t put less sugar or little to no ketchup or cream. Do not feel bad doing this as it’s you paying, not them: ).
However, being a health advocate, I advice that you always balance eating out. Do not forget the fact that you can also make your own sandwich, cup of tea or coffee and go out to a park to have a great time alone or with friends.