Zenebech D.C. - May 2015

Photo: Lydia Brown (that’s me!) smiling over a plate of yesiga tibs alicha firfir, or cubed beef in a mild sauce with pieces of injera flatbread cooked into the dish, on a large platter with injera underneath and rolled to the side, and a bottle of Mira brand mango pulp on the side. Zenebech Injera at 608 T Street NW, Washington, District of Columbia, May 2015. 

I’m not Ethiopian or Eritrean. I’m Chinese American. But I have an enormous love for Ethiopian / Eritrean / Habesha cuisine, and I decided to create a blog devoted to my nommy noms. (To be clear, I’m not an expert or authority of any kind on Ethiopian/Eritrean/Habesha food. I’m just a fan from a totally different cultural background. Also, I’m autistic, and injera is the stimmiest bread in the history of stimmy breads.)

I travel quite a bit as a public speaker on disability justice, LGBTQ liberation, and racial oppression and justice, and every time I go to a new city (or return somewhere I’ve been!), I try to visit any and all Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants nearby. Over the past couple of years, that’s added up to a lot of places!

(I have enough class privilege that going out to eat can be a thing, but not so much class privilege that I can always afford it on my own — which is why I often go out to eat while a guest, since my host usually covers my meals.)

This blog aims to catalog and review the various Ethiopian and Eritrean places I’ve been! I’ll talk about awesome injera versus terrible injera, as well as just generally ramble on about which places had great food and which, well, really didn’t. And yes, Ethiopian food trucks are also a thing, and yes, I’ve eaten from those too.

I’m currently suffering through law school, so updates might not be incredibly frequent. BUT. I am planning to put up a whole series of posts — a picture glossary of Ethiopian/Eritrean food, an argument for why you can take pretty much anyone ever to Ethiopian/Eritrean food (assuming that the money and transportation exist, anyway), and of course, the aforementioned reviews of places I’ve been.

(I graduated law hell in May 2018. Now I’m in bar review hell.)

So far (as of June 2018) I’ve been to Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants (or markets or bakeries) in these cities/places (and in many cases, more than one place in the city, where more than one exists) — note that the list is complete for cities, but incomplete for all restaurants:


Montréal, Québec

  • East Africa Restaurant
  • Nil Bleu

Victoria, British Columbia

  • The Blue Nile African Restaurant
  • Messob Ethiopian Cuisine


Paris, Île-de-France

  • Ethiopia Restaurant

Ísland (Iceland)

Flúðir, Hrunamannahreppur (Southern Region)

  • Minilik Restaurant

Reykjavík, Höfuðborgarsvæðið (Capital Region)

  • Teni Ethiopian Restaurant

Israel & Falasteen (Palestine)

Tel Aviv / Jaffa, Tel Aviv-Yafo

  • Tewodros Ethiopian Restaurant

United Kingdom

London, England

  • Ethiopian Flavours (Borough Market)
  • Ethiopiques (Southbank Centre Markets)
  • Kokeb Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Marathon Restaurant and Bar

United States

Albany, New York

Arlington, Virginia

  • Ayana Ethiopian Market
  • Dama Pastry & Cafe
  • Enjera Restaurant
  • Lidita Gebeya
  • Purple Lounge

Atlanta, Georgia

  • Embilta Ethiopian Restaurant

Baltimore, Maryland

  • Abient Ethiopia and America Market
  • Jano Ethiopian Cuisine and Bar
  • Tabor Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Zeni Ethiopian Coffee Shop and Deli

Berkeley, California

  • Finfine Restaurant
  • Lemat Ethiopian Restaurant and Cafe

Birmingham, Alabama

  • Red Sea Ethiopian and Mediterranean Restaurant
  • Ghion Cultural Hall

Boston, Massachusetts

  • Addis Red Sea (Boylston)
  • Lucy Ethiopian Cafe (Northeastern/Symphony)

Brooklyn, New York

  • Ghenet

Buffalo, New York

Cambridge, Massachusetts

  • Asmara Restaurant

Denver, Colorado

  • Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar
  • Axum
  • Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Red Sea Restaurant

El Cerrito, California

  • Taste of Ethiopia

Falls Church, Virginia

  • Checheho Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Meaza Restaurant
  • Skyline Cafe / Skyline Restaurant and Lounge

Hartford, Connecticut

  • Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant

Herndon, Virginia

  • Mesob Cafe

Hyattsville, Maryland

  • Shagga Coffee & Restaurant

Indianapolis, Indiana

  • Axum Ethiopian Restaurant

Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

  • Blue Nile Restaurant

Los Angeles, California

  • Buna Ethiopian Restaurant and Market
  • Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Merkato Ethiopian Restaurant and Market
  • Messob Ethiopian Restaurant

