Where to Eat in Nairobi If You’re Vegetarian

There’s a really good selection of vegetarian options on most menus at Nairobi restaurants due to the large population of Indian vegetarians living in Kenya. While the only completely vegetarian restaurant is Chowpaty—which serves utterly delicious Indian food—each of the other restaurants on this list offers some of the best veggie fare in town. Expect freshly filled wraps, inventive salads, and tasty pizzas, often served in a fun and funky rooftop location.

The River Café is situated right in the middle of the huge Karura Forest, a tranquil swath of wilderness in the middle of the city. The dining area, on a large expanse of wooden deck under an open-sided canvas roof, gets extra atmospheric charm from the surrounding forest treetops and plants. The menu is varied, with a good vegetarian section as well as light bites and more indulgent meals. The French onion soup and the salads are recommended. This place gets busy on the weekends, when Nairobians stop in for brunch after church or a walk around the forest, so book in advance.
Cannon House, Nairobi, Kenya
Tucked away off a dusty road in a suburb of Nairobi, the Tin Roof Café at the Souk is a gorgeous little place with floral cushions, spindly garden chairs, tin pots of wildflowers, and mismatched pictures on the walls. The shelves are filled with books and board games, and large blackboards list the delicious array of food and drink on offer, from Ottolenghi-style salads to sandwiches, wraps, smoothies, and juices galore. Explore a bit further inside to find a bookstore, a housewares shop, and a jewelry shop. Lost your velvet bathrobe? Don’t worry—they sell them here. The café's offbeat charm has proven so popular that a second location opened on Langata Road.
Ground Floor and 1st Floor, Diamond Plaza, 4th Parklands Avenue, Parklands, Nairobi, Kenya
Chowpaty, Nairobi’s best vegetarian restaurant, serves outrageously tasty dishes from across the Indian subcontinent. On arrival, customers are presented first with a small bowl of warm water to wash their hands in and then with the epic menu. The best item on the menu is the dahi puri: Crispy puffed puri shells are filled with Bombay mix (a crunchy snack mix) and then drizzled with a sweet and sour sauce. Many items on the menu can also be made vegan—just ask. Chowpaty has several locations around town, but the most popular sits in the courtyard at Diamond Plaza, a bustling shopping mall where the Indian community comes for fabrics, clothing, electrical goods, and supermarkets.
Ground Floor PWC, Delta Towers, Westlands, 69671 - 00400, Nairobi, Kenya
Modern and trendy Urban Eatery is a popular restaurant that only opened about a year ago in Nairobi. There’s always a good atmosphere here, as the kitchens open out onto the restaurant area filling the room with the sizzles and delicious smells of food to come.

The menu is quite literally overwhelming, with Thai, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Sushi and everything in between available, but it’s a fun evening picking and choosing from the different options.
Rooftop pizza restaurant Mambo Italia is a great place to go with friends or to listen to the live music regularly playing here. There’s a covered indoor area with colourful chairs and mismatched tables in case the weather turns, but on a sunny evening grab an al-fresco table and watch the traffic streaming by below. Best items on the menu are, of course, the pizzas. There’s a creative range of options the team here have dreamt up, or you can simply create your own.
Marula Lane, Karen
A leafy garden café set in the suburb of Karen, Marula Mercantile is great for a boozy, long brunch over the weekend. Relatively newly-opened, it’s a cool and elegant place with wooden decking, brassy chairs and a well stocked bar. Must-tries on the menu include the sweet potato fritters with a tamarind dip, feta with dill and toasted sesame seeds, grilled halloumi salad and crispy french fries. They also make home-made doughnuts here, which you won’t want to miss.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Food + Drink
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East