World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > Kenya

Kenya Food and Drink

Meat in Kenya is generally outstandingly good, and nyam achoma (barbecued meat) is ubiquitous at any major feasts or popular dining spots. Beef and chicken are readily available, but goat is the most-widely eaten among locals and certainly a must try for carnivorous visitors.

Inland, a local freshwater fish, tilapia, is popular and tasty, while on the coast, zesty Swahili cuisine features fragrant rice, grilled fish and seafood curries with coconut milk and lots of spices.

Indian and Middle Eastern food is available in most areas, and there is a wide range of international restaurants in Nairobi and Mombasa. Tourist hotels provide buffet meals and hotels in smaller towns offer a dish of the day, such as chicken and chips or stew and rice. Sumptuous tropical fruits, ranging from pineapples to mangoes, can be bought seasonally at local markets.


Nyama choma: Barbecued meat often served with a spicy tomato relish and ugali.
Ugali: Maize meal porridge, the main staple for most Kenyans, often eaten with a meaty stew known locally as assupu.
Mandazi: Fried savoury dough ball with a similar constitution to a doughnut.
Kachumbari: Spicy tomato relish served with meat.
Tilapia: Freshwater fish associated with the Rift Valley lakes and often grilled whole.
Sukuma Wiki: Spinach-like leaf often served boiled as a side dish or in a stew with meat.
Biryani: Spicy rice-based stew similar in appearance to risotto but with a more oriental flavour.
Matoke: Cooked banana, also known as batoke, with a constitution similar to boiled potatoes, most commonly eaten in the Uganda border area.
Tusker: A popular and well-balanced local lager named after a famous elephant.
Mnazi: Naturally fermented, milky-coloured palm wine – the drink of choice for many rural Kenyans.


Tipping is optional. Most hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge in the bill. If they don't, a small tip is customary for good service.

Drinking age


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