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10 Best Restaurants In Nairobi, Kenya - Updated 2020

{{trip101_paragraph_count}} Best Restaurants In Nairobi, Kenya
Barry
Barry
Updated

No doubt, Nairobi is East Africa’s most famous city, a hub of business and innovation. Its popularity has made it a melting pot, receiving people from, not just the rest of Kenya but across Africa; people seeking business opportunities; people looking to experience the boisterous personality of Kenya’s capital. With the region’s largest (and busiest) airport, Nairobi also receives millions of tourists, some en-route to other cities and many who explore the capital. Because of the convergence of cultures, the culinary scene also reflects this diversity, with restaurants offering anything from African to Asian to European. Read below to learn about the best restaurants in Nairobi.

1. K’Osewe Ranalo Foods

Kenyan Ugali with spinach
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Manshoti used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

K’Osewe, the proprietor of Ranalo Foods, started his restaurant as a tiny hole-in-the-wall eatery that has, over the decades, blossomed into an undisputed king of Kenyan cuisines. Stop any Nairobian on the streets and ask them where K’Osewe is and you’ll find it hard to encounter one who’s ignorant. And its popularity is warranted. Ranalo offers a menu of authentic Kenyan cuisines, well cooked, served sizzling hot. The star attraction is the whole fried tilapia, a treat to the eyes and the palate. This goes with Ugali, a Kenyan staple made of Maize (corn) flour. When in Nairobi, take a day off from the pretentious, touristy spots and try out Ranalo Foods.

K’Osewe Ranalo Foods

Address: Kimathi Street Nairobi KE

Website: K’Osewe Ranalo Foods

Opening hours: 10:30am - 2am (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

2. The Carnivore Restaurant

This restaurant should be on your list, not because we said so but because it’s an experience that everyone visiting Nairobi just has to try. Named Carnivore, it is just what it sounds like; a meat eater’s fiesta. Meat is at the heart of this restaurant’s philosophy, so much so that the first thing you see when you walk in is their massive roasting center. And if you select their all-you-can-eat option, the meat will keep on coming until you give up. Carved right at the table and onto your plate, each morsel is fresh, perfectly roasted and simply mouthwatering. There are the conventional beef, mutton and chicken, but then it can get slightly eccentric with ox balls, ostrich and crocodile meals.

Carnivore Restaurant

Address: Lang'ata Road, Nairobi

Website: Carnivore Restaurant

Opening hours: Sat - Thu: 12pm - 10pm; Fri: 12pm - 6am

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

3. Sikia Fine Dining

Fine dining
Source: Needpix

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

The word ‘Sikia’ is Swahili for listen. I’m not sure whether there was a deliberate intention to name this restaurant this or it’s just for the delight of the name. What I do know is that Sikia is a fancy joint, a place you simply don’t go wearing jeans and a t-shirt. The decor, the setting, the ambiance, everything screams class. And the food is what you’d expect from a fine-dining restaurant; small portions of elegantly presented courses that are wonderfully cooked. If you’re a picky eater, they’ll listen to you and prepare your food just the way you like it.

Sikia Fine Dining

Address: Crowne Plaza Hotel, UpperHill 69671 00400, Kenya Rd, Nairobi

Website: Sikia Fine Dining

Opening hours: 10am - 10pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

4. Tamarind Restaurant

Oyster
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

In number two, above, you read how we gushed about Carnivore Restaurant. What I may have forgotten to mention is that Carnivore is run by the Tamarind Group which also boasts the Tamarind Restaurants found in Nairobi and Mombasa. A lot of good things are said about Tamarind; how their food always hits the mark, rarely (if ever) disappointing; how their ambiance is chic and well thought through; how their setting is tranquil, a good place to enjoy a meal. One thing that makes them popular, however, is their seafood: prawns, crabs, octopus, and oysters.

Tamarind Restaurant

Address: Karen Rd, Nairobi

Website: Tamarind Restaurant

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 5:30pm - 10:30pm (closed on Sun)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

5. Talisman

Dinner at Talisman
Source: Photo by Flickr user Visiting Kenya used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Found within the affluence of Nairobi’s Karen neighborhood, Talisman is certainly a touristy restaurant with a very western/European style. So, you’ll find a lot of expats, seeking a familiar setting, along with the well to do Nairobians. Yes, the cost is rather steep, however, the food and service are totally worth the extra buck you’ll spend. Their restaurant feels a little homely, tucked in a lush compound within Karen’s serenity. And the food is given all the tender love it deserves, landing on your table with an enchanting presentation and a scrumptious flavor that you’ll want to linger.

