16 Traditional Dishes and Foods of Togo

Togolese dishes are distinctive, combining local ingredients with French, German, and other West African countries’ culinary influences.

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Basic Information

Togolese Food: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Grains and tubers (rice, maize, millet, sorghum, cassava, yams), legumes (beans, peas, lentils), leafy greens (spinach, amaranth leaves), meat (mostly fish and poultry)

Common Cooking Methods

Boiling, grilling, stewing


Appetizer, main course, dessert


Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Key Taste

Savory, sour, neutral, complex

Eating Etiquette

Meals are often communal, promoting sharing from a central dish. It’s common to eat with the right hand, using staples like fufu as utensils to scoop up sauces and stews.

Meal Presentation

Food is typically served in communal pots or on shared plates.

Culinary Festivals

Agricultural or religious festivals

Influence and Fusion

Features a unique fusion of German, French, and West African influences.
Origin and Region

Togolese Food: Origin and Region



Cuisine’s Geographical Territory

West Africa

Country’s Region

Centrale, Kara, Maritime, Plateaux, Savanes
Togo Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Popular Types of Togolese Food

  • Boiled Dishes

    Boiled dishes in Togo are a fundamental component of the cuisine, primarily due to the simplicity of the cooking method.

    This category includes many meals made from tubers such as cassava and yams, as well as plantains.

    These ingredients are often boiled and then pounded or mashed to achieve a smooth, dough-like consistency, serving as a staple accompaniment.

  • Grilled and Barbecued Dishes

    Grilled and barbecued dishes are highly popular in Togo, reflecting the nation’s rich tradition of outdoor cooking.

    They are typically skewered meats or fish, seasoned with local spices, imparting the smoky flavor due to the grilling process

  • Rice Dishes

    Rice is popular in Togo.

    These dishes often combine rice with meats, fish, vegetables, and a blend of spices and seasonings, as rice can absorb flavors well.

Togolese dishes are distinguished by their staple ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavors. In Togo, maize is the most commonly consumed food, alongside rice, millet, cassava, yam, plantain, and beans.

Fish and seafood are significant sources of protein, and poultry like chicken is also common.

This West African country’s cuisine benefits from the influences of German and French food offerings and West African cuisine in general.

The culinary practices are also deeply associated with the country’s social and cultural life, highlighting the communal aspect of dining, where meals are often shared from a large plate.

So if you are new to Togolese cuisine, this post will help you understand it clearly by exploring the 16 most popular delights in the country. Furthermore, you’ll also know about the traditional food in Togo, its global popularity, and how healthy they are.

The traditions and manners of eating in Togo are also interesting insights. And if you want to improve the dining experience with these dishes, I have some beverage pairing suggestions for you! So check them out now!

Explore the diverse taste of Togolese cuisine, a unique blend that weaves together different cuisines and components. Here are five key characteristics of these foods.

  • Cultural Fusion: Togolese cuisine reflects a mix of African, French, and German influences.
  • Staple Foods: Key ingredients include maize, rice, millet, cassava, yam, plantain, and beans.
  • Protein Sources: Fish serves as a primary protein, along with other meats (like goat and chicken).
  • Flavorful Additions: The cuisine is renowned for its diverse sauces and pâtés, featuring eggplant, tomato, and spinach.
  • Street Food Culture: Favorites include groundnuts, brochettes, etc.

The distinctive flavor and rich heritage of this cuisine have enchanted food enthusiasts worldwide, making them start gaining global appeal.

Togolese foods may not be as widely recognized as other cuisines. However, the cuisine has various distinctive dishes ideal for adventurous eaters, such as fufu or akpan.

The healthy value of these foods also contributes to their popularity, which will be explained in the next section.

Togolese food culture brings many ingredients and cooking methods that are key in promoting a nutritious lifestyle; here’s an overview of its contributions.

  • Diverse Staples: Togolese meals often include a variety of grains and tubers such as maize, millet, sorghum, cassava, and yams, providing a good source of carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and essential minerals.
  • Rich in Legumes: Beans, peas, and lentils are common in Togolese dishes, offering high-quality plant-based protein, fiber, and vitamins.
  • Moderate Use of Meat: While meat is used in Togolese cuisine, it is often used in moderation, with a preference for fish and poultry over red meats.
  • Cooking Methods: Cooking techniques often involve boiling, grilling, or stewing rather than frying, reducing the consumption of unhealthy fats.
  • Seasonal and Local: The emphasis on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients ensures that food is not only fresher but also retains more nutrients.

