A guide to food and drink in Kololi

Almost all restaurants in Kololi can be found either on the famous Senegambia Strip or along the beach with most offering a variety of cuisines. Menus cater to both tourists and locals, allowing you to try traditional dishes and old favourites with a twist on your Gambia holidays. We’ve listed our favourite places to grab dinner in Kololi below.

Exploring Kololi's delicacies

Like many tourist destinations in Gambia, the restaurants of Kololi have adapted and grown to include top-class international cuisine alongside classic Gambian cooking. Of course, you’ll still find authentic and local curries on most menus during your holiday to Gambia, usually accompanied by fragrant rices.

You’ll commonly find chicken domada, a mild peanut and tomato based curry, on the menu of Gambian restaurants. If you’re feeling adventurous you can always upgrade to the chicken yassa, which combines chilli, lime and mustard, this will certainly hit your taste buds.

The many beachside restaurants in Kololi also promote the fresh catch of the day, though the way these dishes are cooked can differ greatly. Benachin is a biriyani-like rice dish that often includes fish, while oyster stew is a frequent visitor on the specials boards.

BBQ buffet at Scala

This popular restaurant offers a variety of European and British dishes, with air conditioned dining or a charming outdoor terrace. The varied menu offers everything from perfectly cooked steaks to hearty pastas, although the coffee is a surprising highlight.

Try a Scala Special which combines your latte with brandy, whipped cream and chocolate. The best day to visit Scala is on Sunday, when the barbecue is rolled out for the famous all-you-can-eat buffet – but make sure you book ahead to avoid disappointment.

Taste of the local flavour at Darboe's Rest

Darboe’s Rest is the place to find the best local cuisine. After a warm Gambian welcome, take your pick from a table inside or outside on the bustling terrace, where you can enjoy some live entertainment.

The grilled lamb afra is a popular dish from the menu, as is the domada – chicken cooked in a peanut sauce. You’ll also find an array of fresh seafood dishes, along with a surprisingly good Sunday lunch.

Fresh seafood at Sea Shells

This wonderful restaurant is worth straying from the main strip for. Offering an impressive menu where the highlight is the delicious fresh seafood, Sea Shells is a favourite with holidaymakers and locals.

Nowhere in Kololi puts more effort into presentation – each dish is beautifully set on the plate, and has the taste to back it up, too. The lobster thermidor gets rave reviews, and if you’re looking for something other than seafood we suggest you try the beef wellington.

A pizza lover's paradise at Paradiso Pizzeria

One of the busiest stops on the Senegambia Strip, this restaurant is the place to be if you’re looking for the best pizza in town. With a huge selection of toppings on three different sized thin bases, no one leaves Paradiso Pizzeria hungry.

Don’t let the name fool you though – if you’re looking for something a little more authentic, Paradiso also offers a range of local dishes. The chicken yassa is a particular Gambian highlight, and the specials board usually boasts a mouth-watering fresh fish dish.

Show cooking in the garden at Green Mamba

Set away from the bustle of the main street, Green Mamba Garden provides a low-key and relaxed evening, with romantic candlelit dining in a secret garden, surrounded by lush greenery.

Along with a set menu, the restaurant boasts a Mongolian and fusion style buffet, with show cooking stations where you can pick your own fresh ingredients for a stir fry. This is a perfect choice for vegetarians and meat eaters alike, with a dazzling variety of dishes to choose from.