Places to Eat for Vegetarians When Travelling Through Nairobi

 Places to Eat for Vegetarians

Places to Eat for Vegetarians When Travelling Through Nairobi

Discovering genuine vegetarian dining spots can be a challenging endeavour. Not all establishments excel in preparing exclusively plant-based dishes or presenting an authentically vegetarian culinary lineup. 

Individuals embrace vegetarianism for various motivations, ranging from health considerations and spiritual beliefs to concerns regarding animal welfare, the usage of antibiotics and hormones in livestock, or a commitment to consuming in a manner that reduces the excessive utilisation of natural resources. 

If you identify with this lifestyle choice and reside in or visit Nairobi, Kenya, this guide is tailored for you. It features a meticulously curated list of Nairobi's finest vegetarian eateries, spotlighting those specialising in vegetarian cuisine or offering exceptionally delectable vegetarian choices. 

This guide lists their locations and provides an overview of each establishment. Before diving into the specifics, let's explore the essentials of Nairobi's vegetarian culinary scene.

Table of Contents

  1. The River Cafe
  2. Chowpaty Restaurant
  3. Tin Roof Cafe
  4. Open House Restaurant Ltd
  5. Urban Eatery
  6. Thyme Restaurant
  7. Mambo Italia
  8. Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant
  9. Marula Mercantile
  10. Kailash Parbat
  11. Chekafe Japanese Restaurant
  12. Saras Chennai Express
  13. Shayona Vegetarian Restaurant
  14. Soul Veg Catering and Bakery
  15. Bridges Organic Restaurant
  16. Ashiana
  17. Cultiva
  18. Boho Eatery
  19. Harvest Restaurant
  20. Wasp & Sprout


1.The River Cafe

 The River Cafe, Nairobi

Nestled within the expansive and serene Karura Forest, right at the heart of urban hustle, lies The River Café. This unique dining spot boasts an ambience that blends seamlessly with nature, primarily due to its strategic location amidst lush forest canopy and vibrant flora. Patrons are treated to the experience of dining on a spacious wooden deck, sheltered under a canvas roof that's open on the sides, enhancing the natural atmosphere.

The café offers a diverse menu catering to a variety of tastes. Notably, it includes an impressive selection of vegetarian dishes, lighter fare, and more sumptuous offerings for those looking to indulge. Among the standout items are the French onion soup and an array of creatively crafted salads, each a testament to the café's commitment to flavour and quality.


The River Café has become a popular weekend destination. It resonates particularly with Nairobi's locals, who often flock here for a leisurely brunch following Sunday church services or a refreshing walk through the forest. Given its popularity, especially during these peak times, making a reservation is advisable to ensure a spot in this tranquil urban retreat.

2.Chowpaty Restaurant

 Chowpaty Restaurant, Nairobi

Chowpaty Restaurant, celebrated for its rich history and culinary prestige, is prominent in Kenya's dining landscape. Initially launched as a modest establishment with a capacity of 60 diners, it is nestled in the heart of Nairobi's Indian community within Diamond Plaza. 

This strategic location positioned it as a culinary haven, attracting a diverse clientele. Over time, Chowpaty underwent significant expansion, evolving into a more spacious venue accommodating up to 150 guests. Complementing this growth, the restaurant branched out with an exclusively vegetarian fast-food section in Westlands, specifically in the Westpark Towers. 

This expansion not only amplified its physical presence but also underscored its commitment to offering a wide range of vegetarian options, catering to its customers' evolving palates and dietary preferences.

3.Tin Roof Cafe

 Tin Roof Cafe, Nairobi

Nestled in a quaint corner of a Nairobi suburb, the Tin Roof Café, situated within the eclectic environs of the Souk, presents a delightful retreat. As you wander off the beaten path, this hidden gem in Cannon House captivates you with its unique blend of rustic and whimsical décor. Imagine yourself lounging amidst floral-patterned cushions, resting on slender, elegant garden chairs. The ambience is further accentuated by tin pots brimming with vibrant wildflowers and an array of eclectic, unmatching imagery adorning the walls.

The café's interior is a treasure trove of leisure and culinary delights. Shelves are lovingly stocked with various books and board games, inviting guests to linger and relax. The culinary offerings are artfully displayed on large blackboards, boasting a menu inspired by the famed Ottolenghi, featuring an assortment of sumptuous salads, a variety of sandwiches and wraps, along with a rich selection of smoothies and an abundance of fresh juices.

