Searching for the Perfect Barbecue in Nairobi, Kenya


Nyama choma, “grilled meat” in Kiswahili, is barbecue stripped down to its raw elements. There are no sticky-sweet glazes here, just plenty of smoke, fire and, of course, hulking portions of bone-in meat. It is also Kenya’s most celebrated dish, equally loved by rural villagers and the country’s wealthy elite.

Restaurants serving nyama choma range from humble roadside shacks to the kitschy, upscale Carnivore (, where the meat comes skewered on Masai swords.

But the best of the bunch may be relative newcomer, Herisquare (, a sprawling space with a lush courtyard for long afternoons and a dancefloor spinning everything from the African lingala (also called soukous) to hip-hop late into the evening. It may be low on frills, but the barbecue is good enough to fill the car park every night with Mercedes from Nairobi’s poshest neighbourhoods.

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