Nairobi is vibrant, bustling and like many places of cultural interest, a spirited mix of stark contrasts. It’s a metropolis where cultures and classes co-exist, and more importantly, co-mingle, so it should come as no surprise that the local dining scene is equally exciting and diverse. Whether you’re visiting for work – Nairobi is the African continent’s hub for many businesses, banks, and NGOs – or passing through before or after safari, take time to explore the city’s crop of restaurants. From Kenyan steaks to grilled ox balls, here are five places to eat incredibly well in Kenya’s capital.
Tucked away in a quieter part of Karen, a wealthy suburb of Nairobi, Talisman feels like a hush-hush, discreet hideaway from the city. It is a delicious one too as chef Marcus Mitchell has been credited by many locals for ushering in the importance of eating local, sustainable and organic foods. With Mitchell’s eclectic but approachable menu, which trots all over the globe, you can start with a Zanzibar coconut and local seafood soup that packs a fragrant, briny punch. Then there’s sautéed ostrich fillet – subtly gamey, super-flavorful, yet lean – with potato gratin and pureed cauliflower and surprisingly good sushi. The crown jewel just might be the house burger. Loaded with fried onions, pickles, chili relish and a massive beef patty, it’s especially comforting for the homesick and travel-weary American.
Fogo Gaucho Churrascaria
.Fogo Gaucho Churrascaria is the best Brazilian Steak House in Nairobi serving 15 different cuts of charcoal grilled meat including red meat, prawns, grilled fish, crocodile and much more. There are 20 different salads on the buffet, hot dishes and side dishes served on the table. There are also fried sweet bananas and French fries on the menu. The top class service guarantees you a unique and memorable dining experience for every occasion; be it a birthday, anniversary, family outing, business lunch meeting or even an office party. With ample parking, an exquisite fully stocked wine bar and so much more, your dining experience with Fogo Gaucho is one you will cherish forever. The restaurant is located at Viking house along Waiyaki way in Westlands.
The Nairobi Tamarind is situated at the Karen Blixen Coffee Garden, Karen Road. It has an ambience of elegance and calm in addition to delicious food and superb service. As Nairobi’s leading seafood restaurant they bring in, fresh giant prawns, sweet young crabs, juicy lobsters, squid, octopus and oysters. If seafood is not your choice, the restaurant also offers fine steak and poultry. Tamarind Nairobi has built up and maintained a reputation for superb cuisine. The splendid menu offers all manner of exotic flavors, and the lavish dining room is laid out in a sumptuous modern Arabic-Moorish style. Starters range from Hibiscus-flamed seafood to an exquisite seafood platter. You’ll need to budget at least KSh2500 for the full works – much more if you want wine or cocktails and lobster – though seafood gourmands agree that its money well spent.
The Carnivore is considered ‘Africa’s Greatest Eating Experience’. Every type of meat imaginable including a selection of meat roasted over charcoal and carved at your table. Delicious side dishes and an exceptional array of sauces complement this fixed price feast that also includes soup, a selection of desserts and Kenyan coffee. Set in attractive tropical gardens, the service and the décor are outstanding. The single menu offering, in the form of all-you-can eat nyama choma, is a Kenyan staple which translates to “roasted meat.” A dizzying array of the day’s meat, ranging from the familiar (leg of lamb, spare ribs, chicken liver) to wild (crocodile, ostrich, ox balls) is skewered on traditional Maasai swords and seared over a mammoth, blazing-red, open grill located near the entrance of the restaurant. Enter Dr. Dawa, who floats through the restaurant and muddles Kenya’s most famous cocktails, dawas (which means medicine in Kiswahili), with vodka, fresh limes, honey and a splash of sparkling water. The whole experience might come across as gimmicky and over the top, but guess what? It’s also ridiculously fun. The restaurant is at Carnivore Rd off Langata Rd.
Soaring Eagle Spur
Soaring Eagle Spur located at the right wing inside the Eka Hotel on Mombasa Road and is a franchise of Spur Steak Ranches. The restaurant offers delicious speciality steaks, burgers, chicken, seafood and Tex- Mex dishes. The restaurant is specifically popular because of the ribs and Buffalo wings. There is a wide range of exciting salads, soups and starters for lunch, dinner and milkshakes, teas, coffees and deserts can enhance any meal at any time. The classic family restaurant also has an activity area for children with a Jungle Gym, Play Stations and each child is given a colouring sheet and a balloon. There is a fully stocked bar, spacious terraces and a separate smoking area. Soaring Eagle Spur is carefully monitored by CCTV cameras and security personnel at all times. There is ample, safe parking easily accessible from the road. A scrumptious buffet meal is also available on request and through prior arrangements.