Venturing deeper into this enchanting space reveals more than just a café. It's a sanctuary of discovery, housing an intimate bookstore, a boutique shop offering a range of housewares, and a charming jewellery store. The café even offers plush velvet bathrobes among its eclectic merchandise for those seeking an unusual find.

The Tin Roof Café's distinctive appeal and quirky elegance have garnered such admiration that it has expanded its presence with a second location on Langata Road. This café is not just a place to dine; it's an experience, a journey into a world where charm and whimsy reign supreme.

4.Open House Restaurant Ltd

 Open House Restaurant, Nairobi

Open House Restaurant, a renowned establishment, is celebrated for its commitment to delivering exceptional service alongside various delectable Indian and vegetarian cuisine options. Its culinary repertoire features a diverse selection of classic dishes, each distinguished by its unique blend of flavours and cooking techniques. 

Patrons can indulge in various styles, from the richly textured, creamy gravies that are a staple in many of their offerings to the aromatic spices that imbue each dish with its distinct character. A highlight of their menu is the marinated tandoori selections, which serve as perfect appetisers or as an enriching complement to any of their substantial main courses.

5.Urban Eatery

 Urban Eatery, Nairobi

In the heart of Nairobi at Delta Towers, Ground Floor PWC in Westlands (postal code 69671 - 00400), Urban Eatery presents itself as a vibrant and modern culinary destination. Having graced the city's food scene just a year ago, this relatively new establishment has swiftly garnered a reputation for its dynamic atmosphere. The unique layout of Urban Eatery, where the bustling kitchens blend seamlessly into the dining area, invites patrons to immerse themselves in an auditory and olfactory feast, with the inviting sounds of sizzling and the enticing aromas of upcoming dishes permeating the space.

Urban Eatery's menu is a testament to culinary diversity, offering an array of global cuisines that span from the robust flavours of Thai and Indian dishes to the zest and spice of Mexican food, the classic charm of Italian cuisine, and the refined subtlety of Sushi. The extensive selection might initially seem daunting, yet it contributes to the excitement of the dining experience, encouraging guests to explore and experiment with a variety of dishes in a single visit. This blend of global flavours ensures that every meal at Urban Eatery is a dining experience and a journey through a world of gastronomic delights.

6.Thyme Restaurant

 Thyme Restaurant, Nairobi

At Thyme Restaurant, guests are treated to a culinary journey that spans the globe. This establishment takes pride in its diverse and creatively crafted menu, offering dishes that not only tantalise the taste buds but are also visually stunning. 

Thyme's comprehensive vegetarian menu is a standout feature, catering to various preferences and dietary needs. Each dish is thoughtfully prepared, ensuring that every patron, regardless of their nutritional choices, experiences a memorable meal.

Moreover, Thyme has gained a reputation for its exquisite pastry selection. These delightful confections have become a favourite among patrons, celebrated for their perfect balance of flavour and artistry. These pastries are not just desserts but culinary masterpieces, making them an ideal choice for special occasions. 

Whether for an anniversary or a romantic date night, Thyme’s ambience and exquisite offerings create the perfect setting for a memorable evening. The restaurant's commitment to quality, presentation, and taste makes it a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique dining experience.

7.Mambo Italia

 Mambo Italia, Nairobi

Mambo Italia, located on the second floor at Lavington Curve on James Gichuru Road in Nairobi, Kenya, presents a delightful rooftop dining experience, especially for pizza enthusiasts. 

This establishment is not just a favourite for its culinary offerings but also for its vibrant atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for gatherings with friends or enjoying regular live music performances. 

The restaurant features a brightly coloured indoor space adorned with an eclectic mix of chairs and tables, providing a cosy refuge in inclement weather. However, the authentic charm lies in dining al-fresco on a pleasant evening. Here, you can choose a table outdoors to relish the scenic views and observe the bustling city life below. 


The highlight of Mambo Italia's menu is undoubtedly its pizza selection. They offer an inventive array of pizza choices meticulously crafted by their skilled team. These pizzas are not only creative in their toppings but also in their flavours, catering to a wide range of tastes. For those who prefer a personalised touch, customising your pizza allows you to mix and match ingredients to your liking.

8.Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant

 Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant, Nairobi

For an authentic taste of Ethiopian cuisine in the serene suburbs of Nairobi, consider dining at Habesha Ethiopian Restaurant. This establishment is renowned for its delightful array of traditional Ethiopian dishes, catering to various palates with an emphasis on vegetarian selections. 

The restaurant's culinary expertise is evident in each meticulously prepared meal, reflecting Ethiopia's rich and diverse food culture. Whether you're a vegetarian or simply a lover of flavorful, exotic cuisine, Habesha provides a memorable dining experience showcasing Ethiopia's unique and vibrant flavours.

