The Top Ethiopian Restaurants In Washington DC

Veggie platter at Zenebech | Courtesy of Zenebech
Veggie platter at Zenebech | Courtesy of Zenebech
Photo of Aparna Krishnamoorthy
9 February 2017

Washington, DC has one of the largest Ethiopian populations outside of Ethiopia. It’s no wonder then that DC boasts a huge number of Ethiopian restaurants, ranging from small family owned restaurants to upscale, fine-dining establishments. We pick some of the best to try.

Ethiopic | Courtesy of Ethiopic


Restaurant, African, Ethiopian, Vegetarian, $$$
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Ethiopic is an upscale restaurant that was one of the first to establish itself in the growing H St NE neighborhood, and is now a fixture in the area. The restaurant itself is modern and minimalistic with expansive windows, and the food is fantastic. Some favorites here are the veggie platter, the fried fish, shiro (a spicy lentil stew), and the awaze beef tibs. Ethiopic does get full on the weekends, so reservations are highly recommended.


This is a hidden gem in the Shaw area that is a solid choice for Ethiopian food in DC. You will always see lots of Ethiopians eating here, so you know it is authentic. Pretty barebones on the décor, they make up for it in the incredible flavors of food and value for money. Locals trust Zenebech for the gored gored (raw beef), vegetable combination platter, and chicken doro wat.

Zenebech, 608 T St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 667 4700


A popular, locally owned spot in the Shaw neighborhood of DC, Etete is named after the chef and is owned by her son. They make the Ethiopian honey wine (tej) in house. The vegetable platter with lentils, carrots, cabbage, and collard greens is popular, as is the spicy lamb stew. Soak it all in with the spongy injera bread. The dining space is cozy, and the employees are warm and welcoming.

Etete, 1942 9th St NW, Washington, DC, USA, +1 202 232 7600


Cafe, Restaurant, African, $$$
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Technically, an ‘Eritrean’ restaurant (Eritrean and Ethiopian food are very close) Keren offers typical Ethiopian robust flavors and is a fantastic stop in the bustling area between Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan. Friendly service and a casual setting are also a big draw.

Askale Café

Cafe, Ethiopian, Coffee, Tea , $$$
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Askale Café is located in the up-and-coming Brookland neighborhood. With its eclectic décor, friendly service, and authentic food, Askale is a solid choice for Ethiopian fare in the area. You can also request a traditional coffee ceremony experience here that will be done tableside for you; the brewer will place raw green coffee beans on top of hot coals and slowly stir to release the aromas of the freshly roasted bean. If you are a coffee lover, this is a do-not-miss experience.


Restaurant, Ethiopian, $$$
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Meat and Veggie platter at Addis | © Addis
One of the new additions to H St, Addis has made a mark for itself as an affordable and delectable Ethiopian option in the neighborhood. They make the tej honey wine fresh in-house and serve multiple combination platters, a feast for vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores alike. The best way to end a meal at Addis is with a cup of cardamom tea.

Das Ethiopian

Restaurant, Ethiopian, $$$
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Das Ethiopian offers an upscale twist on Ethiopian food | © Das Ethiopian
Just off M Street in the bustling Georgetown area, Das Ethiopian is a quaint dining room with class and charm, and it is probably the only Ethiopian restaurant in DC that has white tablecloths. Das’ menu features traditional Ethiopian classics such as miser wot (red lentils) and collard greens gomen plus more modern combinations such as eggplant and carrot that are equally delicious.

Queen of Sheba

Bar, Restaurant, Ethiopian, $$$
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Beloved of many of the DC taxi drivers, this Shaw restaurant has a decent amount of space, fantastic food, and even live performances to go along with that. In addition to the typical dishes found in most restaurants, Queen of Sheba offers some less common items such as the telba wot (flaxseed) and fitfit (tomato and peanut butter). Late nights, this spot becomes the hangout for Ethiopian expats in the area, with music, dancing, and a lively atmosphere.


Restaurant, Ethiopian, $$$
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Outdoor seating, live entertainment, a good place for groups to gather in the bustling U Street neighborhood; Dukem has been a mainstay in the DC Ethiopian scene for a while now. The combination platters give you a taste of many different dishes, with a varying range of spice and flavor.

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