23 Best Cafes in Nairobi

23 Best Cafes in Nairobi

Coffee is at the heart of Nairobi‘s culture, and the city is home to some of the best cafes in Kenya. Whether you are an avid coffee drinker or just looking for a cozy spot to enjoy a hot beverage, there is a cafe for everyone. From trendy specialty coffee shops to unique themed cafes, Nairobi’s vibrant coffee scene has it all. In this article, we will highlight the top cafes in Nairobi.

The Vibrant Coffee Scene in Nairobi

For many years, coffee has been an essential part of Nairobi‘s culture. The city has a rich history in coffee production, and many Kenyans enjoy drinking coffee throughout the day. In recent years, specialty coffee shops have emerged, offering unique blends and brewing methods to coffee enthusiasts. These cafes have introduced new flavors and techniques that have revolutionized the coffee scene in Nairobi.

The History of Coffee Culture in Nairobi

Coffee was first introduced to Kenya in the late 19th century by British colonizers. The crop started gaining popularity in Nairobi in the 1930s, and by the 1940s, it was one of Kenya’s top export products. Today, coffee remains an essential part of Kenyan culture, and it is commonly consumed in social settings, especially in cafes.

Nairobi’s coffee culture is deeply rooted in the city’s history. The coffee plantations on the outskirts of the city are a testament to the industry’s long-standing presence in the region. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafts through the streets, drawing locals and tourists alike to the many cafes that dot the city.

As a result of its long history in coffee production, Nairobi has become a hub for coffee enthusiasts from all over the world. Visitors can take tours of coffee farms and learn about the process of growing and harvesting coffee beans. They can also attend coffee-tasting events and workshops to learn about the different brewing methods and flavor profiles.

The Rise of Specialty Coffee Shops

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the number of specialty coffee shops in Nairobi. These cafes focus on sourcing high-quality coffee beans, often from small-scale farmers in Kenya, and using unique brewing methods to bring out the best flavors. Some of the brewing methods used in Nairobi’s specialty coffee shops include pour-over, siphon, and cold brew.

One of the most popular specialty coffee shops in Nairobi is Artcaffe. Founded in 2008, Artcaffe has become a household name for coffee lovers in the city. The cafe offers a wide variety of coffee blends and brewing methods, as well as delicious pastries and sandwiches. Another popular spot is Pete’s Coffee, which is known for its cozy atmosphere and friendly staff.

Specialty coffee shops in Nairobi have also become a hub for creatives and entrepreneurs. Many of these cafes offer free Wi-Fi and comfortable seating, making them the perfect spot for remote workers and students. Some coffee shops even host events and workshops, providing a space for people to come together and share ideas.

1. Book-themed cafes

If you’re a book lover, you’ll feel right at home in one of Nairobi’s book-themed cafes. These cafes offer a unique atmosphere, with shelves of books available for customers to read while they enjoy their coffee or tea. One such cafe is Bookstop Cafe, located in the heart of Nairobi’s CBD. The cafe is a popular spot for students and professionals alike, with its cozy atmosphere and extensive book collection. Another great option is Bookpoint Cafe, located in Westlands. This cafe offers a similar atmosphere, with a wide selection of books and a cozy reading nook.

2. Art-inspired cafes

If you’re an art lover, you’ll want to check out Kuona Trust Art Cafe. Located in the up-and-coming neighborhood of Kilimani, this cafe is set in a vibrant art gallery environment. The cafe offers a range of coffee and tea options, as well as baked goods and light bites. The cafe’s interior is decorated with unique artwork, making it a great spot for a creative afternoon. In addition to the cafe, Kuona Trust also hosts a range of art events and exhibitions, making it a great spot for art enthusiasts.

3. Eco-friendly cafes

If you’re passionate about sustainability and eco-friendliness, you’ll want to visit Eco Cafe. This unique cafe focuses on using eco-friendly materials in its construction and decor. The cafe offers a range of organic and fair-trade coffee and tea options, as well as a food menu that includes vegetarian and vegan options. The cafe’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its menu, with initiatives like composting and recycling. If you’re looking for a guilt-free coffee experience, Eco Cafe is the place to be.


