Know where to eat while in Mombasa

By , People Daily Digital
Thursday, October 28th, 2021 00:00 | 3 mins read
A double chicken patty burger served at Crave Mombasa.

While I love an all-expenses-paid trip to the Coast, I rarely ever take the full-board option.

This may in part be due to monetary issues, but mostly due to my fear of commitment.

I do not like committing to eating in one hotel for all three or five meals if you include the morning and afternoon tea.

I always feel that the opportunity cost is too high, as I could be eating almost anything from street food to gourmet Italian dishes if I just get out and explore outside the hotel doors.

So, I usually pay half-board, as one has to be home by dinner time. Before the curfew (now vacated) became the norm, I would only pay for breakfast and leave for a lunch out at a restaurant in the city, and dinner had to be had at a club or nightspot.

On my recent trip to Mombasa, I got to try out quite a few spots around town that I am going to share with you.

While the cassava fries and chilli mangoes served along Mama Ngina Drive do not make an appearance on the list below, they are worth an honorary mention.

So is Tarboush Restaurant, renowned for its tasty and affordable meals, especially their mahamri and shawarma.

1. The Dhow: This is both a restaurant and hotel, as it also offers accommodation.

It is a walking distance from Voyager Beach Resort and is a great option for outdoor dining.

The restaurant is perfect for an intimate dinner set, as one can sit underneath the trees decorated with fairy lights, or at the bar or a dhow-shaped table that is perfect for a group lunch.

They have great meals, with their pasta and pizza being extremely delicious.

They also have theme nights, with karaoke and disco nights being favourites among many revelers.

2. Charchoma  Charchoma understands that even in a place where one could get fresh seafood at a throwaway price, Kenyans will order nyama choma instead.

The place is always parked as people choose their choice of meat at the meat bar and go on to sit and sip cocktails and juice by the beach as they wait. Charchoma has both indoor and outdoor seating.

While the wait for meals is slightly longer, around 45minutes, on weekends due to the high number of clientele, their grilled meat is always sumptuous and worth the wait.

My favourite is grilled pork with grilled drumsticks. Yes, there are no rules about food pairing while at the Coast.

3. Crave : During the last Ramadhan, Crave would have evening cookouts where people would go and buy food.

A friend once brought me chocolate buttons and a frappe from them and I just had to visit the spot.

I would go to their City Mall Nyali branch expecting to just get a dessert menu. I was pleasantly surprised.

While they have plenty of dessert options such as waffles and donuts, they also have other meal options from salads to burgers.

I tried out their beef burger mainly to see if it was worth its price of Sh400. It was, and I am now convinced that food in Nairobi is unnecessarily expensive.

Crave does not serve alcohol, but there are plenty of options from coffee, shakes to juices for you to choose from.

4. Forodhani: Forodhani Seafront Restaurant is located in Mombasa old town just a few minutes walk from Fort Jesus.

The restaurant has an entrance between two old but elegant buildings that open up to the canopied restaurant with views of the ocean.

One can see English Point Marina on the opposite side of the turbulent ocean waters.

Though they may not serve alcohol, they have very good ukwaju, a long list of fresh juices to choose from, and a great ocean view that easily intoxicates the senses.

They serve large portions of food and at fair prices too. You cannot finish a plateful of lobster thermidor by yourself.

They have authentic Swahili dishes, with mbaazi, mahamri and biryani being my favourites.  

5. Yuls: Old is indeed gold, as Yuls is one of the oldest restaurants in Mombasa having been started in 1989.

It’s located right at the beach and have jet skis that one can hire during or after meals. They are renowned for their homemade ice cream, which tastes delicious in the Mombasa heat.

If you want tea, they make it for you as well. They have great pizzas, pasta and seafood options.

You can get a mean steak with a side of fries, but why would you leave the countryside to go eat steak at the coast?

They are closed on Monday and open on Tuesday through to Sunday at noon.