Kenya food bleg

I’m headed to Nairobi this evening. I haven’t been back for 11 years. (In fact the last time I was there I met my wife because we happened to be sitting next to one another in what I can only assume was the country’s slowest Internet cafe. Just think how many relationships will be killed by broadband.)

Anyways, I will be working furiously on a project but I do like to eat good food, and restaurant recommendations are welcome. I’m not so interested in what I can eat in New York, so the best Thai restaurant or burger is not my object. But the Kenyan, Ethiopian, and Indian food in New York stinks (at least in Manhattan) so those kinds of recommendations are welcome. I have a soft spot for Choma. But please do not tell me to go to Carnivore unless something has changed dramatically in the last decade.

17 thoughts on “Kenya food bleg

  1. MBK right on Habesha. . Open House or Diamond Plaza for Indian. Olepolos on the other side of the Ngong hills is good for choma and excellent for the view – worth the trip, but mind the traffi.c And if you have too may beers you’ll need to stop for Kuku Choma at a kenchic.

  2. Best Ethiopian food is Habesha, on Argwings Kodhek, in Kilimani

    Best Indian is either Handi’s in Westlands, or Open House, also in Westlands

    Don’t go to Carnivore.

    Talisman is the best restaurant in Nairobi, although all the way out in Karen. Great mix of steak / burgers etc, although with a Kenyan twist.

  3. Habesha (Kilimani) and Abyssinia (Westlands or Kilimani) for Ethiopian, Open House or Chowpaty (both Westlands, the latter totally vegetarian) for Indian, and Atlantis Gardens and Mama Oliech for Kenyan (both Kilimani, the former for choma and the latter for Luo-style whole tilapia).

  4. Abyssinia is infinitely better than Habesha for Ethiopian food. They have outlets in both Kilimani and Westlands. You may also want to consider a place called Kosowe (also called Ranalo Foods for an undiscovered reason) in the CBD for some great Thilapia brought fresh from lake Victoria, but be prepared for spending ‘some’ time in traffic.

  5. Another recommendation for Haandi in the Westlands.

    I enjoyed Talisman considerably as well, although I am not sure I would have braved the traffic going to Karen if not for a meeting there.

  6. For uniquely nairobi/dar food that’s choma-meets-Indian spices and the best masala chips, Hashmi is a must (nakumatt ukay center, westlands).

    You can get good Nigerian/Ghanaian food at mama ashanti (on a road opp valley arcade, off gitanga rd).

    For choma, maxlands in westlands (off waiyaki way near the shell station before ABC plaza) is a popular place on the west side of town.

    I second everyone’s recs of open house or chowpatty for Indian – haandi is missable IMHO – and abyssinia or habesha – the relatively new abyssinia near yaya has a great atmosphere).

  7. Best restaurant in Nairobi is a new Japanese Izakaya called Cheka – run by two Japanese chefs, super traditional, but amazingly good.

    Best Indian is Hashmi – not as touristy as Haandi or Open House, but really fantastic

    I’m a big fan of your work, let me know if you need any more ideas!

  8. Open House has this incredible fried ginger dish that I’ve never seen anywhere else and it’s pretty amazing.

    If you end up in Western, there’s a great choma place in Bungoma!

  9. Kenyan choma: Zam zam’s behind Toi Market, in front of Kibera; Tamasha off Arwings Kodhek in Kilimani
    Ethiopian: Others have it right…Habeesha in Kilimani off of Arwings Kodhek, but there’s another off of Arwings close to Yaya and the French school. Grey gate with pink lettering, can’t remember the name but the food is incredible!

  10. The Arbor on James Gichuru is great fro brunch in this oh so perfect weather. Also, Tin Roof Cafe out in Karen.