Cedars is one of very few restaurants in Nairobi that has managed to stay relevant for decades.
Back in the Moi era, this Lebanese restaurant was a hangout place for regime bigwigs. It mainly catered to the then small upmarket clientele in the area around Kilimani, Kileleshwa and Lavington.
While the menu has changed substantially since then, the food was, and still is, world class. At the beginning of the century, Cedars was considered one of the pricier places in Kenya. Nairobi has since risen to become something akin to the foodie capital of Africa. Along with that rise, many far more expensive restaurants have opened. Cedars however, has stayed true to its style, and retained the same quality atmosphere as before. Prices have only increased moderately.
Cedars was the first restaurant in Nairobi to offer shishas, more than a decade before they became a national craze. For the longest time, it was also the only Lebanese restaurant around.
Their mezze are always the “default option”: Whether you are in a small or a big group, and you can never go wrong with that. There are some great steak options too, though, and by far the best salmon in Nairobi. Obviously, considering one of the owners is Norwegian!
The only thing seemingly missing on the menu, is some selection of Lebanese wines!
Like most Kilimani classics, Cedars obviously also features a spacious, lush and green garden. A well-equipped playground also makes it a great option for weekend family lunches!
Alas, like the rest of Kilimani, Cedars will soon be giving way to a luxury apartment tower. Legends don’t die, though, so it will reappear in a yet-to-be determined location. Whereever it goes, I will follow, but that leafy garden on Lenana Road will forever remain my number 1 favorite in Nairobi.