Nairobi - Post Report Question and Answers
What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?
There is a lot of choice. Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Lebanese, nyama choma joints (grilled meat places), Italian, etc. There are a number of excellent cafes that serve wonderful Italian-style coffee. - Apr 2021
There is a surprising dearth of restaurants. You end up going to the same places over and over again. - Nov 2020
Near the diplomatic/expat area, you can find most things: Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Ethiopian, etc. Have not had good luck with American- style BBQ ribs, although close imitations are found - Dec 2018
Before coming to post, my wife and I watched a video stating that Nairobi's food scene rivals that of London. After living here for a while, I'm not buying it. To be sure, there are some good restaurants in town. In fact here are some I'd recommend:
Harvest, 360 Degrees Pizza, 45 Degrees Kitchen, Talisman, Lord Erroll, Art Caffe, Wasp & Sprout, Open House, Mercado, The Alchemist, RocoMamas, the Taco Place at Village Market. There are also a few American chains here: KFC, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Burger King, and Hardees just opened their first location at Two Rivers Mall.
But by and large, there is a lot we miss. We have a 75% rule in our house, meaning that if a given restaurant is better than 75% of the quality we'd expect at home, we're happy.
Worth noting is Jumia, which is a food delivery app - kinda like Uber Eats. It's really great for home delivery. - Dec 2018
There are many great restaurants around the city. Many expats enjoy Talisman in Karen (my favorite) and there are also many great choices in Village Market located behind the US Embassy. - Jun 2018
There are lots of decent restaurants, and many are al fresco with children's play areas. The new Westgate Mall has many Western-style options, such as KFC and Pizza Hut, as well as local chains like Art Caffe and Urban Burger. Village Market, another shopping mall, is geared toward expats and has good dining possibilities. There is a very good Italian restaurant there.
Food delivery is very prolific, with options ranging from groceries to full catering services. There are many Indian options, some sushi, and decent pizza. One thing to remember- it will take at least an hour for your food to arrive. - Jul 2016
not much. KFC, Domino's and two to three local brands - Sep 2015
Fast food-Dominos, KFC, Subway, Cold Stone. Costs are comparable to the U.S., maybe a bit more, but not prohibitive. There are tons of very good restaurants of all price ranges. - Aug 2015
They now have KFC, Dominoes, even a Coldstone ice cream store. Other fast food I would avoid. Around the upper-class neighborhoods and Westlands there are decent restaurants. Indian food is great; there is a large Indian community. A couple of good Italian restaurants. - Jul 2015
You can pretty much get anything you want here. The only American fast food is Dominos, Subway, and KFC. I recommend not eating those while you are here. Take advantage of all the great Indian Cuisine and other local resturants. - May 2015
Nice variety of restaurants but on the pricey side. - Dec 2014
KFC, Subway, and local places. Good restaurants overall but expensive. - Jun 2014
KFC is the only fast food and it does have a Kenyan twist. I love it. Good restaurants are everywhere. Not cheap but very good. Probably around $15-25 per person to eat out. - Jun 2014
Mainly South African brands. Restaurants are pretty good here - there is decent Thai, very good Indian food, and some fairly good Italian food. Restaurants are very expensive for what you get, however - the quality of meat here is generally poor, and you will not pay under US$20 for a meal per person. - Mar 2014
Nothing American. A few South African chains like Steers, Spurs, Creamy Inn, Pizza Inn and Galitos. All are fine. There are plenty of actual restaurants and most are quite good, but expensive. - Jul 2013
KFC. No idea on KFC prices, though, because there are too many better options from Indian to Italian. - Jun 2013
There is no American fast food except KFC. We're very lucky with the restaurant options in Nairobi, especially compared to other African cities. You can find almost any cuisine, but the quality can vary. Art Caffe is our go-to. You can find pretty much anything you're craving, from pizza to pasta to paninis and burgers and milkshakes. And they have a good brunch. There are actually lots of brunch places around Nairobi, often in lovely gardens. This was a pleasant surprise for us. Lots of good Indian food and Thai food. Italian is okay; there are several Italian places and they try. There are very good Ethiopian options, okay Lebanese, nice micro-breweries and bistros, and very limited options for Latin food (one Mexican restaurant and a Cuban-ish place). For meat, well, Kenyans like their meat very bland. There are some restaurants that market themselves as Brazilian or Argentinian steakhouses, but don't be fooled. It's better to stay at home and just cook meat yourself. - Dec 2012
KFC is now here (in a few shopping malls) at $7-$10 per person. A wide-range of dining options are available: Thai, Mexican, Ethiopian, Italian, Japanese, Kenyan, plus coffee shops and frozen yogurt. Thin-crust pizza is about $9. The famous Carnivore restaurant starts at about $40. Art Caffe is by far and away our favorite for consistent food quality and service. Entrees cost $7-12, and they have the best bread in town. - Aug 2012
Fast food - KFC, which is nothing special. Otherwise, Java House, Art Caffe, Zen Garden and other Asian restaurants, Lord Errol's. Prices vary, but it's not cheap to eat out. - Dec 2011
KFC opened two locations in the past six months -- the first western fast food. There are South African fast food joints, though. No decent pizza is available, unless you make it yourself. The restaurant options, though, are quite good! River Cafe, Art Cafe, Medditeraneo are some of my favorites. - Dec 2011
Little fast food is available but there are plenty of good restaurants. They aren't cheap though. Be prepared for San Francisco prices. - Sep 2011
There is decent Indian food throughout the city, also a mix of other international cuisines. Prices are about the same in restaurants as in the US. - Dec 2010
No US fast food. At a few gas stations there are food courts. Pizza Inn and Creamy Inn (desserts) are Kenyan chains. There is a food court at both main malls, Westgate and Village Market. Good food but not speedy service. - Dec 2009
Decent Java House food. Not any fast food to speak of, but some OK Chinese. And there's plenty of very very cheap Kenyan places if you are willing to go where the locals go. - Jul 2009
Restaurants are very expensive. If you like wine, buy it at the diplomatic store and find restaurants with corkage charges. An average price for what would be a US$10 bottle of wine in the states, goes for US$50 in a restaurant. There is every type of food imaginable, but if you want quality you pay. Average dinner for two with wine and desert is over US$100.No wine but steaks or something nice will easily cost you US$50-70. You want a sandwich for lunch?? Average lunch cost is about US$15 per person. - Jun 2008
Lots and lots of good restaurants of all genres, ranging from fantastic Indian, Lebanese, Continental, Italian, Seafood, Japanese, Nyama Choma (i.e., all you can eat meat), etc. Prices are slightly lower than comparable places in the USA, maybe 10-20 percent lower or so. There is only one Mexican place (in Karen) that is in a mall food court, but is reasonable (there's another in Westlands, but people have gotten sick there!). Likewise, the only good Chinese food we’ve had is also in a mall food court. In terms of fast food, it’s mainly South African chains like Nando’s and Wimpy, which are reasonable and similarly priced as U.S.-chains, though the selection of food is not as diverse. In general, delivery is much less common than other places, though. - Feb 2008