Really, it goes without saying, the very best food in Ethiopia is to be found at home, family style. Mums all over the country cook really really well.
But when it comes to eating out, there are still some decent spots to check out.
We’re in Ethiopia right now, we’ve been here for a couple of months, mainly spending time in Addis Ababa and whilst we’ve been here we’ve done our fair share of eating out.
Naturally we’ve eaten our hearts out when it comes to Ethiopian food, but also we’ve tucked into other stuff too, partly because Addis is changing and it’s exciting to see what else is on offer, but also because there are some rare occasions when we might fancy something other than Injera….yes, it happens, but those occasions are very rare!
So we thought we’d put down a list of of some of our fave spots in Addis. Ethiopian, Non-Ethiopian and places that serve both… and every meal ends with a coffee, or begins, so we’ve included our favourite coffee stops too.
We’ll keep this list live, adding to it any new future faves.
This place is always packed, a favourite with Addis urbanities and a great spot for lunch. The menu is extensive, great for vegetarians as well as meat lovers. We go for the half/half portions which means you get to taste two different dishes for the price of one.
They have three branches, but we are regulars at the Bole Medhanialem branch.
Address: Bole area, off of Cameroon Street, behind Medhan Alem Church. Map
One of those refreshing spots that’s so considered yet looks effortlessly so. I love what they offer, clean, tasty and nutritious dishes.
This place is perfect especially for those who appreciate veggie Ethiopian dishes, their Misir with Kibe is my absolute fave and consistently so. Go for it with their Fitfit Combo that comes with Telba, Souf and Timatim. I’m also in to their smoothies and teas, I’d recommend the flaxseed smoothie, or there’s a safflower option too. For something sweet, finish up on ginger tea with honey.
Address: Queen Elizabeth II Street, close to Ras Amba and Addis View Hotels. Map
1. Misir, Kosta and Fitfit at Asni Gallery
2. Baby Fiat amongst the seating at Asni Gallery
If you like Shiro, or you’re a veggie, definitely come here.
Just down the street from Kategna, this spot is also a favourite with locals albeit a different environment. We come for the Shiro, creamy, thick and delicious, but go for a platter if you fancy more than just Shiro.
Address: Bole area, off of Cameroon Street, behind Medhan Alem Church (but other branches can be found around town). Map
One of my absolute favourite dishes is Kitfo. My old favourite was Yohannes Kitfo, a place I've loved since a kid, but I’ve recently discovered Yimana! Go for the Yimana special, this comes with Gomen, Ayib and Kocho, I love the toasted one.
The place feels like someones backyard, which is a welcome retreat from the ever hectic Meganagna roundabout close by.
Address: Kenenisa Ave, off of Meganagna roundabout close to Zefmesh Grand Mall. Map
3. Yimana Special
4. Beyaynetu at Tisge Shiro
5. Settling up at Tisge Shiro
ETHIOPIAN & NON-ETHIOPIAN
A cute addtion to Addis, I adore the scattering of beautiful old Ethiopian furniture and trinkets. They have a diverse menu, both Ethiopian and non are good, plus a fair selection of cocktails in the evening.
They occasionally host musicians and small bands later on in the week and weekends.
Address: Between Olympia and Bambis, off of Dem.Rep.Congo St, Mintewab Building. Map
6. Avocado/cheese sandwich and Shiro at Clay Pot
7. All the pots at Clay Pot
8. The garden tropics at Bahir Zaf
9. Fresh juice at Bahir Zaf
10. Chicken curry, Pepper Pot soup and Anebabero at Bahir Zaf.
A refreshing newcomer to the Addis dining scene.
A creative menu that takes some cues from Ethiopian cuisine plus really great juices all in a beautiful garden setting.
It makes me nostalgic for the old Addis homes and compounds. Great for lunch. Sunshine and wifi included.
Address: Haya Hulet area, off of Haile Gebre Silase St, Woreda 7, No.665. Map
11. Seating booth at Sishu
12. Burger and fries at Sishu
13. Me tucking in at Five Loaves
Not Ethiopian, but if you’re ‘Injera-ed out’ try Sishu for a great burger in a huge old cattle shed that’s got some nice design touches. Tricky to find but worth the detour.
Address: Kera neighbourhood off of Alexander Pushkin Street. Map
A great spot for lunch in a beautiful old brick house. A solid option when you're not up for Ethiopian with a fairly healthy selection of dishes. We like to sit in the lofty dining area upstairs.
Address: Balderas area, Côte D'Ivoire St, near Signal Roundabout. Map
Our favourite cup of coffee in Addis!
Order a large macchiato and you’ve pretty much got a flat white. Their coffee has flavour and is more subtly roasted (i.e not dark). Named after their washing station close to Yirgacheffe, these guys export A grade beans, and since all A grade coffee in Ethiopia is reserved for export, these beans we presume must be their export rejects. We’re just guessing, but it’s a decent cup in a nice traditional style interior.
Address: Sarbet area, S Africa St, close to Carl Square Roundabout. Map
A cute little cafe within the old railway station building ‘Le Gare’. Their charming decor takes influence from it’s location providing an old Addis vibe that is slightly reminiscent of the original Tomoca in the Churchill area, but this place is more peaceful with a garden out front and a marginally preferable cup of coffee, although it’s still dark roasted.
Address: La Gare (Train Station), off of Res Mekonen St. Map
For coffee the traditional way go to Yeshi Buna. You can also get some traditional food too, including some dishes that are otherwise rarely found in restaurants. Particular worth a visit if you’re just spending time in Addis Ababa and not off elsewhere in Ethiopia.
Address: Atlas area, Mickey Leland St (but other branches can be found around town). Map
14. The bar at Dumerso
15. A Dumerso large Macchiato
16. Dumerso take-home beans
17. Choche Macchiato
18. Me sipping at Choche
19. Old train stamp artwork at Choche
20. Wall piece at Yeshi Buna
21. Jabena and Buna at Yeshi Buna