9.Marula Mercantile

 Marula Mercantile, Nairobi

Nestled in the tranquil neighbourhood of Karen, the Marula Mercantile offers a serene garden setting perfect for a leisurely weekend brunch. This establishment has been around for a while and exudes a chic and sophisticated ambience with its wooden floors, stylish brass chairs, and an impressively equipped bar. 

The culinary highlights of this café are a must-try, especially their unique sweet potato cakes accompanied by a tangy tamarind sauce. The patties are garnished with feta cheese, infused with dill and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, creating a delightful flavour combination. The grilled halloumi salad and perfectly crisped French fries are standout dishes. 

Not to be overlooked are their homemade doughnuts, a treat that promises to be a memorable part of your visit to the Marula Mercantile.

10.Kailash Parbat

 Kailash Parbat, Nairobi

Kailash Parbat in Kenya has emerged as a renowned name in the culinary world, catering to a diverse palate with extensive dishes. This restaurant has carved a niche by offering a blend of North and South Indian delicacies and an assortment of Chinese flavours, meeting the gastronomic desires of a broad audience. 

Notably, this culinary destination prides itself on its variety of vegetarian choices, making it an ideal spot for those who prefer plant-based diets. The fusion of different cuisines and the emphasis on vegetarian fare underscore Kailash Parbat's commitment to providing everyone with a unique and satisfying dining experience.

11.Chekafe Japanese Restaurant

 CHEKAFE Japanese Restaurant, Nairobi

Nestled in the heart of Lavington, CHEKAFE presents a serene dining ambience perfect for lovers of Japanese cuisine. The restaurant prides itself on a diverse menu that features an array of traditional Japanese dishes, including the ever-popular sushi, flavorful Ramen noodles, and meticulously crafted dumplings. 

Patrons frequently commend the establishment for its commendable service, noting the staff's attentive and responsive approach. A standout aspect of CHEKAFE is the culinary excellence of its offerings; each dish is not only a delight to the taste buds but also served in generous portions, ensuring a satisfying dining experience. Moreover, the restaurant is mindful of varying dietary preferences, as evidenced by its inclusive menu that caters to vegetarians. 

This harmonious blend of exceptional service, delectable food, and a tranquil atmosphere makes CHEKAFE a must-visit destination for those seeking an authentic Japanese gastronomic adventure.

12.Saras Chennai Express

 Saras Chennai Express, Nairobi

At Saras Chennai Express, the guiding principle is a commitment to turning everyone into a fan of vegetarian cuisine. This eatery is constantly innovating, and its latest endeavour involves unveiling an array of exciting dosa options. The menu now boasts a wide selection that caters to a diverse palate, ranging from savoury to sweet delights. 


Among the new introductions, customers can indulge in the fusion of flavours offered by the Cheesy Spinach Dosa, or for those with a sweet tooth, the Sweet Nutella Dosa is a must-try. The Spicy Paneer Dosa stands out for spice enthusiasts, while the classic Masala Dosa remains a staple for traditional dosa lovers. This expansion in their dosa lineup invites patrons to experience a culinary adventure, exploring these new, mouth-watering variations of a beloved dish.

13.Shayona Vegetarian Restaurant

 Shayona Vegetarian Restaurant, Nairobi

Shayona Vegetarian Restaurant offers a delightful dining experience characterised by its exceptional customer service, all at a price that is both affordable and sensible. The restaurant is conveniently situated in an easily accessible area, boasting ample parking space for guests. 

Its menu is diverse and extensive, exclusively featuring vegetarian cuisine that caters to various tastes and dietary preferences. This establishment combines convenience, variety, and value, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a satisfying vegetarian meal.

14.Soul Veg Catering and Bakery

 Soul Veg Catering and Bakery, Nairobi

Soul Veg Catering and Bakery specialises in crafting mouth-watering dishes that cater to your vegan preferences. This establishment is not just about serving food but introducing you to a world of vegan culinary delights. Whether you're already a vegan enthusiast or on the cusp of giving up meat, Soul Veg offers a welcoming and flavoursome gateway to plant-based eating. 

Here, you're not just choosing a meal but embracing a healthier, more conscious lifestyle. Dive into their vegan options and discover how delectable and satisfying this cuisine can be. It's the perfect destination for anyone looking to make a smooth and delicious transition into vegan eating.

