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FOOD

The Finest Restaurants To Dine At In Nairobi

Experience the taste of Nairobi

BY Agnes Amondi

Sep 20, 2022, 07:24 AM

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The culinary scene in the capital is as diverse and vibrant as the people living in it. With the growing demand for continental and international cuisines, Nairobi has a booming food culture that you should explore.

Restaurants of different levels have come up to cater to different cuisines. Whether you want Italian, Mexican, Japanese or even Kenyan food, Nairobi has the perfect restaurant for you. Plus, it's more than just food. The range of services offered and the ambience are worth the money.

We shall not keep you waiting. These are the best restaurants in Nairobi you should visit.

Talisman Restaurant

@talisman.nairobi
If you want to have some of the best international cuisines, then head over to Talisman in the cool environs of Karen. It is one of the best restaurants in Karen and in the country. 

Talisman prides itself in serving fresh, organic food that’s sourced locally. Their menu is dynamic and affordable. With as little as Ksh 2000, you can reserve a table and enjoy their mouth-watering dishes. 

Have some sushi, get a beverage or treat yourself to something from the main course. How about a bento bowl or pulled beef croquettes, a buddha bowl or a Thai green vegetable curry?
@talisman.nairobi
Talisman restaurant is not just about the food. There's more. The environment has been particularly crafted to make diners feel relaxed. It also makes for a good garden restaurant that you have to try. The surrounding trees and the greenery gives it a calm look, making the place vibrant, elegant, and the perfect place to eat your heart out.
@talisman.nairobi
On the inside, you cannot miss out on the modern and vintage artistry of its interior decor.
@talisman.nairobi
If you are worried about your children turning the restaurant into a playground, that won’t happen at Talisman. It is a child-friendly restaurant. It has a playground and kids can engage in activities like art.
@talisman.nairobi
As you make your conversations or just relax after chewing on their much-raved feta & coriander samosa, you can safely lose your kids to the playground. If you so wish, take a walk around with them in the lush, cool environment and savour the experience.

About Thyme Restaurant

@About.Thyme
Located away from the hustle and bustle of the central business district, About Thyme in Westlands offers a garden dining experience like no other. The dining area is neatly tucked at the centre of surrounding trees for the perfect ambience.
@About.Thyme
Try out everything from their chicken wings, and spinach soup to the buddha bowl. Check out their salads, a suggestion of chicken dopiaza, and other cuisines from around the world are served here. You’ll have an option of indoor sitting as well as outdoor sitting.
@About.Thyme
This is also an impressive place to go for a date in Nairobi. About Thyme can turn on the romance with their candlelit hanging lamps plus the cool environment leaves a calm ambience perfect for a date. So if you want to surprise your significant other, consider About Thyme. 

Tambourin Restaurant

If Middle Eastern delicacy is something you fancy, then the Tambourin restaurant in Westlands is where you want to dine at. Some of the most popular Middle Eastern dishes are served here.
@VillaRosaKempinski
Allow your eyes to wander along in this Arabian themed restaurant. With its neatly patterned floors and interior decor, together with the music bubbling away in the background, The Tambourin presents the perfect dining experience for you.

Zen Garden

Zen Garden is one of the best Chinese restaurants in Nairobi. It's also popular for serving other Asian dishes. It houses two restaurants in its lush green environment.
@ZenGardenKenya
The Jade restaurant is all about breakfast. Start your day with pastries - the red velvet, the zen signature cake, the chocolate torte or whatever you prefer - that will power you through the day. Take out all the sweetness of the desserts with a freshly brewed cup of your favourite coffee.
@ZenGardenKenya
For a taste of the Asian dishes, the Bamboo restaurant at the Zen Garden does it. It serves Thai, Japanese and Chinese food. If you have a special occasion to celebrate, reserve a private dining table. You can also go to the Zen Garden for an intimate and memorable family gathering or just to have a chilled day out.   