Best Cafes in Nairobi

Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, is famous for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and delicious food. But what makes Nairobi truly special is its thriving cafe scene. From cozy neighborhood spots to trendy hangouts, Nairobi has something for everyone. Here are some additional details about each of the top ten must-visit cafes in Nairobi:

1. Artcaffe

With multiple locations across Nairobi, Artcaffe is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. In addition to its delicious coffee and food options, Artcaffe also offers a wide range of alcoholic beverages, making it a great spot for a night out. The cafe’s interior design is inspired by European cafes, with comfortable seating and warm lighting.


2. Java House

Founded in 1999, Java House is one of the oldest and most well-known cafe chains in Nairobi. The cafe’s menu features a mix of international and local cuisine, with options ranging from burgers and fries to traditional Kenyan dishes like ugali and sukuma wiki. Java House also has a loyalty program that rewards customers with discounts and freebies.


3. Wasp & Sprout

Located in the quiet neighborhood of Loresho, Wasp & Sprout is a hidden gem that’s worth seeking out. The cafe’s interior is decorated with plants and vintage furniture, giving it a cozy, eclectic vibe. Wasp & Sprout also hosts events like live music performances and art exhibitions, making it a great spot for creative types.


4. The Alchemist Bar

If you’re looking for a place to unwind after a long day, The Alchemist Bar is the perfect spot. The cafe’s outdoor seating area is surrounded by trees and plants, creating a peaceful oasis in the middle of the city. The Alchemist Bar also hosts regular events like open mic nights and movie screenings.


5. Connect Coffee Roasters

As its name suggests, Connect Coffee is all about building connections. The cafe’s staff is passionate about educating customers about the coffee-making process and the importance of sustainability. Connect Coffee also offers barista training courses for aspiring coffee professionals.


6. Tin Roof Café

Nestled in the leafy suburb of Karen, Tin Roof Café is a charming spot that feels like a home away from home. The cafe’s menu features a mix of classic and contemporary dishes, with options ranging from avocado toast to bangers and mash. Tin Roof Café also has a small shop that sells handmade crafts and souvenirs.


7. The Arbor

Tucked away in the quiet suburb of Lavington, The Arbor is a peaceful retreat that’s perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon. The cafe’s outdoor seating area is surrounded by trees and flowers, creating a serene atmosphere. The Arbor also hosts events like yoga classes and meditation sessions.


8. Pointzero Coffee

Founded by a group of coffee enthusiasts, Pointzero Coffee is all about quality and sustainability. The cafe’s menu features a range of specialty coffee drinks, as well as healthy food options like smoothie bowls and salads. Pointzero Coffee also has a small shop that sells coffee beans and brewing equipment.


9. The River Café

One of the biggest urban forests in the world, Karura Forest, contains The River Café. It is an outdoor, all-day dining establishment with expansive views of the forest, spacious interiors, and tall ceilings. It is straightforward and warm, with a menu that makes the most of Kenya’s excellent food. There is an all-day breakfast option on the menu, which is continental cuisine à la carte. 


10. Geco Café

Breakfast on Mbaazi Avenue at Geco Café is simply wonderful. There is a strong sense of community at Geco Café, which has been wonderful for both locals and foreign customers. Since it first opened in 2017, the area has gradually attracted more attention. It has evolved into a combination of all the things that draw people to Nairobi in the first place: a workstation, sort of a library, coffee shop, bar, and live venue all in one.


11. Bao Box

Bao started as a board game café. After 5 years of bringing people from all walks of life together to bond over board games, comedy shows, quiz nights, and even Dirty Bingo, they decided it was time to move beyond the past and into the future to foster even stronger social bonds. Their Kenyan background is deeply ingrained in all the activities, decorations, and events at the venue, which still adheres to our original concept. 


12. News Cafe Sarit Centre

A modern cafe/bar chain serving breakfast, coffee, and drinks is called News Cafe Sarit Center.


