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“A Must for any Serious Traveller in Nairobi” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Thorn Tree Cafe

Thorn Tree Cafe
New Stanley Hotel, Kimathi St, city centre | Nairobi Central, Sarova Stanley, Nairobi, Kenya
+254 23 33283
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Ranked #26 of 341 Restaurants in Nairobi
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Delivery, Late Night
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
106 reviews 106 reviews
27 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
“A Must for any Serious Traveller in Nairobi”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

Recently spent the day in Nairobi whilst in transit, so decided to try the legendary Thorn Tree Cafe for lunch. It was a very pleasant experience overall, and the staff were happy for me to spend three leisurely hours reading, eating, drinking and people watching. The Acacia is not the original, but stands on the same spot, and there is a noticeboard with blank papers for you to write your own message if you desire.

Service was fairly good and attentive for the most part. For lunch I ordered the burger, and was not disappointed - absolutely cracking dish; possibly one of the best burgers I've had anywhere, nevermind Africa (or Kenya)! Great choice for lunch, especially when washed down with a Tusker.

There are probably cheaper places around, or more casual places (the cafe is part of the Sarova Stanley hotel), but this place isn't bad value for money, and it's brilliant to sit and absorb the history of one of the legends of old East Africa and the Cairo to Cape Town route - so if you're a traveller of slightly nostalgic inclination, and are looking for great food, this is the place to be at.

  • Visited January 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Thorn Tree Cafe, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Wandering_Saffa,

Thank you for choosing to spend your transit period visiting us at the Thorn Tree Café.
We are very humbled and glad that you enjoyed your experience as a whole.

Hearing that the Burger was the best you have tasted – speaks volumes to us and is a compliment that has been extremely well received by the executive chef and team.

We would be happy to welcome you back for a longer stay in the future.

Thank you.
Warm Regards,

David Gachuru.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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99 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    36
    44
    9
    9
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Norwegian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Lincoln, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Coronation Chicken”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2013

In the 70s I had a coronation chicken served in half a pineapple, it was fabulous, it was a meeting place for travellers

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Thorn Tree Cafe, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear Evaristontour,

Thank you for taking the time to post your review on Trip Advisor.

Indeed as you have pointed our; the Thorn Tree Café is an establish icon in Nairobi, drenched in rich history from the days it was a tree, with a few tables around , where guests came to have a coffee and railway workers pin their messages on the tree in the very early 1900’s to the visit of renowned Presidents and Authors such as Presidents – Roosevelt and Barak Obama and Authors Ernest Hemingway, Elspeth Huxley.

We aim to maintain this rich heritage and reflect it in our Meals, service and ambiance.

Please do visit us soon.

Warm Regards,
David Gachuru.
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Brussels, Belgium
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great service and food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2013

Very good service and food. Lively atmosphere. Its a local town meeting spot, great for people watching. Great, breakfast with huge selection and cooked to order eggs. Nice to have a coffee there too.

Visited August 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Thorn Tree Cafe, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Dear Belgian Traveller772,

Many thanks for dining and sharing your experience, through Trip Advisor, on your recent experience at The Thorn Tree Café.
We are truly proud to receive your very complimentary review, and appreciate your comments on our meals and service.

Looking forward to hosting you soon.

Warm Regards,
David Gachuru.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Mateo, California
Top Contributor
221 reviews 221 reviews
124 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“a nice cafe for simple, good food!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 2013

My wife stayed at the sarova stanley a few nights before our safari and ate here many times and enjoyed it. They have good food for dinner, really good pizza and the breakfast buffet is very good too. The staff here is so nice and helpful and it is a nice, casual place to hang out and eat, drink and relax a while. The food prices area very reasonable and the breakfast buffet is included with your room and has many choices and the coffee here is excellent. The service staff while we were in africa were just great and very pleasant , I recommend having a meal during your stay here.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Thorn Tree Cafe, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Dear Brentsf,

It was our pleasure hosting you at the Sarova Stanley, and we thank you for dining and reviewing The Thorn Tree Café.
We continue to focus on providing our guests with a memorable dining experiance and am very glad that you appreciated the same.
Many thanks for recognising friendliness of the staff; your kind words will be shared with the rest of the team.

We look forward to seeing you again on your next trip to Kenya.

Warm Regards,
David Gachuru
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Canada
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“THE Thorn Tree Cafe!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 26, 2013

Enjoyed several meals here including the talapia fresh from Lake Victoria and the Prawn Salad...so delicious and served perfectly. What I really liked, though was the history of the Cafe, and the Stanley Hotel's efforts to keep an acacia tree growing on the same spot as the original, and the notice board that still carries messages from other travelers!

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David G, General Manager at Thorn Tree Cafe, responded to this review, November 27, 2013
Dear CanadaFran4Kenya,

Thank you for choosing to stay with us at The Sarova Stanley and indeed dining and reviewing our Legendary Thorn Tree café.
The Tilapia continues to be one of our most popular dishes time and time again, and am truly pleased that you enjoyed many meals here.

We are very proud of our histroy ; and make increased efforts in maintain the heritage feel and ambiance of our establishment – including the oldest café in Nairobi, the Thorn Tree Café.

We look forward to your return, and posting another message on our Thorn Tree board.

Warm Regards,
David Gachuru.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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