Cheap Eats 2015: Keren Restaurant

Imagine a neighborhood cafe—breakfast served all day, a steady stream of customers at any hour, no-frills yet convivial. Add homey Eritrean cooking and you have Keren. The cozy, golden-hued space is a pleasant place to linger, starting in the morning when the kitchen roasts and grinds chicory coffee and turns out specialties such as eggs with silsi, a spicy tomato sauce, or ful, a hearty fava-bean mash best topped with tomato, jalapeño, and yogurt. Those familiar with Ethiopian fare won’t be lost when it comes to entrées, with dishes like fiery tibs—cubed beef fried with plenty of onion and jalapeño—best washed down with a St. George Beer. But if you need guidance, the friendly staff is eager to help.

Cuisine: Eritrean

Where you can get it: 1780 Florida Ave., NW; 202-265-5764

Also good: Keren Special (vegetarian combo with special tibs); fatta silsi (chopped bread with spicy tomato sauce).

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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.

Anna Spiegel
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.