It’s no secret that Nairobi is a foodie’s paradise. With an ever-growing culinary scene, the city offers diners a wealth of encounters to choose from. Whether you’re in the mood for Kenyan food or something from another country, you’re sure to find something to your taste.
Food joints range from small family-run businesses to large international chains. But with an array of restaurants at your disposal, how do you identify the best one for you? Well, that’s where we come in. Continue reading for details about the top restaurants in Nairobi, Kenya.
For a combination of delicious food, great service, and a serene ambiance, then visit CJ’s. This casual restaurant offers a wide variety of dishes, so you’re sure to find something to your taste. Its menu comprises soups, pizza, pasta, burgers, and fresh juices — all served in generous portions.
Breakfast offerings include buttermilk pancakes, muffins, and waffles to help you start your day right. The eatery is also kid-friendly, boasting seats and cutlery for the young ones. CJ’s is a must-try if you’re visiting Nairobi.
Locations: Kilimani, Koinange Street, The Imaara Shopping Mall, Village Market, and The Waterfront Mall – Karen
2. INTI – A Nikkei Experience
When it comes to top restaurants in Nairobi, INTI is a place that is top of mind for many food lovers. With its chic, modern decor and inventive dishes, INTI offers a unique Nikkei experience that is not to be missed.
The menu at INTI features Nikkei-inspired cuisines such as sashimi and sushi. Those in the mood for soup can try their shrimp ramen chupe. The fancy eating place is on the 20th floor, so come prepared to take in beautiful views of the city.
The dress code here is smart casual, although vests, shorts, sportswear, and flip-flops are not allowed.
Website: INTI – A Nikkei Experience
Location: 20th Floor One Africa Place, Waiyaki Way, Nairobi
Opening hours: 12 pm to 11 pm (daily)
3. The Carnivore Restaurant
If you are after a fantastic meat-eating experience in Nairobi City, The Carnivore is the restaurant for you. With all-you-can-eat grilled meats, including chicken, beef, and fish, this is the perfect spot for a carnivore’s dream meal. Locals and tourists also flock to this eatery to try out their ox balls and crocodile and ostrich meats.
The meats are served fresh and cooked on skewers right in front of you, so you can be sure they’re as fresh as they can be.
The setting is also beautiful, with lush gardens and a playground. You’ll feel like you’re in a different world as you enjoy all the flavors this restaurant has to offer.
Location: Off Langata Road, next to Wilson Airport
Opening hours: 12 pm to 11 pm (daily)
4. Red Ginger
Are you in the mood for some dynamite Asian cuisine? Drop by Red Ginger, a posh eatery in the heart of Nairobi. Red Ginger serves up some of the best Japanese, Thai, and other East Asian dishes around.
Grilled chicken, curries, mutton, and noodles are on their menu, plus they also offer signature cocktails and a robust beer and wine selection. The restaurant also has a laid-back vibe.
If you’re feeling daring, try their boneless pieces of chicken — marinated in spiced yogurt, threaded on a metal skewer, and cooked on live charcoal. They are as impressive as they sound. Don’t forget to cap off your meal with a tasty treat from the dessert menu – the tiramisu ice cream is worth saving room for!
Location: Second Parklands Avenue, Nairobi
Opening hours: 11 am to 11 pm (daily)
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5. The View
If you’re looking for unbeatable views while you dine in Nairobi, then The View is the place for you. Here, you’ll enjoy 360-degree views of the city from the 24th floor of the rotating restaurant. The interior offers a contemporary design with velvet furnishing and eclectic lighting fixtures.
Their menu focuses on Mediterranean-style dishes such as grilled calamari and beef tagliata. Side dishes include house-cut fries, mashed potatoes, and sautéed mushrooms. That aside, this restaurant is among the best restaurants in Nairobi for a dinner or lunch date. It’s perfect for enjoying a romantic dinner against the backdrop of twinkling city lights draped over Nairobi’s skyline.
Website: The View
Location: Mövenpick Residences Nairobi
Opening hours: Tue – Sun: 12 pm to 8 pm (closed on Mon)
6. About Thyme Restaurant
For a serene garden dining experience, stop by About Thyme Restaurant. It has continued to welcome locals and travelers looking to eat sumptuous European delicacies since 2005. If you’re a fan of meat, try out their pork ribs or chicken wings — you won’t regret it.
About Thyme Restaurant also has an extensive wine selection and offers vegan dining options. Alcoholic beverages on sale include creative cocktails and craft beers. That aside, this garden restaurant is a great place for business lunches, dinner dates, or Sunday brunch with family — especially on weekends when they host live music events.
Location: Eldama Ravine Rd, Nairobi
Opening hours: Tue – Fri: 12 pm to 10 pm; Sat: 10 am to 10 pm; Sun: 10 am to 7 pm (closed on Mon)
7. Harvest Restaurant
You can’t go wrong with Harvest Restaurant for a taste of Nairobi’s finest. With its elegant and inviting atmosphere complete with a large open-air seating, this spot serves up outstanding dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. They have a plethora of food options, including steaks, burgers, and pasta.
When it comes to sides, the smoked paprika thin fries are not to be missed! And the desserts? Sweet and delicious! Plus, their handmade cocktails are the perfect way to end any meal — they come in a variety of flavors. You can also try their selection of African wines for a truly authentic experience.
