airport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

Addis Ababa's Top 10 Restaurants, Ethiopia's Culinary Gems

Addis Ababa's Top 10 Restaurants, Ethiopia's Culinary Gems
Nestled in the center of the country, Ethiopia‘s capital city, Addis Ababa, is quickly evolving and growing. Addis captures much of the diversity unique to the country, with over 80 distinctive languages and numerous dialects belonging to a variety of religious communities and peoples. The city takes pride in its diversity, which is perhaps best represented by the city’s food culture and lively restaurant scene. Here are 10 of the most exciting restaurants to try.
Ethiopian folk group at Habesha Cultural Restaurant © David Stanley/Flickr

2000 Habesha Cultural Restaurant

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.

2000 Habesha Cultural Restaurant Bole Sub-city, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia +251 11 551 8358

Yod Abyssinia

Restaurant, Ethiopian, $$$
Save
Cultural dance group
An Ethiopian folk group performing at Yod Abyssinia Restaurant | © Ninara / Flickr
Yod Abyssinia Traditional Restaurant is one of the most reputable traditional restaurants in Addis Ababa. This place proudly serves a variety of dishes representing the various nations and nationalities that are emblematic of the diversity of the country. The restaurant accompanies the meal with wonderful traditional music performances, as well as beautiful traditional dancing, promoting the Ethiopian culture and traditions for tourists and visitors alike.
More Info
Sun:
10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Meal service:

Lunch, Dinner

Atmosphere:

Traditional, Family Friendly

Itegue Taitu Hotel

Hotel
Save
Built in 1898, The Itegue Taitu Hotel was named after Empress Taitu Betul and was the first hotel to be built in Ethiopia. The quiet hillside setting and the tranquility of the surrounding plains make this a charming place to dine. The hotel seeks to honor the tradition of the establishment and the pride in the nation’s food culture. The restaurant uses locally grown ingredients when available and the chefs craft traditional Ethiopian dishes while still incorporating innovative combinations. The restaurant even offers guests a vegan buffet lunch every day of the week.
More Info

Elsa Bar and Restaurant

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.

Elsa Bar and Restaurant Mike Leyland Street, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Lucy Gazebo Restaurant

Restaurant, African, Ethiopian, Vegetarian
Save
Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa | © Magnus Manske/WikiCommons
The Lucy Gazebo Restaurant is located inside the Ethiopian National Museum compound, and is a great spot for expatriates and tourists visiting Addis. The restaurant is situated outside and the view is lush with tropical plants, decorative sculptures and Ethiopian art. The alfresco dining is enjoyable and the menu has options both for vegetarians and those feeling more carnivorous. Ethiopian fare is offered, as well as pizzas, soups, and pasta dishes. The location next door to the National Museum affords the visitor a great place to have a bite and then continue exploring Ethiopian treasures.
More Info

Bata Traditional Restaurant and Bar

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

Totot Kitfo

Restaurant, Ethiopian, $$$
Save
Totot Cultural Restaurant
An Ethiopian cultural dance group at Totot cultural restaurant | © Totot Cultural Restaurant
A local’s recommendation, Totot Kitfo is located in a residential area, and is famous for its kitfo. The restaurant is often so crowded that finding parking near the place is difficult, but the food is well worth the wait. The restaurant is traditionally decorated and is also packed with people enjoying kitfo, drinking local beer, and chatting animatedly with their friends and families. Kitfo is traditionally served alongside varieties of ayib, local cheeses similar to cottage cheese that comes plated on a banana leaf and served with injera. The meat is often very spicy for most, especially for tourists, so the ayib helps to cut the heat. The restaurant is located in the subcity of Bole, next to Nexus House, just off the circular road in between the Bob Marley circle in Gerji and the Megenagna Circle.
More Info
Sun:
8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Traditional

Kategna

Restaurant, Ethiopian, $$$
Save
The Kategna restaurant around Bole
The Kategna restaurant around Bole | © Kategna Restaurant
Kategna is widely known for its extensive menu. There are tibs (grilled or sautéed meats with onions and peppers), firfir(shredded injera), kitfo, doro wat(chicken stew), and dirkosh(air dried injera), just to name a few. The service at Kategna is fast and the presentation is beautiful. If ordering the yetsom beyeynetu, expect a huge combination platter of injera topped with a variety of vegetarian stews, sauces, and sides. One of the most satisfying aspects of any Ethiopian traditional meal is ripping off the pieces of spongy injerawith your hands, and scooping up all the sauces and meats the plate has to offer. Kategna has a lively energy, and should not be missed. If coming for lunch, make sure to visit either before 12:30pm or after 1:45pm, or be prepared to wait!
More Info
Sun:
7:30 am - 10:00 pm

Meal service:

All Day

Atmosphere:

Casual, Family Friendly, Business, Stylish, Modern

Dashen

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