Read on for an insider’s guide to the very best restaurants, snack joints and all-round food experiences in this popular East African country. Whether you’re into street food, more upmarket gourmet experiences, or just want to eat in the same place as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, we’ve got you covered.
Barbeque galore (nyama choma) at Olepolos
Where there’s smoke, there isn’t always fire. Not in the bad sense anyway – on occasion, there can be flaming and sizzling delights, such as crispy goat meat. One of the most renowned places for choma (roasts) is Olepolos Country Club in Kiserian, Nairobi. Theirs departs from the usual lineup, with unexpected dishes like mutura (sausages) and chemsha (stewed meat). There are other nyama choma (roasted meat) spots in the city, but people go all the way to Olepolos because they believe that the meat there is tastier. The best thing about their meat is that the livestock is freshly butchered and feeds on natural pastures. The best meat for choma is goat, but you can try beef and chicken as well. It’s often eaten with ugali (cornmeal and kachumbari—a mix of chopped onions, tomatoes, and chilies).
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Attend a pop up Nairobi brunch
Pop Up Nairobi trains young people in skills like hospitality and helps them find employment. They often have fundraising events like brunches, restaurant takeovers, brunches and kitchen collaborations, where the proceeds go towards supporting the trainees. You can also eat their delicious, organic food at Nook, their café in Hurlingham.
The Talisman is a favorite for many people because of their super tasty food, organic approach, and serene location. The menu contains Pan Asian and African cuisine that’s sure to excite the palate. A couple of the items to try are the sushi platter and pork belly.
If you are part of one of the foodies clubs or the wine community in Kenya, you may receive a secret invite to a wine tasting dinner at an undisclosed location, where you’ll be taken through different food and wine pairings. However, make sure to do your research before agreeing to attend any ‘secret’ event.
Diamond plaza food court | Courtesy of Diamond Plaza
Diamond Plaza is a mall on Fourth Parklands Avenue that has some of the best dishes, starting with the yummy bhajia at Maru Bhajia and the wraps at Shawarma Corner. After that, hit Chowpaty on the ground floor. The experience will ensure that you keep coming back for more.
Test your cooking skills The Lemongrass Cooking Class
Do you find that your cooking lacks that extra touch and no one is asking for seconds? Fret not. Learn how to make Lebanese, Japanese and Australian food, among others, with these guys. Make new friends and have fun conversations as you try to create spectacular dishes.
This restaurant is set in the picturesque Ol Pejeta Conservancy. A day driving in the wildlife sanctuary is sure to work up an apetite. The juicy steak, signature burger and fries are a must, as you enjoy the views. It also prides itself as being “the only place in Kenya where you can get a hazelnut cappuccino in the middle of black rhino country!”
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Taste Kenyan highland cheese at Brown’s Cheese
Visit Brown’s Cheese farm in Limuru’s tea country, and see how natural cheeses are made. The farm produces over 17 varieties, using milk sourced from local farmers. Tastings involve an assortment of homemade jams, bread, and chutneys, and if you’d like more—full meals are also available. Children can try their hand at making mozzarella, as well as feeding cows and chickens. Wine lovers can pair the cheese with wine if they wish.