10 restaurants reopened in the Nairobi CBD

We’re all learning how to enter outside since Miss Rona seems like she is here to stay. Life has to continue and change is the only permanent thing, thus, we are gradually adapting to the new normal by sanitizing, wearing our masks and keeping social distance.

The government gave a directive back in May that restaurants would reopen upon adhering to protocols such the 1.5 metre rule and ensuring hoteliers are tested.

Truthfully, we will at some point need to leave our houses to meet our friends, family and significant others who we weren’t locked down with, in that case, here’s a few spots currently reopened within the CBD that you could try out. I picked the CBD because it’s central for all. I recommend calling or reaching out on social media before heading there due to limitations in seating space.

1. Cafe Javas (CJ’s)

This was the first place I tried for a breakfast and they definitely brought their A game, you have to wash your hands before entering the premises in the sinks at the door, have your temperature checked and they have observed the 1.5 metre rule. The waiters/waitresses wear masks and face shields together making it very comfortable knowing they will handle your food. They are located on Koinange Street.

Last I checked they hadn’t allowed people to sit upstairs so there’s definitely fewer sitting spaces. Feel free to direct message them on Instagram before heading there to make a reservation.

2. DJC Kitchen

This is currently a personal favorite since I have only been there once before. They also adhere to the social distancing rules and sanitation. The spot is very subtle and the lighting a bit dim, giving a cosy vibe. I wrote on the food here, have a read before you decide. They are located on Emperor plaza on Koinange Street where Dominos pizza used to be.

The restaurant is adopting a Chinese menu and it’s a great place to start if you’re thinking of trying the cuisine. They have a responsive Instagram page here, where you could reach out and make a reservation.

3. Nairobi Java House

I loved that Java still offered deliveries through Uber eats when the restrictions started but what’s even more exciting is they are slowly reopening their branches. They recently announced on their Social Media page that branches such as Kimathi Street were open for sit down meals (here) among others outside the CBD.

Can’t wait to go back here and try a latte with a book at hand looking over the balcony, peacefully and maybe it’ll feel like the good old days.

4. Mint and Salt

I greatly regret not trying out Mint and Salt before, the good news is they reopened last week! Now we have a shot. They are located on Uchumi House Ground floor in the CBD. You can reach out via Instagram (that’s where I got a response since for me my phone calls didn’t go through).

5. Valley Coffee/Shake

We’ve been having quite a relationship with Valley Shake. I loved their fries and bacon, undefeated! But at some point, I think when CJs became the new kids in the block I felt they were letting me down.

However, I had lunch there a few days ago and it was perfect. We seem to be mending our relationship because of that one meal read it here. They have put in place standards as per the government directives. The spot is located on Yala Towers 3rd Floor on the junction of Biashara Street and Koinange Street.

6. Sonford fish and chips

I saw Sonford is open while walking in the CBD and how those fries and kuku slap when you’re having a rough day, and need I mention that cold fanta baridi ile imesweat? Now that the economy is a bit tight since we all don’t have as much disposable income as before, I know this is a safe bet for me. The spot is located on Moi Avenue and suitable for casual dining it’s more of a walk in spot no reservations. With all the love I have for their chicken I am ashamed I can’t trace a picture of it.

7. Kilimanjaro Jamia

This has always been a top spot for me and I eat the same thing every single time. That is the chicken biryani and passion juice. I don’t think anyone beats this place when it comes to affordable swahili dishes. Read here for my past experience.

When they announced they would be reopening I vowed to try more foods because if there’s one thing we have learnt this period is life is too short to not try new things.

The restaurant has two three outlets two jamia’s and one lavish (are they all owned by the same person?) Kilimanjaro Lavish which I’d rate at number three but the most affordable on Kimathi Street, secondly Kilimanjaro Jamia on Kenwood House on Kimathi Street (just opposite) at number two with better tasting food and fairer prices and finally at number one Kilimanjaro Jamia on Hughes Building Banda Street. The prices are slightly higher but the ambiance is better and posh. Their contact is 0796766808 and they deliver via Uber Eats, Jumia Food and Glovo which I did not know before.

8. Artcaffe

I find meals at Artcaffe quite expensive compared to a lot of spots I’ve mentioned here. I prefer getting breakfast from here (read here) as they have lovely croissants (here) and they definitely have more options on drinks for an evening after work. I love that they have branches in town on Kimathi Street and Westminster in Kenyatta Avenue. It’s a great place for meetings and taking all your boujie friends but get ready to dig deeper into your pocket.

9. Kukito

Another spot I regret not trying out, it is located next to Java Kimathi street and I understand it’s part of their franchise. You could refer to it as a boogie Sonford fish and chips. I hear the prices are fair but the portions could be a bit tricky, maybe I’ll try it soon enough and let you guys know. If you have given it a shot please comment below and tell us what to go for.

10. Big Square Kenya

I have slowly been warming up to Big Square over the years, it always looked like that expensive restaurant with small portions that didn’t seem worth it but I’m learning this isn’t the case. I love how well organised their restaurants are, the lighting and soft colors they use and so much more. Read here for the CBD branches located on 680 and Moi Venue and here on drinks. For more on food check here

These are definitely my top ten spots that I have tried or can’t wait to try for more food reviews follow me on Instagram here or Facebook here and never miss a moment. Some favorites mission on the list are Charlie’s Bistro and The Collective who haven’t announce when they’ll reopen in the CBD. We’ll keep waiting. Remember to keep safe have a great week!

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