Mawimbi Seafood

Would you like to have a taste of the sea? Then you need to get to Mawimbi Seafood, one of the best seafood and fish restaurants in the capital.
@MawimbiSeaFood
Mawimbi has a diverse menu that will satisfy your cravings for seafood. Sushi rolls are accompanied by a side of your choice. Mawimbi has five different types to serve. You can also have combinations of different seafood like slices of king prawns, salmon, tuna, kingfish and octopus or consider their signature dishes.
@MawimbiSeaFood
The good thing about Mawimbi Seafood is that it’s right in the CBD - find it on Kijabe Street. You can dash in between your workday if you are in that area and get your fill.

Boho Eatery

@BohoEatery
This is yet another restaurant you can visit in Karen. Boho is the short form for bohemian which means unconventional. The name is very apt considering that vegan and vegetarianism is somewhat atypical. 

If you've been looking for a vegan restaurant in Nairobi, find your way to Boho Eatery. Nature is a big part of Boho. This is evident throughout its interior design. The space is inviting and provides for a fabulous garden dining experience. 
@BohoEatery
Boho’s menu is widely plant-based. Their ingredients are locally sourced. Also, for those who are gluten intolerant, Boho’s selection of food caters to your needs. They serve dairy-free and gluten-free meals.
@BohoEatery
This is what you’ll find on a Boho Eatery menu - broccoli, sprouts, roasted sweet potato, avo, pomegranates, black rice and spicy peanut dressing. For the experience you are bound to get, the restaurant is quite affordable and worth the money. Check out their menu here.

The Carnivore

If you want to go wild on meat, then make your way to The Carnivore. This is undoubtedly one of the best nyama choma joints in Nairobi. It's hard to miss out on the striking view of the red hot flames where their array of assorted meats are roasted. Find ostrich, crocodiles, lamb, pork, and more at The Carnivore. I’m not a meat lover as such but The Carnivore makes me rethink my priorities, just.  

Open House

@OpenHouse_Karen
For those who are looking to dig into some Indian food, the Open House in Karen is touted to be one of the best Indian restaurants in Nairobi. It specializes in Indian cuisine with a line of their favourite dishes - tandoori chicken, chicken makhanwala, palak paneer, and the mutton rogan josh. The ingredients at Open House are locally sourced and fresh. 

La Terrazza

@LaTerrazza_Restaurant_Nairobi
Italy is known for its pizza and pasta and that’s what La Terrazza has brought to Nairobi. If you want to have an authentic taste of Italian food in Nairobi, La Terrazza at Greenhouse mall along Ngong Road is one of the go-to Italian restaurants. Lasagna, pasta and ravioli are just a few items on the menu. Wash out the exquisite flavours with a glass of wine sourced from Italy.
@La_Terrazza_Restaurant_Nairobi
La Terrazza’s menu offers up to 13 different flavours of pizza. With the restaurant preparing their foods with genuine Italian recipes, the pizza here is heavenly. 
@La_Terrazza_Restaurant_Nairobi
Dining at La Terrazza is not just about the food. It’s a wholesome experience. The environment has been curated to reflect this. There is an art gallery to amuse yourself with as well as an open rooftop experience for a view of the Kilimani area. Pair that with a gorgeous view of the evening Nairobi skyline and this becomes one of the most romantic places in Nairobi, perfect for a night out with your significant other. 

360 Degrees Artisan Pizza

@360degreespizza
360 Degrees are famed for its wood-burning oven that serves hot crispy and chewy pizza. Apart from their much-acclaimed pizza, there’s some fine Italian wine to accompany that. If you are wondering why they only settled for 360, that’s basically the temperature they make their pizza at. 

With ingredients freshly sourced from Italy, every one of their serving promises to be very different. Find the usual flavours of pizzas on the list but this is an opportunity for you to also sample something different. How about their prosciutto arugula which consists of red onions, arugula, Grana Padano and mozzarella?

Also, find other dishes like pasta - it’s just as Italian as they can get - salads and meat.
@360DegreesPizza
An Italian restaurant without wine on the menu is unheard of. Just like their pizzas, 360 Degrees has a selection of wines from Southern Italy and around the world that will make your tongue roll. This is definitely one of the best pizza restaurants in Nairobi. 

