From chapo choma to kuku pono, Kenyan street foods explained

• Most streets in Kenya are always buzzing with affordable readily available treats to fill ones tummy

Kenya is a country not just known for its breathtaking landscapes, but also for its vibrant street food scene that adds a burst of flavor to every corner.

If you're strolling the bustling streets and hear a vendor hollering out some slang, don't panic – it's probably the code to unlocking a mouthwatering culinary adventure!

Let's dive into the world of street food with a twist of slang :

Viazi Karai

Viazi karai
Image: Courtesy

Calling all potato enthusiasts, this one's for you! "Viazi Karai," takes the humble spud to the next level. Sliced slightly pre-boiled potatoes are given a flavorful dunk in a spicy batter, then deep fried to golden perfection.

The result? A crispy and spicy snack that's sure to leave you reaching for more – just be careful, they might be spud-tacularly addictive! They usually go for as low as 20/= a scoop and are served with ukwaju  (tamarind) juice.

Chapo choma:

Yes it is a thing cool kid, simmer down and no it doesn't have meat in it.

Chapo choma is basically chapati (flat bread) served with bean soup. It's a meal for comrades and those on a strict budget.

You only pay about 40/= for 2 chapatis and get free soup in a bowl to wash it down. Also, if you are a regularly they bless you with beef/chicken soup. It's such a to go meal that it ca be served in a nylon bag and you're off on your way no cutlery needed.



Now, let's talk about the unsung hero of street food, "Mutura."

Don't be fooled by its sausage appearance, this delicacy is an artful blend of minced meat and spices, traditionally encased in a sausage-like wrapping of the cow's intestines. It's grilled to juicy perfection, delivering a savory punch that's worth stepping out of your culinary comfort zone for. Usually served with kachumbari and price starts from as low as 10/=

Kuku pono:

Image: Courtesy

Yes by now you've probably noticed Kenyans have a thing for grilled snacks.

This is bare laid out chicken sometimes brushed with a turmeric marinade grilled over open charcoal fire. It's sold in parts, mostly wings, the neck and other small parts. Price depends with the piece you pick varying from 10/= all the way to 150/=

Mahindi Choma:

When the aroma of charred corn fills the air, you know "Mahindi Choma" is near.

Corn on the cob is roasted on an open flame, kissed by the flames until it's got just the right amount of smokiness and char. Sprinkled with a dash of salt and a squeeze of lemon dipped in salt and red chili powder, it's a classic street food treat that'll make you feel like you're having a picnic, even in the midst of the city buzz. The corn can be bought in halves and the starting price can be as low as 20/=


mayai and smokie pasua
Image: Courtesy

Ever heard of a smokie/egg that's got a secret to spill? "Smokie/mayai Pasua" is your go-to street food mystery.

A smokie sausage is sliced open, stuffed with a mix of chopped onions, chili and tomatoes with dhania and slathered with zesty sauces, turning it into a flavor explosion that might just put a smile on your face as wide as the slice itself!

Sometimes its rolled in a chapati making it a more filling meal.

Mshikaki :

Time to get your hands on the irresistible "Mshikaki" – skewered pieces of succulent marinated meat.

These little skewers pack a punch of flavor, often accompanied by tangy sauces that create a dance of deliciousness in your mouth. It's the street food equivalent of a party on a stick!


Image: Courtesy

A very filling and tasty treat! Rolex is smocha's cool cousin from the city.

It entails of a fried omelette topped with a chapati then rolled together... just kidding that's not all. What is a Kenyan street food without Kachumbari?

If you want to elevate it even more you can have a smokie added to your chapati rolled then topped off with kachumbari and avocado! Heaven  on earth!

Have you tried these delicacies? Anything you feel I've missed out on? Let us know.

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