Skip to content

How Inglewood Became the Center of African Cooking in LA

Like many city neighborhoods, the Inglewood section of Los Angeles has undergone significant change over the decades. Having developed a sizable black population, it became a destination for African immigrants and a melting pot of African cuisines. West African food is still largely under the radar in the U.S. outside of the African diaspora, despite a TikTok-viral fufu challenge in early 2021 that brought many new customers to local West African restaurants. In Inglewood, it’s common to find cuisines from countries in West Africa, like Nigeria. It isn’t just West African food, though, in the area; there are also Ethiopian restaurants, as well as the Los Angeles area’s only Somali restaurant. At African restaurants in Inglewood, you can trace how rice and beans, a staple of many cultures in the Americas, developed in regions across Africa and, at the same time, how colonization impacted Somali cuisine, apparent in dishes like spaghetti topped with suugo suqaar and its common companion: banana. Below are five African restaurants to try when exploring the dining scene in Inglewood.