Best restaurants in Ethiopia

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Gonder

    Four Sisters

    Now here's something special. One of the best places in northern Ethiopia for both food and atmosphere, Four Sisters has brilliant traditional food (order 'national food' for an overview of what it's capable of), a lovely, leafy setting with stone walls and Debre Berhan Selassie–inspired paintings and nightly traditional music and dance.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Addis Ababa

    Yod Abyssinia

    Yes, it's touristy, but they sure put on a show at Yod Abyssinia. The large dining area is crammed with low wooden stools that all face a stage; at around 7.30pm, musicians, dancers and singers perform traditional acts from around Ethiopia. The food, too, is some of the best traditional food and it's a good place to try tej (honey wine).

  • Restaurants in Mekele

    Geza Gerlase

    This cultural restaurant within a cavernous traditional tukul is a great place to enjoy excellent Ethiopian dishes. Specialities include zilzil tibs (strips of lamb, fried and served slightly crunchy with mustard-and-chilli awazi sauce) and kitfo. Vegetarians steer clear – it's all about meat here. There’s a cultural dance show at 7.30pm on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Addis Ababa

    La Mandoline

    This upper-crust French restaurant serving superb and authentic, traditional French dishes is still one of the best restaurants in the capital. Try an excellent salad for starter, a delicious steak with Roquefort sauce for main and crème brûlée for dessert, and you won’t know you’re not in La Belle France.

  • Restaurants in Addis Ababa

    Ristorante Castelli

    Very much an Addis institution, this Italian restaurant has fed Swedish royalty, Bob Geldof, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and US presidents. The food is (of course) good, perhaps even the best Italian in Addis. Wines from the owners' Piedmont region dominate with a rogue Chianti in the mix, while direct-from-Italy cured meats nicely complement the pasta. Reservations recommended.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Addis Ababa

    Itegue Taitu Hotel

    If you’ve travelled overland to Addis Ababa, and eaten in a succession of cheap local restaurants serving less-than-inspiring injera, then reward yourself with high-quality, delicious Ethiopian fare served up in the refined and stately atmosphere of this hotel’s renovated dining room. Its bargain-priced vegan lunchtime buffet is immensely popular with both foreigners and well-to-do locals.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Addis Ababa

    Lime Tree

    It may have moved locations but Lime Tree remains one of the hippest places to have a light lunch. Lunch specials range from chicken shwarma (Monday and Wednesday) to Asian wok dishes (Tuesday), Mexican (Thursday) or pad thai (Friday). The Sunday buffet brunch (10.30am to 2pm) is an expat institution. It also does great pastries, panini, felafel, juices and pizzas all day Saturday.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Awasa

    Venezia

    Run by an Italian-Ethiopian couple, this upmarket trattoria-like venue wouldn’t be out of place in Roma, and gets top marks for its flawlessly prepared Italian specialities. You’ll find it hard to choose between the wide range of salads, bruschetta, pasta, grills and woodfired pizzas. Wash it all down with a glass of Italian or South African wine, and leave with a smile on your face.

  • Restaurants in Lalibela

    Unique Restaurant

    This basic but cosy little restaurant (‘bad house, good food’ is what the charming and irrepressible owner Sisaynesh tells people who hesitate outside her door) serves the usual mix of national and faranji (foreigner) dishes. It's the kind of place you'll wonder about as you enter, then find yourself staying to take cooking classes.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Addis Ababa

    Sana’a Restaurant

    For both the local Muslim and Christian communities, this busy place is a lunchtime institution – queues for a table can form out the door. The reason they all flock here? Good, honest Yemeni fare, including spicy hot salta (a highland stew/soup) and the house special, Yemeni-style chicken and rice. The service is fast and furious and the food is worth crossing town for.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Addis Ababa

    Kategna

    A pleasingly modern take on the traditional Ethiopian restaurant, Kategna feels like a classy urban cafe with its soothing colour scheme, low wooden stools and well-to-do young crowd. The menu covers all corners of the Ethiopian culinary scene and does so exceptionally well – its special kitfo (like an Ethiopian version of steak tartare) is one highlight among many.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Lalibela

    Ben Abeba

    Easily one of Ethiopia's coolest restaurants, this Ethio-Scottish-owned, Dalí-esque jumble of walkways, platforms and fire pits is perched on the edge of the ridge for 360-degree views. The food is tasty – we especially like that the restaurant makes its own traditional bread and uses it to make an excellent goat burger. Stop by at 11am to see injera being made.

  • Restaurants in Addis Ababa

    Sangam Restaurant

    If you’ve developed a craving for a cracking curry, try this atmospheric and upmarket Indian restaurant. There's plenty to choose from but the mughali biryani (fragrant rice), tandoori dishes or butter-chicken masala are all absolutely delicious. There are also great lunchtime thalis (mixed meals; Birr150 to Birr180) available every day but Sunday.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Adigrat

    Geza Gereslase Cultural Restaurant

    If it’s Ethiopian food you’re after, the big tukul across the street from Eve Hotel is easily Adigrat's best. Traditional decoration and well-priced dishes such as mahberawi (an Ethiopian meat platter served with injera – we challenge you to finish it all) make it the ideal place for lunch or, if you're staying in town, dinner.

  • Restaurants in Addis Ababa

    Habesha 2000

    One of a handful of traditional theatre-restaurants in town, the excellent Habesha 2000 has low-slung wooden seating, a full portfolio of traditional Ethiopian (and, refreshingly, only Ethiopian) dishes to choose from, and live traditional musicians, singers and dancers from 8pm every night; you could come here for lunch, but you'd be missing half the fun.

  • Restaurants in Lalibela

    Old Abyssinia Restaurant

    The combination of excellent food (mostly Ethiopian with a few European dishes), fine views and an on-site cooking school means you can take care of all of your culinary needs in one go here. It's lovely and quiet, not least because it's a fair hike out of town (downhill on the way here, uphill the way back…).

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Addis Ababa

    Avanti Restaurant & Wine Bar

    Recently moved to an unprepossessing suburban back street, Avanti is a quiet and classy place that serves some of the best Italian food in the city. There's much on the menu to turn the head, but we particularly enjoyed the baked tortellini with smoked chicken and ricotta. There’s an impressive wine list (around Birr500 for the average bottle).

  • Restaurants in Simien Mountains National Park

    Limalimo Lodge

    High on a hilltop north of Debark, with some of the best views you'll find in the Simiens, the stylish and uber-contemporary Limalimo Lodge opens its restaurant for non-guests and it's well worth the trip. The cooking (from a menu that changes daily) is accomplished and the service excellent. For dinner you'll need to book and see if has room.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Dilla

    Lem Cafe

    Hands-down the best bakery/cafe in Dilla, with such a tantalising array of cakes and pastries that we almost made ourselves a nuisance here. It also has salads, burgers and pizzas, as well as excellent breakfasts and luscious fruit juices. An added bonus is the streetside open-air terrace, which allows for a dash of people-watching panache.

  • Restaurants in Lalibela

    XO Lalibela

    With a classier dining area than most (but with no views), XO Lalibela serves up a fresh modern menu that does have some Ethiopian dishes, but it put most of its attention into its roast chicken, burgers, fajitas and paninis. It's one of Lalibela's better dining options, especially for dinner when you can't see anything outside anyway.