Ethiopia isn’t about a single flavor or culture. It is a blend of several, and the food in Ethiopia represents that blend. From traditional fare to modern cuisine to some of the best pizza this side of the Mediterranean, Addis Ababa has a lot to offer the adventurous gastronomer. A visit to any destination is not complete without diving into the range of culinary delights it has to offer, so with that said, make sure to add these places to your bucket list for your next visit to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Your stomach will thank you for it!
From the moment you walk in the door of Kategna you are hit with the delicious aroma of coffee roasted in the traditional Ethiopian fashion. Have a seat in one of their low chairs around a small table designed to enjoy the foods of Ethiopia the way it’s been done for a thousand years: on a shared bed of injera bread. Then take in the spicy aroma of berbere and this modern take on traditional Ethiopian fare is nearly complete. Order a plate of kitfo, the Ethiopian version of steak tartare, and you’ll understand why this is the first restaurant on our list.
Address: Africa Ave, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (near the airport)
Website: Kategna Restaurant
2. Oda Cultural Restaurant and Cafe
Hidden inside the Oromo Cultural Center near the national stadium in the heart of Addis Ababa is the Odo Cultural Restaurant and Cafe. Highlighting the foods of the Oromo, one of the the largest ethnic groups in east Africa, this eatery boasts traditional Oromo foods like injera made from black teff, beso, and spiced butter. After your meal, try the buna qalaa, coffee beans roasted in butter.
Oda Cultural Restaurant and Cafe
Address: Ras Mekonen Street, Addis Ababa
3. Zola Café and Restaurant
Zola is not your typical Ethiopian restaurant because it doesn’t serve Ethiopian food. Located near the Zola International Hotel, this café and restaurant serves up traditional Italian fare with an Ethiopian bend. Pizza and pasta are dished out with spice combinations found only in Addis Ababa. If you’re looking to get away from the traditional wats and shiro, Zola is the place for you.
Zola Café and Restaurant
Address: Imperial Circle, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Website: Zola Café and Restaurant
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4. Turacao Two
Turacao Two, open for breakfast and lunch, dishes out traditional Ethiopian food at an affordable price. From kidney, lamb, and special tibs, to fish firfir and cottlet, this place will fill your belly without emptying your wallet. The perfect place to grab some authentic cuisine while traveling on a budget.
Address: Kazanchis, Dejamache Beyene Merid Street, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
5. Effoi Pizza
Addis Ababa is not a place known for pizza but here is the second pizza place on our list, but the first in our hearts. Effoi has taken the art of pizza to new heights. They start with a thin crust, add a special tomato sauce and layers of fresh, real mozzarella, then bake the pie to perfection. This is a pizza that rivals any you might find in New York or New Jersey. Be prepared to wait: this is one of Addis Ababa’s most popular hang-outs.
Address: Mike Leland Street, Addis Ababa 9500, Ethiopia
Facebook page: Effoi Pizza
6. Yod Abyssinia
In a city rife with delicious cuisine from the Horn of Africa, Yod Abyssinia stands out as one of the best. The decor is traditional Ethiopian, highlighting the history and culture of one of the oldest civilizations in Africa. The smells coming from the kitchen entice and entangle your senses. Doro wat, gomen, and kitfo are just a few of the specialities that Yod dishes out daily. This place isn’t just about the food. As a cultural center, you’ll learn about the rich traditions, songs, and dances of Ethiopia while you enjoy your meal. Every evening musicians, singers, and dancers take the stage to entertain and enrich the experience of guests. This is an experience worth seeking.
Address: Bole Medhaniyalem Area, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Website: Yod Abyssinia
7. Brundo Butchery
If there’s one dish that highlights the best of Ethiopian culture and cuisine it is raw meat. Specifically, kitfo, made from the finest parts of red meat. The meat is ground and mixed with spiced butter and mitmita, an Ethiopian blend of spices that includes cardamom seeds, cloves, salt and pepper, and ground chiles. Brundo Butchery, located in front of the European Commission for Africa, serves up the best kitfo in Addis Ababa. Don’t like the idea of eating raw meat? Try the kitfo leb-leb, which is heated kitfo and resembles minced beef. Try an Ethiopian honey wine as an accompaniment and you’ll discover you’ve got to food heaven.
Address: Dawit Kitfo, in front of the European Commission for Africa in Atlas, Ethiopia
Addis Ababa is a gastronomer’s haven where one can feast on everything from traditional Ethiopian fare to the finest pizza this side of the Mediterranean. These seven restaurants will get you started on your journey through the heart of Ethiopian cuisine. Make sure to add these establishments to your itinerary when visiting Addis Ababa, to enjoy your Ethiopian adventures to the fullest!
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