Food & Restaurants in Addis Ababa
Food is generally cheap. Make sure you try the national dish injera at least once, since there is no other food like it. It is a yeast-risen flat bread with a unique, slightly spongy texture. It is traditionally made out of teff flour. In making injera, teff flour is mixed with water and allowed to ferment for several days, as with sourdough starter. As a result of this process, injera has a mildly sour taste. It's what the locals eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Most ordinary Ethiopian restaurants have it, and a serving for 2 people with free refills can be as cheap as 15 birr.
Addis has hundreds of cake and coffee cafes. They sell various coffees, tea - black unless you ask for "machiatto" - and sometimes fruit juices. There are also juice beits. The cafes along Bole Road and around the Piassa area are of a high standard and relatively inexpensive. Most are very similar to each other.
Most cafes serve the common drink called 'sprice juice' (fruit pulp served in layers in a glass). There are usually three layers from a selection of avocado, mango, papaya, banana, guava etc. The juice is eaten with a spoon. It is colourful and tastes delicious. Single fruit juices are also great, such as orange, papaya, mango, and pineapple - beautifully fresh. 7 birr up to 25 birr in Hilton.
- Yemi Burger- Haya Hulet. Burger, fries & Mirinda/Coca Cola for 23 birr. Wonderful staff and known by many expats and the 'best chips in Addis'.
- Cafe Chocolata, Victory Rd (near Shoppers Mart supermarket). Serves drinks and snacks and is very nice. All the staff are former street girls and prostitutes who are trying to make something of their lives.
- City Cafe on Bole has delicious cakes and pastries as well as high quality Ethiopian espresso coffees. You can sit on the porch and watch the activity on one of the main roads in Addis.
- National Cafe, at the end of Churchill Ave (in the National Theatre building). Reasonable prices and good food. From injera to club sandwich.
Restaurants that do not have an English menu are cheaper. Example: Connection between Bole Road and Tele-Bole, next to Bole roundabout, at NOC-Fuelstation, close to German Kantine. You can have lunch (local food, spaghetti) for less than 20 birr. If you don't have a translator, ordering is a lot of fun.
- Addis Cuisine. Wollo Sefer. (Bole end of Ethio Chinese Friendship Rd, on the north side of 6 lane road). Good Western and Ethiopian food.
- Antica, off Cape Verde St / EU Rd, Bole (in the residential area just behind the Sudanese restaurant, near Desalegn hotel).Decent pizza, and one of the only delivery services available in Addis that does not require bulk orders. Pizza tends to arrive cold.
- Brick-oven Pizza across the street from Wanza hotel. Has an amazing green chili sauce.
- Bruno's, Meskel Flower Rd, across from the Dreamliner hotel (look for the Italian themed gate). A quiet, tucked-away Italian restaurant, it has some of the best pizza in the city, on a beautiful compound. Parking is extremely limited both on the street and within the restaurant; if you plan on dining in, take a taxi.
- Buffet de la Gare, , fax: .
- Canaan (from the airport roundabout, down Bole Rd, turn left (before Bole Mini). Very nice pizza. Less than mid-range, a bit more than budget
- Giordana's/Capri restaurant (in a small side street off of Djibouti St. Pass Lion International Bank on your right and take first left).The friendly Giordana is a well known TV chef. This place is worth seeking out for its excellent pasta and other Italian food.
- 2000 Habesha Cultural Restaurant (Habesha 2000), TeleBole Rd (between Atlas Hotel and Edna Mall). One of Addis Ababa's famous cultural restaurants, it has traditional singing and dancing at night. If you're feeling brave, try the gored gored (cubes of heavily salted and spiced raw beef). Waiters are well mannered and kind, and most are very talented dancers. Features a large buffet with many kinds of wat/wot (Ethiopian stew), injera, shiro, vegetables, and other dishes. Their "fasting" menu (meatless or vegan dishes typically served to religiously observant diners) is excellent and will satisfy most vegetarians and vegans. The old restaurant at the south end of EU Rd near Bole Rd was demolished for road construction in 2012.
