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Freshly fried beignets in a newspaper from Dakar, Senegal.

What: They’re decidedly French, and certainly more associated with places like New Orleans than Senegal, but beignets are a popular street food here in Dakar. They’re exactly what you think they are: puffy fried doughnuts, warm and dusted with a little sugar, if you’re lucky. Stop by a café Touba or mobile Nescafe vendor, and you’ve got yourself a cheap breakfast.

Where: We most often encountered beignets in and around markets, sold packaged (and invariably at room temperature) into small plastic bags. So we were extra excited to stumble upon a market vendor in Ouakam, the area of Dakar just south of the airport, making and selling fresh beignets.

When: We found our beignets on a Wednesday morning, but the Ouakam market is generally open daily.

Order: The order of beignets pictured cost us 125 CFA, about 25 more than the small, drier ones we’d tried on the streets elsewhere. They’re well worth the extra few pennies, we assure you. These beignets were large and puffy, fried in a huge pan and then wrapped in newspaper with a little sugar. Warm, moist, and sweet, they are what all other beignets in Dakar aspire to be.

Alternatively: We saw freshly made beignets only at Ouakam market, but you can find them in other markets, usually peddled by mobile vendors, including Marché Sandaga (map).


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