Serengeti Inn: Cheap local food
Next to the Greton Hotel where I was staying in Nairobi there is a geat little no messing cafe restaurant. This is where I would go for my breakfast as it was a fraction of the cost of what they charged for the breakfast in The Greton. On my first evening as soon as i arrived in Nairobi I also ate here and had a rael decent plate of Njahi and rice. I new it was a decent place as soonas I put my head around the door and was surprised to see it full at evening time.
Pizza Inn, Ngong Road: OK Pizza, and Greasy
Outdoor seating in a tropical climate is usually a good thing. However, Ngong Road is quite busy, and thankfully the outdoor seating here is fairly far away from the road - though the noise from the traffic is still somewhat loud.
There really are a wide variety of pizza served here, and our group got several. They were reasonably good, but they were also very greasy.
Aside of the outdoor seating, the restaurant also has an inflatable (and thus easily removed) play structure. It is hard to know if this is a permanent fixture or if it is something that will only be there a short time.
There are several Pizza Inn restaurants around Nairobi, and only one of those is the Ngong Road one we ate at. Therefore, your experience may be quite different at a different establishment run by different management.
Photos 3 and 4 are from Cindy L.
Favorite Dish: There really are a wide variety of pizza available here, and our group ordered several and split the various types. Their pineapple and ham is extremely good (but it is key to have good pineapple, which you can get in Nairobi!).
Nairobi Java House: Various Coffee with American Style Food
While the name implies that this restaurant chain is best known for its coffee, and the environment tries to be a Starbucks (right down to the free WiFi service), the fact is that Africans love meat. You would not be able to get by very far in any sort of restaurant that doesn't serve some sort of cooked meat.
Thus, it should be no surprise that Nairobi Java also serves quite an assortment of burgers, chips (fries to us Americans), milk shakes, and various other American "fast food" style meals. However, it should be noted that this isn't American style fast food, but instead is one cut above this. Perhaps it is most comparable to the type of food served in higher class bars in the USA, rather than the greasy mess you would sometimes get at a fast food restaurant.
Most of the facilities seem to have outdoor seating similar to what you would expect in Africa.
The chain is apparently jointly owned by an American and a Kenyan, and this may explain the assortment and style of food and services.
Favorite Dish: I don't care at all about coffee. Get me some of those delicious fresh fruit milk shakes any day! Mango is particularly good!
Rangers: The best grilled meat in whole of Kenya
This is definetely a kind of restaurants I like, perfect location inside the Park, wooden construction and the furniture, great terrace offering view directly to the watering-place, very good service and above all grilled meat in a way it has to be grill.
The ambience is more than attractive; very quiet, surrounded by the woods, calm and almost idyllic. If dining on the terrace one feels almost like having a pic-nic. The best part, however, comes with the dark. There is watering-place, right in front of the terrace, and it iwas amazing watching big buffalos while drinking water.
Favorite Dish: I was in the company and we ordered mix grill meat for two. It was for the first time, in all my visits to Kenya, that the meat was grilled in a way I like it, almost in a way we do it back home. The meat was soft, well grilled and succulent. We had mango juice for the stsrters and Tusker beer after the food. I can't remember the cost, was something around 20 euros.
Jacaranda: Expensive but nothing special
It was kind of redemption dinner to my good friend Hilda because I missed to meet her during my visit in 2007. Jacaranda was her choice and we spend there quiet and pleasant evening. We were almost the only guests in the huge garden restaurant, enjoying our food, sipping descent white wine and having nice conversation. Missing to meet her last year was my fault so I brought with Cuban cigares in order we smoke "the pipe of peace". Although never smoked before, not even cigaretes, Hilda was brave and did it very good.
Favorite Dish: Jacaranda is among the top quality Kenyan hotels but, as it is usual for the hotels, its restaurant isn't at the same level. We ordered grilled fish, which was pretty good, and white wine which was bellow of an average European quality. The price for the dinner, however, was in accordance with the hotel's rank.
CARNIVORE: You have to do this!
What does US$45 get you for dinner in Nairobi? It gets you return transfers and dinner at Carnivore Restaurant, thats what.
"So what?" I hear you ask! Well, you get to eat Ostrich, crocodile, eland, warthog, buffalo etc. etc.
The food is cooked over an open flame on large skewers right at the entrance to the restaurant...just to get your attention! The waiter seat you at your table and present you with your very own flag.
This is when you are literally bombarded with waiters bringing the skewers to your table, polietly asking if you wish to eat whatever he has on his skewer and then dumping a healthy carving right onto your plate!
The idea of the small flag is that you "knock the flag over" when you're ready to "surrender" and the waiters will leave you alone until you are game enough to raise you flag again.
- Budget Travel
various: Nyama Choma grill
There are couple of restaurants in the city centre offering traditional Kenyan dishes. Some of them are good and I enjoyed eating there. There is, however, my observation regarding meat which is in some way rigid. Most of the European cuisines practicing previous treatment in order to soften meat, in Kenya they don't.
Favorite Dish: There are at least two dishes one should taste when in Kenya, first one is "ugali" while the second one "nyama choma". Ugali is stiff porridge made by boiling maize or millet meal flour in water and it is ubiquitous in East Africa.
Nyama (meat, flesh) choma (burn) is what we in Europe call grilled meat or barbecue. Besides by "kuku" (chicken, poultry), which is most often, you can get it by "mbuzi" (goat) or "ng'ombe" (ox, calf, cattle) meat. "Kachumbari" (Kenyan salad) is served along with nyama choma. The best and most delicious to me was nyama choma by poultry.
Trattoria Restaurant: Great Italian Food in Nairobi
This is a great place to eat if you fancy something european for a change.
