12 Best Restaurants in Kenya

Ali Barbour's Cave Restaurant

$$$$ Fodor's choice

Considered the best restaurant at Diani Beach, this unique venue is in a naturally formed coral cave deep underground lit by candles and lanterns; it's definitely worth the splurge for the experience and ambience. Seafood is the main cuisine; you can't go wrong with the coconut salad with prawns, crab, and calamari, but you can also dine on French food such as steak with béarnaise sauce or roast duck. The wine list is also extensive, and there's a shuttle bus that will pick up and drop off people staying in the Diani Beach area. No children under six are allowed. 

Ali Barbour's Rd., Diani Beach, Kwale, 80401, Kenya
Known For
  • unusual and romantic setting
  • superb food and service
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No lunch, Reservations essential, Smart casual; no shorts or hats


$$$$ | Nyali Fodor's choice

A signature house cocktail—a dawa made of lime, vodka, honey, and crushed ice—will introduce you to a memorable meal and unforgettable experience at the best restaurant in town. Overlooking a creek flowing into the sea, the restaurant is designed like an old Moorish palace with high arches and tiled floors, and the sunsets from here are breathtaking. If you love seafood, you'll be in heaven; try the oysters and garlic prawns. You can also take a lunch- or dinner-dhow cruise ($75 for a four-course set menu) around Tudor Creek and soak up some sun and sea air by day, or watch the moon rise over the town by night, as a live band makes the food and endless drinks go down even better. The restaurant's Clifftop Terrace is a stylish sushi and cocktail bar, which is fantastic for pre-Tamarind dinner drinks, or a casual evening of sushi, ceviche, and cocktails.

Baby Marrow Art & Food Malindi


Malindi's fine-dining option is, naturally, Italian-owned, so you'll be able to sample prosciutto e melone, pizzas, and a variety of pastas (including baby marrow [zucchini] ravioli) alongside such seafood dishes as ginger and black-pepper crab, jumbo prawns, and lobster. Seating is under an attractive thatched roof, or under an enormous tree in the garden, and it's rather romantic at night.

Vasco da Gama Rd., Malindi, Kilifi, 80200, Kenya
Known For
  • Italian fare
  • seafood dishes
  • display of local artworks
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: No credit cards

Recommended Fodor's Video

Blue Room


Serving the best samosas in Mombasa, this family-owned Indian restaurant has been in business for almost 70 years. It seats 140 people, making it one of the largest restaurants in the city and it's a good stop after a hot walk around the Old Town thanks to the whirring ceiling fans and clean restrooms. The menu features more than 65 items of both Western and Indian origin, and its bright, clean interior with tiled floors and plenty of chairs and tables keeps people coming. The curries and Indian vegetarian dishes are especially good, as are the tasty snacks. Try the pizzas, kebabs, pastries, or even fish-and-chips, and the variety of house-made ice-creams are delicious. They have two other outlets at Likoni Mall and on Nkrumah Avenue.



A firm fixture on the tourist trail, Carnivore became famous for serving wild game. Although this is no longer the case, you can still get crocodile and ostrich as well as beef, pork, and lamb. The emphasis, as ever, is firmly on meat, and lots of it, roasted on traditional Maasai swords. Waiters carry the sizzling meat to your table on long skewers and carve whatever you wish onto the cast-iron platters that serve as plates. Only when you offer a little white flag of surrender do they stop carving. As strange as it may seem, there are also many excellent choices for vegetarians. There's an à la carte option if you feel your appetite may not be equal to the set menu.

Diamond Beach Village


Opened in 2000, this eco-lodge is the type of spot where you kick off your shoes when you arrive and don't remember where you left them at the end. The menu has seafood and Swahili bbq, but the delicious wood-fired thin crust pizzas are where it's really at. There's always something happening here, from pizza and film night to international DJs to their epic full moon and Saturday night parties, which make the short speedboat ride from Shela and Lamu Town worth it.

Floating Bar


Floating about a mile off-shore, this traditional wooden dhow is laid back and rustic, with simple wooden furniture and woven floor mats, and it's the spot where you'll find locals and tourists downing cocktails and beers and dancing after hours. If you plan to go for lunch, the go-to meals here are fish/seafood and chips, but you can also find a few Kenyan staples, reflecting the owner's heritage. If you come in the evening, prepare to dance 'til late, and be sure to arrange for pick up or drop off with a speedboat taxi driver beforehand.

Kenyatta Rd., Lamu, Kenya
Known For
  • food and beers are generally affordable
  • only public bar of its kind in Lamu
  • crowd is always lively

Noir Gallery


This space merges an art gallery featuring local and international artists with manicured green lawns complete with a water fountain, live music, and food. In the backyard is a coffee stand by Ethiopian brand, Tomoca coffee, and plenty of areas to sit where customers enjoy dishes like chicken satay or lamb chops with hasselback potatoes. The cocktails average $9 and are named after numbers like the Seven, which has pink gin, pink tonic, strawberry puree, lime and rose water. 

Nomad Beach Bar & Restaurant


The perfect place to spend a few relaxing hours on a low-slung cushioned sofa with a tropical cocktail, Nomad is a luxurious beach bar that overlooks the white sands of Diani. Open all day from breakfast right through to dinner, the menu features the usual popular snacks, sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas, but also has some dishes based on traditional Swahili cooking, plenty of seafood, and even Indian curries and Japanese sushi—there’s something for everyone.

The Old Man & the Sea


Near the fishing jetty, this stylish former Arab house built in the early 1900s is known as one of the best places in town for its fresh seafood. Try the marinated prawns wrapped in smoked sailfish, a Malindi specialty, or the red snapper with a champagne sauce. Dishes like sticky chicken wings or pepper steak will appeal to the carnivores.

Silversand Rd., Malindi, Kilifi, 80200, Kenya
Known For
  • fresh seafood
  • views of fishing dhows
  • good service
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Credit cards accepted

The View at Movenpick


Expect breathtaking 360-degree views of the city, while you dine at this revolving restaurant on the 24th floor of the Movenpick Hotel & Residences. The Mediterranean-inspired menu features an array of seafood, pasta, and soups to choose from; try the antipasti platter for a starter, and the roast pork loin with merlot wine sauce, served with grilled red bell pepper for the main. The tiramisu and lemon tart are an incredible way to end your meal. The hotel's all-day dining restaurant, Baluba, which was relaunched in May 2022, offers an East African and continental cuisine fusion.

Mkungu Close, off Parklands Rd., Nairobi, Nairobi Area, Kenya
Known For
  • centrally located in the Westlands neighborhood
  • panoramic views of the city
  • revolving restaurant
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.

Whispers Coffee Shop


Located in Lamu Town in the same building as the Baraka Gallery (which has a wonderful collection of African art, jewelry, and souvenirs for sale), this upscale café has a pretty, palm-fringed quiet courtyard where you can relax over a cappuccino. There's also a lunch and dinner menu, focusing on salads, pastas, and deli items, or you can order a packed lunch to take away. The house-made ice-creams are good, or try a delicious ice-cold watermelon and mint juice.

Harambee Ave., Lamu, Lamu, 80500, Kenya
Known For
  • delicious ice-cold watermelon and mint juice
  • courtyard setting
  • excellent art gallery and shop
Restaurants Details
Rate Includes: Closed May and June