25 February 2011


The weekend begins on Thursday in Nairobi and Havana is where you want to be.

Location: Westlands- Woodvale Grove, around the corner from Black Diamond
Price: 200 KSH  domestic beers, food is reasonably priced
Atmosphere: Depending on the night and the time the atmosphere can range from a quiet, neighborhood Latin restaurant to a madhouse packed with expats.

17 February 2011

Que Pasa Bar and Bistro

I had been hearing about Que Pasa since I returned to Nairobi and since I was in the neighborhood one Sunday for church I took the opportunity to grab a bite to eat there. The place was extremely quiet at the time with few other patrons but the service was attentive and the food came out promptly.

Photo credit: www.kenyabuzz.com
Location: Karen Shopping Center
Price: reasonable
Atmosphere: The ambiance is lovely; I loved the tile floors and stone walls. 

16 February 2011

Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant: Updated

I branched out from my regular lunch time cuisine and walked over to Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant last week. Now, I'm no connoisseur, and have yet to venture to their lovely country, but I have been to various joints around Nairobi since discovering the greatness that is Ethiopian food. I had seen the restaurant sandwiched in the middle of Roughton Plaza on my many trips up and down Argwings but had never made it by to check it out. It had received mixed reviews from those who had ventured there previously so it wasn't at the top of my list to check out, but now that it's located so conveniently near my office and the fact that I can only eat so much ndengu in a week, I figured it was worth a shot.

Location: Hurlingham, on Argwings Kodhek between Rose Avenue and Woodlands in Roughton Plaza, across from Jabavu House and above the recently reviewed, Mika Cafeteria
Price: 350 KSH (~$4.40) for shiro
Atmosphere: quiet besides the Nigerian soap operas playing on the tv near the door

I find it very interesting that Ethiopian restaurants here have a penchant to a) have a tv on for staff/patron entertainment and b) find the crappiest shows to watch. Blue Nile's front room is set up like a living room with couches lining the walls and small coffee tables and stools in front of each couch. There is a bar at the end of the room that had a few people sitting there, but I'm not sure if or how they are getting around the new alcohol laws preventing the sale of alcohol before 5 pm on weekdays. There was another room off the bar that looked more of a restaurant style set up but I didn't venture back there for a peek. Instead I camped out on a couch with my book trying to ignore the goings on of the Nigerians soap stars across the room.

Savannah: The Coffee Lounge

While I usually gravitate to Java House out of convenience and their more expansive menu, I definitely prefer Savannah's atmosphere and drink selections. I hadn't made it over to Savannah since I returned to Nairobi a mere month ago and took the opportunity to meet some friends there prior to an evening play showing just a few blocks away. Despite the fact that a ketchup bottle exploded all over my friend and myself and the waitstaff was more concerned with mopping up the table rather than bringing us napkins to clean up, the bitings and smoothies were good.

11 February 2011

Mika Cafeteria

As I've completely given up on most Kenyans pronouncing my name correctly, I have resorted to going by Me-kah. So when my work colleague told me the local cafeteria was named that I knew I had to try it. On days that I don't hit up the street vendor outside the office for a 50 bob (~$0.65) fruit salad, you can find me grabbing a quick bite here.

Location: Hurlingham, it's on Argwings Kodhek between Rose Avenue and Woodlands in Roughton Plaza, across from Jabavu House and below Blue Nile Ethiopian Restaurant, next to a chemist (it's very much a hole in the wall and I had never noticed it before having it pointed out to me)
Price: "mini" meals start at 80 KSH (~$1) and larger portions are about 120 KSH (~$1.50)
Atmosphere: orderly (A strange term for a restaurant I know, but it's hard to describe.  The staff is polite and efficient but it's not somewhere you would necessarily linger.)

10 February 2011


Artcaffe is usually where my friends end up when we can't think of anywhere else to go.  We always stake out a spot on the patio and some of my friends (you know who you are) have been known to camp out there for hours on end.  You would think this would be a problem for the waitstaff, but they are surprisingly lenient with large groups and people loitering with their computers using the free wifi.

Location: Westgate Mall in Westlands, Village Market in Muthaiga, Galleria in Karen, Junction Mall
Price: entrees start around 500 KSH (~$6.25)
Atmosphere: bustling, laidback, Western style cafe

04 February 2011


Sankara is Nairobi's newest luxury hotel and is conveniently located near many restaurants and bars in the Westlands entertainment district.  The rooftop pool has a great view of the skyline and is a relaxing spot to hang on Sunday afternoon. 
Photo credit: sankara.com
Location: Westlands- Waiyaki Way at Woodvale Grove down the street from Gipsy's
Price: 290 KSH ( ~$3.60) local beers and wine "starts" at 300 KSH (~ $3.75) per glass
Atmosphere: hoity toity