Trying to convince someone to love you is an endeavor best undertaken over a meal. This is because a meal is confusing. She will be too busy taking in the meal flavors, restaurant service and decor to notice that you just touched their hand suggestively. But finding a conducive environment to touch said hand suggestively in Nairobi is a bit tricky when it comes to the CBD. The environment is loud and there is almost always a massive crowd of people waiting to shove you and your date in protest of your blossoming love. But I found five great places to duck for a meal and some “confusion” and they are pretty classy too.
1. Gibson’s Coffee House on Banda Street
For the Friday night rave monkeys out there, it’s right next to Tribeka. It’s a small place with a lounge feel. The food is reasonably priced and rather well portioned. However, it’s pretty dark in there. Not a lot of natural light. So if you want a clear view of your date, you might want to try somewhere else. But if “mood lighting” is what you are going for then you can eat here for sure.
Subways is not your typical “sit and enjoy” kind of place. But they do have some seats. As you can guess, it’s a small space and has a lot of human traffic during peak hours but you can sneak in a longing look or two before making someone at the next table uncomfortable. The best thing about subway is that it requires the use of hands. You can’t eat a sandwich with a fork, it’s unnatural. When a woman eats with her hands, it’s kinda hot… No? Just me? Whatever!
Other than the Java at the Naivas Mall in Mombasa, this is the coolest Java design I have seen so far. Particularly upstairs because this is, I think, the only Java with a balcony eating area. And no… The terrace at Java TRM does not count! The meals are of the Java quality we all know and love and the ambiance speaks for itself.
I have gone on exactly 5 first dates here and it does not disappoint. It gets very crowded on weekdays, so finding a good seat is a guessing game. But there is plenty of natural light flowing through the restaurant and the food is surprisingly good for a CBD coffee shop. But, because it can get crowded, you may have to talk to each other like you are at a concert. In addition, because of the high numbers of people, the food may take a while to come. So I hope you have some good small talk ready. Because I never did… Sigh.
5. Sanford Chips On Moi Avenue
What are you raising your eyebrow about? Sanford on Moi Avenue, is the single greatest fries joint in Nairobi. I know what you are thinking. How is this a date spot? Well, picture this. You go out clubbing with some pretty young thing and after a night of drinks and dancing you need to recharge with a quick meal before heading home (separately or otherwise). This is what Sanford seems to exist for. It runs 24 hours and is a great after party snack. Also, with a little creativity, a lot of decent conversations can be had on those high stools.
These places have worked for me but experiences may vary based on your level of game.