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The 5 Affordable Restaurants to Eat in Nairobi CBD(Under KSh 500)

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Affordable restaurants are highly sought after, so these places often get crowded, especially during peak hours. This means the atmosphere can be noisy, but it’s a small price to pay. Despite their low prices and generous portions, the quality of the food remains uncompromised, often matching or even exceeding that of upscale restaurants. Here are the five best budget-friendly restaurants in Nairobi CBD you should try.

1. Jamia Kilimanjaro

(Halal Restaurant)

Location(s): Kimathi Street, & Banda Street.

Jamia kilimanjaro biryani
Jamia Kilimanjaro | Chicken Biryani @ KSh 540

Jamia Kilimanjaro is likely the best option if you’re looking for a substantial meal. As a Somali-owned restaurant, it offers exceptional value, with meals starting at just over KSh 250, making it very affordable.

The food is extremely fresh, and the portions are generous. There’s also a wide variety of meals to choose from. If I were to recommend just one restaurant in Nairobi CBD for being both cheap and good value, it would be Jamia Kilimanjaro.

If you are a group then I highly recommend the sharing platters (sinia) that cost like KSH 1400 and can feed 3 to 4 adults. For a single person a plate of biryani is just KSh 540 and the portions are good enough to fill up.

2. Greenview Restaurant

Location(s): Tubman Road: (Between Kimathi Street & Biashara Street)

Greenview Restaurant Nairobi | Fish Fingers

Greenview, unlike Jamia Kilimanjaro, is renowned for its signature dish: fish fingers and chips served with salad. The portions are generous and the quality has remained consistently high. At just KSh 299, it’s arguably the best deal around.

The fish fingers are incredibly tasty, accompanied by a bowl of mayonnaise. You can choose potato wedges instead of chips, but everything is consistently good and affordable, making it a top choice for a budget-friendly lunch in the CBD.

The servings are so large that it has become a meme; no one can finish them, and most people take leftovers home. Even if you’re not particularly hungry, visiting Greenview is a cultural experience!

3. Al Yusra Restaurant

(Halal Restaurant)

Location(s): Banda Street, & Market Street (Postbank House)

Al Yusra Restaurant CBD
Grilled Chicken + Rice at KSh 550

Al Yusra offers a similar vibe to Jamia Kilimanjaro but at even lower prices and sometimes with better dishes. One advantage is the balcony seating, allowing you to watch the bustling Nairobi CBD from above.

Additionally, the customer service here is superior. Burgers are priced between 250 and 300 KSh, masala chips at just 250 KSh, chicken shawarma at 250 KSh, shawarma with rice at 500 KSh, and grilled chicken with salad and chips at 550 KSh.

These are some of the recommended dishes for under KSh 500.

4. Big Knife

(Halal Restaurant)

Location(s): UoN Footbridge, Monrovia & Muindi Mbigu St.

Big Knife Sharwarma
Big Knife | Shawarma x Chips

IG Knife, a shawarma eatery, is located at the base of the iconic UoN footbridge, lodged at the juncture of Muindi Mbingu Street and Monrovia Street.

Their menu boasts shawarma, pizza, chips, and sodas. Shawarma rolls are available for individual purchase or as part of plates, complete with rice and salads.

Shawarmas come in three sizes: regular, big, and jumbo, with the choice of chicken or beef. Beef options are pricier by KSh 100 compared to their chicken counterparts.

A regular chicken roll costs 250, a big roll 350, and a jumbo roll 450. Opting for plates, starting from the regular size, totals 490, comfortably under the 500 price mark. While the food quality meets expectations, the service leaves something to be desired.

5. Sonford Fish & Chips

Location: Moi Avenue

Sonford Fish & Chips
Sonford | Chicken & Chips

Although Sonford may not win any awards in terms of food quality, it holds a special place in the hearts of all Nairobians. Its round-the-clock service is iconic, ensuring availability whenever hunger strikes.

Despite lacking air conditioning or proper ventilation, it offers value for money. Unfortunately, M-PESA payments aren’t accepted, which is a drawback. S

Sonford’s menu features a variety of items including chips, bhajias, sausages, samosas, roasted chicken, soda, and Picana juice.

The popular choice is the 1/4 chicken, chips, and soda combo, priced at under KSh 300, making Sonford the most budget-friendly eatery in Nairobi’s CBD. For those on a tight budget, spending as little as KSh 100 for chips alone is possible at Sonford.

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