The DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia) has one of the largest Ethiopian populations outside of Ethiopia. That being said, Washingtonians have grown their appetite for Ethiopian foods and a night out at an Ethiopian restaurant is as much a tradition as going out for Italian food. We pick our top favorites for you to try.
Opened in 2016, Letena has become a staple for authentic Ethiopian cuisine in Washington, DC. Owner Yamrot Ezineh opened Letena after seeing a need for more Ethiopian representation in order to further diversify the Metropolitan area. Ezineh even journeyed back home to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in order to ensure the genuineness of the preparation and taste of the food. Locals describe Letena as one of the best Ethiopian restaurants in DC.
Chercher has 2 locations, one in DC, and one recently opened in Bethesda. All locals agree that nobody can beat the casual, fun-filled environment of a Chercher restaurant. The food is not only delicious but the restaurant itself has many nominations for the quality and authenticity of the food. The DC location may be a bit hidden but you are welcomed with a feeling of home and warmth when you enter here.
Makeda is located in Alexandria, VA and brings a somewhat modern but still casual setting to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food. This restaurant is loved by all locals in the DC and Northern Virginia area because of the authentic ingredients and dishes. Mekeda also offers a traditional coffee ceremony for its customers. This restaurant is named after the Queen of Sheba who was also known as “Mekeda” during her rule over Ethiopia. Certainly give this gem a visit if you are in the area and looking for good food and live music.
Das is located in Georgetown’s historic shopping district and gives a very upscale and intimate environment while also remaining very inviting and friendly. Das’ menu focuses on the aspects of Ethiopian cuisine such as spices and vegetables but also incorporates some non-traditional ingredients, such as their eggplant and carrot wot. Das also offers a traditional coffee ceremony straight from the birthplace of coffee. This restaurant carries all the staples of Ethiopian food so it is perfect for anyone who is looking to try Ethiopian food or even someone who has plenty of experience with Ethiopian food.
Dukem is one of the most well-known Ethiopian restaurants in DC. It has been recognized by CNN as a delicious Ethiopian restaurant with a warm environment. Located on the very popular U street, Dukem has made its mark and continues to thrive. On a tiny stage inside the restaurant is where live music is played that will take you right to east Africa. Locals rave about this authentic yet affordable gem that serves something for everyone.