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5 Must eat Ghanaian Local dishes in 2023

Updated: Oct 7, 2023

Food! What unites a home better than the divine aroma of nature’s fruits tortured in blazing pans and pots? What fortifies a brotherhood either than the cutlery licking, and finger licking remains of good flavours? What aside business and leisure invite non-natives to seek home in new lands either than the unfamiliar vapours of new dishes served in intriguing bowls, plates and kitchen ware? What simmers the anger of a body through its belly? What craft was learned and perfected by humans’ curiosity with divine guidance?


Aside joining in your curiosities and tour plans, Melanin Travels Magic (MTM) is determined to hold your hand as we tour with you from places through to plates. For this reason, we serve you, our cherished patrons and prospects, five (5) must eat local dishes from the west African super star, Ghana.


However it is difficult to rate which of the local dishes could be described as Ghana’s favorite dish, it is quite obvious the love for the first five to be mentioned in today’s article wins the hearts, souls and bellies of many locals and foreigners alike.

  1. Fufu

picture of local ghanaian (fufu with abenkwan) dish served in a black earthenware bowl.
Fufu with palm nut soup(abenkwan)

When asked about their favorite local dishes, here are the responses of some native sons and daughters of Ghana:

Nana Akua (A college student): “Sometimes my family would tell you ‘…we haven’t eaten for days.’ This statement tells you they want to eat fufu. Prepare any other dish, so long as it is not fufu, you haven’t cooked in that house.”

Alhaji Dauda (An 83-year-old man): No matter how satisfied I am, there is always space for fufu.”


Fufu is a starch dish  prepared using yam, plantain and cassava or a mixture of two or more of the mentioned key ingredients. Typical of the southern parts of Ghana, fufu is pounded purely from cassava and plantain. On the other hand, typically, one would find the northerners pounding fufu with solely yam.

This local dish is best served when pounded with the mortar and pestle. It is of course served with various soups and enjoyed hot. Some major soups that accompany this divine Ghanaian dish include: palm-nut soup (abenkwan), pepper soup (light soup), peanut soup, okro soup among others.

2. Banku

Grid image of three different meals of a local Ghanaian dish(banku)
Different forms of Banku are served

From the coast to the savannah regions, banku is obviously the second Ghanaian dish that confirms to tourist and patrons that Ghanaians love their diets heavy. Banku is prepared mainly with corn dough and a fair mixture of cassava dough. The mixture is stirred till uniformly mixed and then processed on fire until the texture and taste are gotten right. Banku, like fufu, is mainly a starch dish best served hot with high-protein soups or pepper.


Here at MTM, we know exactly where you can get the best treat of banku and other local dishes (link of best local restaurants in Ghana). Some soups best served with banku include: okro stew, okro soup, peanut soup, palm-nut soup (abenkwan) among others. Interestingly, banku can also be served with pepper and/or ’shito’ along with tilapia, sardine, fried eggs among others.

Banku according to many is Ghanaian ladies’ favorite especially when served with tilapia and accompanying ingredients.

3. Waakye (Rice-and-Beans)

Waakye (rice-and-beans), a Ghanaian local dish, served  on a broad green leaf.
Waakye served on a leaf

Onto the rice dishes, ‘waakye’ is the one Ghanaian dish that wins the love of many bellies. If its anything that will make Ghanaians loose their sanity in the morning, it is probably impunity in the queue for waakye. Waakye is best served with the following:  stew, ‘shito,’ salad, beef/chicken, ‘kawuro’(cow skin,) fried fish or any other protein of the customer’s choice and a few fries of plantain.

Food culture especially in Accra and many parts of southern Ghana serve waakye in broad leaves. This has long been the tradition before modern day food packaging in the country both in restaurants and at street food joints.


4. Jollof

An image of three forms jollof rice can be served.
Various forms of Jollof rice in Ghana.

Jollof is literally the only thing that causes wars between Ghanaians and Nigerians. Interestingly, this regally rich rice dish traces its origins to the people of Senegal as far back as the 14th century. Jollof rice has several species in Ghana. Some of which include: dawadawa jollof, waakye-jollof among others. Similar to waakye, jollof can be served with either beef, chicken, fish along with fried plantain and salad.

5. Gob3 (Red-red)

Image of Gob3 (Red-red) Served In an Earthenware Bowl
Gob3 (Red-red) in Ghana

Red-red is mostly referred to as poor-man’s food. Ironically however, to enjoy the full treat of gob3, it is the business of the rich. This local dish features key ingredients such as palm-oil beans stew, fried plantain and ‘gari.’ Gob3 is mostly served with avocado, boiled eggs and other addictions depending on the vendor and the customer’s preference.


