Last summer I had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia with my good friend, Selam. We spent time with her family, attended a family friend’s wedding, and ate amazing food. I woke up to amazing food every day, the wedding festivities involved amazing food and had the opportunity to go to restaurants around Addis Ababa that also had amazing food. Here are some of the things I enjoyed while in Ethiopia that I hope to have again very soon…did I mention it was all amazing.
1. Walia Beer
I’m not a huge beer person. I do enjoy a Mexican Lager when available but when I travel you’re not going to find me checking out local breweries or taprooms. I will, occasionally, take a sip and Walia had me taking a few sips, gulps, and then asking for another. Walia is truly my girl and if my bank account was set up differently I would have it shipped to my house regularly!
2. Lunch at Yimana
It feels weird to have a favorite Ethiopian restaurant in Ethiopia but here we are. I can’t describe how delicious the food was at Yimana but believe me when I say it’s worth checking out the next time you’re in the area. I often choose vegan options when eating at restaurants, especially when it’s food I’m not familiar with. Fortunately, in Ethiopia, many restaurants have a “fasting menu”. This menu has vegetarian/vegan options because people often fast from meat and dairy products once a week. The Shiro and Gomen at Yimana were so rich and flavorful, eating them felt like a warm hug. Yimana is located in Bole, behind Yougo Church, hope that helps you find it.
3. Ethiopian Coffee
As a person who likes to sleep, a lot, it always confuses me when people drink coffee at night. However, after tasting Ethiopian coffee I was drinking it at every opportunity. Its preparation is truly a ceremony that I observed intently every time. If you visit someone’s home in Ethiopia they will probably offer you coffee but you can also find it in shops around town in Addis Ababa. Get it while it’s hot!
Honorable Mention: Tere Sega
Listen, there is no way for me to describe Tere Sega that will make it sound appealing. Tere Sega is raw beef that is usually served on special occasions, like weddings. You can find raw beef dishes on menus at restaurants, people also prepare it at home, but what makes this different is its presentation. Tere Sega is displayed the same way you would see an animal hanging in a butcher shop. It’s just the body of a cow hanging at the end of the buffet #NoFrills. A piece is freshly sliced, as much or as little as you desire, and served with an assortment of sauce and spices for dipping. There is a proper way to cut Tere Sega, as seen above, before wrapping it in Injera and enjoy.