The River Café

@RiverCafeNairobi
Karura Forest in itself is a destination to behold. Add to that an outdoor restaurant and you have just redefined what an outdoor dining experience should be. You can visit River Cafe after your walks, runs or other activities inside the Karura Forest, then settle down and enjoy the view of the forest, do bird watching and hear the ever-pleasant sound of the birds' chirp. Let the rays of the sun penetrate through gloriously as you feast on their continental selection of breakfast, lunch, beverages, cocktails, mocktails, smoothies and whatever pleases your taste buds.

Hemingways

Candlelit dining, a backdrop of the Ngong hills plus a golden sunset, what could be more romantic? There’s more to Hemingways.

If you'd like to combine dining and luxury, then book yourself into one of their luxurious hotels and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
@HemingwaysCollection
If you want to go all out and experience world-class dining, again, Hemingways is the place to eat in Nairobi. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are planned on their brasserie menu with foods from Europe and South Asia. Find your way to their bar and wine cellar that has a taste of vintage and modern drinks. 

If you have a special occasion, they can handle that too. You’ll get a buffet, cocktails and canapes tailored for your tastes and based on the experience you are going for. 

Tin Roof Café

@TinRoof.Cafes
Grab breakfast in the serene environment that the Tin Roof Café in Karen provides. Take that in with a smoothie, coffee, tea, specials amongst others with the pastries they offer. Lunch is also served here with some tasty burgers, sandwiches, pizza and more.
@TinRoof.Cafes
If you are looking for a vegan restaurant to eat at, Tin Roof café offers that. Also, if you don’t take gluten, Tin Roof is your place to dine in. It is also a child-friendly restaurant with activities that kids can take part in like pottery and painting classes. Plus, they offer a kid’s meal menu. This is another outdoor restaurant to include in your list. 

Kilimanjaro Jamia

@Kilimanjaro_Jamia
Sometimes we all want to eat out and get a taste of something prepared at the hands of someone else. However, even though at times the budget can be limiting, there are still restaurants that can fit the amount that you can spend. This is where Kilimanjaro Jamia comes in. 

Kilimanjaro Jamia is one of the most affordable restaurants in Nairobi. With at least Ksh 500, you can get a meal that will sustain you throughout the other half of the day. You can have white pilau with gravy or a plate of biryani chicken amongst other dishes.
@Kilimanjaro_Jamia
This is a Somali themed restaurant so expect to see some of the decorations that reflect just that. Also, part of the menu is catered to Somali dishes so if you fancy some of those, go ahead and try. You can choose to sit outside the balcony or inside.

Fnky Burger

@FNKYBrgr
Burgers are everywhere like chapati but you haven’t eaten a proper burger if you haven’t been at Fnky burgers by Sierra. With three locations across the city - Yaya Centre, Victoria Courts on Mombasa Road and College House in the CBD, enjoy some of the best burgers in Nairobi. 

With all the expected ingredients that a burger should have, their burgers have the right amount of flavours and texture. That’s not all, there is some wine. 

Mama Rocks

@MamaRocksGbk
When you think about burgers, you think of no one else but Mama Rocks. The tons of praise they’ve received is well worth the consideration. Online reviews highly rate Mama Rocks burgers and we totally agree. These burgers are well-staffed and you’ll find the usual additions. 

The potato fries are a must. You can get the T.I.A, a pan African burger, djubalicious which is a vegetarian type and carries Sudanese-inspired mayonnaise. Find souq it to me and Nollywood Suya Saga. A milkshake and a cold drink is also an option.

Mercado Restaurant 

@MercadoNairobi
Looking for some South American vibrance on your plate? Mercado restaurant in Westlands, one of the best Mexican restaurants in the capital will satisfy your cravings. With Mexican chefs in the kitchen, Mercado is calling with its list of street foods, soups and salads, bigger plates, sides and desserts.
@MercadoNairobi
Find tacos, burritos, quesadilla, fried tamales, taquitos and tortilla soup plus a host of other dishes. The ambience inspires a South American feel. If you want to try out something from that region of the world, check in at Mercado.

