Going to bars is one of Kenya’s favorite pass time activities, especially on the weekends. The amount of business and political deals that have been made in bars would shock a foreigner. Because of this huge market, a lot of bars operate in Kenya, from fancy bars to raunchy bars in the back alleys of the city. Knowing all the good bars in Kenya is practically impossible, there are a lot of hidden gems that I haven’t had a chance to visit. Unfortunately, good bars open and close weekly due to the cut-throat competition, so this list will be getting frequent updates.
A lot goes into making a bar good in my opinion. Other than music, drinks, safety and décor, a good clientele is also important in creating the perfect atmosphere for drinking. Based on these criteria I have made a list of the best bars in Kenya, with an emphasis on the popular ones.
Located in Westlands The Alchemist is one of the most popular clubs in Nairobi. The outdoor seating provides the perfect atmosphere for drinking and eating. There are three food carts within the premises that serve a wide variety of food, with the chicken burgers being a favourite of many. One of Alchemist’s allure is its happy hour which runs from 1 pm to 6 pm, making it one of the longest happy hours in Nairobi. The club however is more popular due to its events, where they bring the best DJs to play Afro-house and HipHop weekly.
With good music, a wonderful crowd and friendly staff Brew Bistro is one of my favourite bars in Westlands. It’s always full throughout the weekend which makes it a wonderful place to chill or party. The food here is also really good and their Sunday offer of bottomless food and bottomless cocktails is the best way to experience all the offerings on their menu. Brew Bistro is located on the top floor of Fortis Tower in Westlands and I highly recommend it.
Located in ABC Place off Waiyaki Way, Mercury Lounge is criminally underrated. However, it’s loyal patrons always show up every weekend to drink and dance the night away. The food here is also really good, and the cocktails are among the best of any bar in the area. The music is also really good which always keeps the crowd hyped.
Located on the top floor of Crossroads Plaza on Westlands Road Nairobi, 40Forty Lounge is one of the popular clubs of Westlands. On the weekends the club is usually full which is perfect for a night out of partying. The VIP lounge in 40Forty is also really good and perfect if you want to enjoy a drink away from the crowd.
With beautiful views of the Mombasa channel and old harbour, this restaurant and bar has one of the best settings, unrivalled anywhere else. The food at Tamarind Dhow is also of a world-class standard and the sea breeze accentuates the aroma of the food. The bar serves a wide variety of drinks with Scottish single malt whisky being their speciality. Their stable includes 12-year-old Glenkinchie, 12-year-old Cragganmore and 10-year-old Talisker.
Located on the 7th floor of Sankara Hotel in Westlands The Champagne Bar offers a really good view of the Nairobi Sky Line as you enjoy a drink on their hand-carved Marc Van Rampelberg palm wood bar or feel at ease in the plush low–level lounge seating.
Located inside Nyali Centre, along Links Rd, Tapas Cielo is one of the best bars in Mombasa. You can enjoy cocktails and whiskey at the bar while listening to music played by its line-up of world-class DJs. Tapas Cielo has really good ambience and décor, and the customer service is world-class. This bar is not only one of the best in Mombasa but ranks high on my list of best Kenyan clubs.
Located right on the equator, The Zebar Cocktail Bar is probably the only bar in the world where your server has to move between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres to serve your drinks. Zebar has large windows with breath-taking views of snow-capped Mt. Kenya and the beautiful gardens. This bar is located within the premises of Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club. Whenever you are in Nanyuki, try to pay it a visit.
1824 Bar and Restaurant is probably the most famous bar in Kenya. With its world-class line up of DJs who always keep the beautiful clientele entertained, it’s not hard to figure out why. If you want to have a good time any day of the week 1824 is a safe bet, the club is always full and the drinks never run dry. So, make sure you pay a visit to the club along Langata Road.
