Best restaurants in Kenya

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nairobi

    Carnivore

    Love it or hate it, Carnivore serves up Kenya's most famous nyama choma (barbecued meat) – it's been an icon for tourists, expats and wealthier locals for over 25 years. At the entrance is a huge barbecue pit laden with real swords of beef, pork, lamb, chicken and farmed game meats such as crocodile and ostrich. It's a memorable night out.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nairobi

    Talisman

    This classy cafe-bar-restaurant remains fashionable with the Karen in-crowd and it rivals any of Kenya’s top eateries for imaginative international food. The comfortable lounge-like rooms mix modern African and European styles, while the courtyard provides some welcome air. Classics such as feta and coriander samosas and twice-cooked pork belly perk up the palate no end.

  • Restaurants in Nairobi

    Mama Rocks at the Alchemist Bar

    Nairobi's first and best food truck is very cool. With an African take on burgers and a location primed and ready for Westlands' night-time crowd, Mama Rocks' highlight is the Mango Masai Mama, a burger topped with mango, chilli-mango sauce and sweet roasted bell peppers. Samantha and Natalie keep things ticking over.

  • Restaurants in Nairobi

    About Thyme

    In a welcoming garden setting in the city's north, About Thyme does some fine international dishes such as pumpkin-and-amaretti tortellini or battered red snapper in tamarind sauce. There's a quick lunch menu, a creative cocktail menu (try the chilli-mango caipirinha) and a popular Sunday brunch (10am to 1pm).

  • Restaurants in Nairobi

    Bao Box

    If you want a little fun with some food, this is a go-to place, particularly if there are a few of you. Serving a variety of snacks and drinks (the pizzas and pitchers of sangria are popular), Bao Box has a huge selection of board games and puzzles that can be played for about US$10.

  • Restaurants in Nairobi

    Urban Eatery

    This smart and upmarket place has a huge menu that takes in everything from pizza to sushi, including great salads, sandwiches, burgers and meat grills. Service is attentive and polite, and kids are welcome – there's even a bouncy castle outside.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Naro Moru

    Trout Tree Restaurant

    Inhabiting a marvellous fig tree overlooking the Burguret River, alongside colobus monkeys and tree hyraxes, this is one of the most original places to eat in Kenya's Central Highlands. It doesn't do much else, but we never tire of the trout combinations – smoked trout and cucumber salad, trout chowder, trout curry, tandoori trout, whole grilled trout…char-grilled is best of all.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nairobi

    Roadhouse Grill

    Out beyond Milimani in the west, Roadhouse Grill is widely touted by locals as the best place for nyama choma (barbecued meat). The meat (choose the goat) is prepared just as it should be: medium rare and perfectly tender. Order a side of ugali (a maize or cassava-flour staple) and some kachumbari (tomato-and-onion salsa), and you're halfway towards being Kenyan.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nairobi

    Karen Blixen Coffee Garden

    The Coffee Garden offers diners five areas in which to enjoy its varied menu, including the plush L’Amour dining room, the historic 1901 Swedo House and the recommended main section, a casual restaurant set in a veritable English country garden. Dishes range from gourmet burgers to Swahili curries from the coast. The Sunday lunch buffet (KSh1800) is popular and excellent value.

  • Restaurants in Nairobi

    Tin Roof Cafe

    This place has all the ingredients to be a Nairobi favourite: a quiet garden setting in Karen, great coffee, amazing juices, an Ottolenghi salad bar and a commitment to healthy eating. Despite the cafe vibe, full meals are possible and there's a set lunch for KSh750. The only complaint? It doesn't open for dinner.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lake Naivasha

    Club House

    Farm-to-table sustainable cuisine is more exciting when there are giraffes and hippos to spy on in the distance. The signature eatery at Sanctuary Farm is relaxed but stylish, with tables strewn over a wooden verandah. Inside, there are framed black-and-white posters and Rift Valley wines. Expect dishes such as beetroot salad, red-pepper chicken, home-baked focaccia and baklava with pineapple sorbet. Reservations only.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nairobi

    Mama Oliech

    Fish dominates the menu here: the whole fried tilapia from Lake Nakuru is the signature dish, especially when ordered with ugali (a maize or cassava-flour staple) and kachumbari (tomato-and-onion salsa). Wildly popular, the restaurant is considered one of Nairobi's best – the sort of place that locals take first-time visitors to the city (like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 2016).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nyali Beach

    Tamarind Restaurant

    Without doubt the finest restaurant around Mombasa, Tamarind looks out over the harbour. Laced with high white arches, this refined restaurant has a superb menu that looks to Asia for inspiration and includes things such as tamarind seafood salad, black pepper crab and twice-cooked pork belly. We highly rate the mangrove oysters, the desserts and the boozy coffees.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nairobi

    Al-Yusra

    Roast camel, fried goat and plenty of pilau rice dishes just like Somalis and like-minded Kenyans love them make this busy 1st-floor place a hit, especially at lunchtime. The food is excellent (and halal) and also includes steaks, coconut rice with stew, Swahili fish curry and Ethiopian injera bread. Around since 2005, it's already a Nairobi institution.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lake Naivasha

    Ranch House Bistro

    Opened in 2014, Ranch House Bistro is easily the best of the lakeside eating options. The food is expertly prepared and ranges across pizzas from the clay oven to pulled-pork varieties and exquisite desserts. The setting is superb with tables spread across the lawn, but you'll need to book ahead for their Sunday lunch buffet (KSh1300 per person).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Nanyuki

    Le Rustique

    This one-time Nairobi favourite has upped sticks and headed north to Nanyuki. The fare, overseen to every last detail by owner Maike Potgieter, is superb, with pizzas, crêpes and an excellent wine list. But the atmosphere is as much of a drawcard, with an open fireplace for those cold Laikipia evenings or the quiet garden for warmer days.

  • Restaurants in Nanyuki

    Kongoni Camp

    One of the top restaurants in Nanyuki with a large variety of international dishes – hamburgers, steak, pizza – though its speciality is Indian food. With a proper tandoor oven, this place can cure any naan bread and chicken tikka masala cravings you may have! Ask about its 'top shelf' whisky collection for an after-dinner treat.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Diani Beach

    Sails

    By far the most stylish place to eat in Diani, Sails is gorgeous: a canopy of billowing white canvas separates the restaurant from the stars, while waiters serve up fine dishes, particularly seafood, including Zanzibar-style snapper, steamed ginger crab and smoked Malindi sailfish. Reservations highly recommended in the evening.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Shela

    Peponi

    We're still waxing lyrical about our last meal at this amazing restaurant. Choose between global offerings, such as tuna ceviche, Philly cheese steak sandwich and BBQ fish, or get your fill of mostly Italian dishes, such as gnocchi with wild mushrooms. The chocolate cake with pistachio ice cream is worth every penny.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lake Baringo

    Island Camp Restaurant

    A popular weekend activity, if you can call it that, is to charter a boat and hop across to Island Camp's sleek restaurant for lunch. The buffet includes a mix of cold dishes such as gazpacho, Indian mains, salads and lovely desserts, served overlooking the lapping water. Make sure you call ahead to secure a table.