15.Bridges Organic Restaurant

 Bridges Organic Restaurant, Nairobi

Bridges Organic Restaurant, nestled in the heart of Kenya, prides itself on a unique farm-to-table concept. This eatery exclusively sources ingredients from local Kenyan farmers dedicated to certified organic farming practices. At Bridges, guests can indulge in diverse dishes, all crafted from these organically grown, fresh ingredients. The restaurant's menu celebrates organic cuisine, offering a rich selection of flavours and dishes that cater to various tastes.

The restaurant's extensive range of freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices is a notable highlight. Made on-demand, these juices are a testament to the freshness of the produce and embody the restaurant's commitment to healthy, organic living. These juices' vibrant, natural flavours offer a perfect complement to the organic meals served.

Bridges Organic Restaurant is more than just a dining spot; it’s a culinary experience that connects diners directly to the source of their food, ensuring a meal that is not only delicious but also ethically and sustainably sourced.


 Ashiana Vegetarian Restaurant, Nairobi

Ashiana Vegetarian, a culinary destination renowned for its diverse menu, specialises in Indian and Asian cuisine with a strong focus on vegetarian and vegan dishes. This restaurant is not just a place to dine; it's a hub for celebrating special occasions. 

Whether it's the joyous birthday party gathering or the romantic ambience of a wedding reception, Ashiana Vegetarian is equipped to cater to these events with a flair for gastronomic excellence. What sets this eatery apart is its inclusive menu that caters to vegetarian and non-vegetarian preferences, ensuring every guest finds something to their taste. 

The restaurant takes pride in its interactive dining experiences, featuring live cooking stations like dosa counters, where diners can witness the art of dosa making and dessert stations that offer a range of sweet delights. Combining these elements creates a dining experience that's not just about the food but the joy of being part of a vibrant culinary spectacle.


 Cultiva, Nairobi

Nestled in the serene surroundings of Karen's suburbs, Cultiva stands out as a culinary gem in Nairobi. This charming farm-to-table establishment boasts a picturesque and tranquil environment, perfect for enjoying a meal on a warm, sunny day. Its layout includes various seating options that enhance the overall dining experience.

At the heart of Cultiva is its central, open kitchen, offering diners a glimpse into its culinary artistry. The restaurant focuses on serving delectable vegan and vegetarian dishes freshly harvested from its on-site greenhouses. This commitment to fresh, homegrown produce elevates the taste and quality of their meals.

In addition to its exemplary food, Cultiva's cocktail menu is equally impressive, featuring a range of unique and compelling options. The establishment also prides itself on a diverse array of pastries and desserts, adding a sweet touch to the dining experience.

Cultiva's popularity is evident, especially over weekends when space becomes a premium, with guests lingering late into the evening. It's an ideal spot for various occasions, whether a casual date, a get-together with friends, or a family catch-up. Cultiva is a must-visit for anyone looking to enjoy a relaxed and flavorful dining experience in Nairobi.

18.Boho Eatery

 Boho Eatery, Nairobi

Boho Eatery masterfully encapsulates the essence of its bohemian theme through many captivating design elements. The establishment's outdoor patio, adorned with distinctive swing seats and vibrant murals, is a testament to its commitment to this artistic and free-spirited aesthetic.

Nestled amidst the bustling streets of Nairobi, Boho Eatery emerges as a veritable oasis for those who adhere to vegan or vegetarian dietary preferences seeking a wholesome and satisfying breakfast or lunch experience. Within the culinary repertoire of this charming eatery lies the Boho wellness bowl, a culinary masterpiece that has become a staple and a symbol of culinary excellence. This delectable creation features a harmonious medley of flavours and textures, including crispy tofu, lustrous golden hummus, succulent roasted pumpkin, verdant edamame, creamy avocado, tangy pickled cabbage, and a tantalisingly spicy peanut sauce. It is a culinary symphony that caters to the discerning palate, leaving an indelible impression on the senses.

Following the culinary adventure, patrons are encouraged to explore the enchanting surroundings of Boho Eatery. For those who wish to prolong their stay and immerse themselves in the bohemian experience, reserving a room in one of their charming treehouses presents itself as an enticing proposition. These treehouses, reminiscent of fairy-tale abodes, offer a unique and unforgettable accommodation experience, allowing guests to nestle amongst the branches of majestic trees, enjoying the tranquillity of nature.


Moreover, Boho Eatery's strategic location deserves commendation. Situated merely a brief seven-minute drive from the renowned Giraffe Centre, it is a conveniently accessible destination for travellers looking to incorporate it into their Nairobi itinerary. This proximity to a well-loved tourist attraction further enhances its appeal, making it an attractive choice for local patrons and visitors alike.

