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This is largely a residential neighborhood close to embassies, offices, commercial buildings, bars, restaurants, and international schools. The main mall and landmark here is the Yaya Center, where you can spend an afternoon browsing through African fiction at Bookstop Ltd, sampling cheese at Brown’s Food Co which has a farm open for day tours in Limuru, working away at Artcaffe which has the best coffee and pastries in Nairobi, right down to the niche Buttons and Bows where you can find tailoring supplies. You’ll mostly find high-rise apartments in Kilimani, and rent here is higher for Nairobi.

There’s a vibrant party scene in Kilimani, favorites being B-Club where Kenyan celebrities like to hang out. The roads always lead to the adjacent Ngong Road though, where you’ll find hotspots like Clique Lounge and Onyx Lounge which regularly feature DJs and local musicians, and Brew Bistro & Lounge which has craft beers from its own microbrewery. You’ll find the city’s creatives, like renowned painter Michael Soi, working away at The GoDown Arts Center. For runners, you can find sidewalks in parts of the neighborhood, but you can also drive a short distance to The Arboretum.

Coworking powerhouse Nairobi Garage has an office here. Pawa254 is a space where you’ll find photographers, graphics designers, writers, filmmakers, and activists; they regularly host poetry, spoken word, and music shows. If you work in tech, iHub is the space for you. 

What Kilimani does best, is perhaps the food. From Mama Oliech, whose Kenyan cuisine has drawn both Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg during their visits to Nairobi, to Habesha, where you’ll find delicious sharing platters of Ethiopian cuisine. Mama Rocks, founded Kenyan-Nigerian sisters Natalie and Samantha, makes gourmet burgers that reflect their heritage, while Unseen Nairobi will introduce you to indie movies and documentaries you might otherwise have never heard about, as you sip excellent cocktails. 

Wendy Watta
May 19, 2023
min read

Wendy Watta is travel writer based in Nairobi, and being a digital nomad, is always splitting her time between different cities in Africa or South Australia.

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