A story of Northern Nigerian cuisine is not complete if it doesn’t feature the four-letter word “suya.” Though originally said to encompass all sorts of edible meat products across Northern Nigeria, the name “Suya” these days mostly refers to spicy skewered meat, which is prevalent across the country (and in some ways across the world), but of Northern Nigerian origin.
Whether you have been initiated into the spicy tastiness of suya or not, the aim of this post is to point you towards the very best suya from across Kaduna. While we understand that this will always be subjective, you will agree with us (if you have gone on suya hunts as much as we have, that not many will disagree with our list.
10. Barnawa Complex:
First, it’s useful to note that there are a bunch of suya spots around Barnawa complex, so the one on this list is right opposite Sweeties at the junction of Nuhu Aliyu Crescent and Somalia road. The Suya can be tasty, but the reason why it’s so low on our list is that the taste and texture isn’t always consistent. Sometimes, it’s a bit too dry, and on a couple of occasions, it’s been rather flat as well.
9. Video Mars Suya:
Just beside Video Mars (which in itself used to be a legendary meeting spot for Kaduna residents, and which is now home to Eleven12 Sharwarma amongst other things) to the left, you’ll find another Suya spot which is worth checking out. Unfortunately, like the last entry, quality is also a coin toss. It’s great on some days, but not great on other days, with dryness being the most-likely sore point.
8. Golf Club
Located inside Kaduna Golf Club (to the right of the gate), this Suya spot was probably the most popular and arguably the best one in Kaduna in the late 90s and early 2000s; but it’s 2018 and a lot has changed since then. They’re still one of the better ones in my opinion and unlike all the other ones on this list, are the only one that are open pretty much throughout the day. Unfortunately, this often results in getting Suya from them that isn’t fresh, and hence the docked points on this list.
7. Murtala Square:
There’s a Suya spot just at the Alkali road entrance of Murtala Square, which is worth checking out if you are hunting for delightful suya (actually, there are two there, there’s another one if you drive into the square and towards the Kaduna Club Axis), both of them are decent, but I personally prefer the one at the gate. It’s the right amount of spicy and the right amount of tender and is deservedly on our list.
6.5. Yahuza Suya
As someone mentioned in the comments, Yahuza didn’t make the cut. It was not deliberate, it just totally didn’t come to mind while compiling the list. If we had to rate it among what’s already on the list, it’ll be somewhere between 6 and 7 on the list (hence the position). It’s okay on most days, but it’s a tad oily, and feels mass produced to an extent (no either how else to explain this). If you want to check them out, they are on Sultan road, at the old Video Mars building).
6. Green Suites Villa
Green Suites Villa Suya located within the premises of Green Suites Villa, the Suya spot (and grill generally), is one of the best ones on the Barnawa side of town. The Suya is always fresh and tasty, but be warned you’ll have to wait a while to get it as it takes quite a while to cook. You’ll find it on Tanzania Crescent, in Barnawa, not far from Paradise Park.
1-11 makes the absolute best chicken suya in Kaduna (tip: opt for the “chicken parts” and not the local “whole chicken”. The former is tender and juicy, while the latter tends to be dry). On this list though, we are focusing on beef suya, hence the position on the list. 1-11’s suya has a distinct, smoky taste that’s not found anywhere else, but it’s an acquired taste (I personally love it). Really, it should me much closer to number one on this list, but I’ve docked a few points for the one or two times I was sold day old suya. (Suya is meant to keep by the way, however, it tastes much nicer when fresh.
4. Prisons (Marafa)
The Suya spot that shares its walls with the Kaduna Prisons (weird right?) is one of the best kept Suya secrets in Kaduna, it’s nice, consistently fresh and tasty. Though, if you are not a fan of pepper, you might want to have a glass of water close by as they favour a fierce “yaji” coating on their skewers. You’ll find the spot on the right turn just before the prison if you are coming from Immigrations.
3. Yahaya Road
Many will argue that Yahaya road Suya, located at the junction where Yahaya road meets Inuwa Wada road deserves to be higher on this list as its one of the most popular suya spots in Kaduna. I personally love them as well, but often times, they are rather heavy-handed on the condiments, salt and stock cubes to the point where it’s distracting from the meat. Still, it’s one of the best ones in town.
I’m not certain how it got its name (my guess is that there’s a PDP office close by) and I’m also not certain why it is located in the most obscure place ever, but one thing I am certain of, is that PDP Suya is the truth! On most days, it’s as good or better, than Kisco, which is our number one on this list, it’s also the freshest suya in Kaduna, but that comes at a cost – wait time. At the point where you order, the suya is still mostly raw, so unlike other places where they warm it for you on the grill, at PDP it’s cooked from scratch, so it takes a ridiculous amount of time. Add to that, PDP itself (which is a motel by the way) isn’t the most comfortable place to wait as its crawling with “people of the night” but the Suya itself, is absolutely worth the hassle.
PDP (the motel) is located on Dutse close (at the end of it, to the left, you can’t miss it because of the amount of activity you’ll see around it). Dutse Close is the street opposite and across the road from Alkali road, off Ali Akilu road.
Without a doubt, Kisco (in our opinion) is the best place to get Suya from in Kaduna state. Besides the fact that their Suya tastes fantastic and is always fresh (they open around 6:30PM and on most days are sold-out before 10PM), they also have the widest range of suya (kulikuli and non-kulikuli), sides (salad, gurasa, masa), and meats generally. You’ll find Kisco on Waff road, at the junction of Moreland Kukuwa Street (that’s the street that leads to Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital).
There you go, in our opinion, those are the top ten suya places in Kaduna city, arranged in descending order. If you know anyones we didn’t mention that are worth checking out, or don’t agree with our list, please let us know in the comments!