Talisman

Address: Ngong Rd, Karen - Nairobi

Website: Talisman

Opening hours: Mon: 4pm - 10pm; Tue - Sun: 8am - 10pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

6. Mama Ashanti

Jollof rice
Source: Pixabay

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Mama Ashanti restaurant is known for serving perfectly cooked West African cuisine, a perfect place to experience dishes from the opposite side of the continent. It certainly is a gastronomic treat of yummy rice dishes like Jollof Rice or even Waakye. Then there is the meat feast of Eforiro which is a meat medley with spinach in the mix. If you’re in Nairobi then definitely grab a chance to experience a bit of West African cooking.

Mama Ashanti

Address: Muthangari Gardens, Nairobi

Website: Mama Ashanti

Opening hours: 11am - 12am (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

7. Mama Oliech Restaurant

Fried Tilapia, Ugali, Sukuma Wiki and Kachumbari (From Kisumu)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Napendakukula used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

When Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, landed in Kenya, the first place he had a meal was Mama Oliech Restaurant. Apparently, he had heard so many good things (probably on Facebook) that he just had to try it. This was no fluke as Mama Oliech Restaurant is always receiving hungry patrons, eager to sink their teeth in the fried tilapia and Ugali or the chapati and chicken. Unpretentious and authentically African, come to this restaurant if you simply want to roll up your sleeves and feast.

Mama Oliech Restaurant

Address: Marcus Garvey Rd, Nairobi City

Website: Mama Oliech Restaurant

Opening hours: 10:30am - 11:30pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

8. Tamambo Karen Blixen

Chicken Cobb Salad
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Nan Palmero used under CC BY 2.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Remember the Tamarind Group in number four above? Well, Tamambo is another one in their portfolio. By now, you’ve already figured that the folks at Tamarind are experts in the hospitality business, what with all these well-run restaurants under their belt. And just like the others on our list, which have left patrons in awe, Tamambo also gets people’s attention with their service and excellent food. Being a part of the Tamarind family, expect delicious seafood. You can also try out one of their popular salads like chicken cobb salad or Caesar salad.

Tamambo Karen Blixen

Address: Karen Blixen Coffee Garden, Karen Rd, Nairobi

Website: Tamambo Karen Blixen

Opening hours: 6am - 10pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

9. Big Knife Turkish Doner Shawarma

Doner kebab shawarma
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Amin used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

In the heart of the city, there’s this fast food joint known as Big Knife and their specialty is Turkish Doner Shawarma. Constantly swarmed with shawarma lovers, Big Knife is a very affordable eatery with, arguably, the best shawarma in Nairobi. Be it chicken, beef or mutton, you’ll find it here with a side of fries.

Big Knife Turkish Doner Shawarma

Address: Monrovia street Muindi Mbingu Street, Nairobi University footbridge, Nairobi

Website: Big Knife Turkish Doner Shawarma

Opening hours: 9am - 10pm (daily)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

10. Fogo Gaucho

Brazilian steak combo
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Misaochan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

Fogo Gaucho is a Brazilian steakhouse that brings the South American Churrascaria philosophy to East Africa. If meat is a love of your life then at Fogo Gaucho you’ll get an endless serving of it, as much as your belly can take. There are 16 different cuts of steak, enough to appease even the most famished. And for the health-conscious lot, there are 25 types of salads.

Fogo Gaucho

Address: Ground floor, Galana Plaza, Kilimani, 69671 - 00400, Nairobi

Website: Fogo Gaucho

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 12:30pm - 3pm, 6:30pm - 10:30pm; Fri: 12:30pm - 4pm, 6:30pm - 10:30pm; Sat & Sun: 12pm - 10:30pm

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nairobi, Kenya and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nairobi, Kenya

A diverse culinary scene

Ugali and Samaki with some side of Sukumawiki
Source: Photo by user Mvuli-Girl used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you’re craving some local cuisine or you want to try some Asian, or Middle Eastern, or West African, there’s a place in Nairobi offering what you hunger for. Explore the city’s culinary scene by trying out the restaurants on our list above. You’ll definitely find your favorite.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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