Top 10 Affordable Restaurants In Nairobi CBD(Nairobi's Hidden Gems 2024)

Explore the top 10 affordable restaurants in Nairobi CBD for a taste of local and international cuisines at great prices

Nov 22, 2023 - 06:55
Nov 22, 2023 - 17:56
Top 10 Affordable Restaurants In Nairobi CBD(Nairobi's Hidden Gems 2024)
Top 10 Affordable Restaurants In Nairobi CBD(Nairobi's Hidden Gems 2024)

Nairobi, Kenya's vibrant capital, is a melting pot of cultures and flavors. The Central Business District (CBD), at the heart of this urban sprawl, offers a delightful array of culinary experiences that cater to all palates and wallets. In a city known for its bustling streets and diverse populace, the importance of finding eateries that combine quality with affordability cannot be overstated. Whether you're a resident, a business traveler, or a tourist exploring the city's sights, the variety of affordable restaurants in Nairobi CBD ensures that everyone can taste the city's diverse culinary offerings without breaking the bank.

As we delve into the heart of Nairobi's gastronomic landscape, we'll uncover hidden gems and popular hotspots. From the traditional flavors of Kenyan cuisine at Mama Oliech and K'Osewe Ranalo Foods to the international tastes offered at Java House and CJ's, this guide promises a journey through the most affordable yet exquisite dining spots in Nairobi's CBD. The eateries we're about to explore are not just food; they're about experiences, ambiance, and the joy of discovering new flavors in the bustling energy of Nairobi. 

 Affordable Restaurants In Nairobi CBD

African Delights: Mama Oliech and K'Osewe Ranalo Foods

Mama Oliech Restaurant

Nestled in Marcus Garvey Road, Kilimani, the Mama Oliech Restaurant has become a beacon for those seeking authentic local flavors. Renowned for hosting dignitaries like former President Obama, this eatery has carved out a niche with its signature dishes, particularly ugali and tilapia. The freshness of the fish and the perfect preparation of ugali make it a must-visit for anyone craving a taste of Kenyan cuisine. It's not just a meal; it's an experience of Kenya's rich culinary heritage​​.

K'Osewe Ranalo Foods

Kenyan/Luo cuisine shines brightly at K'Osewe Ranalo Foods. Located along Kimathi Street, this restaurant is a haven for those looking to indulge in African dishes at great prices. The ambiance speaks of traditional Kenyan hospitality, and the food - a variety of well-prepared, flavorful dishes - reflects the richness of Kenyan culture. Whether you're a fan of tilapia or looking to try ugali for the first time, K'Osewe offers an authentic taste of Kenya in the city's heart​​​​.

International Flavors: Java House and CJ's

Java House

As a popular chain, Java House offers more than just coffee. Known for its king-size samosa and a range of delicious pastries, it's an ideal spot to kick-start your day. The breakfast menu is a highlight, with options like Home Fry Heaven and breakfast burritos that cater to diverse tastes. The warm and welcoming ambiance of Java House and its delectable offerings make it a go-to spot for breakfast lovers in Nairobi CBD​​.


CJ's stands out for its distinctive ambiance and varied menu. With over 300 meticulously chosen menu items, it offers a culinary journey from the heart of Nairobi CBD. Located along Koinange Street, the restaurant's spacious setting, light interior, and quick service enhance the dining experience. Whether you're unwinding after a busy day or seeking a pleasant spot for an evening meal, CJ's diverse menu and cozy environment make it a top choice for affordable dining in the city​​​​​​​​.

Unique Dining Experiences: Art Café and The Branch Restaurant

Art Café

When combining ambiance with dining, Art Café is a masterpiece. Situated in a unique setting, this café offers more than just the day's first meal. The warm and inviting atmosphere is complemented by excellent customer service, and the staff are always ready to guide you through the menu. For those looking for a more private experience, Art Café offers secluded sections perfect for breakfast meetings or quiet gatherings. It's a place where the ambiance enhances the taste, making every visit memorable​​.

The Branch Restaurant

Over on Moi Avenue, near Kenya Cinema, you'll find The Branch Restaurant. This eatery is known for its spaciousness and a menu rich in African and continental cuisines. It's the perfect blend of quality and affordability, making it an ideal spot for casual gatherings or a relaxed meal. The diverse menu ensures something for everyone, whether you're in the mood for traditional African dishes or looking to try something new​​.

Budget-Friendly Options: Nick's Grill and Carnivore Kenya

Nick's Grill

Nick's Grill is the place to go for an affordable family dinner without compromising on quality. Located along Koinange Street, this restaurant offers a variety of tasty breakfast, lunch, and dinner options that won't strain your pocket. The warm and welcoming ambiance adds to the appeal, making it a popular choice for those looking for quality dining at reasonable prices in Nairobi CBD​​​​.

Carnivore Kenya

An all-you-can-eat meat buffet awaits at Carnivore Kenya. Situated in Langata, off Langata Road, this open-air restaurant is a must-visit for meat lovers. Serving a wide variety of meats, including pork, lamb, beef, farmed ostrich, and crocodile, Carnivore Kenya provides a unique dining experience. It's where you can indulge in exquisite meats and enjoy the lively atmosphere, making it a favorite among locals and tourists​​.

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Offbeat Choices: Buffet Park and Roadhouse Grill

Buffet Park

Buffet Park is a culinary treasure trove offering excellent customer service and delicious food at wallet-friendly prices. Known for its extensive buffet selection, this restaurant allows you to savor various dishes to your heart's content. Additionally, it features a bar for those who enjoy pairing their meal with a refreshing beer. Located at Argwings Kodhek Road, Buffet Park is ideal for those looking to enjoy a hearty meal in a relaxed setting​​.

Roadhouse Grill

Roadhouse Grill is an unmissable destination for lovers of Nyama Choma (grilled meat). Situated off Dennis Pritt Road, it ranks among Nairobi's top spots for this Kenyan delicacy. The restaurant is known for its chicken and goat choma dishes, drawing crowds for its delicious offerings. While service might take a while, the wait is worthwhile; as the saying goes, "Good things come to those who wait."

Additional Recommendations (Tripadvisor Picks)

While our list focuses on ten affordable restaurants, Nairobi CBD's culinary scene offers more; Tripadvisor's recommendations like JakoniKilimanjaro JamiaGg's Italian Pizzeria, and others provide additional options for those exploring Nairobi's diverse food landscape. These establishments offer a range of cuisines, from fast food to Italian, adding more flavors to your Nairobi dining adventure​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.


As we wrap up our exploration of the 10 affordable restaurants in Nairobi's Central Business District, it's clear that the city's culinary landscape is as diverse as it is vibrant. From the authentic Kenyan flavors at Mama Oliech and K'Osewe Ranalo Foods to the international cuisines at Java House and CJ's, each restaurant offers a unique dining experience that caters to various tastes and budgets.

In conclusion, Nairobi CBD's affordable dining scene is a testament to the city's rich cultural tapestry, offering a kaleidoscope of flavors catering to locals and visitors. Whether you're a resident of Nairobi or just passing through, these restaurants allow you to dive deep into the city's culinary heart, savoring delicious meals that satisfy your wallet. So, the next time you find yourself in Nairobi's CBD, remember that a world of flavorful, affordable dining experiences awaits you.