Kenyan Cuisine

Experience Kenya's Diverse Cuisine

Since Kenya is a country consisting of many tribes with different traditions, the cuisine is quite varied. Staples include maize and other cereals served with various meats and vegetables. Food is very simple and hearty, without a lot of seasoning. Since Kenya was controlled by various countries in the past, the cuisine from each has left its mark. 

Staple Kenyan dishes include:

Nyama Choma

Swahili for 'roast meat', nyama choma is an East African dish of freshly butchered meat, usually goat or beef, slow roasted over coals and seasoned with nothing more than salt. Sometimes, the meat is served with chillies and a tomato salsa salad called kachumbari. You'll find this tasty dish everywhere on your holiday in Kenya; from the finest restaurants to street vendors.


Githeri is a simple corn and bean dish that originated from the Kikuyu tribe. The dish supplies an extra protein punch for the diet of many Kenyans. The corn and beans are simply cooked together with a touch of salt, although many variations exist, such as substituting the corn with hominy or adding potatoes and greens to the dish.


The coastline of Kenya has been heavily influenced by Arabs and Indians, and the food reflects this. This dish includes spiced rice that is first sautéed and then boiled. There are literally hundreds of variations, including adding a cup of chopped vegetables or a couple of teaspoons or cashews, raisins or toasted almonds. 

Street food in Kenya is also popular and a tasty, excellent and inexpensive way of getting a good sample of the variety that Kenyan cuisine has to offer. There are countless stalls lining the streets in the larger cities; just be careful to only order street food from vendors whose food is clean, fresh and cooked right in front of you. Popular street food dishes include:


This staple dish is the most common street food you will find on your holiday in Kenya. Ugall is a stiff cornmeal starch that looks a bit like polenta that's then made into a thick paste and eaten with fried vegetables or meat stew.

Sukama Wiki

Known as 'collard greens' in English, sukama wiki is another staple Kenya dish. It literally translates to 'stretch the week' in Swahili and is a nutritious way the Kenyans found of stretching out the kitchen resources for a full week. The collard greens are finely sliced, fried with onions and tomatoes and eaten with ugali.

Roasted Maize

This common street snack is cheap, filling and available just about anywhere. The maize is roasted and served with lime and chilli sauce and is a national favourite.