Diary of an expat: My top 5 favourite cafés in Abuja


Freshly ground and roasted, served iced, frothed, and flavoured — Abuja’s coffee shop scene is buzzing, and so is a caffeined up Clementine Wallop.

1. The Quarter Café
Address: 6 Tapeta Street, Wuse 2
Instagram: @qcafeabuja
Twitter: @qcafeabuja

Decked out in black and white, this bijou spot tips a wink to Paris and New York with its sharp styling and eye for detail. Framed photographs and scented candles add to the elegant atmosphere. The chocolate-drizzled waffles, the trademark mini burgers and the iced fruit teas are fan favourites. You may not thank me for telling you, but they also do delivery (yes, of those same waffles).

BEST FOR: Catching up with friends

2. Classic Rock Coffee
Address: 12B Ajesa Street, Wuse 2
Twitter: @CRCCAbuja

Jazzily (or maybe rockingly?) done up with guitars on the wall and drums for tables and lit with colourful spots, there’s nowhere else quite like this in town. Playing Beatles-era favourites when I last popped in, there’s also live music from 8pm every Friday. The menu is varied Nigerian/Continental; the friendly staff recommend the seafood paella. Coffee is freshly ground, with beans for sale too. There to work? Grab the corner table opposite the front window for access to a power socket and a garden view.

BEST FOR: Afternoon coffee that becomes evening cocktails

3. Café de Vie
Address: 11 Adzope Crescent, Off Kumasi Crescent, Wuse 2
Address: Instagram @cafe_de_vie

A newer kid on the Abuja café block, Café de Vie’s eclectic decoration, cushions and bookcases give it a homely feeling. Come for the excellent coffee, fresh baking, homemade yoghurt and healthy juices (I like the pink one best) during the day or for a glass of Lebanese rose in the evening. Keep an eye out for special events at the café too including art shows and cookery lessons. This is a good writing spot too, with free Wifi and plentiful power points.

BEST FOR: Romancing at a corner table

4. Saffron Café
Address: 43 Gana Street, Maitama
Website: www.house43cuisine.com
Instagram: @house43cuisine
Twitter: @house43cuisine

A spacious outside seating area and comfy indoor armchairs tell you this a café for lingering, with board games and magazines on offer. The coffee is freshly made and our sauces report good things about the croissants and chicken pie. A major selling point of Saffron is its proximity to the Hilton, making it a good choice for meetings if you don’t want to stay in the hotel complex bars and restaurants.

BEST FOR: Discreet business chats

5. Salamander Café
Address: 5 Bujumbura Street, Wuse 2
Instagram: @salamandercafe_abuja

Longstanding fixture Salamander remains a cheery, colourful hangout for business or leisure; during the recent fuel crisis it was buzzing with bloggers and writers. The occasionally slow service is speeding up with the addition of call buttons on all tables; roasted veg salads and pineapple-coconut mocktails are my standard choices, or the chocolate cake if I have an excuse (fuel crises are good for something). The Salamander garden is one of the shadiest places in town to spend a roasting Abuja afternoon.

BEST FOR: Bumping into friends while working

CREDIT: Clementine Wallop


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