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THE BEST: Ethiopian Food in NYC


megc
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I've got a hankering for some good Ethiopian food, and I don't know the restaurant scene in NYC. I used to eat it often in Berkeley, and miss it these days. Where are the good Ethiopian restaurants, and possibly the one(s) to stay away from? Yemisir Wat is calling my name!

-Meg

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There are only 5 Ethiopian restaurants that I know of --

Meskerem, which I have been to, and is pretty decent but I haven't been there since Rachel and I first got married, which is almost 9 years ago.

468 W 47th St

they have a second branch:

Meskerem Ethiopian Cuisine

124 Macdougal St

There is also

Queen of Sheba

650 10th Ave

Awash

947 Amsterdam Ave

Ethiopian Restaurant

1582 York Ave

Nile Ethiopian Restaurant

103 W 77TH St

I haven't been to any of the others besides Meskerem.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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There are only 5 Ethiopian restaurants that I know of --

Meskerem, which I have been to, and is pretty decent but I haven't been there since Rachel and I first got married, which is almost 9 years ago.

468 W 47th St

I was there about a year ago. It was quite good, inexpensive and I think my fiancee was crushing heavily on the waitress! (She was nice though, so I didn't mind.)

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Awash is in our 'hood, and we like it a lot. Usually get a couple orders of the vegetarian combination and gefilfil, which is strips of beef and injera in a spicy chili sauce. Still... it's not quite as good as our old favorite, Ghion, which used to be on Amsterdam around 96th street.

I'm sure Fat Guy will have some plenty of things to say, as everyone knows he is a major Ethiopian food enthusiast (not!).

--

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I've been to Queen of Sheba and had an excellent meal there. The prices are good, and at one point in time it was a "Critics Pick" in the $25 and under category from the New York Times.

I haven't been to any of the other places to compare though.

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I've been to the 47th Street Meskerem - it was "okay" but not abave average for the genre. Have been to Ghenet not for dinner but for the Ethiopian Coffee ceremony. It was pleasant, if a bit short on atmosphere. We did order a few app style items before the coffee and they were excellent.

Queen of Sheba is my favorite of the places in NY. Best atmosphere of the bunch, friendly staff and their crispy fish (served as a whole fish) is outstanding. Be advised that they have live music on certain nights starting at 9 PM or so - if you're there on one of those nights conversation becomes difficult to carry on.

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Queen of Sheba is my favorite of the places in NY...

Meg, as a fellow former Berkleyan, I'll second (or third) that recommedation. My wife and I often stop there on the way home, their Vegetarian Mesob is amazing, quite cheap, and usually can easily feed the both of us, with maybe a meat sambousa thrown in for good measure...

It's usually full, but not crowded... a great atmosphere, and a truly enjoyable meal.

NYTimes Linkage

QoS is on 10th Ave at 45th or 46th.

Edited by JohnnyFlame (log)
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i went to Meskerem Ethiopian Cuisin at 124 Macdougal St.. I can honestly say with exception to the bartender it was a collection of the most miserable people i have ever met working together. I think it was fate that they all happened to find eachother.

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also Ghenet on Mulberry (near Puck Building). was only there once, and it was a while ago, but i remember enjoying it.

I had a great meal there 3 years ago and then as we paid the bill, a cockroach crawled up the wall,

i like the ethiopian place on macdougal and west 3rd, its across from minetta lane

"Is there anything here that wasn't brutally slaughtered" Lisa Simpson at a BBQ

"I think that the veal might have died from lonliness"

Homer

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  • 1 year later...
I've been craving Doro Wat for awhile now. Has anyone been lately? I was going to go to Ghenet but Queen of Sheba or Meskerem are sounding better.

If you go to Meskerem, I recommend going to the 47th Street location. The downtown one is pretty miserable as somebody mentioned earlier. I've always found Meskerem on 47th to be quite above average and a good value. I usually get the Vegetarian Combo, Doro Wat, and Special Tibs. It's practically enough food for four (or three very hungry) people.

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Awash has a branch at 338 E 6th St. Had dinner there recently and it was pretty good, better I think than most other Ethiopian food in NY and seemed fresher. Also, the combo platters are well priced.

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Awash is a little short on atmosphere and the service can be glacially slow, but I've always found the food to be tasty, and hey, it's in my 'hood. I second slkinsey on the veggie combo plus a meat dish idea ... I got something last time with beef and collards that had interesting spicing.

Haven't tried any of the other Ethiopian places in NYC.

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Just a heads up on Queen of Sheba - they have live music a few nights each week. It's generally jazz oriented and good but makes conversation difficult at best. IIRC the music starts at 8:30 - 9 PM when they have it so best to call ahead to check or go earlier if conversation is important.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've tried meskerem (47th st), awash (amsterdam ave), ethiopian restaurant (upper east side), and ghenet. I liked them all but found ghenet a notch below (less intense spicing) and awash a notch above (the most well spiced). If you haven't ordered ethiopian before, combos are the way to go. There's nothing I'd stay away from, it's all good.

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  • 6 months later...

Admin: Threads merged.

This is my first post- hope I didn't mess this up.

Anyway I am going to NY at the end of the month and would like recommendations regarding Ethiopian restaurants. Suggestions???? Thanks!

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What should I order and stay away from in an Ethopian restaurant?

I am going to admit my ignorance of Ethiopian cuisine, and reiterate AzianBrewers question, what should I order and what should I avoid? What is an exemplary Ethiopian dish?

Also welcome Aji, what do you order when you are at an Ethiopian restaurant?

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Queen of Sheba is also my favorite NY Ethiopian. To do better you'll have to go to DC. Every dish is consistently good, drink selection is great, and their staff greets us with the same smiling faces every time. That last point is the exception to the rule in NYC :-)

I live in the neighborhood and everytime my brother, who lives across the Hudson, comes to visit, him and his wife always want to go there. If you go you'll probably understand why. My recommendations are the vegetable combo and the Tibs...

Edited by raji (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...

Went to Queen of Sheba last night and can concur it's one of the better of the bunch. We shared the Vegie and Beef combos. (Passed on apps and were happy we did as the combos are sizable and injera ((sponge bread)) can really fill you up)

Our fav of of the veg combo was the Ater Kik Alicha; split peas w/onion, garlic, olive oil. and tumeric, -creamy with a sweet accent. The others were solid too, well seasoned varied renditions of greens and beans. The meat combo (lamb and beef tibs) also offered varied tasty stews with good qlty meats (not fatty or tough as can be the case in this cuisine). We esp liked the Bozena Shiro (beef simmered in chick pea gravy).

There's a bit of heat throughout most of the dishes which should be mentioned as my friend had a tough time w/the lentils and a beef. (should be noted, she has little or no tollerance to spicy food). I can handle (and enjoy) a small amt so it was no problem.

Service was considerably slow at first. Took about 10-15 min to place a drink order and another 10 before it arrived. After, all was fine. The staff was friendly if a bit frantic at times. It was all well worth it when considering the tab and qlty of the food. I dropped $60 (ttl w/tax/tip) and that was with a btl of (cheap but very drinkable) French sprklng ($22). I will def be back.

That wasn't chicken

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  • 8 months later...
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