if you haven’t followed Gideon on Instagram yet, I strongly suggest that you do so ASAP. You ask why? Well, he is a walking encyclopedia of Nairobi restaurants. So basically, if you want to know where to eat, party, meet with friends or just a nice workspace with fast internet, then he is the plug. His stories and post are well-curated and are usually my reference point whenever I want to try out a new place. I begged him to write for us a top ten list of his favorite restaurants and he did not disappoint!
Here are his recommendations in his own words!! Me I Love this list and I hope you will love them too.
“I love going to restaurants, I’ve been doing it for a while now and it’s a nice getaway from the busy city life. Nairobi’s restaurants have really upped their game in as far as to look and feel, cuisine selection, and service is concerned and for that, they deserve their flowers. I still have yet to crack most of the restaurants around the city however based on my experience, these are some of the spots I would recommend to you. A good thing to note is that I usually base my experience on a restaurant based on their cocktails. My theory is that if they’re stingy with their alcohol, then they’re probably stingy with their food, and service. This is all relative though haha, so enjoy!
I’m perfectly sure everyone’s heard of iNTi at this point, and we all know what it’s all about. When I first heard about the restaurant’s policies, I didn’t understand what and why they’d come up with such “ridiculous” policies, such as NO CASUAL WEAR (jumpers, hats, sports shoes)! I mean I’m going there to eat so who cares what I wear right? But let me tell you Maina, after going there, I get it. This is all still relative but the ambiance, restaurant look, and the Nairobi skyline view, and the FOOD! All A1. There’s genuinely nothing I can pick apart about iNTI, and that makes it my first choice. It’s a little pricey to other restaurants and you have to book a reservation so I’d recommend going there for something special. 10/10 would recommend.
Tucked in the very leafy suburbs of Brookside Drive, Ate has a boho type of look to it. The first time I went there, I didn’t even know it was a restaurant, just because the place does look like a residential home and the signage isn’t detailed enough to let you know it’s a restaurant however, the place exceeded my expectations. The FOOD oh my goodness. I literally wanted to eat everything on their menu, which is quite extensive. I would definitely, definitely recommend having their tacos if you’re visiting for the first time. You will honestly thank me. Service is great, the place looks great and is PERFECT for a date. You will not be disappointed.
- HONEY & DOUGH
Honey and Dough is iNTi’s distant cousin. Located at the very same building, the One Africa Place in Westlands. The moment you step into this restaurant, the first thing that draws you is how stunning the place is. I’m honestly tempted to say that it’s the best-looking restaurant in Nairobi. My first experience there wasn’t as good especially with their drinks (the cocktails were not strong AT ALL), maybe because I was too drawn to the look and feel, but I’ve been there enough times to recommend it. Service is top-notch and the staff are very friendly!
Perhaps I should let you know that my favorite cuisine is Asian, hence why Cheka Café makes it to this list. A small Japanese restaurant based in Lavington, the ambiance and the decoration of Chekafe is stunning. The staff is also very welcoming and just makes you want to know more about it. The place is also kid-friendly which amenities that allow kids to play around. A fun fact is that they make all their noodles in-house and you can actually see it being made which, I don’t know about you but I found it interesting. They have the best ramen in Nairobi hands down. It’s that good! The only thing I would take away from them is their service! With limited service, it’s not easy to get access to a waiter especially when it’s busy which to me being as impatient as I am, wasn’t a big fan of. Also, their food takes some time to get to you but it would make sense if that the noodle-making process does take time. Overall, I give it 8/10. Perfect for a weekend brunch spot.
- TAPAS CEVICHE BAR
This list wouldn’t be complete without me mentioning Tapas. If you know me, you know I looove this restaurant. I’m literally there every week! Tapas, located in Westgate Mall and now 14 Riverside, is the perfect after-work spot for drinks, and cozy enough for a date. It’s a Spanish restaurant, which means all their food is served Tapas style (small portioned dishes) so if you’re going there with a huge appetite, you may end up spending quite a bit to get full. However, the food is amazing, and THEIR SANGRIA? HELLO?? Literally, the best in Nairobi and I would like someone to fight me on this lmao. I also believe they have some of the best cocktails in Nairobi. My favorite you ask? Their Tortuga. Ask for it, thank me later. And they have Happy Hour every day from 4-7 pm
- PAN ASIAN YAO
Pan Asian Yao is the perfect Sunday brunch option. Seriously. Their Sunday brunch is the best I’ve gone to so far. They have a perfect selection on their all-you-can-eat menu and you will get full. Aside from that, their menu is quite extensive considering it’s an Asian restaurant and their dishes are delicious. Only thing is that their service quality is never guaranteed so good luck on that LOL. 8/10
Went to Roro’s as a recommendation from a friend and I wasn’t disappointed at all! I’d say their menu selection is health based with lots of salads and bowls. The food looks so good and tastes even better! Service was top notch and the staff really knows their food, so if you’re not sure of what to have (the menu can be overwhelming lol), they do have a good recommendation!
- BOHO EATERY
I visited Boho Eatery last year, and I regret going so late but honestly who is traveling all the way to Karen just to eat? Not me! BUT I honestly loved it and I get it now. Very Instagrammable restaurant with very very good menu selection. Everything tastes amazing and the staff service is top-notch. The place is quite hidden so not very public transport friendly. PERFECT for a date.
Artcaffe was the first “high-end” restaurant I went to right after campus and got into my first job and honestly, I adored the place. They had the best pasta and salad selection at the time and their cocktails were amazing. It literally made Happy Hour famous in Kenya and was the go-to place for it. You had to book your spot early because it could get that packed! Currently, the food is still good, with some hits and misses. The good thing about Artcaffe is just how easily accessible it is. Literally every corner you turn nowadays, there’s an Artcaffe lol. I just wish they would expand their menu selection now because I feel like I’ve already had everything on their menu. Would still recommend it. Their mojito selection is BOMB!
- K1 CLUB HOUSE
The only reason K1 made it to this list would be for their Sunday flea market. And not for the flea market LMAO (I mean if you like it, I love it. I just hardly check for it). K1’s made a name for itself at this point, having been in existence for quite a long time. It’s quite lively on Sundays and they have some good music selection. If you’re looking for an after brunch plan, I would recommend it. Their food is okay, their cocktails are not good, at all (quite overpriced for their quality honestly) and their drinks are severely overpriced. The moment you look at their menu, you will have a lot of questions for their waiter (even though they’re not responsible for their prices LMAO). Overall, 7/10. A good thing to note though is that it’s not COVID friendly at all so take this information as you will.
There you go!
You can also add to this list in the comment section and let us know your fave.