December is here, the most anticipated month of the year, usually filled with festivities and merrymaking to mark special occasions like Christmas. And since Nairobi, Kenya, always sparkles at Christmas, the manic holiday shopping has already begun. 

Many people have started shopping for Christmas gifts to fully immerse themselves in the happy bustle of the season, avoid the last-minute rush, and take advantage of significant discounts rolled out by many retail outlets. 

However, Christmas shopping in Nairobi doesn’t have to be a hassle when the city is brimming with brilliant coffee shops and roasters alongside world-class tastemakers, ready to serve you a little extra caffeine to get you in the festive mood.

Wherever you are in this city, you’re never far away from a special latte or a quality coffee blend. Here are the best coffee shops in Nairobi, from major chains to hidden gems off the beaten path, that you should visit when in the market for Christmas shopping.

Pallet Cafe

This cute spot along James Gichuru Road in Lavington, Nairobi, is the best place to treat yourself to a festive mug of coffee before, after or while on your shopping.

Pallet Cafe is a treasure trove for coffee blends, and you will actually find some of the best coffee prepared by top-notch baristas to give a distinctly Kenyan retro taste when taking caffeine shots.

It is a perfect place to sit and relax as it boasts an ambient garden cafe and an art studio with artworks of different color schemes to give this intimate spot a one-of-a-kind dynamic and texture.

Here, you will also learn one or two hand signs, as 60 percent of its staff encompasses hearing-impaired persons. According to the Pallet Cafe owner Feisal Hussein, his business was born out of the vision to help the disabled in the community by giving them jobs for sustainable living.


The Best Places to Grab Coffee While Christmas Shopping in Nairobi

As we draw closer to Christmas, almost everyone is shopping, and Nairobi’s streets are chaotic. That is why the tranquility of Artcaffe is essential; for the most part, their coffee for a quick caffeine fix that will leave you with renewed hope and cherished holiday chatter.

Artcaffe is located at the Westgate mall and has been serving Americano, Art Macchiato, and Mocha, among other fine coffee types, to coffee lovers for over 15 years.

Lava Latte

A standard lineup of high-quality espressos and cappuccinos anchor the menu of this busy, buzzy coffee shop located at StateHouse Road in the heart of Nairobi.

Lava Latte is a great local spot for many coffee lovers who love the creative flavor of their vanilla and caramel latte. Be sure to grab one of the sandwiches on their extensive breakfast menu to pair with your hot or cold coffee before shopping for Christmas.

Java House

Coffee drinking culture in kenya

The gourmet coffee-drinking culture is up to speed in Kenya, thanks to Java House, a small roaster turned big coffee brand founded in 1999 when it opened its first store at Adams Arcade in Nairobi.

Today, it has registered immense success and has grown to have outlets in Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, owing to its phenomenal customer service and eclectic menu that features a curated selection of premium coffee. 

Java House is a great spot to stop over while on your shopping at nearby malls. Here, you will also find baked goods like pizza to pair with coffee or take as a gift to your loved ones.

Connect Coffee

Best coffee shops connect coffee branches

With branches in Hurlingham, Gigiri, and Riverside, Connect Coffee is enduringly popular for its espresso classics and a range of cold brew coffee to give you more than a mere caffeine jolt.

Connect Coffee’s baristas are equipped with the expertise to match, and this roaster is credited for redesigning Nairobi’s coffee landscape, making it eminent in the capital’s specialty scene.

Aside from offering signature coffee blends, Connect Coffee has a selection of pastries, waffles, and sandwiches on its menu for an awe-inspiring Christmas adventure.

CJ’s Coffee House

CJ’s Coffee House sweet coffee

If you find yourself cursorily examining the goods at the Village Market or at Waterfront Mall in Karen, make sure you take a break to enjoy a decent espresso from CJ’s Coffee House, which embraces modern barista techniques to make flawless cups of piccolo lattes and cappuccinos.

CJ’s Coffee House is a minimalist coffee bar that serves fine coffee at approachable price points as it thrives on the ethos of transparency and sustainability. Visit this place for a tasty coffee variety and a pretty legit selection of soulful soups, burgers, and curries.