Nyama Choma in Nairobi – Where to Eat the Best Meat!

By Mark Wiens 19 Comments

It’s the type of meat you can remember for a lifetime, the type of meat that builds memories and creates lasting impressions. Naturally grazed, grass fed, freshly butchered, and supremely roasted.

It’s meat that you feel good about devouring, it consists of grains you can feel and an Africa you can taste! Nyama Choma is truly at the top of Kenyan food.

Kenyatta Market Nyama Choma Nairobi
Kenyatta Market Nyama Choma Nairobi

Nairobi style nyama choma is a dream come true for any carnivore.

What is Nyama Choma?

Nyama choma literally means “roasted meat.” Most of the time goat is the default genre, but beef (ng’ombe) and chicken (kuku) are also quite common and can be very delicious too.

Nyama Choma in Nairobi is usually eaten off a communal cutting board, as the main dish, with others dishes on the side.

Kenyatta Market

What do you eat with Nyama Choma?

Some prefer just straight meat and salt. Others like a bit of kachumbari (combination of chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro, sometimes avocado) or pili pili (chili). For starch, ugali (cornmeal starch) or greasy chips (French fries) are common.

Salt with Nyama Choma
Cutting Board with a Pile of Salt!
Nyama Choma Grill
Nyama Choma Grill

Nairobi has no shortage of Nyama Choma joints, some are clean meat roasting restaurants while others range from slightly dirty to grungy.  I myself am a huge connoisseur of all things roasted meat in Nairobi and don’t mind venturing to unsanitary conditions to locate the tastiest bites of protein.

Where to Eat Nyama Choma in Nairobi?

Kenyatta Market Nyama Choma

Head to Kenyatta Market during lunchtime hours. There is a strip of clean stalls set up at the entrance of the market, all serving the same basic menu.  Don’t struggle or get haggled by too many aggressive touts, just choose 1 stall, have a seat, and then order from “1” guy.

The goat and chicken are the two meats of choice at Kenyatta Market.  Some of the stalls serve kachumbari with an added touch of avocado, enriching the mixture and complementing the meat.

I recommend Kenyatta Market as some of the best Nyama Choma in Nairobi!

Nairobi Butchery
Butchery at Kenyatta Market
Kuku Choma Roasted Chicken
Chopping Meat fresh in front of you!

City Park Hawkers

Towards the back of 1 of Nairobi’s largest fresh vegetable markets is a haven of nyama choma. The makeshift roofing consists of plastic pieces and tin sheeting, imprisoning the clouds of meaty smoke that pour from the grills. The meat is hot and fresh and the ambiance is truly a Nairobi experience. Butchers will slice steaming pieces of meat for you to sample!

Roasted Goat in Kenya
Goat Nyama Choma

Nairobi West Alley Streets

Neighborhood areas throughout Nairobi are hot spots for mystery cuts of roasted meat. Laced with fat and covered with flies that also want a taste, these types of eateries can turn into great adventures.

Hint: If you stumble into this sort of nyama choma, choose some freshly hot roasted cuts!

Note: Only for the adventurers with strong stomachs!

Nairobi Street Meat
Street Meat in Nairobi West
Nairobi Nyama Choma
Street Meat!

These are a mere few suggestions out of countless nyama choma restaurants throughout the entire city of Nairobi.  Whatever neighborhood you are in, there is an opportunity for Kenyan grilled meat right around the corner.

Don’t miss out on eating Nyama Choma.

19 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

  • Kirsten Lykke

    6 years ago

    Hi Keith
    If you are then going to Dar Es Salaam and this is what we are looking for, then where to ..? Do you have any good recommendations as to which area is best to stay in .. we are a family of 5 grown-ups (parents and our 3 children in their 20’ies and all been travelling and living in Nepal for many years so know when local food is the best). We like to stay nice and clean but which area is the ONE ?

    • lawrence

      6 years ago

      try ole polos

  • ELDRICK IMRAN LAL

    7 years ago

    I lived in Nairobi, Kenya for almost 14 years. Nyama Choma was off the hook. In other terms, it was absolutely delicious. I always took my fiends and family members who visited me from other parts of the world.

  • Jo

    7 years ago

    We took your recommendation to go to Kenyatta Market and IT WAS HORRIBLE. Dirty, with flies, and generally unsavory. We were badgered by the vendors who followed us out in to the parking lot yelling at us to buy from them. It was really awful. We hopped on a bus and got out of there. I DO NOT recommend this market under any circumstances.

    • keith

      7 years ago

      Well that’s your take but that place has amazing nyama choma

    • Kenyan

      6 years ago

      Agree with you Keith. Where ever Jo is from, they are better off never venturing to what us president trump calls a shithole. If Anthony Bourdain went to Kenyatta Market, keep your arrogance to your self. Just saying.

  • David Wanjala

    8 years ago

    You should all try Roadhouse Grill in Caledonia, Kilimani. Ask for ”Maji Maji” which is tender roast beef served medium rare with sliced tomato and green chilli. To die for! The place is a a local pub for people who live in the neighbourhood, but is quickly becoming a tourist attraction site ( Not for game viewing though) :-))

    • Mohamed Duran

      6 years ago

      Right time thanks Mark… going to nairobi my way to puntland somalià can’t wait to have Nuala choma last time I had was 2010 my brief visit fron edmonton AB canada

  • Nancy

    8 years ago

    thank you for this post.i am a Kenyan and i agree nyamchom is very tasty and addictive

  • Lordmwesh

    8 years ago

    Bavaria gardens in Westlands, behind Lions place has such good nyam chom. And Mlolongo township.

  • miriam mwende

    9 years ago

    Yeah kenyatta market is the best place ever for nyama choma. Im there always

  • Caren

    10 years ago

    Those photos are really good they make me miss eating nyama choma
    Best place is Ole Polos and Masaai Lodge

  • narges

    10 years ago

    hi
    thanks for really good website
    its very usefull for me
    i want to go to kenya in next month
    i am from iran and i am muslem and its important for me to know is their meat helal?or not?do you know about this?
    help me to enjoy this food in kenya
    best regards

    • chege

      9 years ago

      Am not sure if this is to late but 99% of the meat is halal that one I know.

    • dkaris

      9 years ago

      i sell nyama choma in those streets and our suppliers are muslims

    • othman

      8 years ago

      your so welcome in Kenya
      am very sure u you will enjoy

  • Sarah

    12 years ago

    Have a Tusker Larger….they complement each other very very well.

  • Sarah

    12 years ago

    Well…..I’m Kenyan, left-handed and I honestly think its ok to use whichever hand you like to eat. Never had any problem.

    I’m also a huge nyam chom fan and while I agree that the choma is great at Kenyatta Market, until you taste the nyama choma in a place called Loitokitok which is roasted inside a pot, you ain’t never had good meat. It is the best i have ever tasted in kenya, hands down. I can take you there!!! 🙂

  • parrotalk

    13 years ago

    OMG
    that nyamchom made me wonna cry so hot sizzling and yummy. I can even smell it.. the meat, the smoke!!!I could catch a flight right now…can’t wait to get back to Nairobi and go to my favourite nyama choma joint it’s called ‘ Studio’ and it’s in DagorrettiCorner centre. just on the outskirts.clean, grt friendly atmosphere too..
    There is a cluster of nyama choma joints here, so plenty of choice.
    for tourists always ask the locals.. and they will tell yu where the best is..remember for novices,it’s a social merry thing so go with a group if
    possible.. but even if alone this places are very sociable..there’s alway great local music as well…