Location: The Village Market
Opening hours: 6:30 am to 10 pm (daily)
8. Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant & Cafe
Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant & Cafe, one of the best seafood restaurants in Nairobi, beckons. It’s an intimate and exciting experience, where you can enjoy high-end cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. Their menu features a range of delicious, freshly caught seafood dishes.
Here, you’ll find guests feasting on sushi, lobsters, prawns, and other food. Besides that, the restaurant takes great pride in its sustainable practices. They source all their seafood from local fisheries and use only natural ingredients to achieve bold flavors. They also have an excellent selection of wines and craft beer to accompany your meal.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner or just looking to enjoy some delicious ocean-fresh fare, Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant & Cafe is an ideal spot to add to your list of top restaurants in Nairobi.
Location: Longonot Place, Kijabe St, Nairobi
Opening hours: 6 am to 11 pm (daily)
9. Fogo Gaucho
Here’s a spot that’s perfect if you’re looking for fine dining in Nairobi. Fogo Gaucho is a Brazilian steakhouse with delicious, simply grilled steaks and plenty of salads and grilled vegetables. The atmosphere is great for a special occasion, but it’s also casual enough for a weeknight dinner—it all depends on what you’re up for.
If you’re feeling extra hungry, I suggest the “Fogo Gaucho experience”: an all-you-can-eat special that includes various cuts of steak, chicken, lamb, and pork. And don’t forget the side dishes: they have a wide selection of salads, bread, soups, and more! It’s a great choice if you want to indulge in some amazing food.
Locations: Viking House, Off Waiyaka Way (Westlands); Galana Plaza, Off Argwings Khodhek (Kilimani); Panari Sky Centre, Mombasa Road, Nairobi
Opening hours: 12 pm to 11 pm (daily)
10. Kilimanjaro Jamia Restaurant
Dine at Kilimanjaro Jamia Restaurant, a Halal eatery in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD). It’s known for offering a wide variety of cuisines, ranging from African to Arabic. If your taste buds crave some biriyani, pilau, Naan, or chapati, this is the place to be.
Being a Somali restaurant, you can expect food and drinks such as camel milk, Kostato, and Anjeera to be on their menu. Don’t forget about milkshakes! The eatery has some of the best milkshakes in town, such as their famous Oreo shake and Kilimanjaro fiesta.
Plus, they have great prices – no wonder it is among the most affordable restaurants in Nairobi today. So if you want to experience some Kenyan cuisine at a budget price, head over to Kilimanjaro Jamia for your next meal.
Locations: Kimathi St, Banda St, & Waruinge Street, Eastleigh, Nairobi
Opening hours: Mon – Sat: 6 am to 10 pm; Sun: 6 am to 9 pm
11. Ankole Grill Kilimani
Ankole Grill takes pride in being one of the top romantic restaurants in Nairobi. The food joint is located in the upmarket Kilimani district and features a traditional African décor. Its interior is furnished with carvings and wall art resembling the Ankole-Watusi breed of cattle.
The food here is exquisite and the service is top-notch. Prepare to feast on African-inspired cuisines, such as spicy mbuzi kauka and Lamu coconut curry. Also, their wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas will leave you craving for more. To wash down the tasty food, go for their signature cocktails made from homemade syrups and fresh herbs.
Location: Galana Rd, Nairobi
Opening hours: 7:30 am to 11 pm
12. Talisman Restaurant
Whether you’re after a candle-lit romantic dinner or an outdoor lunch with family, Talisman Restaurant has got you covered. The eatery’s charming fireplaces, spacious terraces, and idyllic gardens make it a good spot for dining al fresco. Their imported rugs and carved wooden pillars also make the place more charming.
Talisman Restaurant’s menu features sushi, sashimi, beef burgers, fries, fillet steak, and other foods. As for drinks, they offer mocktails, milkshakes, coffee, and sodas.
Location: Ngong Rd, Nairobi
Opening hours: Tue – Fri: 10 am to 1 am; Sat & Sun: 9 am to 10 pm (closed on Mon)
13. Urban Eatery
For a modern Kenyan dining experience, Urban Eatery is a great place to start. Its food and ambiance are perfect for a special night out. The menu is a mix of traditional and fusion dishes, so there’s something for everyone.
Be sure to order the tastiest dishes off the menu, such as chicken gyoza, fried spicy ribs, and fish fingers. And make sure to leave room for dessert—the black forest cake is worth trying.
Website: Urban Eatery
Location: PwC Tower, Ground Floor Delta Corner Estate, Chiromo Rd, Nairobi
Opening hours: Mon – Fri: 7 am to 11 pm; Sat & Sun: 9 am to 11 pm
14. Trattoria Restaurant
Set in the heart of Nairobi, Trattoria Restaurant is renowned for serving authentic Italian dishes, made from fresh and organic local produce. Their menu features tasty offerings such as signature pasta, risotto, and pizza.
The décor is modern yet classic, giving the space an elegant feel that’s sure to impress. They also have a terrace where you can sit and enjoy your meal al fresco. Plus, their wine list is top-notch, with wines from all over the world to pair perfectly with your meal. This eatery is perfect for a romantic date, business meeting, or family lunch.
No matter what you order at Trattoria Restaurant, you’re sure to be delighted by the delicious flavors and atmosphere.
Location: Town House, along Kaunda Street, Nairobi CBD
Opening hours: 7 am to 12 am (daily)
Fine dining in Nairobi
So, there you have it. Our roundup of the top restaurants in Nairobi. Whether you’re looking for a romantic night out, a casual meal with friends, or something special to impress your guests, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy!