We get it – everything started well. You already picked some awesome date places in Ibadan: Domino’s Pizza for the first date, followed by Cafe Chrysalis and even made a stop at Kabachi Bistro. Conversation is flowing and chemistry is great. Now you need to do the customary buka date and you’re spoiled for choice given the numbers of buka joints in Ibadan. This is obviously not a romantic date but a cultural date – think differently, you’re keeping things fresh and adventurous.
Here are our 7 ideas for buka dates in Ibadan:
Cultural centre road, Mokola Hill, Ibadan
It was established by a Muslinat Akanke Tijani a decade after Nigeria got independence in 1960. There are now 3 locations: one in Mokola beside Cultural Centre, another on Iwo Road near Arisekola Central Mosque and lastly in Polytechnic Ibadan. The spirit of the original buka concept lives on at both locations with modern conveniences such as POS. The combination of amala “dudu” with abula endowed with mega-sized eran ogunfe (goat meat) is what keeps folks coming back.
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Jemibewon Road, Mokola Hill, Ibadan
Mama Ope canteen has been around for over three decades delivering excellent buka food. This buka has 3 distinct areas, namely: the VIP lounge, Floor and Hall depending on how you want to treat your date. Whilst the amala is pretty standard, the real reason to visit is because of the ofada rice and peppered stew. The canteen is located on Jemibewon Road near Leutmack Cantonment in Mokola.
Secretariat-Agodi Road, Oju Irin, Bodija, Ibadan
Ola Mummy is another Ibadan institution and is located in Ojurin Bodija. The food is prepared in the most amazing way and reminds of what you might eat at home on a good day. POS is available but bring cash to avoid disappointment.
Bodija-U.I. Road, Beside Skye Bank, Bodija, Ibadan
This buka is often considered the best amala joint in Ibadan and is known as “Amala Skye” or ‘Skye Lolo’. The unofficial name is because it is located near the now world famous Skye Bank branch in Bodija. The place is very basic and definitely not pretty (close your eyes because you came here for food). Over the years, the food has remained consistent and is still managed by the family of the late founder. Come here for a power lunch date, you might spot your bank manager, local champions or your state commission.
MKO Abiola Way, Challenge Roundabout, Oluyole, Ibadan
Iya Dunni Foods is one of the most popular amala spots in Ibadan and is located along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway in Challenge. This restaurant moved to its current location after the owner, Alhaja Iyadunni Lawal acquired a building down the road and converted the ground floor to a more spacious modern buka joint. There is POS service and stand-by generator, definitely stepping without compromising the food quality and pricing is still attractive.
Oba Adesoji Aderemi Road, After Overhead Bridge, Agodi, Ibadan
This longstanding buka is now located at Lam Adesina Shopping Complex, behind First Bank in Bodija. A worthy upgrade from the wooden shack-looking structure they had previously. The menu here extends beyond amala (both lafun & amala gidi) to include pounded yam, rice, beans, and Plantain. There is something for everyone.
Adegbite Street, Agbowo, Ibadan
This recently renovated small buka is located near Libra Kitchen in Agbowo and serves one of the best amala abula you will find in Ibadan. This joint is very low key which makes it great for lovers (not entirely true, c’mon on are bukas really every good for romance?).