15 Best Restaurants in Malindi (Top Places to Eat)

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As one of the best places to visit in Kenya, Malindi has a lot to offer, including museums, historical sites, pristine beaches, and famous landmarks. Aside from these attractions, many restaurants in Malindi provide plenty of choices for various tastes and occasions.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Malindi and are searching for dining recommendations, you’re in the right place. In this article, I’ll guide you through a culinary adventure in this small town nestled along the shores of the Indian Ocean.

Malindi is home to diverse local and international cultures and therefore offers various cuisines. You can expect to find modest joints serving authentic Swahili dishes and beach bars selling tasty grilled meats. In addition to the local delicacies, you can enjoy Italian food, fresh seafood, and a selection of natural juices, wines, cocktails, and beers.

As a local who enjoys exploring different parts of my home country, I’ve always been drawn to Malindi because of its history, tourist sights, and delicious meals. I’ve shared a list of the best things to see and do in this previous blog post, and now I invite you to explore some of the top restaurants in Malindi with me.

15 Best Restaurants in Malindi

Whether you want to sample different local dishes or feast on familiar international food, below, are the best places to eat in Malindi.

The list is based on customer reviews on platforms like Google and personal evaluation of food quality, location, ambiance, and service level. I’ve dined at numerous eateries in the heart of Malindi town and along its best beaches, and I’ve chosen the finest 15 venues using these criteria:

1. Rosada (Best Restaurant in Malindi Overall)

Seychelles Seafood lunch salad with prawn and coconut by the beach

Kicking off this list of the best restaurants in Malindi is Rosada. This charming beachfront establishment is a fantastic spot for exceptional dining and a guaranteed good time. It’s one of my top picks among the beach restaurants in Malindi and along the Kenyan coast.

Rosada’s menu boasts a variety of Italian dishes like pizza, spaghetti carbonara, and lasagna. You’ll also find fresh seafood including prawns, fish fillet, and crabs, and tasty local choices like grilled chicken and beef with chips. To accompany your meal, they have a variety of cocktails and wines.

In addition to the delicious food served, Rosada Beach Bar and Restaurant offers comfortable sunbeds where you can relax while taking in the beautiful views of the Indian Ocean. They also host lively beach parties every Monday and Friday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. – an experience I highly recommend to everyone visiting Malindi.

Rosada Beach Restaurant Information

Address: Q46F+FX Casuarina Rd, Malindi
Phone: +254 700 501 813
Operating Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Grilled chicken or fish, prawns, cocktails
Average Cost: $8-$15 per main, $4-$6 for desserts, $3-$8 for cocktails
Website: @rosadabeachmalindi

2. Seafront (Best for Swahili Dishes)

Nigerian African Jellof Rice Served with Vegetable Salad

Seafront is one of the best traditional restaurants in Malindi. This local joint is famous for its affordable and scrumptious African breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes. It’s also conveniently located near tourist attractions in Malindi, such as the Portuguese Chapel and Vasco da Gama Pillar.

Their menu features Swahili dishes like samaki wa kupaka, pilau, biryani, and wali wa nazi. In addition, they serve various other Kenyan dishes, including ugali, karanga, liver curry, and grilled chicken, with a side of local green vegetables. Seafood lovers can also enjoy their selection of fresh prawns and fried fish.

☞ SEE ALSO: 15 Must-Try Dishes in Kenya

Seafront Swahili Dishes Information

Address: Q4GG+WP Silversand Road, Malindi
Phone: +254 793 717 333
Operating Hours: Daily from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Biryani chicken, karanga (beef stew), beef fry with ugali
Average Cost: $3-$10 per main dish, $2-$3 for vegetables
Website: @seafrontrestaurant

3. Bar Bar (Best for Pub Food in Malindi)

On the front beach, there is a table, a wine glass, a glass of juice, two plates of seafood, and two bottles of condiments.

If you’re searching for a spot in Malindi to enjoy a great meal, have some drinks, watch sports, and listen to wonderful music, Bar Bar is the place to be. In addition to offering delicious food and drinks, Bar Bar is well-known for its Tuesday evening live music sessions by various bands.