Louisville, Kentucky

Malden, Massachusetts

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  • Alem Ethiopian Village

Nashville, Tennessee

  • Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant

New Brunswick, New Jersey

  • Dashen Ethiopian Cuisine

New Haven, Connecticut

  • Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant

New York, New York

  • Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant (Harlem, Manhattan)
  • Awash (Lower Manhattan)
  • Massawa (Upper West Side, Manhattan)
  • Queen of Sheba (Midtown, Manhattan)

Oakland, California

  • Café Colucci
  • Cafe Dareye
  • Ensarro Ethiopian Restaurant
  • MLK Cafe
  • Sheba Dining

Omaha, Nebraska

  • Lalibela Restaurant

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Tana Ethiopian Cuisine

Portland, Oregon

  • Aberus Restaurant (Northeast Killingsworth)
  • Bete-Lukas Ethiopian Restaurant (Southeast Tabor)
  • Emame’s Ethiopian Cuisine (Carts at Southwest 9th and Washington)
  • E’Njoni Cafe (Northeast Killingsworth)
  • Gojo (Northeast Killingsworth)
  • Rahel’s Ethiopian Food (Ala Carts, Southeast Stark)

Roxbury, Massachusetts

Sacramento, California

  • Queen Sheba Ethiopian Cuisine

Salt Lake City, Utah

  • Mahider Ethiopian Restaurant & Market

San Francisco, California

  • Assab Eritrean Restaurant
  • Massawa Restaurant
  • Moya
  • New Eritrea Restaurant
  • Oasis Cafe
  • Tadu Ethiopian Kitchen

San Jose, California

  • Walia Ethiopian Cuisine

SeaTac, Washington

  • Star Coffee & Restaurant

Seattle, Washington

  • Cafe Selam

Silver Spring, Maryland

  • Abyssinia Restaurant
  • Addis Ababa Restaurant
  • Lesaac Ethiopian Cafe

Somerville, Massachusetts

  • Fasika Ethiopian Restaurant

St. Louis, Missouri

  • Meskerem Restaurant

Tampa, Florida

  • Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant

Washington, District of Columbia

  • Addis Ethiopian Restaurant (H Street Northeast)
  • Axum Ethiopian Restaurant (Adams Morgan, now closed)
  • Benethiopia/Fojol Bros (food truck, now closed)
  • Bunna Ethiopian Cafe (Downtown, now closed)
  • CherCher Ethiopian Restaurant & Mart
  • Das Ethiopian Cuisine (Georgetown)
  • Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant (Adams Morgan)
  • Ethiopic (H Street Northeast)
  • Fasika Ethiopian Cuisine (food truck, now closed)
  • Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant (Logan Circle)
  • Lilypad on the Run (food truck)
  • Mesob on Wheels (food truck)
  • Queen of Sheba Ethiopian Restaurant
  • Rebecca Ethiopian Cuisine (food truck)
  • Simple on Wheels DC (food truck)
  • Taste of Ethiopia (food truck)
  • Zenebech Injera (Adams Morgan)

Worcester, Massachusetts

  • Fatima’s Cafe

… and the list continues to grow!

Unfortunately, I have occasionally been in or near cities where I could have tried Ethiopian or Eritrean places there and didn’t actually do so, including Des Moines, Iowa; Dallas, Texas; San Antonio, Texas;  Chicago, Illinois; Madison, Wisconsin; and Cleveland, Ohio. And I have been in or near cities where there were no Ethiopian or Eritrean restaurants when I was there, but one or more have opened since, like Amman, Jordan. BUT, if I ever get to visit any of these places again, I hope to visit the new restaurant(s)!


4 thoughts on “About

  1. I AM SO HAPPY THIS BLOG IS REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    While in Portland, Oregon, I recommend Queen of Sheba on MLK. There is a dish with cracked grain I can’t remember the name of right now but it’s fucking fantastic. And amazing injera. They also sell their injera at the convenience store across the street. Such good injera


  2. Dear Lydia,

    I love your blog, your website and I am impressed by what you do, And of course your love of injera. I am Ethiopian and live in a place where I don’t have access to injera. So, I have started a small business that delivers injera to homes. That way, I am able to have some as well. Its not a booming business yet, but its really satisfying when I manage to deliver injera to someone who is dying for it as I was for a long time. Check out my site and let me know what you think. http://www.injeraforall.com.
    Keep up the good work on all fronts!

    Elsa Abraham


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