Much like their countries’ cultures, Eritrean and Ethiopian food is rich, colourful, and distinctive. Admit it, your mouth is watering just thinking about it right? Now you’re thinking, where can I get some in Nairobi? Worry not, we’ve got you.
This is a quick guide to the best Ethiopian restaurants in Nairobi. We love them for their great customer reviews, the ambiance and of course their extensive menus. They’re also located all over the city, so you have options.
So, grab your friends and family or do a solo trip to one of these spots and thank us later.
RECOMMENDED: Our full guide to the best restaurants in Nairobi.
Kilimani is home to many expats and tourists – including a large Ethiopian community. As a result, the neighbourhood is very diverse and offers a wide range of cultural restaurants serving up diverse cuisines. It’s also home to a number of incredible Ethiopian restaurants.
Habesha takes you on an authentic Ethiopian and Eritrean culinary journey with their affordable, wide array of dishes. We love it for the rustic feel provided by the old, house style restaurant. They serve generous portions so we would recommend you visit with a friend or two.
The restaurant is quite spacious and has adequate seating. If you want some privacy while you eat, the restaurant has separate, smaller huts referred to as bandas by the locals where you can ask to be seated.
Vegetarians fear not, their menu caters for you as well.
The restaurant is in Arwings Kodhek road in Hurlinghum.
Fun fact, Kesh Kesh is an Eritrean word referring to the motion of coffee roasting during the Eritrean traditional coffee ceremony. From their name, you might think Kesh Kesh Coffee Roastery and Cafe is just one of the best coffee joints in Nairobi, it is not.
Kesh Kesh doesn’t disappoint when it comes to their Eritrean and Ethiopian food. They offer one of Ethiopia and Eritrea’s famous meals, Shiro. It is a delicious chickpea powder-based dish slow cooked in the region’s popular and spicy red berbere sauce.
The ambiance here is chic, and they have great lighting. They have an indoor area and an outdoor terrace. If you are looking for a quiet, comfortable place in Kilimani to work from or hold a meeting, you should try them out.
The restaurant is in Timau plaza on Arwings Kodhek road.
Westlands is considered one of the more affluent areas and is a mix of commercial and residential neighbourhoods. It is one of the best social and entertainment centers in the city and is also home to some of the most popular Ethiopian restaurants in Nairobi.
Abyssinia is a calm, relaxed spot perfect for a casual dine in. Of course, the big pull is their authentic Ethiopian food, but Nairobians also rave about the friendly and efficient service.
Their house specialty is Kitfo. This meal consists of minced raw beef, marinated in mitmita (a chilli powder-based spice blend) and niter kibbeh (a clarified butter infused with herbs and spices).
This place is suitable for a large group. They have outdoor seating if you’d like to enjoy the cool Nairobi breeze as you have your meal.
They are in Brookside Grove, Westlands.
Another great place to check out while in this part of town is Asmara, Westlands. They have a wide range of Eritrean and Ethiopian vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The restaurant is one of the best Ethiopian restaurants in Nairobi that offers a classy fine dining experience.
Awash prides itself as one of the oldest restaurants in Nairobi having been in the food business for over 30 years. It is a quaint, cozy restaurant if you are looking to have an intimate meal.
They carry most of the common Ethiopian dishes on their menu. Their menu is available online so you can browse before you get there to save some time when ordering.
It is one of the few Ethiopian restaurants in Nairobi South and does tend to get a bit busy most days.
They are located on Mbaruk Road.
Karen is a leafy suburb located southwest of Nairobi’s central business district. It is home to the famous Giraffe center, Elephant Orphanage, and the Karen Blixen Museum. It has many highly reviewed restaurants and if you are looking for Ethiopian restaurants in Nairobi, Karen’s got them too.
Asmara restaurant in Karen is gorgeous, modern space best known for their Eritrean cuisines.
Just like their sister restaurant in Westlands, they offer a classy fine dining experience. The restaurant also has a beautiful garden and playground so your kids can play.
They have a happy hour every Monday to Thursday from 5pm- 7pm where local beers go for Ksh250 (USD 2.50) and selected wines and mojitos go for khs 500 (USD 5).
What are you waiting for, grab a cold Tusker beer with your food.
They are in Ngong Road, Karen.
Gigiri is one of Nairobi’s most posh residential areas and is home to much of Kenya’s large, affluent expat community. It hosts the United Nations office at Nairobi. With such well-heeled, international residents, you know any restaurant in Gigiri is going to have high standards.
This is the second branch of the Habesha restaurants. Habesha Gigiri delivers on some of the best traditional Ethiopian and Eritrean food.
It is a cool and ambient space, perfect for meetings over lunch. If you are looking for tasty Ethiopian meals at reasonable prices, check out Habesha.
You can also ask to be seated on the porch behind the restaurant for a more relaxed environment.
As it is near the UN and the US embassy, security is great. You can walk there in the evening, the road there is well lit.
They are located at United Nations Crescent, Gigiri.
Rue 104 Lounge
Unlike the other Ethiopian restaurants in Nairobi, Rue 104 Lounge is in the city’s central business district. This place is perfect for when you don’t want to go to the outskirts of town in search of Eritrean and Ethiopian food.
The restaurant has simple decor, with tables spaced out enough for privacy. It is next to one of Nairobi’s busy road-Uhuru highway. The sounds of moving cars and the bustle of the city just adds to the energetic feel of the city center.
They serve most of the usual Ethipian dishes and are pocket friendly so if you are a backpacker on a budget, this might just be for you.
It is in Utalii house on Uhuru Highway.
There you have it folks, some of the best Eritrean and Ethiopian restaurants in Nairobi. If you visit any of these places, we would love to hear from you. Comment your reviews below and let us know if you found our list helpful.
And if Eritrean or Ethiopian food doesn’t tickle your fancy, check out this list of some of the best restaurants in Nairobi offering different types of food.