Their menu has a variety of choices, including main dishes, sandwiches, salads, hot beverages, pastries, and desserts. As well as their tasty meals, you can explore their wine list and bar menu featuring cocktails and beers. Be sure to try the Bar Bar mixed grilled seafood, a delectable combination of squid, fish fillet, prawns, and lobster.

Bar Bar Restaurant Information

Address: Q4V8+8J Sabaki Centre, Malindi
Phone: +254 743 898 575
Operating Hours: Daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Grilled beef fillet, mixed grilled seafood, pork ribs
Average Cost: $4-$7 per starter, $9-$22 per main, $4 for desserts
Website: barbarmalindi.com

4. Savana (Best for Fine Dining in Malindi)

A waterfront dining, there a two plates of crab, two glasses of wine, a bowl of bread a small plate of cheese, and two bottles of condiments on the table.

Savana by Sandies Tropical Village is the epitome of fine dining in Malindi. The restaurant offers a rich buffet featuring Kenyan dishes, Italian food, and other international cuisine. It’s also my preferred outdoor restaurant in Malindi, thanks to its lovely ambiance, green garden, swaying palm trees, and magnificent ocean views.

Apart from the inviting Savana, the beachfront hotel features three bars that perfectly complement the restaurant’s delicious meals. After a satisfying meal of pizza, seafood, or grilled beef steak, you can continue to enjoy the experience with a selection of refreshing cocktails, freshly squeezed juices, and local beers at a bar of your choice.

Savana Restaurant by Sandies Tropical Village

Address: Q46G+V5 Casuarina Road, Malindi
Phone: +254 720 607 075
Operating Hours: Breakfast (7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.), Lunch (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.), Dinner (8 p.m. to 10 p.m.)
Must-Try Meals: Grilled prawns, beef steak
Average Cost: $2-$4 per starter, $9-$20 per main, $3-$7 for desserts
Website: sandies-resorts.com

5. Baby Marrow (Best for Italian Food in Malindi)

In assorted Italian food, there is pasta, pizza, sandwich, salad, and bread with chocolate and strawberry syrup.

Although you won’t find Michelin-star restaurants in Malindi, the town has several restaurants that rank highly for food quality, harmony of flavors, value for money, and great service. One such restaurant is Baby Marrow – an Italian pizzeria and restaurant located along Silversands Road.

This is the most popular place for Italian food favorites in Malindi such as pizza, pasta, and risotto. They also serve local dishes like barbecued meat with ugali and mouthwatering samosas. Seafood lovers will find fresh options such as smoked sailfish, crab salad, tuna carpaccio, and grilled prawns.

Baby Marrow Restaurant Malindi Information

Address: Q4GG+GH Silversand Road, Malindi
Phone: +254 700 766 704
Operating Hours: Daily from noon to midnight
Must-Try Meals: Risotto with prawns, pizza, panzerotti, samosa
Average Cost: $7-$12 per main, $3-$6 for desserts
Website: babymarrowrestaurant.com

6. T&T (One of the Best Local Restaurants in Malindi)

A Chicken Biryani with on ion on top.

Conveniently located along the Mombasa-Lamu Road, T&T Restaurant is known for having the best lunch in Malindi. This eatery has a spacious seating area and friendly staff are always available to serve you.

If you happen to be exploring the tourist attractions in Malindi, stop by for some of the most delicious meals in town. They serve Swahili dishes like pilau, biryani, and other local delicacies such as beef stew with chapati and vegetables. Their coffee and fresh juices are also worth trying.

T&T Malindi Restaurant Information

Address: Q4G6+QM Malindi
Phone: +254 20 266 3322
Operating Hours: Daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Biryani chicken, pilau beef, chips masala
Average Cost: $3-$9 per main, $3-$5 for coffee and juices

7. Billionaire Grill & Bar (Best for Brunch)

Beautiful young woman eating food in the restaurant at the beach on a sunny day.

If you’re looking for a restaurant in Malindi with a beautiful sea view, I highly suggest checking out the Billionaire Grill & Bar. Besides its spectacular beachfront location, it offers a relaxed atmosphere, fast service, and excellent food.

