2000 Habesha Cultural Restaurant is along the city’s main road, Bole, and is situated in a tukul, a traditional hut with low wooden tables. Ethiopian cuisine is served without cuttlery, as the custom is to eat with one’s hands. One of the specialties here is injera (made from tef, a sour wheat-like grain, mixed with cool water and a touch of yeast to give it a spongy consistency), served with sautéed spinach, caramelized onions, spicy potatoes, red peppers, an assortment of raw beef cubes, and several vegetarian options. Eating injera is a celebration of the Ethiopian grains and produce as much as it is a sensory feast. The restaurant also has traditional dancing every evening at 8pm.
Elsa Bar and Restaurant offers simple, high quality Ethiopian fare in a laid back atmosphere. The menu offers a host of fasting foods (which are also perfect for the vegetarian set), and also offers roasted chicken and a variety of raw meat selections (tere saga assuage), for those wanting to enjoy the local meats available. Not only is the food tasty, but the bar is known as an afternoon watering hole for the locals. It is a great place to enjoy a meal and also to get a feel for the local population.
The Bata Traditional Restaurant and Bar is located in the heart of Bole in Addis. The Bata garden view alone is a draw for many of the restaurant’s visitors. Many of the tables are positioned around the amazing and lush greenery of the hotel’s gardens, and it provides a scenic and tranquil atmosphere in which to dine. Bata also offers traditional coffee ceremonies throughout the day. The restaurant menu features the traditional kitfo beef prepared with the unique blend of Ethiopian spices and cheese. There are also vegetarian offerings, or what locals call, yetsom beyeynetu, fasting dishes. They include lentils, spinach, cabbage, potato, and carrots, all seasoned with local herbs and spices.
Bata Restaurant and Bar Rwanda Street, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia +251 11 663 1096
Named after Ras Dashen, the highest peak in the Simien Mountains, this place is a hidden gem within Addis. The building itself does not look the most inviting, as it’s located inside a former home. The owners once lived upstairs, and the downstairs section was refurbished and turned into a restaurant. The dining area is a mixture of quiet intimacy and low key furniture and fixtures. The restaurant is particularly good for its vegetarian selections, but also serves fish.
Dashen Lideta, Ethiopia +251 11 552 9746