As soon as you walk through the door of this Northern Liberties West African spot, you’re met with the scent of steaming jollof rice, plantains fresh out of the pot, buttery cornbread muffins, and the sound of chicken sizzling on the grill. It’s a sensation that we can’t put a price on, but they have, and it’s notably affordable (the bowls are $13 or under and each comes with a side). Suya Suya is a comfortable counter-service place to grab a quick meal in between a night out at the bars nearby or before catching a train from the Spring Garden station.
This side dish is made up of chewy rice, corn, and a few bits of peppery diced beef. Whether your next scoop in your bowl is a plantain, chicken, or brussels sprouts, make sure this rice is your base.
Few places in the city get both a plantain's thickness and char right like Suya Suya. They’re blackened just enough to give the natural sweetness a smoky flavor, but not too much that you start thinking about the closest fire extinguisher.
This cornbread is buttery and soul-restoring. When the mounds of soft corn cake are baking, they smell better than walking into the fragrance section at Sephora.
The steak here is in the form of perfect strips of blackened, juicy, and peppery beef that we’d sub out for any burger during game night. It’s dry-rubbed and coated with Nigerian yaji, so when you add the meat to your bowl, everything from the cabbage to the jollof rice gets a hint of the peanut butter flavor.
Each brussels sprout has smokey edges and tender centers. And with spice options ranging from no heat to high, you can choose the pepper levels of the Nigerian yaji like you possesses a seasoning thermostat. It’s a good and filling option for vegetarians, vegans, or anyone who just wants something light in their bowl.