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Recommendations on Kenya food / restaurant?

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Seattle, Washington
posts: 584
reviews: 34
Recommendations on Kenya food / restaurant?

Hi, scrolled through the restaurants listed/reviewed on TA and found that most seem to be international or continental.

However, I am looking for one that serves local / Swahili / Kenyan cuisine.

Any suggestion? In particular, I am seeking suggestions for a good-value-for-money Nyama Choma place.

Additionally, what other local food joints or types of food should I try?

For Carnivore restaurant, if I decide to go, how much should I expect to pay? I am not going as part of the tour group or package or anything like that, so i just want to know how much I should expect to pay as a solo person dining. is it cheaper to go dine during lunch time?


Just as a FYI: will be staying at Sabina Country Inn at Karen. So though I may have car hire for the 2 days I am in Nairobi, I think for dinner option, I probably want a place nearer to where I stay. But for lunch, it's okay to be at Westlands or Kilimani or CBD etc since I will be out and about.

7 replies to this topic
Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 2,662
reviews: 3
1. Re: Recommendations on Kenya food / restaurant?

Local cuisine consists of nyama choma, githeri (maize &beans), spinach & ugali (ground maize). You wont get this in a "upmarket" restaurant maybe a fusion of it.

Try Amaica for Kenyan cuisine


Carnivore is apprx. $50 "All-You-Can" Eat carvery

There's also Brazilian style Nyama Choma


There's a fab indian restaurant in Karen called the Open House.

Mtwapa, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Barcelona, Newcastle upon Tyne, Bamburi, Mtwapa
posts: 13,433
reviews: 49
2. Re: Recommendations on Kenya food / restaurant?

Kenyan food consists of so much more than just nyama choma, githeri, sukuma wiki (collard greens, similar to kale, usually cooked with onion and tomato) and ugali.

Any half decent local restaurant will also serve local meats, fish, 'curries' and 'stews' using lots of herbs and spices such as coriander, nutmeg, turmeric, ginger, tamarind and particularly here at the coast coconut milk. Kenyans have adopted pilau cooked with meat and spices, biriyani, samosa, etc from their fellow citizens with indian ancestry. Most places will also serve side dishes of kachumbari (salad of thinly sliced tomatoes and onions, dressed with chillies and lime juice, matoke (mashed green bananas), mataha (mashed beans, maize and potatoes), irio (mashed maize and potato with peas), maharagwe (beans in coconut milk).

But as Stefan says you are unlikely to find these in tourist / international business restaurants, they are more likely to be in the smaller restaurants frequented by locals, but many hotels will include elements of them particularly if they have buffets

PS For a snack with your Kenyan coffee try a mandazi (sweet doughnut)

Nairobi, Kenya
Destination Expert
for Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 2,662
reviews: 3
3. Re: Recommendations on Kenya food / restaurant?

............and Tusker beer !!

Nairobi, Kenya
posts: 193
reviews: 1
4. Re: Recommendations on Kenya food / restaurant?

You should try Le Palanka Nairobi for that African cuisine. A few highlights would be they accept major Credit Cards, Fully stocked bar, Mpesa/Airtel money, Late night closing, Out door seating, Children’s playground, Outside Catering and facilities for the disabled

Pittsford, New York
posts: 8
5. Re: Recommendations on Kenya food / restaurant?

If you are staying in the Karen area then there is a good nyama choma joint that will serve most of what you are after (including the beers) called Tamasha Joint near the Agricultural College on the Langata end of Bogani Road (which is close to Sabina Country Inn). Otherwise there are a couple of little kiosks in the area that will sell snacks such as mandazis as well as a good local restaurant upstairs in the Karen shopping centre's Tana House.

Seattle, Washington
posts: 584
reviews: 34
6. Re: Recommendations on Kenya food / restaurant?

thank you for all yoru recommendations! will try!

Naivasha, Kenya
posts: 698
reviews: 2
7. Re: Recommendations on Kenya food / restaurant?

The food that Stef referred to are Kikuyu dishes and there is certainly a lot more to Kikuyu food than those few mentioned. Doff has given a good round up of what you might expect, although fish curries are probably more a 'coastal dish'.

If you can get there, I recommend Olepolos Country Club at Kiserian, off the Nairobi- Magadi Road. The food is great and the setting is spectacular. The service can be rather slow though and you used to have to take your own alcoholic drinks.

The other place that we used to frequent was Visa Place http://visaplace.co.ke, which is in 'Upperhill' close to the British High Commission.

Very few tourists to be found in either of the places and they are not as 'posh' as somewhere like Le Palanka.

There are a lot of local nyama choma places, but not that many really good ones.

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