100 Very Best Restaurants 2015: No. 60 Ethiopic


The vegetarian sampler for two at Ethiopic. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Ethiopic


401 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
NE Northeast Dr
Fredericksburg, VA 22408

There’s no end, it seems, to the number of restaurants in the area dishing up doro wat, kitfo, and other specialties of the Ethiopian kitchen. What, then, separates this bistro from the rest?

Shopping, mostly. Owners Samuel Ergete and Meseret Bekele source better-quality meats than the competition, and it shows up and down the line, but particularly in the various preparations of tibs, an Ethiopian stir-fry of lamb or beef that calls to mind fajitas.

There’s more care taken at the stove, too—notice the sprigs of rosemary in the lega tibs, lending an unmistakable perfume to a sizzling skillet of sliced lamb and jalapeños. Spring for the kitfo, a fantastic mound of lightly spiced raw, chopped beef. If you’re squeamish, just think of it as the French do: as steak tartare.

Don’t miss:

  • Timatim (salad of tomatoes, onions, and jalapeños)
  • Azifa (lentil salad)
  • Doro key wat (a chicken stew)
  • Yebeg alitcha wat (lamb in turmeric sauce)
  • Awaze tibs (prime beef in berbere sauce)
  • Mesir wat (split lentils)

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.