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Thiebu Yap: Lamb served with brown rice and fresh mixed vegetables / Image: Brian Planalp // Published: 3.24.18

Teranga Brings The Taste Of West Africa To Cincinnati

The first thought you’ll have when your plate arrives at Teranga Restaurant is how in the world you are supposed to eat this much food...

Well, you aren’t. The takeout box is an unavoidable part of the dining experience here, as unavoidable as the delicious flavors, colorful decor, and Senegalese music.

Owner Mor Diallo hails from the West African nation of Senegal. He opened the restaurant in 2002 with signature Senegalese dishes such as frire (fried tilapia), dibi (marinated lamb), and maffe (a tomato-based peanut sauce). Teranga also offers an array of show-stealing homemade juices, including bissap, ginger, and buy.

Of the Senegalese dishes, Maffe deserves special mention. It’s somewhere between a Mexican mole and an Indian (well, a British) tikka masala. And it’s best when spooned over the bed of rice served with every order.

So too is the goat curry, which joins jerk chicken, oxtails, and red snapper in filling out the Jamaican portion of the menu. As for the curry, it tastes (hear me out) a lot like Skyline. The spices all seem to be there—coriander, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon—and it has that way of warming you from the inside out that’s oh-so-familiar to us Queen City folk.

Teranga, it should be noted, is not an overly large restaurant. It sits in a small Hartwell plaza at the southern cuff of Wyoming, and it might have seats for thirty. But the vibrancy of the paint and the bounciness of the music, not to mention the bonhomie of the staff, create an exceptional dining experience.

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Teranga Restaurant is located at 8438 Vine Street (45216).