19.Harvest Restaurant

 Harvest Restaurant, Nairobi

Situated in Nairobi, the Harvest Restaurant finds its home within the vibrant setting of the Village Market. This culinary haven exudes an enticing ambience, where the interior decor harmoniously melds an array of fixtures and a rich tapestry of colours, meticulously curated to offer patrons an exceptional visual experience during their visit.

The culinary offerings at Harvest are nothing short of extraordinary, characterised by impeccable taste and generously portioned servings. Its commitment to utilising locally sourced, organic ingredients sets this establishment apart. The culinary artisans at Harvest skillfully harness these native elements to craft some of Nairobi's most delectable cuisine, imbuing every dish with a distinct regional essence.


Moreover, Harvest Restaurant boasts a carefully curated wine selection that spans the globe. Discerning connoisseurs will delight in perusing the extensive menu, which showcases a diverse array of hand-selected wines from various corners of the world. This diverse selection of wines adds an extra layer of sophistication to the dining experience, ensuring that every visit to Harvest is a true gastronomic gem in Nairobi's culinary landscape.

20.Wasp & Sprout

Wasp & Sprout

This charming café in the picturesque neighbourhood of Loresho exudes an inviting and cosy ambience, accentuated by the soft glow of candles that adorn each table, creating a warm atmosphere that persists from morning till evening. I highly recommend indulging in their delectable offerings, such as the sweet potato waffles or the impeccably crafted scrambled tofu accompanied by a generous side of grilled tomatoes and mushrooms, a perfect choice for your breakfast. Consider starting your day with an expertly prepared iced coffee or elevating your brunch experience with a refreshing mimosa to complement your meal.

As you conclude your visit, take advantage of the opportunity to explore the adjacent farm shop, where a delightful array of products awaits, including an assortment of artisanal jams, beautifully crafted cups, and bags of premium coffee, among other treasures.

What sets Wasp & Sprout apart is not just its culinary prowess but also its commitment to craftsmanship. Every piece of furniture gracing the café's interior is a testament to the artistry of the owners, each item lovingly handmade and available for purchase. Moreover, for those with a penchant for bespoke creations, the café offers the unique opportunity to commission personalised designs that will be meticulously crafted on-site.

Beyond its culinary and artisanal charm, Wasp & Sprout adds to its appeal by hosting monthly open-mic events. These gatherings provide a platform for aspiring musicians in Nairobi to showcase their talents, fostering a vibrant and supportive creative community within the café's welcoming walls.


What are the best vegetarian restaurants in Nairobi for travellers?

Nairobi is a treasure trove for vegetarian cuisine, catering to various tastes. Notable mentions include:

  • CJ's Village Market: A culinary delight offering an international vegetarian menu, emphasising fresh, local produce. They also have a presence in Koinange.
  • Chowpaty: This is a haven for vegetarian food lovers, specialising in various delectable Indian dishes.
  • The River Café: Nestled in the serene Karura Forest, this café is a perfect spot for health-conscious vegetarian meals.
  • Shayona: Renowned for its Indian vegetarian delicacies, Shayona presents a generous buffet lunch and diverse à la carte choices.
  • Olive & Basil: Known for its creative and tasty vegan offerings. 

Are there vegetarian-friendly markets or grocery stores in Nairobi?

Certainly! Nairobi caters to vegetarians even in its markets:

  • Carnivore Market: Primarily a meat market, but also a good source for fresh fruits, vegetables, and vegetarian essentials.
  • Yaya Centre: Features several stores like Chandarana Food Plus and The Green House, offering vegetarian products.
  • Village Market: A go-to place for organic produce, vegan cheeses, and assorted vegetarian items.

Where can I find quick and casual vegetarian meals in Nairobi?

For fast and informal vegetarian dining, consider these spots:

  • Mama Ogino: Serves tasty and budget-friendly vegetarian samosas and snacks.
  • Habesha Restaurant: An excellent choice for experiencing Ethiopian vegetarian cuisine, including injera and lentil stews.
  • Tamambo Karen: Ideal for grabbing a nutritious vegetarian wrap or salad on the go.

Does Nairobi offer vegetarian-friendly street food options?

While street food can sometimes be a hit or miss for vegetarians, there are options available:

  • Mandazi: A fried bread, often served with sweet or savoury toppings.
  • Chapati: A staple flatbread, typically paired with vegetable curries or stews.
  • Roasted maise (corn): A simple, satisfying snack for vegetarians.




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