From its African-style décor to its flavorful dishes and hospitable wait staff, Jambo Café is full of life. The place carries an air of comfort, making it an enjoyable venue to have a good meal with friends and family. The menu is comprehensive, with a wide variety of East African and Caribbean dishes. Exotic meals such as fried cassava, jerk chicken, and even tofu curry grace the menu. Picking what to eat from the delicious looking spread proved to be a difficult task, but ultimately I settled on a lentil soup dish which was served with roti, an African flat bread similar to a tortilla. It had the amazing warmth of flavor and richness of texture found in most comfort food classics! The meal certainly lived up to the restaurant’s high-caliber reputation from being featured on the Food Network’s popular program “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” The restaurant has also received the “Best Soup” award from Albuquerque’s highly competitive Souper Bowl.

When café owner and chef Ahmed Obo set out to make his vision of Jambo come to life, he spared no energy in creating a slew of Jambo-related operations. He also opened Jambo Imports, which boasts a supply of “all things Africa.” The store, which is connected to the main restaurant, carries beauty products, spices, and African baskets. Obo also opened the Jambo Kids Foundation, an organization that strives to provide healthcare to Kenyan children and families in need. Never straying from his passion for food, Obo’s fare includes Jambo Hapa, a food truck which brings his cuisine to northern New Mexico.

After visiting Jambo Café, it’s no surprise to me that the restaurant is so popular amongst locals and tourists alike. Oftentimes, patrons must make a reservation to enjoy a meal, especially during the busy weekend hours. The café serves wonderful and authentic food, and the passion that goes into the cooking and creation of the cuisine is evident. I would not hesitate to go back and eat at Jambo Café again!

You can visit Jambo Café at its Albuquerque location at 1105 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE or enjoy its catering in your own home. Catering requests and reservations can be made by calling (505) 294-3459, or find more information at their website

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