In as much as these were not covered in this article, from the ‘tuo-zaafi’ of the north to the ‘kenkey’ of the south, Ghana is known for its rich food culture. Melanin Travels Magic would have done an incomplete job if we did not share with you some of the mouth-watering local dishes you must try during your visit in Ghana.


We entreat readers to as well read “the best local restaurants in Ghana."

This will give you a complete overview of local dishes and where to enjoy the best treat when you visit and tour Ghana with us.

Fancy help with planning your next Ghanian cultural and leisure getaway?

Photo credit : iStock

We hope we have given you a good idea of what to do in Ghana next time you’d like to visit. If you fancy a mixture of black heritage and leisure experiences, we got you!

To find out more email us at:

Or schedule a Zoom Discovery call to find out we could help you plan your next holidays.

Client testimonials we have helped exploring & planning their trip to Ghana

REBOUND staff & Teenagers, Group of 10 Travelers from MINNEAPOLIS, USA, Corporate retreat, July 2023

Review 1: Christy Botts, Minneapolis, USA, August 2023

Our non-profit organisation took a group of young people to Ghana in July 2023. The experience was an amazing one that was spiritually moving as well as fun! We had an excellent tour guide who brought the country to life for us. Our youth were able to connect to one another and to the country in ways we could only have dreamed possible.

The Cooking Class was my favourite activity- being invited to our guide’s relative's home to cook "with the aunties" and hang out, listen to music, dance, laugh, get to know people, and eat was SO FUN. We felt like family!

It was a good occasion to bond with other group members and Ghanaian Culture.

Review 2: Danielle Draughn, Minneapolis, USA, August 2023

"I am an educator so I really enjoyed visiting with the children at the school. However, words can't even begin to explain the experience and tell all the wonderful things we were exposed to.

Best tour guide ever. The cameraman and driver were also good. Kwame was the absolute best tour guide who turned i to a friend I have ever experienced. He is very knowledgeable, caring and professional. He made sure we all had whatever we needed and made sure we were comfortable.

He was highly motivated to make sure we had the best knowledge and experience regarding our culture. This is a trip every black person should take. I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to experience Africa in such an amazing and spiritual way..."

Review 3: Samm Joyner, Minneapolis, USA, August 2023

"Excellent experience, beyond my expectations. Our guide was a Godsend. My favourite activity was visiting the school for the charity day."

Adrien, France, UK, Solo trip to Ghana, Travel plannerk on service and 10 day package

"Christina was able to show me the right direction when I was looking for a trip to West Africa. She had the right connections, and helped me build up a relevant agenda according to my ideal trip. She made sure I was safe and everything went according to plan in Ghana.I highly recommend Melanin Travels Magic for any trip related enquiries!"

Aqeny staff (Group of 8 corporate Travelers from NYC, USA), Corporate retreat , 10 day black heritage and leisure in Ghana, December 2022

Melanin Travels Magic was amazing from start to finish. The planning of our trip was designed to reflect what we asked for and then some. We had to change our trip date and Christine was very accommodating. We connected on Zoom before we left which was very helpful since we were in different parts of the world. Nana and his team were professional, a ton of fun and very knowledgeable. I really felt safe and cared for. Every guide that we encountered at all of the sites were amazing they explained the history with clarity, humour and honesty (they didn't sugar coat anything).

At the last minute we asked Melanin to add a naming ceremony to celebrate our Executive Director and they did. It was really special.

"If you are coming from the US all accommodations may not be what you are used to experiencing. It was a very humbling experience for me. I had to check my privilege day one. You may not have hot water all the time, you should bring a washcloth, beds might not be as soft as you are used to, bring sneakers or comfortable shoes, make sure you have repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat, 1000 cede= approx. $75, there are ATMs, food can be spicy, the smells of the cities might take getting used too (honestly no worse than the smell from Times Square train station in NY), the roads can be really bumpy in some parts, if you go on a jeep safari in Mole it can be rough if you have a bad back or are pregnant.

I mention the things above because they are things that I would like to know. Not one of the things I mentioned would have stopped me from wanting to go to Ghana. This trip was so powerful and transformational. As a Black, Muslim woman I connected so deeply. I can't say enough about how great Melanin Travel Magic team was. Medaase!!"

When we decided to go on a 10 day trip to Ghana for 8 people, we knew we needed a travel agent to handle all the details, Melanin Travels Magic was the perfect solution. There was clear communication during the preparation process, we had a great team lead us once we arrived and new memories that we will cherish forever. We felt welcomed, cared for and prepared for an awesome experience that far exceeded our expectations.

"What a wonderfully engaging trip. The team is awesome, the culture amazing and the whole experience is life changing!!!"


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