The restaurant provides an outdoor dining experience with a diverse menu featuring the finest Italian and local dishes. Don’t miss their delicious pepper beef steak, which can be enjoyed with either ugali or chips.

I frequently visit Billionaire Resort, (where the restaurant is based), in Malindi because of its proximity to Marine Park Beach. From there, you can relax on the pristine white sands, go swimming and snorkeling, or explore the coral gardens beneath the surface by scuba diving.

Billionaire Grill & Bar Information

Address: P4VJ+FJ Marine Road, Malindi
Phone: +254 705 437 307
Operating Hours: Daily from 7:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Pepper steak beef fillet, grilled jumbo prawns, Caprese salad
Average Cost: $6-$9 per starter, $16-$42 per main, $7-$11 for desserts
Website: billionaireresort.com

8. Pizza O (Best Restaurant in Malindi with a View)

On the table are different kinds of pasta, pizza, sauces, and hams.

Previously named ‘Osteria’, Pizza O remains one of the top restaurants for fine Italian food in Malindi. Its beautiful view of the ocean, coupled with delicious Italian cuisine and a few local dishes, has made it popular for a long time.

The menu includes pizza, spaghetti, grilled prawns, calamari, and vegetarian options. With lights hanging from trees, amazing pool views, and a well-lit beachfront space, Pizza O is the perfect restaurant for a romantic evening or special occasion.

Pizza O Restaurant Information

Address: Q43G+WJ Malindi
Phone: +254 711 480 046
Operating Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Hawaiian pizza, seafood platter, calamari in pili sauce
Average Cost: $3-$5 per starter, $11-$29 per main, $3-$7 for desserts

9. Che Shale (Best for Lobster and Crab)

A plate of lobster and crab, and garnished green vegetables.

Che Shale, a small boutique hotel in the northern part of Malindi, is home to the best dining spot in the area. The restaurant offers al fresco dining with a direct view of the beach and the Indian Ocean. For a unique and memorable dining experience, you can request a table to be set up on the magnificent golden-sand beach.

This lovely setting allows you to relax with a cocktail or local beer before sampling some of the best seafood in Malindi. Their signature dishes include lobster and soft-shell crab, prepared to your taste and enriched with fresh spices such as turmeric, ginger, and coriander.

Che Shale Restaurant Information

Address: W5PF+93 Lamu Road, Malindi
Phone: +254 722 230 931
Operating Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Lobster, soft-shell crab, Che Shale breakfast wrap
Average Cost: $8-$17 per main, $4-$6 for desserts
Website: cheshale.com

10. Simba Dishes (Best for Street Food in Malindi)

Pilau in a cauldron, a mix of white rice and sauce, and chicken close up

If you’re in Malindi and craving authentic coastal dishes, make sure you head over to Simba Dishes. This restaurant is popular, especially with locals and adventurous visitors, thanks to its cleanliness, prompt services, and generous servings of local delicacies at great prices.

Simba Dishes is one of my favorite restaurants for Swahili cuisine, like biryani chicken and pilau. They also offer some of Malindi’s best street food, including mshikaki (beef skewers), barbecued chicken, and local pastries like mahamri and mandazi. While here, try the refreshing tamarind juice (ukwaju).

Simba Dishes Restaurant Information

Address: Q4M9+4F Malindi
Phone: +254 703 454 123
Operating Hours: Mon-Fri (6 a.m. to 11 p.m.), Sat-Sun (7 a.m. to 11 p.m.)
Must-Try Meals: Pilau, biryani, barbecued chicken, mshikaki
Average Cost: $3-$7 per main

11. Mayungu (Best for Fresh Seafood)

A grilled fish, clamp, squid, and mussels on the plate and a glass of wine.

Located along a picturesque white sand beach near a local fishing village, Mayungu is one of the best places to eat in Malindi. The restaurant offers seafood grilled to perfection, fresh fruit salads, fried chicken, kachumbari, and other delectable dishes.

Moreover, it boasts a great beachfront location for enjoying sunny afternoons with a cold beer or cocktail. Head here for sunset and watch as the sky puts on a show.