We ate there as a group of 22 the staff were friendly and coped with us really well. The food arrived at the same time and was very good......most of us opted for the fairly typical pasta or pizza's.
The atmosphere was good, it was obviously a popular place. The decor and surroundings are nice with a very european feel.
There were a lot of people on the streets begging as we left the restaurant, I would recommend taking a taxi here at night.
Favorite Dish: Great Pizza's - I like unusual combinations and often order my own topping combinations, here I didn't need to they had a pizza straight off the menu for me with Pepperoni, anchovies and aubergines!!
- Family Travel
Carnivore: Typical for tourists but great!
Carnivore is a typical place where most tourists end their safaris (this was also our case!) It is placed in the outskirts of Nairobi, but it has high security systems. The restaurant functions under the "eat as much as you can" formula. There you are given a flag and while you have it up, it means that you are willing to eat. Waiters come to the tables and offer you all kind of meats. However, some time ago you could eat in this restaurant very "uncommon" types of meat, like zebra, nyu, etc, but it seems that now is prohibited and you can eat pork, lamb, beef, etc but the most "special" animal meat you can get is ostrich. When you are full, you put the flag down and that means that you are full and no longer desire to eat
Siam Thai Restaurant: Check out this AMAZING Thai Restaurant
Every time I travel to Nairobi I make it a point to visit the Siam Thai Restaurant. The food is authnetic and delicous and their menu and wine list are pretty extensive. The ambience warm and rich and the service is excellent.
Favorite Dish: A must try are the Tom Yum Soup, Peanut, red and green curries, chili prawns and lobster, chicken satay and my favourite the chicken in banana leaves. Chicken in banana leaves are small triangles of chicken marinated in sesame and chili and wrapped in a banana leaf and deep fried. You then unwrap the leaf (secured by a toothpick) to reveal this tiny bit of heaven!!!!
- Family Travel
- Food and Dining
- Business Travel
Intercontinental 24 hr cafe: Don't miss the late night urge for munchies
Have the munchies or desire for a last minute meal after that long flight?
How about a quick night cap to wash away all the adrenaline rush and excitement of finally having arrived in Kenya?
Intercontinental Hotel, along with it's fine accomodations is able to provide you with excellent service, strong drinks and wonderful varied menu in a late night cafe which is open 24 hours a day!
Best of all, you are sitting outside the main dance venue which allows you to enjoy music from the comfort of your chair.
Not so close so that you have to scream at one another yet near enough to tap your feet to the music.
Favorite Dish: Various local dishes, including curries AND, 24hr breakfast served!
Waiters are extremely friendly and willing to offer suggestions. As it was our first night in Kenya, we took them up on ther suggestions and were not dissapointed.
The Beef sandwhich was delicious and tender.
The Carnivore Restaurant: Exotic game and delicious traditional roasts
We had heard all about the Carnivore Restaurant all the way in the states before arriving into Kenya.
Hearing about exotic roasts such as Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest and the such, we were a combination of put off by the thought of eating these beautiful creatures and the natural curiousity that accompanies talking about what it would be like to try something never made available in the western market.
Imagine our surprise (and relief) when we found out the most exotic game they serve nowadays is farm raised Ostrich meatballs, Cammel & Lamb! Beef, Turkey, Chicken, Fish and other such dishes are also available.
The restaurant, bordering a giant spit full of roasted meats and situated in a building which surrounds a beautiful garden area which is reserved for live music and private parties certainly has it's individual charm and flavor - but you go home smelling like a giant BBQ spit!
I made it a point to seal my clothes into a Zip-Lock bag at the end of the evening to keep the rest of my wardrobe in my suitcase from smelling like a cook-out.
The service was also excellent and the whole theme centers around a little white flag on your table.
As long as that flag is raised, colorful waiters will keep bringing you food - and piling it up on your plate...As much as you want!
Colorful, flavorful sauces are also set on your table and described as suggested accompanyments for your meal. Mustard sauce with the cammel, Mint sauce with the lamb, etc.
Good luck getting a reservation. Most reservations are only available through major tour operators which block out large portions of the restaurant months in advance.
2 seatings nightly and twice daily for lunch at designated times. We chose the 7:30pm seating.
Favorite Dish: We loved, loved LOVED the turkey! Most succulent, moist turkey I've ever had!
Ostrich meatballs were a big hit as was the lamb (and I'm not a lamb lover).
Cammel was tough and gamy but the sauce that accompanyied it was delicious.
Potatoes, with all the fixings, as well as seasonal vegetables were also good.
Java Coffee House: Wonderful Coffee
For delicious espressos and other coffee drinks in Nairobi, try the Java Coffee House. They also serve fresh fruits juices and Kenyan tea in case you're not a coffee drinker. If you're feeling peckish, they also sell food like sandwiches and hotdogs. However, the coffee is the best!
Favorite Dish: A nice hot latte
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Khawa Cafe: Piri Piri galore
They serve a lot of Piri Piri style food here. The quality is not top of the line, but if you want a regular place that isn't putridly bad (like Hooter's), then my verdict is that it is safe to eat here.
Hooters: You better seriously pray before this meal.
Okay. The only reason I ate here is because it seems to be growing as a tradition in my travels. Of course we have Hooters in the U.S. (which this is nowhere similar to), but when I was in Tripoli, Lebanon I saw one, so I figured I would check this place out too for the heck of it. I realized too late that we were the only ones eating in the entire restaurant, even though the place was packed. The people I was with barely got into their burgers before giving up (they said it tasted pretty putrid) and my Vegetable Swahili was good, but had a lot of salt in it. Don’t bother going in here unless you just want a beer while you watch television or relax.
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