Nairobi is, in fact, one of the most stylish cities in Africa. According to Vogue: The beauty of Kenya’s capital lies in its unpredictable pace and compelling contrasts, which are often missed in favor of touristy safari game trips.
If you are looking for an art fix or your next fashion muse, the streets of the capital are the arena for swanky trends, colours, cuts and shapes. In the mood to explore with your taste buds? – then the local restaurants might be a good place to start.
In a new feature, Vogue tours the coolest places to eat, shop and explore in the city’s buzzing capital through 16 of the city’s most stylish powerhouses who are combining passion with purpose.
Check out some of their recommendations below and visit www.vogue.com for the full feature.
Wanuri Kahiu, Filmmaker
Her spot: The GoDown is full of artist studios creating amazing work and Afrobubblegum art, which has joy and hope at the centre of it. It’s an incredibly inspiring place to be. You are surrounded by some of Kenya’s best artists all in one space.
Sheila Munyiva, Actor and Filmmaker
Go explore: I like going to Kitengela Glass to watch the artisans make glass sculptures as well as walk around their beautiful property to find little hidden glass gems and art pieces.
Ajuma Nasanyana, Model, Agency Founder, and Philanthropist
Fashion fix: Kikoromeo, Kidosho, Trendy B and Yvonne Afro Street. They make amazing looks with that beautiful modern African touch. The Maasai Marketcraftsmen and women also make beautiful, vibrant accessories that I love to wear and gift to friends and family abroad.”
Niccola Milnes, Education Development Consultant
Dine out: La salumeria, in Valley Arcade. I always end up ordering the eggplant parmesan; on the cooler Nairobi evenings it’s perfect with a glass of red wine.
Anyango Mpinga, Fashion Designer and Social Activist
Her spot: The Tribe Hotel (pictured) was founded on the principle of inclusivity. Their belief that unity is the foundation of a prosperous world is something that speaks to my values as a Baha’i. I love visiting their Jiko restaurant for meetings. I order the ginger salmon and coconut rice in banana leaf.
Annabel Onyango, Stylist, Television Personality and Retailer
Nairobi myth: I think Westerners have this vision of Kenya as politically insecure, on the brink of civil conflict, or teeming with terrorists, which isn’t at all accurate. We have no more of these things as any other major city in the world. We strive for the same things everyone else does—peace and prosperity.
Angela Wachuka (left), Book Publisher, and Wanjiru Koinange (right), Writer
Going live: The Elephant on Kanjata Road for concerts. I will also go anywhere the Too Early for Birds crew are putting on shows. They bring history alive in breathtaking ways, exploring everything from newspaper headlines to Kenyan idioms. – Wachuka.
Gladys Macharia, Jewellery Designer and Brand Consultant
Must-see: Our countless beautiful sunsets, so there is always an excuse to have a sundowner, our classic gin and tonic cocktail. They make a great one at The Giraffe Manor, and the experience can’t be beat.
Katungulu Mwendwa, Fashion Designer
Pro-tip: Be patient and open-minded to the possibility of cosmically-imposed spontaneity and unpredictability. This will help you in all aspects of your experience here, from the weather to traffic and people. Every day feels like a little adventure and you won’t want to leave.
Ami Doshi Shah, Jewellery Designer
Go explore: DuBois Street, where you’ll find the West African Market, a house with multiple rooms around a central courtyard. Each room has an array of West African antiques and textiles from intricately beaded Yoruba Chairs to indigo Mali mud cloth. There are no price tags, so be prepared to have an approximate budget in mind before you start bargaining.