Living off Mombasa Road and working in Upperhill means I rarely go to town (CBD). The traffic jams from Upperhill into town on a weekday evening are epic, it can take you two hours to drive into town, a 10-15 minutes walk. Anyway, if the friend or business acquaintance that you are meeting lives/works along/off Mombasa road, and you have been looking for a place to meet for a cup of coffee in the evening, consider these places:
Savanna Coffee House at Sameer Business Park
Situated at the expansive, open aired (in the sense that the buildings don’t tower to block out the sun) Sameer Business Park, is another branch of Savanna coffee houses. The location is great, especially if it’s really sunny, you can sit outdoors and enjoy the open space and gazing onto Mombasa road traffic.
In the evening, the lighting is great and ambiance will match the mood; however, mosquitoes invade! In the fading sunlight, they attack your legs under the table, so don’t wear a short skirt. On the other hand, the cafe closes early, by 7:30 p.m. waiters come to your table to chase you away! So really, it’s a daytime meeting kind of place.
Service is okay, mostly because you will find one or two waiters. The place is rarely crowded. The food is alright, depending on what you want. The usual coffees and teas, the burgers, fries, rice, chicken.. it’s like a parallel Java menu.
Panari Sky Center & Hotel
Panari Sky Center and Hotel has the only solar ice skating rink in Nairobi. However, I doubt you will want to meet anyone at the skating rink!
Panari Sky Center & Hotel
On the ground floor of the hotel, there is Black Gold Cafe, and Shooters & Dips bar. While their latte may be average (as compared to the specialized Java & Savannah), the ambiance is great! It’s warm inside (no mosquitoes), staff are warm and friendly, lighting is good, music is good, food is really good. And closing time is midnight. Their prices are also fair, beer is Ksh. 250.
Panari also has a number of restaurants on the second floor, notable is Pampas Brazilian restaurant for (a lot) meat. I think there is also a bar on the 2nd floor, haven’t explored it. The waiter informed me of a rooftop bar, but it’s only for hotel guests. As a walk-in however, the ground floor should be sufficient for conversation to catch up with old friends, or seal a business deal.
Every so often you’ll probably find me there having coffee in the evening on my way home, but no stalkers please! I just like its convenient location on Mombasa road, a pause as I wait for traffic congestion to ease.
For more info, check out their site
On the other side of Mombasa road, there is also Ole Sereni, but I have only been there once for a conference. There’s also Eka Hotel, of which I have heard nothing but good things. If I do go there sometime, I will write about them.
Closer to town, there is Capital Center, with a number of restaurants on the ground floor, including Java. The food-court also houses Chicken Inn & Galitos (I think). There’s a Chinese restaurant on 1st floor as well as a pub. However, I find Capital Center to be rather crowded, if noisy; and I rarely meet anyone here.
Know any other places along Mombasa road, please share!
More places to meet along Mombasa road thanks to a contributor, Patrick:
- Bellevue petrol station (there’s a Pizza inn there)
- Motor sport club south
- The Boma in South C.
- Choma Zone just ahead of Imara Daima junction at the Total Petrol Station