INTI - A Nikkei Experience 

@Inti.Nikkei.Ke
The word compromise does not quite fit in at INTI - A Nikkei Experience. Where else will you get fine dining, an expansive view of Nairobi, a romantic setup if you can wait for the golden rays and the candlelit setting plus exquisite food? That’s what A Nikkei Experience presents to you.  And… you can bring your events here as well.
@Inti.Nikkei.Ke
For those looking for experience and not so much worried about the cheque, INTI offers the best fine dining in Nairobi. Its menu is a combination of Japanese and Peruvian dishes. Get the ceviche, sushi, tempura and spring rolls, marinated skewers on a charcoal grill and many more. If you have special dietary recommendations, Nikkei takes care of that - options of vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, spicy and nuts are available.
@Inti.Nikkei.Ke
The drinks menu is generous. Peruvian classic cocktails, Japanese signature cocktails and wines from around the world. Get red wines from France, Italy, Chile, Spain, Argentina, and Australia to New Zealand. White wine also comes from similar regions. Nikkei offers a wide range of drinks. Anything you ever wanted to have is here. 

Honey & Dough

@Honey.and.Dough.Ke
No restaurant awakens your desire for coffee like Honey & Dough at the heart of Westlands does. Any morning spent here having breakfast is well worth your time. Sip your cappuccino and accompany it with a pastry as you watch the city’s awakening. Honey & Dough also serves smoothie bowls, burgers and everything that'll help you run your day.
@Honey.and.Dough.Ke
English breakfast at Honey & Dough is very affordable - Ksh 900 - compared to what other restaurants charge for it. If you just top up Ksh 50, you get a vegan English breakfast. With only Ksh 1000, you can eat every dish but the salmon omelette which is just above the mark by Ksh 100. This goes for nearly most of the foods on the menu.

Misono

@Misono_Ke
Misono restaurant at the Greenhouse mall along Ngong road brings a taste of Japan to Nairobi in an elegant way. Its exterior has some roaming plants meandering all over and as you walk in, the calmness sets in. 

The traditional Japanese bow is performed at the entrance accompanied by their native verbal greeting. The space on the ground floor is more suited for formal dining.

For my visit, I went to the first floor. Some interesting art welcomes you as you take the wooden stairs to the top where the dining area just opens up itself. The outdoor buzz doesn’t interrupt your dining experience.
@Misono_Ke
Anyway, this was my first experience with Japanese food and I had a helping hand in picking out the menu. For the starter, we had a vinegar inspired salad. The main dish had everything Japanese in it - sushi rolls, salmon, gyoza and tuna rolls, red hot miso soup, rice served in a small amazing bowl and chicken teriyaki.
@Misono_Ke
My chopsticks skills weren’t quite at par but I eventually got some assistance. Everything was amazing. The texture - moist, crunchy and soft - together with the flavours blended in ever so well. The aroma was also inviting. The service from the waiter was timely. He was always available when needed which made the whole experience even more memorable.     

The Lord Erroll

@LordErroll
An award-winning restaurant tucked in Runda prides itself in being the premier French restaurant not only in Nairobi and Kenya but also in East Africa. The menu offers everything you would expect from an international cuisine serving restaurant. You have the option to dine inside their elegant rooms or outdoors with the beautifully treated surrounding and with the garden overlooking.
@LordErroll
The Lord Erroll can be used for private dining, events and business meetings. It gives off a historical vibe yet still manages to be modern and vibrant while at it. No wonder The Lord Erroll has attracted glowing reviews for its customer service, environment and menu.   

Other notable mentions include the Furusato for Japanese food, Shamba Cafe for some outdoor dining experience, the Mayura Experience has some pleasant reviews online and Mambo Italia for everything Italian. When it comes to hidden restaurants, Shamba Cafe and Wasps & Sprouts feature prominently. 

Nairobi offers an inclusive experience of restaurants that fit in with most people’s budgets. The food, depending on the restaurant of your choice, will no doubt live up to the expectation. If not, you can always try out other places.  

There’s no shortage of restaurants to try and there is no excuse as well not to have a taste of what the world has to offer. It can be a treat, your birthday perhaps or a special occasion. Whatever you have in your bank will be more than enough to eat at any of these restaurants. 

Make your pick and have fun.