Senegalese food is considered among the best in Africa, with an unmistakable influence from French cuisine. The basis of many dishes is chicken or fish, but peanuts infuse a distinctive taste to local dishes. This food is served in many restaurants in Dakar, while provincial rest houses serve less sophisticated but delicious variations. Senegal is predominantly a Muslim country, and while there is a conspicuous absence of pork from menus, alcohol is available.
Be careful with food prepared by the road, as it could be cooked in unsanitary conditions. Western-style meals are available and can be found at restaurants in various parts of Dakar, Thies, Saint Louis and other towns and near the big hotels in the Petite Côte and in some other touristic regions of the country, too. Prices range from moderate to expensive.
You can find all sorts of street food practically anywhere in Dakar. Apart from peanuts, there are other nuts, lots of fruit, and other special Senegalese treats and snacks. There are also a ton of sandwich shops and little bread stands, where you can get egg sandwiches or quick and cheap food.
For authentic Senegalese cuisine, head to Chez Ndeye (on a street parallel to Ponty). Besides the lovely thiebou dien, the place features home-made Tamarind juice.
Cafe du Rome serves authentic French food, from oysters to steak tartar, and the famous sole meuniere that doesn't disappoint. It is pricey by Dakar standards, but the food is great.
Walking along the street of Cafe du Rome towards La Corniche (the sea), two blocks up on your right hand side, you find the ultimate place for breakfast in Dakar. No, they don't serve eggs, bacon or sausage, but fresh, slightly warm croissants, pain au chocolat, and pain au raisins. The coffee is good and the juices freshly squeezed. You will be surrounded by locals in beautiful Muslim outfits, reading the paper and discussing the latest news.
L'Ozio is the embodiment of serious Italian cuisine original recipes and techniques alongside the freshest products, and carefully selected Italian flavours. L'Ozio is the perfect place for friends and family to gather.
For Lebanese cuisine, Ali Baba (Avenue Pompidou) serves good falafel sandwiches with french fries and lots of tahina sauce, shwarma, kebab and all sorts of other delicious (also western) snacks.
Lalibela is a little Ethiopian restaurant with a fantastic rooftop dining area. The ambiance alone would be worth coming here, but luckily the food is great too. This restaurant is located between the VDN and Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop at the intersection with the Mobil-On-The-Run and la Poste Fann.
For good Thai cuisine, head to Le Jardin Thailandais. The restaurant has a huge menu of delicious Thai food and great atmosphere. Le Jardin Thailandais is across the street from UCAD (Universite Cheikh Anta Diop), off Avenue Cheikh Anta Diop/Rue de Ouakam.