Reason # 587 why I love Sierra Leone: Diaspora Bookshop & Cafe

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Diaspora Café & Bookshop No matter how many pictures I post I can not fully explain the warm, welcoming feeling I get everytime I walk into Diaspora Cafe & Bookshop.

In the hustle bustle of Freetown’s heat and sometimes crazy traffic Diaspora Bookshop & Café on Priscilla street is just what a JC, expat, and good food connauseur ordered. Its like walking into a moms & pops store where everybody knows your name; Cheers. I enter most times with friends Adama, and Mahawa to smiles and warm welcome from Bashiru, Etta, Tina, Tenneh and the other staff at the café. Sometimes I go alone and sprawl on the salone made bamboo chairs while I dive into the latest issue of Essence or People. At rush hour you might wait a little while before you get your food but deep in conversation with friends we hardly notice the time. Unless I am super hungry then I yell “ Tina way me food? Ah day cam go oh”.The Café & Bookstore opened during December and was re-launched again at the end of January. What I really appreciate about Diaspora is the large selection of authors of African descent. I was finally able to read Nervous Conditions as well as Purple Hibiscus. The Bookstore has also introduced me to black authors based in the UK who I may not otherwise have known. The Bookstore is probably the only one that can actually order and ship books to you on demand as long as you pay for them on arrival. So instead of having to wait until the next time u travel to buy books u can get them in Freetown and that is amazing stuff!! They recently also started renting movies and cds.

But lets get back to the food. Before goods started to skyrocket nationally the prices at Diaspora were dirt cheap compared to all the many delicacies and scrumtiousities on the menu. Although prices have increased on the menu its still a bargain to other restaurants catering to the same audience. The food at the cafe is super tasty. I love their ability to experiment. Every week the specials though they may not be perfect all the time give you an opportunity to try something new and contribute to its improvement. My favourite on the menu was initially the grilled barracuda and fried rice but then one time they had this giant prawn with pineapple and that became a favourite as well. Right now though, I’m stuck on the honey mustard chicken with mashed potatoes or plantains. So good its crack food.

I must confess Diaspora has taken me away from Café De la Rose completely and also Balmaya. I still manage to make it to Crown because celebrities like us have to give the paparazzi a chance to see us every once in a while.

But when I want great food, exceptional customer service, a comfy seat, new gossip magazines, books, herbal teas, brownies, cappuccino, smoothie, wireless internet, traditional salone treats (fish cake), and some chit chat I always go to Diaspora.

And when I can’t leave my house or my office, I have it delivered.

Last weekend I also tried their catering service for a dinner I hosted at my house for Ishmael Beah. Everyone loved the food. I think I can go as far as to say that Ishmael loves the food from Diaspora 🙂
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  • Jerey O.