- Kaldi Coffee, Bole Rd, with a sign similar to Starbucks. Has great porridge.
- Lime Tree, Boston Partners Building, Bole Rd (above the Boston Day Spa). While Ethiopian food is delicious there comes a time when you might want to try something else. Extensive menu, ranging from Arabic to Ethiopian food. They do have a consistency which is quite hard to find here. Own brand of coffee, which is a more bitter version of the general Ethiopian coffee you find, but if this appeals to you then you can not find this coffee anywhere else. Limetree owns several other restaurants in town – ask them for recommendations for a bit more variety.
- Liquid Lounge, Nigist Towers Bldg, Kazanches (next to the (fake) Intercontinental hotel). A two-story establishment focusing on Asian food, including stir-fry and sushi in the evenings (salmon and tuna only, and it is not as fresh as the Sheraton). The a la carte menu offers a few burgers, sandwiches and other lunch items. In the evenings, it becomes a booming club, with excellent dance music and a relatively sophisticated middle-class young crowd. Very trendy, and has VIP areas upstairs. On the weekends it gets busy.
- Meda Bar and Grill (on the way from Addis Ababa Stadium to Gotera around Lancha). Bar and restaurant, clean with many selections of meals, cocktails and a wine bar.
- Sana'a Restaurant, Gabon St. A very popular restaurant with amazing Yemeni food.
- Sishu, Churchill Ave (by National Bank. Pass through Ministry of Urban Development and Construction and the Ethiopian Teachers' Association). Fabulous burgers (often called the best in Addis), nice salads and juices. Designed like a living room, with little bookstore. They only serve American coffee.
- Team Mini, Bole Rd. Friendly, high quality restaurant with traditional Ethiopian food. Try the mesir besiga (ground meat with lentils). Performances by traditional singers and dancers at night. The entertainment is not as good as that at Habesha, but the food is generally better.
- Yod Abyssinia. A traditional cultural restaurant, favored by expats and the diplomatic community for treating visitors. Serves Hakim Stout, an excellent (even by international standards) dark Harari beer produced by Heineken that can be difficult to find. Multiple locations, but the popular ones are in Bole and in Mekanisa/Sar Bet area (Old Airport, on Seychelles St. about 600m due west of Adams Pavilion).
- Island Breeze, Cunningham Street, Piassa (A blue building on the corner, across from the post office). A tropical island themed restaurant serving Mexican and Pizza. Pizzas are made with high quality cheese, lacking at most other places. The fajitas are absolutely perfect! 100-150 birr as of June 2014.
- Cupcake Delight Bakery, Djibouti St, Bole (Across from the Beer Garden Inn). A bright, vibrant, bustling cafe serving cupcakes, cakes, juices, and coffees. The carrot cake is top of the line. 20-30 birr per baked product as of June 2014.
- Aladdin Restaurant. Bole Rwanda St. Serves Middle-Eastern food. Very expensive but authentic and delicious.
- Castellis in Piazza. Churchill St/Piazza area. Top Italian restaurant here since 1942. With famous guests such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt there is a reason that Castelli's manages to attract such a crowd. This is where the Italian embassy staff goes to eat. Amazing food, amazing desserts, call for a reservation or risk disappointment, even at lunch time, as this is a trendy place to be seen.
- Fisherman Restaurant. Mickey Leland St, (near Atlas Hotel). A half-Chinese, half-Tibetan restaurant specialising in seafood and serving an excellent range of Asian cuisine.
- Green View Italian Restaurant / Pizzeria, Bole Mickey Leland St, (near Atlas Hotel). Excellent pizza. There is another location near CMC.
- Sangam Restaurant, Bole Rd. Excellent place for Indian food and sweets, often used by the Indian embassy. Loads of variety with rice, chapati, naan. Pleasant atmosphere and price is very good.
- Top View Restaurant. Megenagna area, above the traffic circle, near the Israeli embassy. Very good food but can be expensive for dinner.
- La Mandoline, Chechenia, next to Caravan Hotel. Delicious French cuisine. Great outdoor seating area. Breakfast on weekends.