The Best Ethiopian Restaurants in Toronto
The best Ethiopian restaurants in Toronto make for a great night out, complete with belly-warming, aromatic comfort food, great ambiance and a reasonable bill at the end of the meal. All the top spots in the city are in fairly small and intimate spaces, filled with spicy smells and happy eaters.
For those interested in the slow food movement, this is the cuisine for you. You can expect to wait a good half hour at most of these places so be sure to bring along good conversationalists and good eaters. Served on one large platter for the table, the dishes are meant to be shared.
An assortment of stewed vegetables and meats are served on a pancake-like bread called injera that is used in lieu of utensils. Think pita and hummus, but with softer, spongier bread. It's a messy affair that's as much about the great food as it is about having the full experience, which is made especially charming at the spots that have proper, traditional coffee ceremonies.
It's a feast of earthy ingredients like lentils, split peas, black beans, collared greens, and stewed meats. Every place on the list has vegetarian-friendly menu items but for those looking for a little more in the meat department, you can't go wrong with tibs or kifto.
Here are the best Ethiopian restaurants in Toronto.
Note: This list was previously published in January 2009. Comments made up until November 21st, 2011 are in reference to the old list. We've purposely kept the archived comments here because we believe they (mostly) add value to this topic. If you don't want to have to wade through all of them, simply hit the "sort by newest first" link at the top of the thread.
At Dovercourt and Bloor, Nazareth has a line-up out the door nightly. The small, intimate space has limited seating but the delicious food served in large portions for (surprisingly) low prices make it well worth waiting for a table. It’s a short menu, but most people just order the veggie platter that easily serves two hungry people for only $8. Wander in for a beer on a Saturday night and Nazareth’s regulars might even be having a quiet and charming dance party. More »
The sleek, modern decor of Nunu sets it apart from most Ethiopian restaurants in the city. A fusion of traditional cuisine and a contemporary aesthetic make for a sophisticated dining experience. A great spot for a date. The prices are a little higher than the other top picks but still really affordable. The coffee ceremony here is a must. More »
On the Danforth near Donlands station, Dukem is a casual and warm space nestled in the east end with friendly service and good prices. The spicy chicken stew is a real favourite, as are the lamb kebabs. Dukem gets extra points for great vibe and atmosphere. More »
This staple of Ethiopian cuisine has been in business in the Queen and Dufferin area for 20 some odd years. Between the traditional coffee ceremony, the wide array of hoppy Ethiopian beers, the great dishes and the walls adorned with Ethiopian warriors and kings, Addis Ababa offers the full experience. More »
Attention vegetarians, this Parkdale favourite serves up tibs and kifto made just for you, complete with faux beef and chicken. With no meat on the menu, beef and poultry enthusiasts may be disappointed, but the menu actually has more variety than most Ethiopian restaurants. Sandwiches, brunch and appetizers like spring rolls and samosas aren’t standard fare for this cuisine, but they’re a welcome addition to the classics. More »
At Yonge and Irwin, Ethiopian House is more central than many of the others, making it a popular choice for those looking to avoid a trek west to Bloordale or Parkdale, or over to east Danforth. This is a great spot to try the gored-gored, a dish of spiced beef served rare or even raw. It’s the perfect compliment to their vegetarian platter. More »
Don’t let the restaurant’s name throw you off, this place is authentic Ethiopian fare. This east-end favourite is great for all the classic items, from tibs to kafta to veggie platter. And with such a charming interior and friendly servers, Rendez-Vous is a great venue for the coffee ceremony. More »
A couple doors down from Nazareth at Bloor and Dovercourt, this is a really tasty alternative with better service and no line. Though it’s not as inexpensive as Nazareth, it’s still really affordable and since time is money, it does even out a little. The space is a tad dark but the friendly servers make up for it. More »
This popular spot now has two locations, one at Bloor and Ossington and another over near Danforth and Coxwell. They serve up a mean beef tibs and the price is right. With a little more seating than some of the others, this is a great place for bigger groups or those just looking to avoid line-ups at the nearby alternatives. But bigger also means less intimate so for that Lalibela loses some points. More »