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Enjoy a filling African lunch at Les Gourmets Cuisine

A bowl of African fried rice sits on a wooden table. The food is prepared by Les Gourmets Cuisine in Urbana, Illinois. Photo by Alyssa Buckley
Alyssa Buckley

Les Gourmets Cuisine is an African restaurant that opened last summer inside Broadway Food Hall. Six days a week, the restaurant serves a variety of Congolese and African dishes. The menu at Les Gourmets Cuisine features lunch plates and chef specialties like whole chicken, salted fish, macaroni and cheese with shrimp, and more.

Alyssa Buckley

In the same way other restaurants operate inside Broadway Food Hall, diners order and pay at the counter. If you want a drink with your meal, Les Gourmets Cuisine offers bottled water, soda, a made-in-house ginger and pineapple drink, and a small selection of bottled beer.

Alyssa Buckley

All of the lunch plates come with a choice of side (plaintains, kwanga, fried potatoes, fried rice, and fufu). On my first visit to Les Gourmets Cuisine, I ordered the chicken wings lunch plate with a side of plantains and an extra side of fried rice.

Alyssa Buckley

The chicken wings lunch plate ($10.50) included five wings, and they were delicious. Seasoned with garlic and ground nuts, the meat was tender, full of garlic flavor, and extra juicy from the onion sauce on top. The sauce was sautéed onions in an oily sauce, and I’ve never had sautéed onions on top of my chicken wings — but these garlicky onions tasted so good. The five plantains had a caramelized crispiness on the sliced edges, and they were just barely sweet.

Alyssa Buckley

Next, I tried an extra side of fried rice ($6.50), which was a very big bowl of rice with eggs, carrots, corn, peas, and chopped green beans. Sadly, the dish was a bit disappointing because rice was dry and kind of crunchy. The veggies were tasty, though. Well seasoned, the vegetables added pops of flavor and texture, and I especially liked the bits of egg. The oily and nutty flavors of the dish were good, but I wish the rice had been softer.

Alyssa Buckley

On my second visit, I ordered the beef steak lunch plate ($14.50) with fried potatoes as my side. The meat had awesome garlic and black pepper flavors, and the beef was topped with seasoned onions and peppers with the same tasty flavors as the wings’ onion sauce. This garlicky sauce must be the restaurant’s signature. The fried potatoes weren’t what I expected by reading the menu, but they were good, salty potatoes. The consistency reminded me of a baked potato, and I liked the slightly crisp fried edges. I enjoyed this lunch of steak and potatoes so much that I included it in my February list of foods to eat in C-U.

Alyssa Buckley

Overall, the flavors in the food at Les Gourmets Cuisine were tasty. If you want a taste of African cuisine, this restaurant is a good casual lunch option in Urbana. The food does take awhile before it’s ready, so come prepared to wait a little bit. Broadway Food Hall has reliable wi-fi, so it’s easy to entertain yourself while you wait.

Order lunch in person, or have it delivered to you through a third party app.

For more information about the restaurant, check out Les Gourmets Cuisine’s website here.

Les Gourmets Cuisine
401 N Broadway Ave
T-Sa 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Su 2 to 8 p.m.

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