What did the giraffe eat at 11am? Brunch. Get it?… Don’t worry, I’m not quitting my day job anytime soon. Today, that job is telling you about brunch in Nairobi.
Brunching is a popular weekend activity here. And in a city with so many restaurants, your options are endless.
Hoping to treat that hangover with some syrup laden pancakes or waffles? Or maybe you just want to catch up with friends over some good food, music, and late morning cocktails.
This is a list of the best spots you should check out across Nairobi.
Kilimani, Lavington, & Kilieshwa
Pallet Café, Lavington
You’ll go to Pallet Café for the food and stay for the serene environment. Besides the great dishes, this café boasts of a green, spacious garden. The vibe is laid back making it perfect for brunch in Nairobi.
The café is also popular for being one of the few food establishments in Kenya that hires differently-abled persons; several of their staff members are hearing-impaired.
Chekafe is a simple, laid-back Japanese restaurant in a big garden with a simple menu that’s dedicated to quality Japanese cuisine – and incredible coffees.
Try their Nattō- traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. Their ramen dishes are also a big hit and pocket-friendly, going for 1,000 Kshs a bowl.
I recommend Chekafe as an option for brunch in Nairobi especially if you are looking for some peace and quiet.
Java House, Lavington
Java House cafes may not seem like the best places for brunch in Nairobi. They’re usually busy, loud, dark, and not exactly endearing to spending a lazy afternoon with friends.
But the Lavington branch is the exception for one reason: the 2nd-floor balcony is bathed in sunlight throughout the morning, with fresh air aplenty, and while the car park below isn’t much of a view, it’s great for people watching.
I’ve spent many a Sunday morning at Java House Lavington, slowly making my way through a big breakfast and tasty cappuccinos. And if you’re feeling super lazy, there’s a giant leather couch just inside to plop down on and snooze the day away.
The Social House
The Social House describe themselves as having unusual cuisines, unexpected events, and unorthodox interiors…basically different, but in a great way. I’m happy to say they live up to it.
The hotel has four different restaurants; INCA, a rooftop restaurant specializing in Peruvian cuisine, Copper, a French restaurant, The Other Room which offers meals prepared with farm-to-table ingredients, and The Living Room, a 24-hour cafe bar and coffee roastery.
Best part? You can brunch by the pool.
Karen & Langata
Tin Roof, Karen
Being at Tin Roof Café feels like being home. It might have something to do with the cozy farm style look, the small round tables and simple chairs spruced up with colourful cushions.
The place is quiet, and the greenery lends the entire space a very relaxed feel. It’s a great place to relax after a long night. They even have a massive bookshelf; you can get some reading done over a nice hot beverage.
So much about brunch is about catching up about last night with friends, but sometimes you just want to eat alone. When the solo mood strikes, head on over to Tin Roof.
Hemingways is an exclusive boutique hotel far from the bustle of central Nairobi.
Picture this, a table on the terrace, beside a fountain and manicured lawns, scrumptious meals, amazing jazz, and limitless prosecco.
Yes, you read that right, every Sunday from 12-3pm they offer brunch buffet and all the prosecco you can drink over live jazz music. This goes for Ksh 6,100 for adults and Ksh 3,400 for children between 4-8 yrs.
This is a classy spot and I’d recommend it as a great option for when you’re looking for places for brunch in Nairobi.
Nairobi locals visit Cultiva for a fine dining experience. But the place itself is rustic and has a farm style aesthetic that offsets the formality of their food. It’s a lovely place for dinner but an amazing place to visit for brunch as well.
They open daily at 12 pm and since they emphasize on only using organic, locally sourced ingredients, their menu changes regularly based on the available ingredients.
Their food presentation and attention to detail on their meals makes them very Instagram worthy. Believe me, the food tastes just as good as it looks.
CJ’s @ The Waterfront Mall
CJ’s is a lovely modern space with stunning interior décor. They have a huge, sweeping seating area so it’s a great spot if you have a large group. The serene environment makes it one of the most comforting places to spend brunch in Nairobi.
They have an extensive menu with various international cuisines. While they don’t offer any alcoholic drinks on their menu, you can have refreshing lemonades and mocktails.
