Meat features prominently in the Kenyan cuisine. The national dish is called nyama choma, which means barbecued meat – usually goat or sheep – this is commonly served with ugali – a dough mainly made with maise flour rolled into a ball and kachumbari – a salad dish of chopped tomatoes, onions and chilli peppers. Head to Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi to see it done properly.

A local freshwater fish tilapia is popular inland and on the coast seafood curries, fish and rice are on the menu.

Indian & Middle Eastern dishes feature especially in Nairobi & Mombasa.

Local specialities:

  • Mandazi (fried dough ball a bit like a doughnut)
  • Sukuma Wiki (a spinach-like leaf served on the side, usually with meat or stew)
  • Biryani (a bit like an Indian Biryani – rice based stew with a kick!)
  • Matoke (cooked banana)

Tipping is optional – hotels & restaurants tend to add a service charge.



The Kenyan beer industry is thriving and the three local brews are Tusker, White Cap and Pilsner for a more traditional tipple try Uki – a beer made with honey. Save money by buying beer in the supermarket.

For something stronger try Kenya Cane – the local spirit distilled from sugar cane or Changaa made from Maize.

Chai is tea with mile & sugar and coffee is kahawa.

Local wine tends to originate from Naivasha, however South African imported wine is readily available.

Legal drinking age is 18



Don’t drink it from the tap, buy some bottled water and make sure it is properly sealed.

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