If you love live music, good food and beautiful décor, visiting K1 Klub House should be on your weekly itinerary. And as big fans of live music, K1 flea market and Sunday brunch; Nairobians always flock to the venue every Sunday. K1 Klub House is the perfect place to finish the weekend and you’ll never regret spending your Sunday there.
This fancy and stylish lounge is located inside Nyali Centre. Anuba Lounge is the most famous club in Mombasa due to its elegance, and the wealthy crowd the club pulls. The club is full throughout the week and getting in is hard on weekends. When inside finding a table is also really difficult. However, Anuba Lounge has never disappointed when it comes to music and a perfect party atmosphere.
Located in Westlands along Mpaka Road, Black Diamond is a favourite among Nairobians. You are assured of having fun when visiting this club as the music is always good and the club always full. The cocktails here are also really affordable which is rare in Westlands. The beautiful crowd that is always hyped is also a big plus, and you’ll never be disappointed when partying here.
This rooftop lounge located in City Mall is one of my favourites. Sheba Lounge usually hosts a celebrity DJ line-up comprising of DJ Crème and DJ Hypnotic, and international artists such as Sauti Sol have also performed here. The club is really popular with tourists and if you want to have a good time, you can never go wrong with Sheba Lounge.
Danka Grill & Lounge is located in Mtwapa, the party district of Mombasa. If you love partying, you have to stay in Mtwapa. Every day is a Friday in this town. The elegant lounge is located along the Malindi-Mombasa Road and its striking beauty and lights make it hard to miss when driving along the road. Danka has ample parking and the best customer service of all clubs in Mombasa.
Club Hypnotica located along Nyali Road next to Nyali Centre is one of the most popular clubs in Mombasa. And the club deserves the attention it gets. Club Hypnotica has some of the best deals I’ve ever heard, and I’d go as far as saying no club in the world would offer such a deal. One of its recent deals allowed you to bring alcohol from outside, as long as you bought a mixer from them. Other than this wild deal, Hypnotica usually has offers on specific drinks too. Even without the deals, Club Hypnotica would still make it on my list due to its incredible guest DJ line-up and awesome music.
Havana Bar & Restaurant is one of the best places to have a lit Friday night. The music is amazing, the food delicious and the cocktails really strong. Voted as one of the Best Gastro Pub and Bar Restaurants in Kenya this bar has something for everyone. If you want a quiet evening you can sit at the quiet back restaurant while listening to salsa. And if you want a wild night of partying this club has you covered too.
If you want to enjoy a beautiful view of the ocean as you drink and have a meal, Moonshine Beach Bar in Nyali is the best place to do it. This lounge serves arguably the best food of all the lounges in Mombasa. This is probably because it shares the same Kitchen with Reef Hotel. If you want a relaxed afternoon cocktail, this is a wonderful place to do that. And after 11 pm the place is perfect for parties, as the music is pumped up and the crowds arrive. I suggest you visit Moonshine the next time you are in Mombasa.
Florida Night Club & Casino is the oldest and most famous Mombasa based club in Kenya, with people of all ages and backgrounds knowing about it. The club has a restaurant, bar and casino. So, this is the perfect spot for gamblers who like to party. Florida Night Club is located next to the beach and beach parties are often held here. It is the most popular club among tourists and foreigners.
Pirates Beach Bar is located right next to the beach, offering a good view of the ocean as you enjoy your drink. The place gets quite crowded, so long ques are commonplace here. The drinks here are cheap, which is a big plus. Food is also available, although the quality varies.
Just for having some of the best cocktails in Nairobi, Mwenda’s Pub deserves to be on the list. Located along Utalii Street in the Nairobi CBD, this bar is a favourite among Nairobians for both its convenience and its friendly prices. The cocktails here have interesting names and are strong enough to make you stagger. Mwenda’s is The People’s Local, and if you are planning on having some fun without breaking the bank, or planning to pregame before going to the more expensive clubs, then Mwenda’s is the joint for you.
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