Food is more than the basic need for survival, food is a longing and desire. Human beings want food almost more than they need food. This is because when done right, food can make you hear the voice of God herself. At Kilifi New Year, there is always a large range of diverse food stalls and options – from the pocket-friendly Rollegs to deluxe seafood platters. But exploring the tastes of Kilifi is an experience like no other.
Here are some delicious restaurants you should sample the next time you find yourself in sunny Kilifi:
- Mtaani Village Dishes
Village Dishes is the restaurant version of a balcony – the coziness of inside/outside hence, streetfood/notstreetfood. Village Dishes is local cuisine at KFC franchise efficiency standards. I order a pack of Viazi Karai with chilli split down the middle and it gets to me faster than a One Piecer moving from KFC Langata Rd to South C would.
For about KSH. 100 a tentacle, you can enjoy the ocean umami flavours of morning fresh octopus affectionately referred to from here on out as ‘sea chicken’.
Wrap it up with a handful of kaimati and ukwaju juice under the hot Kilifi sun and a siesta will be seducing you to her bedroom.
2. Food Movement
Deep in the backwaters of Kilifi Plantation, Warren Wilson has created his own culinary playground. Tucked out of sight, The Food Movement is a genuine foodie destination (as well as a hub for dedicated creative entrepreneurs and artists). The menu changes every day depending on the mood and fresh catch. Each meal is an amalgam of wacky flavors combined to make your tongue climax from over-stimulation.
Like this free-range poached egg served with caramelized balsamic onion jam & deep fried sweet potato balls stuffed with mozzarella and basil pesto. (wow)
Photo courtesy of @the.food.movement on Instagram.
3. Distant Relatives Backpackers & Eco-Lodge
The Backpackers is Kilifi’s paradise lost; The Hidden Gem of 003. On a Friday night, if the music & warm ambiance doesn’t have you feeling irie, their wood-fired pizzas surely will.
A round of sunset volleyball and a polite dip in the ocean will definitely rev up an appetite for crab samosas and a vodka dawa, who knows? Maybe even an oyster or two, washed down with a second dawa, maybe a third one for desert…
Photo courtesy of Yummy Magazine.
This ocean creek chic balcony wood cabin has a view to match the mouth-watering french-inspired cuisine. The delicacy of the lime and butterfish contains different strains of flavor, each balancing the other to create an inimitable meal like no other. While you’re at it, might as well dip your tongue’s toes in the baked oysters and cry over how being alive had never felt so wonderful until that first bite.
Photo courtesy of Nautilus.
5. Kilifi Boatyard
In the shade of palm trees overlooking the mouth of the creek sits a friendly laid-back restaurant with a spectacular sundowner view. The Bloody Marys are cold, the crab samosas are appetizing and the pili-pili prawns are hot & filling! If you’re there on a Saturday, you may even be surprised with a plate of free oysters.
The Boatyard closes at nightfall and therefore is perfect for nice sunny afternoon vibes.
Photo courtesy of Kilifi BoatYard.
6. The Sands at Mandharini
Set on a private beach with panoramic views of Kilifi creek, The Sands is part of luxury housing development, Mandharini. Don’t let the tag ‘luxury’ fool you; the blend of coral faced walls, granite bar, modern decor and understated furnishing with traditional Swahili makuti roof balances beach bar comfort with informal dining. Their menu changes with what’s readily available ensuring fresh ingredients are constantly in use. However, always expect house favorites like whole taffi fish, grilled in coconut sauce. The Sands at Mandharini is predominantly a lunchtime venue but they also take dinner bookings, if you make a reservation.
Photo courtesy of Booking.com.
7. The Terrace Bar & Bistro
A cosy rustic shack on the edge of the creek that looks like something out of a 90’s children’s cartoon about a restaurant on an island. The Terrace hosts acoustic nights on the weekend featuring local talent, boozy sangrias, and great nachos!
Photo courtesy of The Terrace Bar & Bistro.
Kilifi is kind on the stomach as it is on the eyes. There’s so much to see, there’s so much to eat. If you’re ever in county 003, treat yourself to an adventure and explore the flavors of the city. We only hope Kilifi New Year can capture the different & distinct cuisines of the majestic city of Kilifi on it’s lil’ 25-acre plateau.