1942 Ninth St., NW
Washington, DC 20001
Neighborhood: U Street/Shaw
Cuisines: Vegetarian/Vegan, Ethiopian
Open daily 11 to 1.
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes
Nearby Metro Stops: U St./African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo, Shaw-Howard University
Price Range: Moderate
Noise Level: Chatty
Reservations: Not Needed
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.
Appetizers $2.75 to $5; entrées $10 to $14.99.
Special Features: Wheelchair Accessible, Kid Friendly, Valet Parking Available
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.
Open daily for lunch and dinner.
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