What you need to know:
- It is nicely hidden, in an airy courtyard towards the back of the Langata Link Shops.
- As its name implies, the Tin Roof at Langata Link is beneath a mabati roof.
On a blackboard by the kitchen, the Tin Roof Café at Langata Link describes itself as ‘A nicely hidden gem’. I thought it was a fitting description as I sat in the sun enjoying lunch at the café earlier this week. It is nicely hidden, in an airy courtyard towards the back of the Langata Link Shops.
Getting there — once you’ve turned in off Langata South Road, and parked beneath a canopy of acacias — involves weaving through displays of clothes, homeware, toys and other fantastic gifts.
Also on the blackboard were the words ‘Life outside the mall’. It’s a phrase I’ve spotted on the Tin Roof Instagram page too, and it seems to be a bit of a slogan of theirs. It’s a reflection of the café’s green and health-conscious concept, and its roots in 2013. As shopping malls popped up across Nairobi, Tin Roof’s founders were inspired to open up a café in a peaceful, leafy space.
The café’s other branch, at the House of Treasures Emporium opposite The Hub, also has quiet, green surroundings. As its name implies, the Tin Roof at Langata Link is beneath a mabati roof. It’s design is tastefully simple and quirky.
The kitchen has been fashioned from a shipping container, with an open hatch out front. Beyond a narrow lawn with potted plants and a small flock of sculpted metal sheep is a scattering of pastel-coloured tables and chairs. Beside my table was a shelf full of books, wine and bags of coffee beans. People are free to swap books as they please, or leave a donation if they have no book to exchange.
The café is known best for its tasty range of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. Every day they lay out a selection of healthy vegetarian salads, with locally-sourced vegetables, grains, pulses, seeds and cheeses. Each of their lunch mains comes with a serving of these salads, fries or sweet potato wedges.
Great spot for families
Options for mains include ‘Tin Roof Classics’ – ginger snapper, beef straccetti or smoky paprika chicken. You also have a choice of wraps and crepes, burgers, toasted panini sandwiches and mini flat bread pizzas. There are also lots of all-day sweet things and pastries, including gluten-free cassava pancakes and brownies.
Their breakfast menu is broad, too, including a range of coffees, teas, smoothies and milkshakes. I opted for that hipster classic, smashed avo on toast with cherry tomatoes, fresh lemon and herbs, which was delicious.
With a variety of events throughout the week, Tin Roof is a great spot for families. On weekends at both cafés, they have ‘QuickSmudge’ painting sessions for children and adults, and have plans for weekday pottery classes for grown-ups. I also noticed a playground at the Langata Link café tucked round the corner by the Anselm glass shop.
Both cafés have plenty of attractions around them as well, of course. At Langata Link, in addition to the main gift shops is the stylish Coast & Shabby furniture shop and Circle of Life charity shop. Soon there will be a grocery store beside them, too. It’s a similar story at the House of Treasures Emporium — a one-stop shop gallery.
So if you’re in Nairobi and haven’t made any plans for breakfast or lunch today, consider heading over to one of the Tin Roof Cafés. Whichever you choose, there will be lots of fun distractions for the whole family.
Follow @tinroof.cafes on Instagram or head to www.tinroof.cafe for more information about weekly events or to view their menus. The Tin Roof Cafés aren’t on the delivery apps, but they do deliver within a 5km radius, and are available for takeaways.
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