On my recent visit here, I took a beach walk and had the chance to observe the source of the fresh seafood. I watched several fishermen returning from the ocean in their canoes laden with the day’s catch. At the fish market, local buyers were eagerly awaiting their arrival.

Mayungu Beach Restaurant Information

Address: P448+54 Malindi
Phone: +254 738 124 538
Operating Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Fried chicken with rice and veggies, fruit salad, grilled octopus
Average Cost: $3-$7 per starter, $8-$19 per main
Website: flamingovillasresorts.com

12. Malaika Estro (Best for Lunch)

A pasta with lobster served on a white plate.

Set against the backdrop of the beautiful Mayungu Beach, this restaurant offers a lovely ambiance and hospitable staff. Their menu includes a variety of dishes based on the season, complemented by a choice of fresh juices, cocktails, and local beers.

This makes it an ideal destination for lunch during your stay in Malindi. It also boasts several cabanas facing the vast ocean, where you can relax throughout the day. While here, I recommend trying their pizza, tagliolini with crab, or mixed grilled seafood.

Malaika Estro Beach Restaurant Information

Address: M4W3+JV Mayungu Road, Malindi
Phone: +254 796 035 766
Operating Hours: Daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Mix grilled seafood, octopus salad, tagliolini with crab
Average Cost: $4-$7 per starter, $9-$17 per main, $3-6 for desserts
Website: malaikabeachvillas.com

13. Coco Beach (Best for Seafood and Cocktails)

Various sea food and olive oil against blue sea.

This restaurant at the northern edge of Silversands Beach provides a fantastic dining experience. It features an elevated deck that offers breathtaking views of the sea. Opt to unwind on sunbeds or under beach shades while enjoying a cold beer.

Like many other beachside eateries in Malindi, Coco Beach’s menu includes fresh seafood, Italian specialties, and a range of local dishes. During my last trip to Malindi, I went to this restaurant in the evening to relish the soothing ocean breeze and enjoy their delicious crumbed calamari rings with a side of chips.

Coco Beach Restaurant Information

Address: Q4FH+9GJ, Malindi
Phone: +254 727 159 615
Operating Hours: Daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Crumbed calamari rings, grilled seafood platter, pizza marinara
Average Cost: $8-$15 per main (pizzas, grilled meats, and seafood)

14. Olimpia Club (Best for Families)

Shellfish Pasta Pizza and Italian Food

If you’re in Malindi and are looking for affordable dining options, romantic venues, or family-friendly restaurants, Olimpia Club is the place to go. This beach restaurant serves delicious food in a serene environment with magical ocean views. Additionally, Olimpia Club features a kids’ playground and a swimming pool.

The restaurant offers a fresh and tasty mix of Italian cuisine, seafood, and other surprises. You’ll find great options on the menu like pizza and pasta, fried fish with chips or ugali, prawns and lobsters, and grilled beef – all available at budget-friendly prices.

Olimpia Club Restaurant Information

Address: Q42F+RP9, Malindi
Phone: +254 113 248 801
Operating Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Fried fish with chips, pizza, mixed meat grill
Average Cost: $6-$9 per starter, $8-$25 per main, $3 for side dishes

15. Kilili Baharini (Best for a Quiet Atmosphere)

Delicious Crab and other mixed seafood served in hot and spicy sauce.

This restaurant at the Kilili Baharini Resort is another wonderful place for delicious food in Malindi. It’s set in an open-air, Swahili-style building featuring an expertly thatched roof, beautiful art pieces and artifacts, cozy couches, and rustic chairs. It also overlooks a clean swimming pool and a well-maintained garden.

The menu is diverse, boasting local flavors, Italian cuisine, and vegetarian-friendly options. Try out the buffet, which includes salads, mixed seafood, grilled vegetables, meatballs, and fresh tropical fruits. After dinner, you can continue into the evening, enjoying a selection of beers and cocktails at their bar.

Kilili Baharini Restaurant Information

Address: Q45G+P3 Malindi
Phone: +254 702 999 566
Operating Hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Must-Try Meals: Grilled lobster, potato gnocchi, banana ice cream
Average Cost: $10-$25 per main, $5-$8 for desserts
Website: kililibaharini.com

Must-Try Meals in Malindi

Barbeque grilled lobster.

