Sierra Leone’s bustling capital city, Freetown, has a pleasant surprise that will excite your senses and pique your culinary interest. The Cole Street Guest House is not your typical restaurant. This restaurant is the country’s first gourmet haven entirely dedicated to Sierra Leone’s traditional cuisine. Run by Chef Miatta Marke, it occupies a structure from the middle of the twentieth century in the middle of Murray Town, a classic historic district

The building itself is of historical value as it belonged to Lati Hyde-Forster MBE, the first woman in Sierra Leone to get a bachelor’s degree. Now, the building is where The Cole Street Guest House’s culinary maestro, Chef Miatta Marke, prepares her enticing meals. It’s fitting that the restaurant, serving meals since November 2021, sits comfortably inside the property once held by Sierra Leone’s first female African school principal. In this way, it honors not only the country’s history but also the sixteen ethnic groups through its recipes that have roots in different regions.

The Menu At The Cole Street Guest House

dinner tables at The Cole Street Guesthouse - Sierra Leone's first gourmet restaurant
Photo credit: @cole_street_guesthouse / Instagram

As many visitors discover, Sierra Leone offers an abundance of fresh veggies, seafood, and fruits. Sierra Leonean cuisine is a fascinating blend of West African, European, and Creole influences. The Cole Street Guest House takes full advantage of these riches. Guests at the restaurant enjoy this rich harvest and cultural fusions. This is, of course, thanks to unique family recipes passed down through generations of mothers and grandmothers. 

Preparing food and sharing family recipes is a deeply rooted part of Sierra Leone’s rich heritage. According to the locals, this practice forges a connection to ancestors, friends, and community. When it comes to The Cole Street Guest House, Chef Miatta Marke’s goal is to provide the people of Sierra Leone with authentic local cuisine. Traditional classics like groundnut soup and sweet plantain tempt you once you enter the restaurant.

Other local classics like binch (black-eyed beans) and jollof rice with tender meat stew are also highly popular. No matter your level of culinary expertise or travel experience, you must dine at The Cole Street Guest House. One meal at this restaurant will make you truly understand the flavors of Sierra Leone.