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“the best”

Havana Bar & Restaurante
Ranked #48 of 557 Restaurants in Nairobi
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $3 - $15
Cuisines: Caribbean, Seafood, Pub, Grill
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Bar scene
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Nairobi, Kenya
Level Contributor
19 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“the best”
Reviewed December 8, 2011

The best Baby pork ribs ever tasted, would eat there everyday.
Service is good

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
3 Thank bridgitndinda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AfricaCon, Manager at Havana Bar & Restaurante, responded to this review, January 3, 2012
Dear Bridgit Ndinda,

You can do that, we are open daily from noon til late. Welcome again! Thanks for the compliments - they have been passed on to the chef.

Havana Bar & Restaurant
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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132 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    37
    65
    21
    7
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Nairobi, Kenya
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“SPLENDID, AWESOME, FANTASTIC”
Reviewed November 30, 2011

The havannah restaurant is a place that i have to visit once i go out with my friends. Its a place with some sense of class, comfort and full of fun.
On Thursdays its a DON'T MISS place since its full of good company, good music, lots of fun and chatting and lots of drnking. the whole experience is WHOOOOOAAAH!!!!!!!!

  • Visited November 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
3 Thank RAYCHELL W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
51 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“A proper bar with great music and an interesting mix of people.”
Reviewed September 2, 2011

Having lived in Nairobi for a little over a year, I now have a reasonable picture of the local nightlife. And Havana Bar is one of my favorite places to sneak into for a drink, a chat with the bartenders, and to people-watch. Oh, and to listen to some good music.

The locals all seem to think that Nairobi is a major centre of nightlife, but all things are relative. I came from many years in Bangkok, and I can assure you that Nairobi is a country town compared to the big Asian cities in terms of nightlife. I'd say that there are about 10 bars in Nairobi that I'd really rate at all. And Havana is one of just two or three that I consider genuinely comparable to good nightspots elsewhere.

The mix of people in the bar is quite interesting. It's very popular with the locals, many of whom are business people in the Westlands area who wander in there after work. Later on they are joined by the nightclubbing set (who are probably heading somewhere else such as Black Diamond) but who may pop in just for a look to see who's around. And there's always a smattering of very friendly and available local girls, the number of which varies according to which night it is. It also gets a few tourists, and definitely later on on Thursday's it fills up with quite a few of the expatriates living in town; the downside is that a large number of them are from NGO's and the UN, both groups I have learned to have very little respect for in Africa.

As has been mentioned in other reviews, there are different kinds of music on different nights of the week. Early in the week it's pretty ordinary, mostly locals dropping in for a drink and the recorded music is pretty generic. Saturdays they have live music, and I think Sundays it's C&W. But the best night for me has always been Thursdays with DJ Zelalem. He's a very interesting guy and always ready for a chat with the regulars. Best of all, he plays great music. The first time I saw him I thought he'd probably play hip hop crap all night, but no, he plays a truly great selection. He knows his music and chooses carefully according to the people in the crowd, the mood, etc. So you may hear some neat techno, a few old classic rock numbers, even some Louis Armstrong or Duke Ellington. With the help of my iPhone and Shazam I've added considerably to my music library since I've been going there. My tip for a Thursday night is try to get there a little early (about 8:30) and get yourself a seat, it's usually packed later and there's a huge crowd spilling out onto the street.

As for the place itself, it has a genuine patina of character, not the painted on "atmosphere" that you'd get in a hotel bar. I find the staff very chatty and efficient, but I guess I'm classed as a regular these days so I'm always looked after. I don't really think of it as a "restaurante" but I do eat there and find the bar menu quite tasty and reasonably priced. I've never had issues with the cleanliness, and the restrooms are a bit cramped but quite OK for this kind of establishment. I've actually come to the conclusion that the owners/managers really know what they're doing here, it's quite professional and very much geared to their audience. Which explains the lack of a quality wine list that I noticed in another review -- that really isn't of any interest to their core market.

So, all in all, a pretty interesting and fun place to go, somewhat dependent on which night of the week and what time it is. As it's not far from other nightspots such as Black Diamond and Gipsy's you can make a bit of a night of it and go barhopping in the immediate area.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
9 Thank Mark K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Overland Park, Kansas
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great selection of food, lively atmosphere”
Reviewed August 2, 2011

I have eaten at Havana on several occasions during my work in Nairobi and the food has been excellent every time. The steaks are large and juicy, the fish was fresh and the prawns were huge. There is a large ex-pat community that likes to hang-out at Havana, most notably on a Thursday night (ladies night).
Service can sometimes be a bit slow but if you sit down, relax and enjoy the atmosphere - you won't even notice it.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank SimonRSA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nairobi
Level Contributor
37 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Exceeded expectations (in most respects)”
Reviewed July 10, 2011

We paid our first visit to the Havana yesterday evening. The flashing lights outside made us a bit apprehensive. One reviewer had found the place chaotic and noisy. It was indeed busy and in the bar, yes it was a bit noisy, but we did not find it chaotic. The restaurant located at the rear of the establishment turned out to be quite cosy. The menu was surprisingly extensive and the dishes we ordered were most enjoyable, excellent quality and good value. The service was efficient and our waiter had a pleasant demeanour (if not particularly knowledgeable). However, the wine list (which was not extensive) proved to be non-existent! Three red wines were listed but not one was available, which I though incredible for a restaurant ranked 3rd/4th on TripAdvisor's list of Nairobi restaurants. The only wine on offer was house wine by the glass (which at least had the redeeming feature of being relatively cheap).

The music was pleasant enough (70s/80s pop) and not too loud. One exception: a deluded expat who thought he could sing but whose voice was in fact as flat as a pancake.

  • Visited July 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank DrDuncanBerry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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