Diani beach has been voted Africa’s leading beach destination for 6 years in a row, and deservedly so. The beaches are breathtaking, the weather is often warm/hot and you can swim or surf in the Indian ocean or sign up for plenty of water sports. There are plenty of hotels by the beach and across Ukunda where you can stay, and tons of restaurants where you can have meals.
I recently visited Diani on a solo trip and it was everything I’d wanted in a getaway. I often travel with family or friends and was unsure about what to do with all the time by myself, so I set up a ‘food itinerary’ and carried my camera and a few books. I’d spent hours reading reviews and looking for menus of some of the best restaurants in Diani. I got to sample a few and I’ve shared the full list below. If you’re ever in Diani and want to try out different restaurants during your stay, here are some restaurants you should consider. Most of them are along or near Diani Beach road, so they’re easily accessible from your hotel and you can walk or take a Tuk tuk or taxi.
Restaurants in Diani
Nomad Beach Bar and Restaurant, Diani
Nomad Beach Bar and restaurant is one of the finest restaurants on Diani Beach. It’s located right at the beach so the backdrop of your meal will be the white sandy beached and rows of turquoise waters as far as your eyes can see. The decor, albeit simple, is delightful, as the cushions and shades are lined with colourful lesso prints.
I spent an afternoon at Nomad’s beach restaurant during a recent solo trip and it was the best afternoon during my stay! It was so good, it inspired me to write, which I hadn’t done in a long time (Read my Letter to Nia – Scenes from Diani Beach) . I had some random meal choices but I enjoyed the Stracciatella ice cream and the Chicken Pineapple skewers with rice.
Piri Pirie’s Restaurant & Bar, Diani
Piri Pirie’s is a nice and laid back restaurant at Diani’s Shopping Centre. There’s the option to dine inside the restaurant or by the side.
I’d already reviewed the menu and went there specifically for the Baby Pork ribs. The ribs were really good – the tender, full of flavor and slide off the bone kind. The fries were just ordinary so you can try another accompaniment – or a different meal altogether. There was plenty of wine going round, so you can have that plus a range of other drinks. Great for group or solo brunch, lunches or dinners.
Check out Piri Piri Beach bar and Restaurant Menu
Pita Pan Cafe, Diani
Pita Pan is a nice little cafe, also at Diani Shopping Centre that had some good reviews. I didn’t get to dine there during my stay, but you can pop in for brunch or a quick meal or drink before/after you shop. There’s a supermarket at Diani Shopping Centre where you can fill up n supplies during your stay, and a few shops where you can buy clothes or souvenirs.
Leonardo’s Restaurant, Diani
Leonardo’s Restaurant is located at Collier’s centre in Diani, along Diani Beach road and it was very highly recommended. It’s nice and cozy and has these booths that are perfect for date nights, or just meals with family or friends. There’s an ice cream point by the side and a bar in the middle if you’d like a few drinks. Unfortunately, I went to Leonardo’s after I’d eaten elsewhere so I only had a drink, but it’s top on my list of restaurants to try next time.
You can access Leonardo’s Restaurant Diani Menu here
Aniello’s Ristorante Pizzeria , Diani
Aniello’s Ristorante and Pizzeria, Diani is a walking distance from Leonardo’s restaurant and was highly recommended for the Pizza and Italian dishes. It’s a simple, no frills restaurant that serves a range Italian dishes.
I went for there for pizza as I’d read some positive reviews. Well, the pizza was good – thin crust, plenty of cheese and toppings, but nothing outstanding that would make me go back. The ambiance wasn’t really pleasing either.
The worst choice I made that day was ordering a milkshake. The waitperson mentioned stracciatella (ice cream with chocolate chips) milkshake and promised it would be thick and nice, and I chose it because I’d loved stracciatella ice cream at Nomad. However, the milkshake was nothing like they’d said, or like a proper milkshake should be – It was bland and watery and just terrible, even after sending it back. That’s how they make them, they said, so maybe just stay away from the milkshakes at Aniello’s if they’re not your type?
Java House, Diani
My plan was to try out restaurants I wasn’t familiar with, so I didn’t plan on going to Java House, but it’s located right next to Temptations Gelateria which was on my list of ice cream places to try. I got there before the Gelateria was fully open so I had some Java home fries as I waited.
Java’s always a good and familiar choice for breakfast or other meals, and you can dine on the deck outside or sit in the shade. There’s also a supermarket right next to it, so it’d fit well within your shopping schedule
Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant, Diani
Ali Barbour’s is a renowned Cave Restaurant in Diani. It comes highly recommended for a unique cave dining experience, and especially for candle lit dinners. The menu has variety of meals including sea food but it’s pricier than other options. Great for date nights, or even for dining solo if you’re your favorite person. 🙂
Check out Ali Barbour’s Cave Restaurant Website here
Kokkos Cafe and Bistro, Diani
Kokko’s Cafe and Bistro is located on Diani Beach road, near Shashin-ka Japanese Restaurant and Waterlover’s resort. The menu has a wide variety of options from breakfast and snacks (including chicken wings), a ton of sandwiches, burgers and a selection of mains that include beef, chicken and sea food. It stays on my list of restaurants to try as their prices are fair, but also because they sell chicken wings (which are still my go to meal anywhere).
Sizzler’s Steak House and Pub, Diani
Sizzler’s Steak House and Pub is located near Diani Bazaar Shopping centre and it is often recommended for steak. Didn’t get to go but definitely on my list for next time.
You can follow Sizzler’s Steak House and Pub on Facebook
There are plenty of other restaurants that I didn’t get to visit which I’ve listed below. Do share your experiences in the comments section below if you’ve dined at any of them.
- The Edge Beach Restaurant
- Sails Beach Bar and Restaurant
- Qua Bruce Bar and Restaurant
- Lymington’s Beach Bar & restaurant
- Bidi Badu Restaurant and Bar
- Mi Lola Tapas & wine Bar
- Forty Thieves Beach Bar and restaurant
- Shashin-ka Japanese Restaurant