Explore

Meet The Woman Behind San Francisco’s Newest Nigerian Restaurant

By DeAnna Taylor

Share

Simileoluwa Adebajo was born in America but identifies more with her Nigerian roots. When asked where she is from, she will tell you that she is more from “Ikenne Remo in the Ogun State of Nigeria.”

After spending most of her adult life in Nigeria and returning to San Francisco to complete graduate school, she felt that something was missing.

We spoke with Simileoluwa via email about her idea to open her own Nigerian restaurant in San Fran.

Photo courtesy of Imuetinyan Aiguwurhuo

Travel Noire:What inspired you to open Eko Kitchen and when did the vision come to you?

Simileoluwa:  I opened Eko Kitchen because I missed Lagos. I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria and have always felt like that was home, so when I moved to San Francisco in 2016 for my Masters of Science in International & Development Economics and discovered that there were absolutely no Nigerian restaurants or clubs in the city, I was terribly homesick. I decided to cook in large batches to share with my friends from grad school, and they enjoyed it so much that I ended up registering Eko Kitchen as a business when I finished grad school in 2018. 

Photo courtesy of Aba Micah & Reed Davis

TN: What can we expect when we visit your restaurant?


Simileoluwa: When you visit Eko Kitchen, you can expect to have a soulful, delicious, fiery meal accompanied by some hypnotic afrobeats music. We want to give you the idea that you are in a lounge in Lagos without actually being there. We will also have art on display from Nigerian artists, artisans and photographers which you can buy if you’re interested. Most importantly, you can expect to not wait too long for your food and a good number of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. There will also be takeout packs for people in a hurry, and a week day corporate catering offering. In summary, we can assure you minimal wait times, good food and service, and a good time all around. 

Photo courtesy of Aba Micah & Reed Davis

Related:Best Solo Travel Destinations For Black Women

TN: Tell us about the upcoming re-grand opening.

Simileoluwa: We will be opening at our new permanent location at 167 11th Street in San Francisco on Friday, May 3rd. This will be our soft opening, so all food that weekend will be discounted. We hope to have a great time filled with music and good vibes as well as delicious food. I am most excited for people to try our Naija-style brunch on Saturdays which will feature my handmade, freshly baked Agege Bread.

Photo courtesy of Aba Micah & Reed Davis

TN: Have you always been in the food service industry? If not, what did you do before?

Simileoluwa: I have not been professionally trained and have actually never been in the foodservice industry. I actually have a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, and before Eko Kitchen, I was getting my Masters’ degree in International and Development Economics and working as a financial analyst for Twitch, here in San Francisco. Twitch was a great employer that gave me a contract that did not stifle the growth of my business.

Photo courtesy of Aba Micah & Reed Davis

TN: What are the must-try dishes when we visit?

Simileoluwa: Our most popular dish so far is the Asun, which is smoked goat meat cooked in a sweet and spicy bell pepper, tomato, habanero and onion sauce, served with fried plantains and sweet potatoes.

TN: Where can we find Eko Kitchen online?

Simileoluwa: On Instagram ekokitchensf or Facebook Eko Kitchen.

Share
Travel Noire

DeAnna Taylor

DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel writer. The Charlotte native recently completed one year abroad working as an English teacher in South Korea. Her hobbies include fitness, traveling to new countries, and trying new foods.

Want more?

Get exclusive, unpublished tips from Travel Noire's CEO to help you get off the beaten path, into the hearts of locals and onto a better, more cultured life.

Best Chicken And Waffles Spots In London

Best Chicken And Waffles Spots In London

Chicken and Waffles is more than just a brunch staple for Americans. Our friends across the Atlantic in London are incorporating the dish on their menus as well. Related Post: How To Spend A Day In Black-Owned London If you’re not into bangers and mash for breakfast or are looking for a change, some London […]

Parker Diakite

How These Young Black Men Overcame The Odds To Become Two Of Charlotte’s Top Chefs

How These Young Black Men Overcame The Odds To Become Two Of Charlotte’s Top Chefs

Calvin Wright Jr. and Oscar Johnson are quickly rising to the top of the cooking scene around Charlotte, North Carolina. Wright, a native of New York and Johnson of Hampton, Virginia, currently work together at Loft and Cellar—one of Charlotte’s premier Black-owned establishments. Calvin has a unique story. He started off in franchise restaurants to […]

DeAnna Taylor

This Black-Owned Ice Cream Shop Brings More Than Just Sweet Treats To NYC

This Black-Owned Ice Cream Shop Brings More Than Just Sweet Treats To NYC

Michael “Mikey” Cole was born and raised in New York City. He opened his ice cream shop, Mikey Likes It Ice Cream, to fill a void in a community that was often misunderstood, misinformed, and misrepresented. “Leaders of the new scoop” is what you will find on your cup when you order your ice cream […]

DeAnna Taylor