We found a hidden gem the other weekend: Bella Maria’s Little Italy. It’s a cute, vegetarian, Italian restaurant on Peponi Rise (off of Peponi Road, just past Kitisuru Road if you’re heading north on Peponi). How hidden it is?
The road is easy to miss and the sign for Bella Maria’s isn’t the easiest thing to read. Look for a yellow/cream sign that has a small Italian flag on it. As you go up Peponi Rise, keep going up and fully around the bend. You’ll pass a Montessori School (which we at first thought was the restaurant). The restaurant (with a big sign hidden behind branches) is just past the the school (go all the way around the bend) on the left.
You’ll arrive at the cutest place ever.
The restaurant is beautiful and nestled in absolutely gorgeous grounds. You’ll forget you’re in Nairobi and think you’re tucked away in an enchanted forest. It’s worth taking a walk around the grounds.
The interior is nice too, with ample seating (indoor and outdoor plus a covered, outdoor private party area), a nice bar, and cozy lounge area.
The setting is great for kids and large groups. It would work well for a romantic dinner as well.
The food was great. It’s vegetarian, but sometimes they’ll have a special with some meat in it. The service good. We were with a large group and with a lot of kids so it was a little haphazard—but I think they did a really great job considering we sort of brought a lot of chaos.
They just opened earlier this year and things have been quiet. I would say this is partly because of a lack of marketing (even their Facebook page is empty) and poor signage. I hope this post gets them some well deserved attention. It’s great place and I hope it will be successful.
If you live north of the city around Kitisuru, Gigiri, Rosslyn or Runda, this is in your neck of the woods. It’s worth traveling to if you’re father away. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed.