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

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.

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  1. says

    Honestly, too much meat makes me sick (it’s the smell of meat and internal organs; I almost puked when my family went to a Brazilian churrascaria) but that looks like one I’d like to try for the heck of it. Besides, where else could you get people in lab coats serving you? How much do you pay for a lunch in one of these stalls?

  2. says

    @Linuist in Waiting:
    Yes, you do have to be a meat lover! Haha, come to think of it, I’m so used to eating Nyama Choma that I somewhat overlook the fact they are even wearing lab coats…so interested in the meat when I’m there.

    Full chickens are about $4, 1 KG of meat is about $5.

  3. says

    I am one of those who can’t cook to save their life. Thankfully, all this delicious meat is already cooked by some one else and I would only have to eat it. My kind of place. Thanks for your comment on the Bursa silk and I’m glad to hear that you wear silk undies, so do I.

  4. says

    omg mark i am so hungry now! i’m a total meat lover, but really do my best to know where my food is coming from and how responsibly and ethically it’s produced, so i LOVE how you start this post. and your photos as usual are completely tantalizing! you repeatedly reinforce my desire to travel all over africa and add to my wishlist- thanks :)

  5. says

    @Christy: Cool, Yes, the chicken is not so gamey tasting and quite tender!

    @John: Great, I bet there is some wonderful meat in Mongolia too!

    @Zablon: Yes, I agree. Where do you usually get your meat from in Nairobi West?

    @Inka: Haha, for sure! The meat here is immediate, unlike some restaurants in Kenya where you have to wait a few hours, the meat at these places is ready to be eaten!

    @Lorna: Awesome, thanks for the comment! You will like the naturally grazed meat in Africa. Hope you get a chance to travel there sometime!

    @Matt: Yes, with a bit of chili, amazing!

  6. says

    Reminds me of lechon hehe.

    Mark, your posts about Africa are truly eye-openers. I guess media has painted such a different view of the various countries there, it’s making most travelers hesitant to go. Sharing these things makes us realize that there’s so much more to it. Cheers!

  7. says

    This carnivore loved the post and photos! You said it right at the top – “Naturally grazed, grass fed, freshly butchered, and supremely roasted.” — the best! I’m not a salt person though, so could probably do without a lot of that.

  8. says

    @Christy: Definitely is the best!

    @Kat: Yes, eaten in a similar fashion to lechon!

    Thanks for this comment Kat! I’m extremely happy to know that my posts on Africa can show a view of Africa that is not displayed in the normal media and news. Africa, just like many places in the world, has so so many unique and wonderful things to do, see, and explore.

    @Renee: Spot on! This is what I live for!

    @Laurel: Yah, French fries are very common in Kenya, usually just homemade rough cut potatoes!

    @Cathy: Thanks for the comment! The meat is rarely cooked with salt, but salt is just offered on the side, so it would work out wonderfully!

  9. says

    Yuuuum! Any etiquette tips for eating? Such as sharing food, or a particular hand you should eat with? I know it’s not cool to eat with your left hand in some countries.

  10. says

    That looks like real man food. The only thing missing is beer!
    I’d love to try something as local as nyama choma, even though I’m not such a big meat eater. The chicken look tasty.
    Thanks for the interesting insight into African food.

  11. says

    @Wandering Trader: Not better, but quite a bit different..and usually goat! To me the meat in Africa just tastes more natural and real…but the tender quality of the beef in Argentina is unbelievable!

    @Rebecca: Yah, just eat with your right hand…and that’s about it!

    @The Drpout: No problem! Thanks for checking it out. Yes for the not such big eaters of meat, the chicken is also amazing! A warm beer does go well with nyama choma!

    • Sarah says

      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!!! :)

  12. parrotalk says

    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…

  13. Caren says

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


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