Valley Coffee has been my go to restaurant in Nairobi’s CBD for slightly over a year now, mostly for their delectable chicken wings, and a certain milkshake that’s Nairobi’s best (In My Opinion).
When I started writing restaurant reviews about 5 years ago at Hapakenya.com, part of my goal was to find a place that I loved so much, I’d keep going back. I wasn’t looking for anything too perfect, but I needed a place with a menu item that I just couldn’t have enough of, and a certain kind of warmth and coziness that I’d resonate with. And, after years of hopping from one restaurant to another, my palate found a home at Valley Coffee Restaurant.
Valley Coffee is a restaurant located on the 3rd floor of Yala Towers in Nairobi’s CBD. Yala Towers is at the junction of Koinange Street and Biashara Street (on the right, if you’re walking on Biashara Street towards Cianda house). Being on the 3rd floor of the building means that you’d generally not walk in unless you know or have been there before, or you’re just pretty adventurous. It makes it feel like this (not so) secret cool people hang out joint, you know!
I got introduced to Valley Coffee early last year, and ever since, I’ve been there more times than I can remember. I must’ve cluelessly passed outside Yala Towers countless times before over the past 10 years, but in retrospect, I realize that the time probably wasn’t just right.
Around the time of my first visit, I was going through this phase where I loved (barbecue/ honey glazed) chicken wings so so much, I’d get emotional just thinking about them (I still do😃). I didn’t have chicken that first time, but I loved the aura so much, I made a mental note to return with a friend and try the chicken wings. When I finally did return, the die was cast! Those wings were Love at first bite, and, as they say, the rest is history!
In the countless times I’ve been to Valley Coffee, I’ve almost always had the same thing each time ~ Barbecue Chicken wings. Sometimes with Fries or Roast potatoes (#TeamWaru 😄), but a lot of times with Naan. Mostly because I loved their chicken wings so much that foregoing chicken for something else didn’t feel like a worthy opportunity cost. At first, I didn’t want to risk having a meal I didn’t like because I already loved the restaurant so much, but then I got used to eating those wings so much, nothing else would feel good enough.
There were days I’d crave those wings so so bad that it’d be my first stop after work, whether I was alone or not. And, when I wanted to celebrate small wins or needed consolation after an interview, the chicken wings were my go to. Throw in casual meet ups with friends and first dates too ~ Let’s just say that my wallet may have side-eyed me quite a bit , but my palate always won!
Valley Coffee is not your fancy fine dining restaurant, so there’s no flare in how the meal is served. The plating is very basic. You won’t feel like a king, but if you love that kind of food, it will raise your spirits and make you feel like you can achieve pretty much anything you set out to do! Okay, I may be an exception, but good food is such a mood changer for me! 😄
The Mango smoothie at Valley Coffee has been one of my best, (only second to Intercontinental’s Mango Lassi) but I ditched it the moment I had Valley’s blend of Blueberry and Strawberry Milkshake, which has me going gaga! Yo, that blend feels like heaven in your mouth 😄! I’ve had different friends try it out (just in case I was biased), and each of them can attest to how close to Perfection that milkshake is. It’s not on the menu, but if you request to have a mix, it will be one of your best choices there (Credit to Sam of Sweetooth delights who asked for the blend the first time.)
Let’s be honest; lots of Nairobi restaurants have sub-par smoothies or milkshakes. Valley is one of those places whose milkshakes and smoothies I have loved over and over – they always come highly recommended. (Not to hate, but Java’s Mango Smoothie almost had me in tears; it isn’t any good).
Valley Coffee has a 2 for 1 offer on Pizzas on Thursday for medium and large. The pizzas I have tried are quite good; they taste good and feel very homemade, rather than standardized types at Pizzerias.
Smoothies cost between sh. 280 and 300 while milkshakes cost between 330 and 350. Chicken wings and the accompaniment cost about sh. 600. There’s a full menu of chicken, beef, lamb and fish items that you should try. There’s burritos and quaserdillas too, and then your typical coffees, teas and cakes.
I’ve come to learn that even the things that we love so much do not come without fault. Once in a while, the chicken wings will not feel as good as I know them to be, but I still go back because I know their potential. I’ve not had a problem with the service, although there could be delays on very busy evenings. I. (Hat tip to Seline, who’s service I’ve found exceptional, and who always keeps me going back.). Further, the washrooms are not as well kept as one would like, especially in the evenings when there are a lot of guests going in and out.
I’ve had a really busy first half this year and haven’t been able to go to Valley as often as I’d like to. Still, it remains one of those places that ticks all the boxes. I’ve been having Koreana Chicken more now , but I still do love Valley.
If you are looking for the kind of place I’ve described above, do try out Valley Coffee; maybe even three times if the first two don’t do it for you. Request for a blend of Blueberry and Strawberry milkshake if you have a sweet tooth, and let me know if describing it as heavenly comes close! In My Opinion, it is Nairobi’s best milkshake.
Photography by Brian Kimani (YouTube: Getaway Planet)
*Update: Valley added the Blueberry Strawberry milkshake to the side menu as “Double Berry Shake”! 😊. If you can, request to have actual (crushed) strawberries and blueberries and not the syrup in the shake. Makes all the difference!
Have you been to Valley Coffee before? Please share what your go to item(s) on the menu is (are). And, as always, if you know a place with amazing chicken wings, please share. Sharing is Caring. 😊
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