Eat at some of the best Addis Ababa restaurants

Addis Ababa Restaurants

The highlight of any trip to Ethiopia is indulging in alluring and delectable local cuisine. At the center of every meal is injera—a sourdough flatbread that usually measures about 20 inches. A typical Ethiopian meal consists of injera topped with wat, a thick stew. Wats are packed with spicy meats, lentils, or a variety of veggies and are spiced with berbere, a mix of chili pepper powder and other spices. Utensils are optional in Ethiopia, as injera is used as a “spoon” to scoop up bites of food.  

Types of Ethiopian Cuisine

Injera: A spongy sourdough flatbread.

Tibs: Sautéed meat and vegetables.

Wat: Stew or curry traditionally served in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Wat can contain chicken, beef, lamb, or vegetables.  

Kinche: A very popular Ethiopian breakfast that is similar to oatmeal. It is made from cracked wheat and is boiled in either milk or water. It is often flavored with spiced butter

Ayibe: A mild and crumbly cottage cheese. Because it has no distinct flavor of its own, it is often served alongside very spicy dishes.

Sample the enticing Ethiopian cuisine by exploring some of the best Addis Ababa restaurants. Check out our recommendations below or hop on an Addis Ababa food tour led by

Ethiopian food at an Addis Ababa restaurant

Ethiopian food at an Addis Ababa restaurant. Image: Flickr

The Best Addis Ababa Restaurants

Kategna Restaurant: Addis Ababa Restaurants

Kategna has one of the most diverse and extensive Ethiopian menus in town. Its traditional but chic décor draws locals and tourists alike, making it one of the marquee Addis Ababa restaurants.

Favorites on the menu include gomen be siga (collard greens stewed with butter and beef), dinich be siga wot (potatoes and beef stewed with berbere spice) and served with ayib (fresh cow’s milk cheese), and doro wot (chicken stew with berbere). Kategna also serves up vegan and vegetarian favorites including dirkosh firfir (dried injera sautéed with spice and oil or butter). Locals agree, you’ll find the most delectable dirkosh firfir in Addis Ababa at Kategna!

Start your day at Kategna with the special ful— an Egyptian dish that has arrived in Ethiopia via Sudan. Ful is a stew of fava beans with tomatoes, onions, hot peppers, and scrambled eggs. Another breakfast favorite is chechebsa, a homemade flat bread sautéed with butter and spices and served with yogurt and honey.

Kategna’s popularity is evident by its roughly 300 customers every day of the week. This Addis Ababa hotspot has several locations across the city, and puts on a very impressive coffee ceremony, complete with popcorn.

Injera at one of the best Addis Ababa restaurants

Injera at one of the best Addis Ababa restaurants. Image: Flickr

Topia Tej: Addis Ababa Restaurants

Topia Tej is the perfect spot to sip tej in Addis Ababa. This establishment is famous for serving high quality tej in fun beaker-like glasses. Tej is mead made from fermenting honey with gesho, an Ethiopian shrub similar to hops.

Archaeological and written records suggest that tej has been enjoyed in Ethiopia for approximately 3,000 years.  Legend states that when the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon on a diplomatic mission they toasted with tej. Excavations at Aksum, the first great civilization in Ethiopia, found evidence of this irresistible honey wine.

Early in Ethiopia’s history, tej was reserved for royalty. Emperor Menelik II changed this when he declared, “I’m an ordinary countryman. What I eat, you eat.” Although everyone is allowed to enjoy tej, the drink is usually reserved for special occasions.

Yod Abyssinia Cultural Restaurant is one of the best Addis Ababa restaurants

Mama Fresh Visitors Center: Addis Ababa Restaurants

Mama Fresh is Ethiopia’s largest exporter of injera bread. This bread factory pumps out 9,000 pieces of injera a day and employs about 100 people. The famous spot— and one of the best Addis Ababa restaurants— recently launched a visitor’s center. The visitors center, located within the factory, is the best place in Addis Ababa to learn about making injera. Admire the ancient process of cultivating teff and even try your hand at cleaning the grain and making injera yourself!

Injera is made from teff, one of the smallest grains in the world and the staple cereal of Ethiopia. One cup of cooked teff has more calcium than the equivalent amount of milk, and twice as much iron as wheat and barley. Teff has more protein than almost any other grain and is also naturally gluten free. This nutrient-dense grain is amazing!

To make injera, teff is ground into a powder, mixed with water, and left to ferment at room temperature for two to five days. The fermentation is what gives the injera its tangy taste. For the final step, the batter is poured over a hot pan and fried until bubbly.

Enjoy Ethiopian cuisine at the best Addis Ababa restaurants while on your Addis Ababa Tour!

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