From modern dining halls to gorgeous leafy restaurants where you’ll find elephants as fellow dining guests, Nairobi’s culinary scene is as vibrant as it is diverse.

Urban Eatery

This contemporary dining hall has an extensive menu and lively atmosphere in central Nairobi. There are four different kitchens in an open-plan setting (Italian bistro, Asian, Indian and Mexican/Mediterranean food), as well as a frozen yoghurt counter and a cocktail bar with a great wine list. Try the Mediterranean mezze assortment.

  • +254 709 815 000
  • Go to Website
  • PWC Tower
    Delta Corner
    Chiromo Road
    Westlands

About Thyme

A gorgeous leafy restaurant with scattered cushions and hanging lanterns nestled in the woodland near the Karura Forest. The cuisine is modern European with dishes, like blue-cheese fritters with chilli jam and chargrilled aubergine parcels served with salad and chunky chips. Save space for dessert: the trio of bite sized banoffee pie, chocolate brownie and strawberry cheesecake is delightful.

Chowpaty

Nairobi’s vegetarian Indian restaurant has an array of vibrant dishes representing cuisines from across India. It’s set in the rather flamboyant Diamond Plaza (flashing diamond shaped coloured lights adorn the plaza’s outside walls) but this adds to the hectic charm of the place. Sit outside in the food court for delicious juices – try the pineapple mint – and be sure to order dahi puri: crispy balls filled with spiced beans, topped with Bombay mix and cool yoghurt.

Lucca

This elegant Italian restaurant dishes out the best pizza in Nairobi from the majestic Villa Rosa Kempinski complex. The chef has come over from his Italian homeland and everything from the focaccia bread with olive oil to the pesto pasta is expertly cooked and presented. There’s a shady outdoor patio that wouldn’t look out of place on a Parisian boulevard, and a balcony dining area at the front of the restaurant with wicker chairs and glass-topped tables.

  • +254 203 603 000
  • Go to Website
  • Villa Rosa Kempinski
    Chiromo Rd
    Westlands

Talisman

Arguably the best food in Nairobi, Talisman is a beautiful restaurant set in a quiet garden in Karen, just outside the city centre. There is everything you would expect from a restaurant that has been labelled Nairobi’s finest: excellent service, a carefully curated menu and wine list and elegant setting (low couches, cushions, glass tables and flickering table lanterns). The feta and coriander samosas are to die for.

Marula Mercantile

One of Nairobi’s newest eateries, Marula Mercantile is making a name for itself as a great brunch spot, as well as a relaxed venue to get stuck into some imaginative drinks. For brunch, try the buckwheat pancakes or French toast with orange-cardamon butter. The décor is modern: chunky wooden tables set on decking with views out to the grassy garden. Save space for one of the homemade doughnuts, or take a box home with you for later.

The Arbor

This garden café is popular for long and leisurely weekend brunches in the city. The menu is small but perfectly formed, with a good range of vegetarian options (halloumi lovers, this is your mecca) plus classic brunch numbers such as eggs Benedict. Expect an array of puppies and babies to be enjoying the outdoor location, and try the seriously peppery bloody Mary if you need to wake up after a night on the town.

Mambo Italia

This rooftop pizza restaurant sits high above the busy roads, boasting tall fire heaters and mismatched furniture. An original selection of pizzas adorn the menu – sautéed broccoli, chilli, plum tomatoes and taleggio cheese, for instance – or simply create your own. It’s perfect for a casual meal with friends, and there’s often live music.

Urban Eatery

About Thyme

Chowpaty

Lucca

Talisman

Marula Mercantile

The Arbor

Mambo Italia

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