Now, let’s move to the most significant part, which is about the 16 most beloved Togolese dishes that you should try once.

16 Popular Togolese Dishes with Filters

A West African country, Togo offers a collection of dishes that will amaze you. Here, I present the top 16 culinary delights of Togo, ranked by their appeal.

You can utilize the filtering tools to navigate through choices based on ingredient type, flavor profile, method of preparation, categories of dishes, etc.

This selection also offers an extensive range of traditional, national dishes, street foods, and exotic delicacies, ensuring there’s always something new to discover.

  • They are dishes/meals found in homes, local diners, and vibrant street markets across the country.
  • These dishes are also beloved for their flavors and wholesome ingredients.

Reflecting Togo’s cultural richness, national dishes feature staples like maize, yams, and local meats, celebrated for their deep-rooted traditions nationwide.

These dishes, steeped in Togo’s history and cultural diversity, are handed down through generations, showcasing distinctive flavors with local produce and classical cooking methods.

  • Togolese street food is lively and varied that you can find on the streets.
  • They are flavorful dishes that offer a peek into the everyday food culture.

Fusion cuisine in Togo combines traditional tastes with global influences, highlighting the creativity of Togolese chefs who introduce international flair yet still honor their cooking heritage.

Fufu Togoles


  • Traditional

Fufu is a quintessential element of Togolese and West African cuisine in general, serving as a versatile companion to many other flavorful dishes.

Fufu is made primarily from pounded green plantains and cassava tubers. Its gluten-free, cholesterol-free, and low-fat profile make it a cornerstone for a nutritious diet.

The process of creating fufu involves blending these ingredients with hot water to achieve a dough-like consistency, offering a slightly sour taste.

Jollof Rice Togoles

Jollof Rice

  • Traditional

Jollof rice is a popular one-pot dish within Togolese cuisine and across West Africa.

This dish is made with aromatic rice, meat or fish, vegetables, and a blend of spices. It’s notable for its striking red and orange hues from pureed tomatoes.

Its origin traces its roots back to the 14th-century Jolof Empire.



  • Street Food

Brochettes is a popular street food in Togo, featuring skewered and grilled meat or fish. They are often seasoned with local spices and served with sides like spicy sauces or vegetables.

This dish highlights the importance of grilling techniques in Togolese cooking.

Riz Sauce Darachide

Riz Sauce D’arachide

  • Traditional

Riz Sauce D’arachide is a beloved Togolese dish with the nuttiness of pounded peanuts transformed into a creamy sauce.

Chicken, beef, or fish often accompany the sauce. Locals usually pair Riz Sauce D’arachide with white rice, for a complete meal.



  • Traditional

Ayimolou is a staple in Togolese cuisine that is made from rice and beans. These ingredients are cooked together and often bathed in a spicy tomato sauce.

It’s also a typical Togolese communal meal, inviting everyone to share from a single large plate.

In addition, ayimolou is commonly served with fried pepper or tomato sauce, and sometimes with dried salted chili pepper powder and fried onion oil.

Gboma Dessi Togoles

Gboma Dessi

  • Traditional

Gboma dessi stands out in Togolese cuisine as a tasty beef stew with spinach, vegetables, and robust spices.

This dish exemplifies how Togolese culinary traditions celebrate both taste and wellness in every spoonful.

Koklo Meme

Koklo Meme

  • Street Food

Koklo Meme is a common grilled chicken dish in Togolese cuisine. This dish is moist, flavorful achieved through a marination process including spices and palm oil.

The chicken, especially the legs, is grilled to perfection, achieving a golden exterior and smoky aroma.

These chicken legs are then grilled over medium fire until they take on a golden exterior. Complete your koklo meme by drizzling spicy chilly sauce over the legs and sink your teeth into them!

Djenkoume Tomato Cornmel Cakes


  • Traditional

Not only present in the main dishes, but corn also makes its way into the world of Togolese delights. And djenkoume (or djinkoume), made from torrefied corn dough, is a great example.

The combination of cereal grain and tangy tomatoes, an unlikely ingredient for cakes, results in this flavorful dish.

You can even enjoy these beautiful cakes with grilled meat or fish.

Yassa Togoles


  • Traditional

Yassa, originating from the Casamance region in southern Senegal, has been a favorite delicacy in Togo. This flavorful dish features marinating chicken with onions in a vibrant mix of lime juice and chili peppers, then slowly cooked to tender perfection.

The process enhances the chicken and onions with a depth of sweet and tangy flavors. Yassa is ready when the chicken is so tender that you can remove it from the bone with merely your tongue.

Akpan Fermented Corn Yogurt


  • Traditional

Akpan is a well-loved dessert in Togo. It includes probiotic, corn kernel-based yogurt mixed with condensed milk. Therefore, its taste is tangy and refreshing.

Traditionally served chilled in small plastic bags, it’s a popular treat for cooling down in the summer heat. You can open the wrapping or just bite it off and enjoy the yogurt.

Peanut Soup Togoles

Groundnut Soup

  • Traditional

Groundnut (or peanut) is a legume crop that is very important in Togo. One way to make the best of what peanut has to offer is to cook it into this hearty soup.

The soup is distinguished by its smooth peanut paste and the unique addition of exotic spices like bitter leaves and Uziza seeds (African black pepper). Moreover, groundnut is also a healthy source of protein and fat, increasing the value of this dish.

Finally, a pot of finger-licking peanut soup won’t do without fresh veggies such as tomatoes, okra, or eggplants. For the fullest experience, don’t forget to serve it with some starchy fufu.



  • Traditional

Kom is a distinctive Togolese dish known for its spicy flavor, made from steam-cooked corn flour mixed with tomatoes, onions, and pepper.

This spicy concoction is often served with fried fish.



  • Traditional

Pinon is a traditional dish in Togolese cuisine, which proves the versatility of cassava, a staple in the country.

It’s prepared with gari, a type of cassava flour, which is mixed with various spices such as ginger, garlic, pepper, and/or tomatoes.

This savory dish is often accompanied by boiled meat, usually goat or pork, blending rich flavors and textures.



  • Traditional

Akume is a simple yet energizing porridge made from ground corn and fermented cassava, highlighting the importance of corn in Togolese cuisine.

With 40% of Togo’s arable land dedicated to corn cultivation, dishes like Akume are central to the country’s culinary practices.

This is a straightforward dish as you only need to heat the mixture while continuously stirring until it becomes firm, then add a pinch of salt to enhance flavors. Akume is an energy food on Togolese breakfast tables.

Akara Togoles


  • Street Food

Akara is a snack made from black-eyed peas and holds a significant place in Togolese cuisine.

These deep-fried fritters are versatile, often incorporating ingredients like cashews, tomatoes, or shrimp. They are known for their spicy flavor and distinct bronze color from frying in palm oil.

Originating from Nigerian Yoruba culture, akara has become a beloved street food in West Africa and beyond, including Brazil and the Caribbean.

Ablo Steamed Rice Cake


  • Traditional

Ablo is a versatile dish made from cornmeal and rice flour in Togo. It’s often served as a side like fufu but also enjoyed on its own with spicy or tomato sauces.

The preparation involves boiling the flour, adding yeast for leavening to achieve soft, moist cakes, and then steaming them in molds.

What Are Customs And Eating Etiquette in Togo?

Customs and eating etiquette in Togo are characterized by several practices, including:

  • Eating Habits: Ritual hand washing is common before meals, especially when eating with hands.
  • Dining Etiquette: It is customary to pray or give thanks before eating. Guests are typically served first and might receive the best pieces of meat or fish.
  • Communal Eating: Food is often shared from a communal bowl, highlighting the unity in the family. Meat or fish is usually placed in the center of the bowl, surrounded by sauce, and everyone takes a portion.
  • Beverages: A small amount of the beverage is poured on the ground as an offering to the ancestors before drinking.
  • Gifts and Gratitude: Bringing a small gift, such as fruit or bread, when invited to a Togolese home is considered a kind gesture.

Coming up, let’s find out what ideal drinks to go with food in Togo.

What Are Drinks To Complement Togolese Dishes?

Want to eat and drink like a real local? Here are some suggestions to pair Togolese-based drinks with their delicacies.

  • Tchoukoutou: A sour beer made from fermented sorghum can complement the spicy and savory dishes.
  • Palm Wine: A traditional alcoholic beverage made from the sap of palm trees. Its slightly sweet and tangy flavor pairs well with rich and spicy meals.
  • Beer and Soft Drinks: Besides traditional beverages, imported beers and common soft drinks are widely available and can be enjoyed with Togolese meals.

To summarize, Togolese foods are healthy and delicious, featuring a rich culture and history. If you like this post, you can share it with others or hit the like button.

Even better, you can share your thoughts and experiences with everybody in the comment section. Have a good day, and see you soon!

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

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