J. Lynn’s

J Lynns

I have to admit that this cafe/bakery baffled me when it first reopened a couple of years ago, changing its name from the well known ‘African Bagel Company’ to ‘J. Lynn’s’. The African Bagel Company (ABC) had, over many years, grown into one of Kigali’s best-known brands so it seemed strange to toss that all away in favour of a new brand, especially since many of the best parts about ABC were sticking around. But the owner Jennifer would have had her reasons and I certainly don’t think the name change has been to the business’s detriment. She’s offering up very good food with friendly service and an nice atmosphere and that combination will keep people coming back, not matter what the place is called.

ABC became very well known for their hugely popular Saturday morning doughnut extravaganza and J. Lynn’s has continued this tradition. Not being a great lover of of kids or missionaries, I tend to avoid it but if you’ve got some kids to entertain then this place needs to be on your weekly calendar. The doughnuts (Rwf 500) are quite yummy, the garden is big enough to let the kiddies run around, and there will be lots of other children there to entertain and tire each other out so that the parents can escape for an hour or two with a mug of coffee. If you’d rather a more serene Saturday morning, then hold off until after noon when the crowds will have mostly cleared out. The doughnut selection will probably be pretty picked over, but not a horrible price to pay for some peace and quiet in their lovely garden.

Bagel and Lemonaide

As the previous name would suggest, bagels are a major draw here. They’ve got plain, cheese and onion, cinnamon raisin, ‘everything’, herb, sesame, and wheat bagels and you can order them by the bag for takeaway (Rwf 1,500 for three, Rwf 5,800 for a dozen) You can get toasted bagels with cream cheese, a variety of bagel sandwiches (with a good choice of toppings ranging in price from Rwf 1,500 to 3,500), pizza bagels (Rwf 2,500), bagel chips (Rwf 1,800), and lots more for eat-in or takeaway.

The take home stuff is one of the reasons on really like this place. It’s hard to find decent take away options in Kigali (and they also deliver!) so it’s nice to see a bit of choice between some things you can’t find elsewhere around town. Their guacamole (Rwf 1,800), sweet and spicy salsas (Rwf 1,800), hummus (Rwf 1,800), and baked tortilla chips (you guessed it, Rwf 1,800) are all excellent. Although they never seem to have hummus in stock when I go there which makes me sad. But the other options are great, too! The tortilla chips and salsa make a great snack.

Pizza Bagel

The pizza bagel (Rwf 2,500) is pretty good with a surprisingly tasty Gouda over a nice tomato sauce. Pretty simple but it’s yummy. My only complaint is that the bagel isn’t toasted at all before the cheese and sauce go on, so there’s no crunchy, toasty goodness underneath. But I have an aversion to untoasted bagels, so it’s probably only me who would have issue with this. Actually, if you are like me, ask for a double toast when you order because otherwise the bagels aren’t really given much toasty love. But, overall, the sandwiches are good and it’s nice to have another option besides the usual baguette.

Baked things are J. Lynn’s specialty and they’ll even do cakes (Rwf 12,000 to 20,000 depending on the size) and cupcakes (Rwf 900 to 750 each depending on the quantity) and other special orders. Plus I’ve been told that butter tarts might make an appearance so Canadians, rejoice! I’ll make sure everyone knows it if and when these lovely little desserts find their way to J. Lynn’s.

Molasses Spice Cookie and Chai

I tried a spiced chai latte for the first time about a zillion years ago and loved it. I forget where or when, exactly, but I remember the flavourful, spicy, creamy flavours and vowed that it would be my new drink. Well since then, I haven’t really met a chai that I really loved. True, I’ve probably been trying it in all the wrong places, but every time I’d ordered it since that first glorious encounter, I was disappointed. Until now! Yes! I’ve been reunited with that chai deliciousness of yesteryear! J. Lynn’s does a pretty amazing spiced chai (hot or cold) – one that might even be good enough to inspire me to make the journey out to Kicukiro especially for it. At Rwf 1,500 for a huge mug of the stuff it’s not a bad deal. Especially considering how rich and delicious it is. The molasses spiced cookie (Rwf 500) makes a great dipping buddy for the chai.

Finding the place can be a little tricky at first because it’s located just off of the main road in an area of town you’re not likely to be too familiar with. Passing the Kicukiro market on your right, keep an eye out for KK 25 Street on your left and also a very small sign that says ‘African Bagel Company’. They should probably change that. And make it bigger. But once you find the right road, you’ll see their well marked gate which is the first on the right.

J. Lynn’s really is a nice place to come for excellent food and drinks. Their menu is interesting and unique for Kigali, they’ve got lots of nice space to hang out, the service is friendly, and the business is a well-run operation with a laid back feel. No hassles, just good food in a quiet space. It’s a little oasis in Kicukiro and somewhere I can see myself spending a lot more time at in the coming months… especially if they have butter tarts!

Hours: Monday to Friday, 8am – 4pm, Saturday, 8am – 2pm, Closed Sunday and Umuganda Saturdays
Phone: 078 840 8308
Email: info@jlynnskigali.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/JLynns/251555748247449

Loading Map…

    • Our Ratings
    • Overall
    • Food
    • Value
    • Service
    • Atmosphere
    • Average Reader Ratings
    • Overall
    • Food No Ratings
    • Value No Ratings
    • Service No Ratings
    • Atmosphere No Ratings

About Kirsty

A Canadian who left in 2001 to wander around the world in search of sun, beautiful views and goat brochettes. Found Kigali in July 2010 and it seems like the perfect fit. I expect to be here until I get kicked out for defiantly walking on the grass while wearing flip flops.