Ethiopia. Birthplace of coffee. Source of the (Blue) Nile. Home to ancient archaeological treasures. There are so many unique aspects that make up the rich culture and history of this diverse, never-colonized East African nation. But perhaps the most universally celebrated feature that connects Ethiopia to the world is its deliciously distinctive colorful cuisine.
Eating Ethiopian food is not only tasty, it is a delightful cultural experience. From traditional practices like ‘gursha’ where one generously feeds their dining companion as a sign of affection and friendship, to the practice of sitting around a ‘mesob’ eating from an oversized, shared community plate, there is nothing quite like it. Never tried it? Don’t be intimidated. Here are a few rules of thumb when indulging in this one-of-a-kind dining experience.
Step 1: Thoroughly wash your hands beforehand. Your hands are your utensils when eating Ethiopian.
Step 2: Use your right hand to break off bite-sized pieces of ‘injera’, a thin spongy sour flatbread, to wrap around the the various ‘wat’ or stews you order. Although meat dishes are popular, Ethiopian food tends to be a favorite option among vegetarian and vegan flavor-seekers. And although finger licking good, it’s good manners to avoid doing so when eating Ethiopian.
Step 3: Your right hand should be free to use for drinking. Order a traditional ‘buna’ coffee, ‘tej’honey wine, or ‘shai’ tea to wash it all down.
Hungry yet? We’ve got you covered. Check out this list of the top 100 Ethiopian restaurants across the country according to Yelp!
Top 100 Ethiopian Restaurants in the U.S. According to Yelp Methodology: We identified businesses in the Ethiopian category, then ranked those spots using a number of factors including the total volume and ratings of reviews between January 1, 2015 and July 20, 2020. When available, all businesses on this list have a passing health score as of July 2020.