Start with a few of Seattle Eater’s favorite Ethiopian restaurants, ask for staff recommendations, and you’ll be craving ayeb in no time.

By Julia Wayne |

Eating with your hands is one of life’s little pleasures—especially picking up pieces of injera to enjoy Ethiopian fare at Seattle’s best spots. There are several pockets of great Ethiopian eateries around town in the Central District, Rainier Valley, and Pinehurst, and if you haven’t been exploring these restaurants, it’s time to start.

Not sure what the dishes are? Injera, the typical, nutritious staple of Ethiopian and Eritrean food, is a spongy bread typically made from the ancient grain teff. It’s used as a vessel to eat such delights as doro wot, tibs, and vegetables aplenty. Start with a few of Seattle Eater’s favorite Ethiopian restaurants, ask for staff recommendations, and you’ll be craving ayeb in no time.

1 Adey Abeba

Don’t miss the coffee ceremony at this CD restaurant which also has an extensive list of breakfast offerings. The veggie combo is a great bet, with huge portions and more offerings than some other restaurants nearby. 2123 E Union St; Seattle, WA 98122

2 Altaye Ethiopian Cuisine

Food here has an unmatched homemade quality, with everything doled out as if they wanted to give even more than they have. The ayeb (homemade cheese) is lovely, as are the lamb tibs and the hospitality. 8135 Rainier Ave S; Seattle, WA 98118

3 Assimba

Accommodating service extends to gluten-free injera and staff that check up on your enjoyment regularly. Try the chicken tibis or a meat combo, and enjoy the flavorful kik wot, with split peas whose flavor knows no end. Oh, and a glass of Tej (honey wine) is a good choice, too. 2722 E Cherry St; Seattle, WA 98122

4 Cafe Selam

You can’t beat the foul at Selam, with its flavorful fava beans and eggs spiced with peppers. The Qey Wot (lamb stew) is equally delicious, with intense flavors of berbere and veggies and homemade cheese on the side. 2715 E Cherry St; Seattle, WA 98122

5 Jebena Cafe

A brother and sister duo serves up the friendliest service and great food at the small Pinehurst restaurant. The Veggie Combo and Meat Combos offer generous portions meant to be shared. Especially delicious are the Foul, the Beef Tibs, and the Bamiya, a beef dish made with okra. Pro tip: They now offer gluten free injera, though you need to call a day ahead to order it. 1510 NE 117th St; Seattle, WA 98125

6 Meskel Ethiopian Restaurant

If you can’t order the whole menu (who could), be sure to order the Quanta Fir Fir, dried beef mixed with injera in a flavorful berbere sauce. The doro wot (chicken) and veggie combo are also great here, and the kitfo (raw meat dish) is the best in town. Consistent food, a wrap around porch for sunny days, and lovely coffee secure Meskel’s place as possibly the top in Seattle. 2605 E Cherry St; Seattle, WA 98122

7 Saba Ethiopian Cuisine

Seasoned Ethiopian food lovers love Saba, for good reason. Here, you can create your own combos or order a large or small size veggie combo. Pro tip: If you love spicy food, the trio of chiles and spices they bring upon request is a must get. 110 12th Ave; Seattle, WA 98122

8 Sunset Cafe and Deli

An extensive menu could be overwhelming elsewhere, but the staff goes out of their way to help with questions and make great suggestions for what to order. Combos are unbelievably enormous here, the injera is generally flawless, and you’ll be working toward your status as a regular before you even finish your meal. 8115 Rainier Ave S; Seattle, WA 98118

Source: Eater Seattle
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