Vegetarian/Vegan, Ethiopian cuisine consists of various vegetable or meat side dishes and entrees, usually a wat or thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread, which is 50 cm (20 inches) in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour. One does not eat with utensils, but instead uses injera (always with the right hand) to scoop up the entrees and side dishes
Opening Hours: Open daily 11 to 1.
Nearby Metro Stops: U St./African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo, Shaw-Howard University
Best Dishes Sambusas (lentil or beef turnovers); wats such as chicken-and-egg doro wat and yebeg wat, a lamb stew; vegetarian sampler of azifa (green lentils), yekik alicha (yellow-lentil-and-onion stew), and yemisir wat (red lentils); gomen (collard greens); kitfo.
Price Details: Appetizers $2.75 to $5; entrées $10 to $14.99.
Why go: Ethiopian is one of the city’s defining cuisines, and this stylishly appointed, bi-level cafe is the best place to appreciate it. The complex, spice-laden stews shimmer with the taste of loving home cooking.
What to get:Sambusas—crispy turnovers of lentil or beef; hearty stews called wats, including chicken-and-egg doro wat and peppery yebeg wat, a lamb stew; vegetarian sampler of azifa (green lentils in a spicy mustard sauce), yekik alicha (yellow-lentil-and-onion stew), and yemisir wat (red lentils in a rich, fiery sauce).
Best for: Big groups; late-night eats; vegetarian dining; an introductory course in the charms of Little Ethiopia.
Insider tip: If you call in advance, Tiwaltengus Shenegelgn—known as Etete—will prepare her shrimp wat, a dish made famous at the late Fasika’s and a favorite of Stevie Wonder’s.