100 Very Best Restaurants 2014: Ethiopic
The vegetarian sampler for two at Ethiopic. Photograph by Scott Suchman.
Comments () | Published January 27, 2014
100 Best Restaurants 2014 100 Best Restaurants 2013 Cheap Eats 2012 100 Best Restaurants (2011) 100 Best Restaurants 2012 Cheap Eats 2010 Cheap Eats 2011

Ethiopic
Address: 401 H St., NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-675-2066
Neighborhood: H Street NE, Capitol Hill, Northeast
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Ethiopian
Opening Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 5 PM to 10 PM; Friday through Sunday 12 PM to 10 PM.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Kid Friendly: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: Union Station
Price Range: Inexpensive
Dress: Informal
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Recommended
Best Dishes Butcha (ground chickpeas and jalapenos); doro wat, a chicken stew; kitfo, minced raw beef; vegetarian sampler with boiled lentils, split peas, potato/cabbage salad, gomen, and tomato/onion salad.
Special Features:
Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Outdoor Seating, Good for Groups

Cynics like to say that the crowds and the critical acclaim are in large measure due to this Ethiopian restaurant’s bistrofied space. Yes, its varnished floors and exposed brick are a striking departure from many other excellent Ethiopian spots, but to say so is to slight the more important ways that owners Samuel Ergete and Meseret Bekele distinguish themselves. Start with the quality of their ingredients, notably in the prime beef that goes into the sizzling stir-fries known as tibs and the layering of spices in many of the vegetable stews, from a robust mesir wat, made with red lentils, to a creamy, lightly gingery kik alicha, built upon yellow split peas. Adventurous eaters should center their meal around the kitfo, a mound of minced raw beef, to be pinched with the rolled bread called injera and sprinkled with crumbles of salty cheese and a dash of mitmita, a red pepper.

Open: Tuesday through Thursday for dinner, Friday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

Don’t Miss: Azifa, a cool lentil salad; butcha, mashed chickpeas with onion, lemon, and olive oil; doro wat, a chicken stew; vegetarian sampler. 

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