KENYA Part II: Eat and Dance in Nairobi
My last post about Nairobi gives you an overview about what to do and visit: Kenya Part I Destination for 2017: Nairobi
But what about eating and dancing in this city? As I have been asked many times for some recommendations, I decided to write this article for all of you traveling to Kenya soon.
What/where to eat:
Ugali is one of the traditional dishes in Kenya and in most of the countries in Africa and it´s relatively inexpensive (sometimes it has different regional names like Nsima, Pap, etc). It’s made of maize flour and is sometimes mixed with cassava flour and then is cooked in a boiling liquid (water or milk). It´s normally eaten with the right hand and mixed together with a sauce or stew of vegetables or meat.
I don’t like it that much but you should try it for yourself. By the way, you should definitely try it with sauce. Never alone. Otherwise it tastes like nothing. Haha 🙂
For breakfast try porridge (also called Uji), made from ground maize. It will warm you up and keep you satisfied for a while. I had it every day in Tanzania while climbing the Kilimanjaro and it was really helpfull.
- You could go to the Ranalo foods restaurant on the Kimathi street if you are definitely looking for local and very cheap food in the city center.
- I also went to the Sagret Hotel Equatorial for lunch. There it is real Africa. All about meat, sausages, more meat and more sausages, haha. You can choose what meat you want on your plate before they cook it. Apart from the meat I also tried Kienyenji (food made of corn and potatoes) and I really loved it.
- You can visit the Carnivore restaurant. It´s a turistic place famous for the wide variety of meat (zebra, giraffe, crocodrile, etc) and they have an all-you-can-eat meat buffet. Address: Langata Rd, Nairobi 00200. Oppening times: 10:00 – 15:00, 18:00 – 21:00. Sometimes you need a reservation in advance: +254 733 611608. I didn´t go to this restaurant but I went to the Carnivore in Johannesburg. It´s pretty much the same. You should try it.
- I also went to the restaurant at the Kempinski Hotel in Nairobi and ordered a really tasty fish plate. The hotel is nice and sometimes they have live music in the bar. Prices are not the cheapest one but the place is very good. Apparently it is the restaurant where Mr. President Obama had dinner when he last time visited Nairobi.
- Amaica Restaurant is located in Nairobi Westlands and serves exclusively authentic Western Kenya cuisines. Unfortunately I didn´t go there but I will go when I return to Kenya next time. Nevertheless I think you should try it because this restaurant won the Chefs Delight Awards 2012 for best in Kenyan Cuisine in the individual restaurant category and it was also nominated for Taste Awards 2015. Address: Peponi Rd, Nairobi City, Kenia, Phone: +254 724 477663, open from 9:00am till 11:00 pm
- Kogelo Restaurant is another recommendation from a friend that I will try next time when I´m around. It is a good place for real Kenyan food and cheaper prices. It is located at Timboroa Lane in Nairobi.
- For low budges there are also food courts everywhere with all different kinds of food from African to Thai cuisine and affordable prices, i.e. at the Village Market, the Westlands Mall, etc. You can try the Swahili Plate at the Westlands Mall for some local food (prices here between 5-10$). I love the mango juice 🙂
- There are also plenty of restaurants offering international cuisines. I tried Ethiopian because I love Ethiopian food and I also tried Somalian food for the first time in my life. Here are the restaurants I tried:
- Somalian restaurant: Cafe Pronto. It´s located on Standard street and it´s open from 6am till 9pm.
- Ethiopian restaurant: Damera restaurant & Club located on the ground floor of the Green House near to Adams Arcade on Ngong Road. Opening times: 11am – 2am.
There are, of course, many other restaurants in Nairobi. This is just a short list of some of those places.
But now…I have to talk about my other passion: dancing Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba (note that they also play merengue in Kenya).
Where can you dance in Nairobi?:
Here is a list for you (please note that I´m talking about Salsa, Kizomba, Bachata and Merengue):
1) Tuesdays at Hidden Agenda (Sarit Centre, Westlands) – party from 8pm;
2) Wednesdays at Brew Bistro (Ngong Road) from 8pm;
3) Thursdays at Brew Bistro (Fortis Towers, Westlands) from 7.30pm;
4) Thursdays at 24/7 Lounge (City Centre) from 7.30pm (Kizomba party);
5) Fridays at Artcaffe Oval (Westlands) from 8pm;
6) Fridays at Metro Lounge (on Koinange street in the City Centre) from 8pm;
7) Saturdays at 680 Hotel (on Kenyatta Avenue in the City Centre) from 8pm;
8) Saturdays at Slims restaurant from 9pm (Kizomba party)
9) Sundays at 24/7 Lounge (City Centre) from 7.30pm;
10) Sundays at Sankara Hotel (Westlands) from 8pm; (this is a new places that started in September 2016)
11) Bonus: Awesome monthly parties at Caramel Lounge (ABC Place, Westlands), usually on first Saturday of the month from 9pm
Except 2 and 5, all the rest have classes before the party begins, in case you are interested in taking some lessons.
Numbers 2, 3, 5 and 10 have live music.
Apart from these weekly salsa parties you also have the Salsafari Festival once a year. In 2016 the festival took place from 3-10 August. Dates for 2017 will be confirmed soon. Check the website www.salsafarifestival.com.
Clubbing in Nairobi:
If you are looking to go clubbing (not salsa) then I could recommend to you 2 clubs that I visited with my friends when I was there: Ignition and Black Diamond. I still remember 2 things from these clubbing nights apart from dancing and drinking: I remember going out of the clubs around 5 or 6 am and eating on the streets some kind of home boiled eggs fulled of tomatoes. It actually tasted good apart from the fact that eggs and sausages were the only food we could find around there at that time. We couldn’t stop laughing about it „2 eggs and one sausage“ what a combination, haha. And I remember dancing at the Black Diamond club around 5am when suddently the lights went of, haha, blackout at the club. We stayed there drinking, talking and even singing with candle lights waiting fort the electricity to come back until we decided it was better to go home. But at least we used this last hour to drink and tell us funny stories, haha. Because this is Africa 😉
Here are some dancing pictures taken at the parties during the Salsafari Festival in August 2016:
I’m definitely planning to go back to Kenya. Hopefully next year for the Salsafari Festival 😉
Hope these recommendations can help you with your traveling and dancing plans in Nairobi 🙂
More about Kenia:
Part III: Sightseeing around Nairobi (coming soon)
Enjoy it and stay tuned!!! 🙂