Luandando combines the words ‘Luanda‘ and the Portuguese verb for walking, ‘andar‘, roughly translating to ‘walking through Luanda.’ It’s the title of a famous history and sociology book written by acclaimed Angolan writer Pepetela in 1990, a book which showcases the history and development of Luanda and presents the city to the reader as it existed in that time period, over 20 years ago. It’s perhaps our favorite Luanda ‘tourism’ book, if you will.
For this new LuandaNightlife series, ‘Luandando Com:’ (Luandando With:), we will ask some friends of the site about their favorite places to eat out in Luanda, their tips, their experiences with food in the city, among other things. Our first guest for our first Luandando edition is Jon Schubert, who is completing his doctorate degree at the University of Edinburgh’s Center of African Studies and was a resident of Bairro Operário. Enjoy!
|“Hotel Magestic”, by Jon Schubert|
“Pastelaria Pão Real, in the corner of the imaginatively spelled former ‘Hotel Magestic’ is the ideal place for a morning coffee & breakfast snack, a quick ‘sandes’ or ‘tosta mista’-lunch, or afternoon pastries, when you’re in the area. Much less ‘upmarket’ but much brighter than the nearby Vouzelense, this place has a friendly feel to it. The staff are very friendly, prices are reasonable (150 AKZ for a coffee, around AKZ 200 for a small pastry – staples like the pastel de nata or bolo de arroz are highly recommended) and the big windows are excellent for watching the happenings outside. It’s really in the heart of the ‘concrete’ part of Bairro Operario, towards São Paulo – arguably the most relaxed inner-city neighbourhood of Luanda – but far enough from the main thoroughfares to be less hectic.
|“Pão Real”, by Jon Schubert|
The large pavement in front of the pastelaria is a space where people trade and meet – vegetables and grilled meats during the day, knockout booze and loose cigarettes at night. As the tables are few and small, it’s also always an opportunity to chat up some of the patrons – a very mixed crowd of Angolans, Portuguese and Brazilians, but also Malians and Guineans, and the occasional Chinese. And where else could you meet the self-declared future President of Guinea-Conakry (currently selling Chinese motorcycles in Viana)?”
|“Hotel Magestic Front”, by Jon Schubert|
Pastelaria Pão Real
Address | Endereço: Corner of Comandante Bula and Rua do Vereador dos Prazeres (see map below)
Bairro/Neighborhood: Bairro Operário (BO)
Cuisine | Cozinha: Portuguese/Angolan
Price | Preço: Cheap
Specialties | Especialidades: Breakfast pastries
“Proper lunch in Luanda doesn’t get better than this: every day (except Sundays), Mãe Tété and her moças prepare 3-4 dishes for lunch in their quintal, hidden behind an inauspicious brown metal portão, in the backyard of a colonial vivenda. The food is delicious and portions enormous, and all this for a measly 500 Kz (700kz for the Mufete on Saturdays). There’s two kinds of funge (de milho ou de bombó), accompanied by Angolan classics such as dried meat sauce (muteta, with pumpkin seed balls!), fresh meat sauce, calulú de peixe, or more ‘exotic’ offerings of miudeza. Optional extras (Kz 100) include a rich feijão de óleo de palma or greens (cabbage leaves), and there’s plenty of jindungo to season to taste. Neighbour Elisabeth provides drinks – softs and beers at bairro prices (100-150) and there’s always a roaring trade. The patrons are mainly Angolans working nearby, and it’s a rather busy and rickety affair. Of course, the quintal is not the cleanest, and there’s no proper toilet – but the quality of the food, made with fresh ingredients make up for this. If you’re not scared off by the local drunkard, who’s part of the quintal’s inventory, or by the smoke of the coal fires, this is a great option for lunch in the heart of São Paulo.”
Quintal da Mãe Teté
Address | Endereço: Rua do Vereador Prazeres, opposite new Sonangol pump (See map below)
Bairro/Neighborhood: Bairro Operário (BO)
Cuisine | Cozinha: Angolan
Price | Preço: (Dirt) Cheap
Horas | Hours: Mon-Sat, Lunch (closed Sunday)
Specialties | Especialidades: Funge, Calulú, Mufete, Feijão de óleo de palma
Directions to Quintal da Mãe Teté:
About Jon Schubert: Jon is a political analyst and anthropologist currently writing his PhD on power and political culture in Angola. His current working title is ‘The Politics of Paranoia: Negotiating Political Authority in Angola’. Say that 5 times fast. Jon also contributed to the second edition of the Bradt Guide to Angola – the candongueiro map is all his. Follow him on Twitter @jon_schubert.