Pallet Café, Gigiri
Just like their sister branches in Lavington and Thigiri Ridge, Pallet Café, Gigiri offers a great brunch experience with their food and relaxed atmosphere.
Unlike their sister branches though, they have live music every Sunday from 2pm.
Sop up the pain of a liquor filled night with some carbo-loading meals from their eclectic menu. It features an array of breakfast dishes, burgers, and their signature healthy zoodle dishes.
The River Cafe @ Karura Forest
Internal link: https://www.livinginnairobi.com/karura-forest-nairobi/
The River Café is located inside the Karura Forest. In fact, they are the only restaurant inside the forest.
The venue is beautiful with a large seating area covered by a very high roof, open on all sides. It really feels like you are still connected with nature.
The best part is that you can integrate some physical activities before you sit down for your meals. It’s the perfect place to enjoy brunch after walking the trails or taking a bike ride.
ArtCaffe The Oval
This ArtCaffe is located on the ground floor of The Oval building. They have a huge outdoor patio with tables and lounge seating.
It’s a favourite for many people when it comes to brunch in Nairobi because of their generous portions and flavourful meals.
It’s an extremely reliable spot, their menu has something for everyone. If you have a sweet tooth, ArtCaffe does amazing pastries. There’s a pastry display case on the counter that’s sure to leave your mouth watering.
K1 Klubhouse is famous for their Sunday brunches. It’s ideal if you want a boozy brunch in Nairobi. In fact, the popular spot has a new take on brunch. They’re calling it drunch- drinking and lunch.
Drinks here are priced well, so if getting day drunk between breakfast and lunch sounds fun, you should check them out. Their food is great too.
It’s great for large groups, you can sit on the long table underneath colourful umbrellas.
Their Sunday flea market where you can browse and buy some local crafts, clothes, jewellery, and plants is a huge draw. It gets very busy, you should arrive early enough to find a spot.
Wasp & Sprout
From using tin cans as plant pots, mismatched seat covers made of traditional African prints, to sisal woven lamp shades, Wasp and Sprout is the definition of shabby chic.
They are a fun spot for brunch in Nairobi. From their brunch menu you’re able to enjoy brunch drinks from as little as Ksh 500.
What’s brunch without eggs? Wasp and Sprout capitalize on the versatility of eggs. They fry, scramble, poach, and whatever else floats your boat, they’ll accommodate.
Shamba Cafe sits on lush gardens in Loresho, and the restaurant has been built to resemble farm barns.
It’s a great place to go with your friends for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Their brunch menu includes drinks like mimosas and espresso martini. Their main courses include American pancakes or waffles and eggs benedict.
There’s plenty of open ground so if you do go with your children, they have plenty of space to play on the grass.
CJ’s Coffee House
Few people associate Nairobi CBD with ‘relaxing’ or ‘brunch.’ But if you find yourself here on a Saturday or Sunday morning, exploring the CBD’s many excellent museums and art galleries, make sure you stop by CJ’s for some food and drinks.
The first thing you’ll notice is the striking decor. While it doesn’t look like much from the outside, CJ’s interior is a gorgeous mix of intricate metalwork and vaulted ceilings, draped in sunlight shining through the wall clear glass windows and a glass rooftop.
The massive food and drinks menu is equally impressive and will satisfy any craving. Whether brunch means gorging on comfort food and cake, or giant healthy salads, CJs will fulfill your culinary needs.
Mawimbi Seafood Restaurant
Mawimbi is a fine dining restaurant and café located in the heart of the city. Seafood is the focal point of their kitchen, but they have plenty of other options in their brunch buffets.
Despite its location in the middle of the CBD, their aesthetic is designed to emulate a tropical vacation, you will almost forget the bustle that is the city centre.
It’s a great option if you don’t want to go to the outskirts of Nairobi.
Finally, whether it’s Saturday brunch to gear up for the night ahead, Sunday brunch for relaxing or even a weekday brunch just for some time off, we hope you find a spot from the places above.
Now, let’s try this one more time, why did the bacon laugh? Because the egg cracked a yolk. No? My jokes might not be a hit, but my recommendations for where to have brunch in Nairobi will. When they do, please review your best spot in the comments below.