In Nairobi there are days you leave the house and automatically Ksh. 5,000 leaves your account. It’s disdaining considering how much work you put in to make the money. As a lover of all things food and exploration I try to keep an extra 500 bob for random plots, anything beyond that we need to plan for it.
Here’s my top seven picks of places to visit and spend 500 bob or less per person.
I am one of the few people who had not tried Sno-Cream until last month and I’m wondering where I’ve been all this time. Sno-Cream is opposite University of Nairobi Main Campus and you simply can’t miss it. For any sweet tooth this is definitely a plus to your bucket list if you haven’t been there. If you have it’s definitely worth going back to. Ice cream prices range from as low as 120 bob and if you’re just in for a chocolate dip like me then 170 bob has you covered. The cones are legit not these ones on the street. When planning to head there try going in the evening it has a great vibe, but be aware it’s a pretty popular place so it gets packed. There’s also no fancy sitting spaces or the like it’s just a very chill place older than most of our parents.
2. Mwenda’s Cocktail Pub.
I’ve come around to accepting people derive a lot of fun in alcohol. If you’re a social drinker who doesn’t mind a cocktail with friends this is the place for you. Cocktail prices range from 300 bob to 420 bob and since we’re not out to break the bank one is enough. For a sweet tooth the One Night Stand is great, for alcohol lovers Long Island is the way to go. The contents are also alcoholic enough not these ones that have half a shot and cost an arm and a leg.
Unlike most cocktail joints Mwenda’s doesn’t have a happy hour. It’s the same price all day an night. With the extra 100 bob that remains you can ask for a burger from a chef downstairs who comes towards the evening. You don’t need to go all the way, the waitress will get them for you. Not into cocktails? Shots are 180 bob a cheaper plan B. Mwenda’s is located on the ground floor of Utalii House just past Alliance Francais. It is legendary I understand and if you haven’t been there you are yet to experience Nairobi.
3. Bowling – Village Market
I’ve met quite a few people who haven’t tried bowling because it ‘looks’ expensive. Yes it can be expensive but you just need to know how to maneuver. Bowling is lots of fun. You don’t need to be all great at it, you just need to go there wanting to have a splendid time. To cut on costs don’t go past 5:00 pm from then prices hike to 500 bob going before bowling costs 350 per person. Another hack would be, carry you socks, if you don’t you need to but new ones and no one needs an extra cost. Additionally, dress comfortably, I’ve seen ladies go for bowling in short tight skirts and not enjoy the experience because they wanted to look all cute. Sis, you’re there to have a great time a pair of mum jeans and a cute top will make your life very easy. Final tip, ladies don’t go bowl with long nails, fake nails or acrylics they’ll all break, and we all don’t need that.
Side tip: If you aren’t a bowling fan you can play pool just next to the bowling alley and it costs 200 bob per game. No need to break those nails! To get there take a matatu from either Ngara or Town heading to the Mall. The matutus are diverse either 11F, 106, 107 or 116 depending on where you’re from. Best time to visit is definitely on weekday afternoon but since we all need to work Saturday’s are best during mid-morning hours.
4. Green View Restaurant
This is an all time favorite for me, it never gets old. If you haven’t been here you’re really missing out. It’s located opposite Jamia Mall on the line that has Revlon Plaza. If you’re wondering what to have here for the first time it’s the fish fingers. Their reputation precedes them in all of Nairobi. It goes well with fries, potato wedges, rice and even for some people ugali. Also, they have free lemon water, unlike other places that sell a cup for 50 bob. If you’re on a no soda or juice diet you’ll love the water .(hoping you don’t mind the taste of lemon)
Major hack: the place is old school so cash is king, there’s no lipa na mpesa or till number. Additionally go there either in the mid-morning for an early lunch or late afternoon there’s really no need to get caught up with the lunch hour madness.
5. Museums – Kenya National Archives and Memorial Peace Museum
I love the museums, maybe because I’m very intrigued by history. A few of you on my last post on the Archives said you’ve not been in there. Please give it a shot it’ll cost you less than 100 bob. Plus it’s a great place to go if you’re meeting someone and they run late and you don’t want to stand outside the archives looking lost, confused and like every potential robbers hit. The Archives are just before ambassador you can’t miss it.
Alternatively, you could go to the Memorial Peace Park, entrance is only 30 bob and you can chill there. I’d really advocate you get to the museum, there’s so much to learn for less than 100 bob for citizens. I have a small video click here to see what the museum has to offer. In case you missed the post on these places have a read on the archives and memorial museum.
6. Planet Yogurt
I always thought Planet Yogurt wasn’t the place for me till I had froyo worth 200 bob and I was shook. I wrote a review on it here. It’s a really great spot to hang out and unlike all the places I’ve written on above, it rarely gets packed, mostly because I think everyone thinks it’s expensive. Do give it a try.
Major hack: If you don’t want to spend a lot of money go for the small cup you can spend as little as 200 bob. The medium cup can come up to 500 bob for three different flavors and toppings. Just remember go easy on the machine while squeezing out the frozen yogurt. Branches are in Kimathi Street Nairobi CBD, Galleria Mall Thika Road, Sarit Centre Westlands, Galleria Mall Langata South Road/Karen and Junction Mall Ngong Road.
7. Pork Pit Ruaka
This has been on my bucket list for the past two months. I haven’t been here yet, so I won’t lie about any food from there. I saw a tweet about the place having been over hyped and the meat not being so great but nonetheless I’m willing to try it soon. I have been too invested to give up now.
I saw the menu and for less than 300 bob you have a plate of pork alongside your preferred accompaniment. Follow my Instagram or Facebook Page to see the review as soon as it’s up. So far I know to get there you need take matatu number 106, 107 or 116.
Happy exploring and glorious Eid Ul Fitri to all our Muslim brother and sisters.
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