We know Kenya as a destination for enchanting wildlife, fascinating safaris, and a bucket list of national park attractions. However, its eclectic variety of dishes makes travel, especially for gourmets, more exciting. The array of food in Kenya deliciously combines Middle Eastern, Asian, European, and Native American cooking styles. Dishes range from rich curries to starch & gravy to grilled meat, depending on the region. Below are the top 5 culinary tours to savor lip-smacking food in Kenya. Read more to explore a journey into culinary ecstasy!
Food In Kenya – Top 5 Culinary Tours
Lunch or Dinner at Carnivore
Carnivore restaurant serves the best traditional food in Kenya. Head out there for lunch or dinner after a Kenyan safari and savour an African meal. The hospitality and the food-tasting experiences are one-of-a-kind. A zebra-striped chair for your seating at the restaurant awaits you for a feast. A vast charcoal pit grills meats of crocodile, ostrich, lamb, turkey, and pork which the waiters would serve on hot iron plates like sizzlers. Additionally, you can taste sweet potato and tomato soup with brown bread before the main course. An army of waiters wearing straw hats and zebra-striped aprons move from table to table carrying Masai swords (skewers) to offer the carnivorous delicacies. A two-tier revolving tray also features salads, vegetable side dishes and sauces. During this all-you-can-eat meat buffet, you can enjoy seasonal appetizers, desserts, and coffee too.
Top dishes & drinks to try – Dawa (a cocktail made with the cane-sugar spirit cachaça), Nyama Choma (grilled goat, beef or lamb meat), 1kg Meat Platter, Chicken Wings, Turkey Grilled, Barbecue Crocodile Meat, Crocodile and Ostrich Meatballs and more.
Local Street Food In Mombasa
The Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa offers street food that combines the culinary influences of various nations. Since the 18th century, Portuguese, British, and Arab merchants have taken advantage of the port’s location. They left behind a history of fascinating flavours seen in Mombasa’s local street foods. Check out the Spice Market which is a great place to try well-known Indian street food like samosas (fried South Asian potato pastries) and bhajis (vegetable fritters). The market is filled with local produce and street-side ovens roasting meats. Spices such as saffron, cardamom, and turmeric continue to season Swahili cuisine today. Book a guided tour where you get to navigate the alleyways while telling you stories of local history. A particularly fond seafront stretch of road is the Lighthouse where you can mingle with locals, and relish food in Kenya for its authentic tastes.
Top dishes & drinks to try – Mishkaki (marinated meat), Mikate ya nyama (Swahili meat pie), Bungo Juice (fruit juice from the Bungo fruit), Vibibi (pancakes made from rice and coconut), Viazi Karai (potato nuggets), Mogo (fried cassava) and more.
Nairobi Food and Culture Tour
In Nairobi, local food in Kenya often includes ugali (the Kenyan staple of maize meal), sukuma wiki (a vegetable similar to collard greens), and various types of meat stews (Githeri). Unmissable is the Masai market where you can eat at the local restaurant for a delicious traditional nyama choma (grilled goat, beef or lamb meat) meal. A visit to west of Nairobi for some barbeque chicken with kachumbari (tomato and onion salad) is a good way to end the day. You can sip on local brews such as Dawa (cane-sugar spirit cachaça cocktail) at various local pubs to experience nightlife in Nairobi. Dinner includes chapatis (Indian flatbread), ugali (thick dough made of maize), mung beans, maize, and kachumbari (tomato and onion salad) at recommended restaurants such as Road House Grill, Njugunas, Mama Oliech Restaurant and more.
Top dishes & drinks to try – Ugali (maize meal), Sukuma Wiki (a vegetable similar to collard greens), Nyama Choma (barbecued meat), Uji (millet porridge) and more.
Cheese Tasting Factory and Farm
Brown’s Cheese Tasting Factory and Farm is a unique foodie experience located amidst the beautiful tea plantations of Tigoni. The farm that runs purely on biodynamic and organic principles has been making cheese in Kenya for over 30 years. The tour includes a visit to the cheese caves where thousands of cheeses mature using traditional methods. The cheese tasting room is where you taste handcrafted cheese, crackers, bread, chutney, and some local wine. There is a three-course lunch with ingredients sourced from the organic garden that typically comprises soups, salads and flatbreads. The cheese-tasting rooms are open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It’s a good idea to book in advance, especially on Saturday when a reservation earlier is a must. Indulge in a delicious cheese-tasting rendezvous while the kids have time to play with the animals in the garden and perhaps even milk a cow.
Cheese crafted by Brown – Mascarpone, Blue Cheese, Feta, Ricotta, Cheese Dips, Chutneys and more.
Local Market Food Tour & Traditional Kenyan Cooking Class
The local market food tour also gives you a chance to visit a local Kenyan’s home. Meet Grace at her home and together take a local transport matatu ride to the nearby Kikuyu market. It is a market in Kikuyu town where you can buy ingredients for a tribal meal, fruits, spices and more. Interact with farmers and local vendors while taking pictures with them. We then join Grace in her kitchen, where she demonstrates a recipe for a traditional tribal meal of the Kikuyu tribe. The tribe were a mixed farming community and their diet was mainly from agricultural produce. You learn to cook mukimo (mashed potato and greens) or ugali (mashed corn flour dough) or pilau (spiced rice) using the local ingredients. Having a private market tour and traditional cooking class in Nairobi with a local remains a memorable experience.
Top dishes by Kikuyu people to try: Mũtu wa mwere (bulrush millet), Mboco (kidney bean), Noe (lima bean), Mũtu wa mbembe (maize), Nduma curry (arrowroot) and more.