Our Neighborhood, What’s Good? series is a review of unique spaces and places around Ikigai’s locations.
Riverside has established itself as one of the city’s prestigious addresses and thriving business hubs, popular with diplomats, expatriate investors, and local business owners. This esteemed neighborhood is where many international offices call home, such as the Ugandan Embassy and German Embassy, alongside luxury apartments and housing highly sough after by professionals looking to live within the best of both worlds.
As one of Nairobi’s most centrally located suburb, nested along green slopes dipping down to the Nairobi River, fitting to its name Riverside drive acts like a spine to offers its residents quick connectivity and multiple access points to neighboring areas such as Lavington, Kiliman, Kileleshwa, Westlands and the CBD.
Whether you are looking for a spot for afterwork drinks, to experience different and new cuisines, or a place to lay your head while on your business trip within the Riverside area, we’ve got you covered!
Without further a due, let’s get into What’s Good in the Riverside Neighborhood!
There are few things sweeter than knowing that you’re done and can clock out after a long and productive day at the office, up until you find yourself clueless on the end of a question we hear often – want to head out for a drinks? But you have no idea where – you’ve already done your share of hard thinking for the day, now you must start researching for the ideal spot to grab a drink? Don’t worry, we’re here to offer some suggestions.
A spot we’re loving is Tortuga Rum Bar Nairobi, a Rum-based bar bringing the Caribbean vibe to Kenya. As the first Rum-Only bar in East Africa, Tortuga offers a unique experience with a vast selection of rums from the Caribbean and across the world as well as a sumptuous menu of traditional Caribbean bites and dishes.
No need to stress if rum isn’t your preferred potion, there’s more great places to try out, like Ibury Lounge, a cozy yet vibrant upmarket bar and restaurant on Aurobindo Avenue, just a few meters as you approach Riverside Drive.
If there was a song that best personifies the atmosphere at Ibury, then DJ que the chart blazing and legendary Saturday Love by Chernelle because likewise Ibury brings you fun themes, guaranteeing a good time every night of the week! Get your dose of enjoyment Monday through Sunday – from Corporate Reggae Monday, Karaoke Tuesdays, Ladies Night Wednesday, After work plan Thursday, Good Vibe Fridays, Turnup Saturday, to Throwback Sunday. And the cherry on top – they have a car wash too! How convenient!
Savor the Taste…
Riverside is dotted with a terrific variety of restaurants and café’s whether you’re in search for a spot to grab a quick bite for breakfast, a place to fuel your body up on your lunch break, or a spot to commune with colleagues, friends or family over a wholesome dinner. Here are some of our favorite places to savor new and adventurous, or familiar and comforting food!
Start your morning off with an artisanal French pastry from Le Grenier à Pain, situated on 9 Riverside Drive, and wash it down with our delectable signature coffees and teas at Roasted Truth, available at all Ikigai locations.
Next, escape the mid-day mundane and let your taste buds travel to exciting flavors. Spice up your afternoon with a hearty meal from Pistachio by Masala Twist on 14 Riverside. Or save yourself the hassle and time traveling and instead enjoy convivence as well as mouth-watering meals by ordering in from our Ikigai Kitchen lead by the extraordinary Steph the Chef.
Finally, cap the evening off at ChengDu Impression on Riverside Lane. ChengDu Impression is a Chinese cuisine restaurant offering classic and contemporary Sichuan style cooking technique to give you the most authentic dinning experience. What we love about ChengDu are the hot pots, a perfect way to commune with those you value around a warm and hearty broth. If you fancy an interactive, do-it-yourself food experiences then Chines hot pots rank high!
Rest your head …
Visiting town for a conference at Ikigai Riverside, but no idea where to stay? Whether you are visiting for a few days or coming to stay for some time, there’s no need to look far, with Gem Suites Hotel & Serviced Apartments just a 4-minute walk from Merchant Square. The Executive Residency by Best Western Nairobi is also within a comfortable walking distance. Both places offer serene, secure, and luxurious fully furnished accommodation for you to lay your head. Enjoy the amenities of world class hotel but with the space, comfort, and privacy of home. If you’re looking for the full hotel experience, then try out the trendy and chic DusitD2 hotel, which hosts the swanky Rouge Deck, perfect for Saturday sundowners!
Restore the vitality of your mind, body, and connection to nature with a trip to the Nairobi arboretum, only a 10 minute drive away from Ikigai Riverside. This is a fantastic place to clear your mind, or perhaps burn off steam with an evening jog after work without breaking the bank. What’s great about Nairobi Arboretum is that it’s one of the few places in Kenya that charges citizens, residents, and foreigners the same fee. As of January 2021, you only need to cough up ksh65 for adults, the same goes for parking fees, and only ksh27 for kids.
If you are in the mood to splurge a little more then why not head over to The Source Medi Spa on 14 Riverside Drive and enjoy a lavish and restorative spa session. This exclusive MediSpa and Beauty clinic offers modern therapeutic facial and body treatments with state-of-the-art equipment and manual techniques. You’ve also got options if convenience is what you are after, then all you need to do on your next lunch break is simply cross the road from Ikigai Riverside and pop over to Aruka Spa for a quick rejuvenating session! We know you’ve been working hard, so go on and Treat Yourself – You Deserve It!
At Ikigai we are passionate about all things coffee, from it’s delicious aroma, the boost of energy it provides, to the heartwarming connections community fostered over coffee breaks at our Roasted Truth Cafes, available to all Ikigai locations. That’s why we could not fail to mention our coffee-loving Neighbours, Karibu Kahawa Camps, another fantastic place we urge you to go and experience. Karibu Kahawa Camps, located on Riverside Lane, is a Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) training institute offering coffee skills and coffee sustainability programs. They also host a variety of coffee as well as tea tastings for you to experience!
Another great place to experience is shopping at Amani Ya Juu on Ring Road, a 10-minute drive from Ikigai Riverside. Amani Ya Juu (which means “Peace from Above” in Swahili), is a social economic enterprise committed to peace and reconciliation for women from many African nations and cultures. At Amani Ya Juu you will find one-of-a-kind home goods, jewelry, bags, and apparel created from high quality fair trade African textiles and materials. They also have a gorgeous Garden Café where you can enjoy a lovely meal as the kids frolic in the garden area playground. You can learn more about Amani Ya Juu’s inspiring story here.
Perhaps the most exciting and fascinating spot we’ve discovered while curating this guide is The Traveling Telescope – Nairobi Planetarium on 105 Riverside Lane. You don’t need to be Jeff Bezos or Richard Branson to experience the mystical cosmos! You only need to take a 5 minute walk from Merchant Square to enjoy an immersive environment; traverse through space, navigating the planets and the starts, and learn or rediscover a thing or two about the celestial world.
And that brings our list to a close! We hope you have a lovely time exploring the Riverside neighborhood.
If you try out these places or have any spaces you’d love to share with us, write to us in the comments below and share you discoveries with the rest of the Ikigai community!
Ikigai is a collective of wellness-focused, beautiful, and flexible shared and private offices across Nairobi. We provide a safe and inspiring work environments for individuals, creatives, start-ups, SMES and corporates at our garden and commercial locations in Westlands, Lower Kabete, Lavington and now Riverside.