Kenya: Food Guide - Dining Out

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Kenya Food Guide - Dining Out

With a plentiful supply of natural produce from tropical fruits, fresh vegetables and seafood to a variety of meat ranging from goat to camel, eating in Kenya can be a unique and memorable experience. International cuisine is available in Nairobi and Mombasa, as well as the big hotels. Travellers will mostly encounter simple stews and curries accompanied by rice and potatoes, and the staple Kenyan diet is ugali, a porridge made from maize meal and sukuma wiki, stewed spinach.

Kenya’s unofficial national dish is nyama choma – barbecued meat which is usually purchased by weight and can be goat, chicken, beef and sometimes antelope and zebra. The Carnivore restaurant just outside Nairobi is the most famous nyama choma restaurant in Kenya, with locals, expats and tourists, and has been voted among the 50 best restaurants in the world. In Westlands, the centre of Nairobi’s Indian the Haandi restaurant, regarded as the best Indian restaurant in Kenya serving a selection of vegetable curries and tandoori dishes.

For fresh fish, the lakeside fish-fry shanties in Kisumu on Lake Victoria offers an authentic experience of eating with the locals, and the Florence Restaurant in Kisumu is the best place to eat Nile perch. In the coastal resorts, the Swahili cuisine can be found with rice-based dishes of pilau and biriyani. Fresh seafood is abundant and the Ali Barbour Cave Restaurant at Diani beach is a unique sophisticated establishment built into a coral cave serving an excellent selection of seafood dishes. Overlooking the old harbour in Mombasa is the Tamarind restaurant, more expensive, but situated in a beautiful Moorish building with an open Swahili-style terrace, where crab and lobster are the main events.