The 8 best restaurants and bars to watch live music in Nairobi


Nairobi’s live music scene lives up to its name. There are more musicians on the streets like never before and that only means one thing for the gig market;-more options 😀 The following is a small list to keep you updated on some of Nairobi’s hottest spots! Venues made it on this list based on curation of different live acts and not regular/resident bands. Most of these shows are also free for your maximum opportunity to indulge *for the culture!

The Alchemist

Also known as The Yard, The Alchemist is the home of Nairobi’s avant-garde and everything progressive. Popular for dynamic and eclectic programming, this venue is also home to residencies including Any Given Thursday, Wadada Wednesday, The Sama Eden and Backyard Bass-all which showcase diverse angles of Nairobi’s musical profile.

Js Fresh Bar & Kitchen, Westland

This joint hosts Nairobi’s world famous Thursday Night Live curated by Abdi Rashid Jibril. Catch a different band each week for quality experiences.

The Blues Restaurant, Barclay Plaza

The Blues is Kenya’s only blues bar. Each Friday, they host an open jam session where customers can get on stage and sing their hearts out or play an instrument. A full band setup is available but i’d always bring my own axe to show off.

Nyama Mama

If you want to discover some of Nairobi’s soon-to-be stars as well as seasonal musicians, then Nyama Mama’s Jamhuri Jam Sessions must be on your checklist. Its curated by good artists so trust me, the music is good.

Restaurant Table 49-Alliance Française, Loita / Monrovia Streets, CBD, Nairobi

The Alliance Francaise garden and the wall (has since become a flower bed RIP) has literally birthed many musicians and established bands. Luckily, the redesigned and rebranded Table 49 does not only serve some exquisite cuisines but also has a new monthly showcase. From punk bands to Floetry, we suggest you save a date if you haven’t yet.

910 James Gichuru

This venue hosts an art gallery, a van bar and regular live events like Folk Fusion and Lahani

Igiza Lounge @Kenya National Theater

This little elegance of a sports bar feels cosy on its balcony setting. Host to karaokes and regular shows like The Barn Synergy, this will get your heart soothed.

Ankole Grill-Senteu plaza,centre of galana and lenana road, Kilimani, Nairobi

Besides food, this joint has got life changing sangria any day. They also have an Accoustic Wednesday showcasing some handpicked music from around Kenya and the world. And its free!