Lucy Ethiopian Cafe in Boston, MA is popular with Boston University’s community, offering delicious authentic Ethiopian cuisine at prices you can’t beat

By Kylie Obermeier (BU Today) |

There’s something undeniably fun about eating food with your hands. Finger foods are party staples, after all. At Lucy Ethiopian Cafe, just above the Green Line’s Symphony station, every dish is finger food and every visit is a party.

The unassuming 20-seat cafe, named for the 3.2-million-year-old fossil pieces of a woman discovered and dubbed Lucy by archaeologists in Ethiopia in 1974, is popular with students, professionals, and those attending events at Symphony Hall and the BU Theatre. It offers delicious authentic Ethiopian cuisine at prices you can’t beat. The warmly decorated restaurant’s yellow walls are lined with colorful paintings of Ethiopia, with woven baskets and clay coffeepots adding an atmospheric touch. A wall dominated by a whiteboard lists various Amharic phrases and words and facts about Ethiopia (you’ll learn a lot about Lucy).

We were the first customers when we arrived just after it opened on a recent Friday afternoon, but it didn’t take long to fill up. Lucy attracts coffee lovers early in the day who take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. You can order just coffee (breakfast items are excellent, however) before 4:30 p.m. (after that, you have to order food as well). The usual espressos and macchiatos are available, but the more exciting Ethiopian coffees are the real draw. The buna be-jabena ($7), served in a traditional pot with small cups called sini, is delicious, as is the favorite, peanut tea ($3.75), made from a special house recipe: milk, honey, and peanuts. The peanut tea we ordered was frothy, creamy, and sweet, like a peanut butter steamer. Cold offerings include fresh carrot juice with ginger and lemon ($5.99) and the popular besso shake ($5.99), a blend of sun-dried barley, milk, honey, and chocolate.

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