13. Lava Latte

Lava Latte is the ideal neighborhood café; it is a modest coffee business tucked away in a peaceful corner on Statehouse Road. The service is laid-back, artistic, and quite confident, matching the coffee selection and the good meals. To establish a cozy, rustic coffee shop that is ideal for both relaxing with friends while enjoying wonderful cuisine or working all day while enjoying their delectable beverages, its owners wanted to combine their love for coffee and beautiful settings. 


14. Pallet Cafe

In 2018, Pallet Cafe opened its first location in Lavington, tucked away in a sizable beautiful garden directly across from Lavington Mall on James Gichuru Drive. The goal is to give deaf people employment opportunities. The restaurants’ design philosophy centers on sustainability, upcycling, and reuse.


15. Kesh Kesh Coffee Roasters & Cafe

They have over 14 years of experience and are certified coffee specialists at Kesh Kesh Coffee Roasters & Cafe. Our coffee is meticulously sourced, roasted, and packaged by their team of experts to guarantee that it satisfies the strictest moral and ethical requirements. They take great pride in promoting a product that they support.


16. Matbronze Cafe

Numerous works of art, particularly sculptures made of bronze, as well as other crafts, paintings, and sketches, have been placed as decor in Matbronze Cafe’s homey setting. The garden is really quaint and well-kept, and it has a section designated for “work areas” for mobile workers. For a more private gathering, there are also lovely tents in the yard. It is a hidden gem that only offers the best options from the cuisine served at Matbronze Cafe. 


17. Cafe Kaya

Cafe Kaya offers a journey through every bite. They are located in Viking House, on the second floor, in Westlands. Additionally, they provide you with literature and games to do while relaxing and waiting for the lovely food they serve.


18. Barista & Co.

The family-run company Barista & Co. was founded in 2016 to provide coffee at events. To have complete control over the procedure, they opened a coffee roastery in 2018. After carefully hand-roasting the coffee, they use a precise scientific brewing method to guarantee that every cup of coffee they serve is unique. Their coffees come from co-ops and estates all around Kenya.


19. Kista Caffè – Banda Street

Kista Caffè’s motto is “Premium Coffee For Great Conversations”. Additionally, coworking is a wonderful option here. You can enjoy an environment that is perfect for working in, as well as wonderful meals and drinks to keep you energized throughout the day.


20. Thorn Tree Cafe 

According to legend, the Thorn Tree Cafe served as a temporary post office for travelers who left letters pinned to its trunk. “Tree mail” continues to exist, and at the crossroads of Africa, the Thorn Tree Cafe thrives. The café has served as the ideal gathering spot and provides a spectacular eating experience in the heart of the city’s commercial sector.


21. Calix Cafe

A skilled chef prepares excellent meals at the trendy Calix Cafe. Currently a new gem in South C, this establishment serves a wide range of wonderful items, from snacks to excellent coffee.


22. Traventure Cafe

Traventure Cafe in Nairobi is a serene and inviting cafe located in the Gigiri area. Known for its top-notch service, this beautiful little restaurant offers a great dining experience. One of the remarkable aspects of Traventure Cafe is that it employs 70% deaf people.  The food at Traventure Cafe is delicious and reasonably priced, making it a popular choice among locals and visitors alike.


23. Zarda Café

In the Ngara Shopping Complex on Ngara Road in Ngara, Nairobi, there is a Swahili restaurant called Zarda Café, which prepares meals according to traditional Swahili cuisine. They provide delivery and seat-in services. Additionally, they deliver through Glovo and Bolt Food. As you enjoy tasty Swahili snacks, they play enjoyable Swahili music in the background to set a pleasant mood. Whether it’s breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, Zarda Café is a great place to visit!


Closing Thoughts on the Best Cafes in Nairobi

In conclusion, Nairobi’s coffee scene is diverse and exciting, with many amazing cafes to visit. Whether you’re a coffee enthusiast or just looking for a cozy spot to relax, Nairobi’s themed cafes offer something for everyone. So why not explore the city’s unique cafes and discover your new favorite spot?

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