Here are some of the dishes you must try in Malindi, Kenya:

Grilled Seafood

While walking along Malindi’s beautiful beaches, stop at one of the beachside restaurants to enjoy grilled seafood. You’ll find various options of fresh fish, lobsters, crabs, and octopus, typically accompanied by a side of chips.

Biryani and Pilau

Swahili rice dishes are a common meal along the Kenyan coast. Among my favorites are biryani and pilau, featuring spiced rice cooked with chicken, beef, or mutton.

Local Snacks

For a more authentic local culinary experience, explore the traditional Swahili breakfast. It features delectable pastries like samosa, mandazi, and mahamri, which are best enjoyed with tea or coffee.

Chapati and Beans

This delightful dish consists of stewed beans served alongside chapati. Some restaurants might add green vegetables such as sukuma wiki (collard greens sautéed with onions and tomatoes).

Italian Pizza

Malindi is sometimes called “Little Italy” due to its sizable Italian population, comprising both residents and tourists. As a result, you can expect to find numerous restaurants serving Italian cuisine, including my favorite – wood-fired pizza.

Samaki wa Nazi

This Swahili dish is popular in all coastal towns in East Africa. It typically features fried fish in a rich coconut curry, often enjoyed with a side of rice or ugali.

Malindi Restaurants: FAQs

Here are some answers to popular questions about the best restaurants in Malindi, Kenya:

What are the best restaurants in Malindi?

Some of the best places to eat in Malindi are Seafront for Swahili dishes, Baby Marrow for Italian cuisine, Mayungu Beach for seafood, and Billionaire for grilled meats and drinks.

What time is dinner in Malindi?

Dinner in Malindi is typically served between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

What time is lunch in Malindi?

Lunch in Malindi is usually from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., especially during weekdays. These hours are generally flexible during weekends and public holidays.

What time is breakfast in Malindi?

In Malindi and other parts of Kenya, breakfast is served between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Do you tip in Malindi?

Yes. Tipping in Malindi is appreciated but optional. However, it’s customary to tip 10%-15% of the bill in restaurants to appreciate good food and service.

What neighborhood has the best restaurants in Malindi?

The best restaurants in Malindi are located in the town center and along Silversands Beach. You’ll also find great options at Marine Park Beach and Mayungu Beach.

Where is the best pub food in Malindi?

For drinks and the best pub food in Malindi, I recommend Bar Bar Restaurant and Billionaire Grill.

What’s the best restaurant in Malindi with a view?

Beach restaurants like Rosada, Olimpia, Mayungu, and Malaika offer fantastic ocean views.

What are the most popular restaurants in Malindi?

Seafront Swahili Dishes, Baby Marrow, Pizza O (formerly Osteria), Malaika Estro Beach, and Rosada are some of the most popular restaurants in Malindi.

What language do they speak in Malindi?

The majority of people in Malindi speak Swahili. However, a sizable number speak local dialects, English and Italian.

In Conclusion

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article on the best restaurants in Malindi and that it’s given you some ideas on where to eat during your next visit. The coastal destination boasts a diverse food scene influenced by Swahili, Italian, and other flavors.

Restaurants along its coastline are popular for seafood, especially fish, prawns, crabs, and calamari. In the town center and at top hotels and resorts, you can enjoy local dishes like biryani, pilau, fried chicken, and grilled beef steak. Don’t forget to explore the town’s Italian cuisine, featuring options like pizza, pasta, lasagna, and gelatos.

In addition to this list of restaurants, remember to check out my recommendations for the best beaches and top things to do in Malindi. You’ll discover many attractions and activities, which, when combined with good food, guarantee a memorable Malindi experience.

Leo Bio Pic

Written by

Leo Gichuki

Leo is a writer, traveller, and local tour guide in Kenya. He was born and raised in the Kenyan hinterland. After a short sprint working offshore as a seismic explorer, he returned to Nairobi and began his adventures around Kenya and Southern Africa. From these wanderings, the Kenyan Backpacker blog was born - to share his experiences and tales from the open road. Besides backpacking and travelling, he is passionate about hiking, history, and natural building.

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