Saturday, April 27, 2019

My Top 5 Favorite Nairobi Restaurants

With fewer than 100 days left in Kenya, our departure is feeling more and more real. Before we left, I wanted to pass on a handful of recommendations for some of my favorite things that have made our two years in Nairobi special. For a food lover like me, clearly restaurants deserved their own post. (For foodies actually living in Nairobi, there's even a Facebook group for you with grocery and dining tips!)

So without further ado, here are my top five favorite Nairobi restaurants, in no particular order:

  1. Mercado: The Mexican food scene in Nairobi is thriving so much that it recently got a shout-out from none other than the New York Times! Although some prefer Fonda NBO, I've always favored Mercado. They have a classy vibe, a great selection of drinks (and mocktails), and the churros are always excellent.
  2. The Lord Erroll: This is our favorite pick for a fancy dinner out for a special occasion, and we've enjoyed it more than other well-known spots like 45 Degrees Kitchen and About Thyme. The service has generally been top-notch, with only one notable exception. The food is delicious and the portions are large, so I recommend going with an appetite.
  3. Boho Eatery: This is the perfect place to grab a bite if you're already by Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or perhaps if you spent the morning on a game drive in Nairobi National Park. They have a lot of healthy, vegetarian, and vegan options, portions are generous, and everything is tasty.
  4. The View: The 360-degree rotating restaurant experience from the top of the Mövenpick Hotel is an unforgettable one (you can reserve a window-side table in advance and watch the sunset as you eat). It helps that the food at The View is scrumptious - I recommend everything except the meat fondue and the chocolate fondue. We've heard great things about the cheese fondue and everything else we've tried there has been delectable.
  5. Dae Jang Geum: Dae Jang Geum may not have the extensive menu I'm accustomed to in Northern Virginia Korean barbecue joints, but the food is authentic, banchan are included, and it's more conveniently located than alternatives like Ain Guest House.

I have a few honorable mentions, too, I had to throw in here with just a few words:

  • Taco: Really great tacos and, most importantly, corn tortillas
  • Urban Burger OR Rocomama's: My favorite burgers in Nairobi
  • Planet Yogurt: Perfectly classic, pay-by-the-weight froyo (located at Sarit Centre)
  • Mugg & Bean: Special treat for those not familiar with this South African chain boasting a massive menu
  • Domino's AND Cold Stone Creamery: Deliciously American
  • Mediterraneo: Good Italian food
  • Fogo Gaucho: All-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse with mediocre salads but delicious meat and grilled pineapple with cinnamon
  • Artcaffe: The most epic eggs benedict I've ever had
  • Tiramisu: Best cupcakes in Kenya

So that's the top list (with a few extras), and I hope it's enough to get any foodie started in Nairobi. In two years here, there are still so many restaurants we haven't tried. Although we'll try and venture out to a few more places before we leave, we know we can't cover quite everything. At least that gives us a number of restaurants to save for the next time we're in Kenya!

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