Saturday, November 22, 2014Light Rain Shower 5°C
Best of Toronto

The Best Ethiopian Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Emily Burke / November 22, 2011

Best Ethiopian Restaurant TorontoThe 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.

Nazareth

Nazareth

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 »

Nunu

Nunu

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 »

Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa

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 »

Ethiopian House

Ethiopian House

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 »

Rendez-Vous

Rendez-Vous

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 »

African Palace

African Palace

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 »

Lalibela

Lalibela

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 »

Discussion

52 Comments

Courtney / January 10, 2009 at 09:19 pm
user-pic
I'm a Vegan as well and my pick would be M&B yummy. I eat there a lot because it is near my place. Its good and they also have lots of vegan sweets.
Lily Clarke / February 20, 2009 at 01:17 pm
user-pic
Yep, don't overlook the Danforth at Greenwood. I went to a very fabulous Ethiopian restaurant called Ambasel at 1334 Danforth Avenue last Saturday. The food was stunningly delicious and the hospitality and warmth was second to none. While the entrance is very modest and in need of a splash of paint, don't let that stop you from an incredible experience. The coffee ritual was also a very wonderful experience. This is a big space too which could be rented for occasions in a basement. I will be returning many times
sharon replying to a comment from Laura / May 19, 2009 at 09:02 pm
user-pic
Ethiopian House, the service is too sloooooow and there is only one server/waiter/cashier and he is cranky and very rude. Some one even found him cheat b/s he charged him more. Some one else commented on the the attitude of this server (the braided hair server) when the customer pointed out about some issues with the food (veggie stew was not fresh). I know there are other Ethiopian restaurnts, number of them on the Bloor and Ossington area and also on Danforth once your passed Pape some where around Greenwood.
mike / December 3, 2009 at 08:01 am
user-pic
For me Wazema's got the best Ethiopian food. The ingredients and meat are fresh.
EthioMan / February 17, 2010 at 12:40 am
user-pic
With all due respect, the ranking on this post reflect that the person(s) aren't really familiar with true authentic Ethiopian Cuisine. Ask any native Ethiopian or any non-Ethiopian who's really familiar with the culture, you'll quickly find that the ranking is completely off. I'm not arrogant enough to say I speak for every Ethiopian as people's tastes can vary; but I would venture to say that on anybody's list, the top three(in no particular order) should consist of Lalibela,Rendezvous, and Wazema.
Franco / April 22, 2010 at 02:28 pm
user-pic
I spent an awful lot of time in Toronto on my youth; it was such a diverse and vibrant city where anything goes (almost). There are lots of ethnic restaurants there and I was introduced to Ethiopian food at Fasiledes Ethiopian Restaurant on Danforth Ave. I was hesitant to go in at first but I am very glad that I did and was pleasantly surprised. Fasiledes was "The" Ethiopian restaurant for people go to in Toronto because it was conveniently located on the edge of the Danforht district and the food was to die for. The ambiance was dark, sultry and exotic; a perfect place to take someone on a third or fourth date (yes, you do eat with your hands and it could be embarrassing on a first date. Of course, you should only be going to coffee or cocktails on a first date, but I digress). The interior was dimly lit and Ethiopian pop music wafted through the air; the menu offered several delicious vegetarian, beef, lamb, chicken and fish, selections. The entrees could be served individually or on a large platter family style for bigger parties. The injera (crepe-like flat bread you use to pick up food from the platter) here is lacy white, thin, and sweet-tasting. The entrees themselves are a bit more delicately spiced than other Ethiopian places in the area--the spicy items are still hot, but there was a little bit of a genteel quality to the food at Fasiledes. The staff and mgmt were all very friendly and courteous.
The Truth / September 2, 2010 at 04:30 pm
user-pic
Dukem all the way - I have been to nearly all of the places on this list, and none of them can hold a candle to Dukem. I also work kiddie-corner to Sheba on College and have dine there several times, only because it's close when I need a fix and can't make it out to Dukem. This list has nothing to do with "the best" Ethopian food in Toronto - it only lists the competent places that are close to where the U of T students eat / live / hang out.
Jacqui / September 26, 2010 at 04:24 pm
user-pic
I enjoy Ethiopian House, but I recently discovered Ethiopics at Church and Dundas. It opened in June and one of the owners is a former Ethiopian House waitress. I'm not an expert on Ethiopian food, but I really enjoyed this place. A bonus was the whole wheat injera, the green bean and chickpea dishes! :)
Lindsay Lafreniere / November 22, 2011 at 02:03 pm
user-pic
Dukem is the best Ethiopian I've ever had and was a third the price on Nunu!
declan / November 22, 2011 at 04:53 pm
user-pic
I'd put Hirut on the list. It's on the Danforth near Woodbine ... great food, lovely people and Ethiopian jazz on Saturday night. Oh yeah, and it's cheap!

Brodie / November 22, 2011 at 06:14 pm
user-pic
My girlfriend bit into glass in her food at Nazareth, and they admitted it was glass. But they still expected her to pay. So in my opinion Nazareth is not good.
MH / November 22, 2011 at 06:47 pm
user-pic
Is it 'standard practice' to include no milk or eggs in vegetarian Ethiopian dishes? I recently went to an Ethiopian place for the first time, and was pleased to discover that they had vegan things that I could eat. (I never assume that a non-veg place that claims to offer 'vegetarian' options also has decent/any vegan ones.)
the lemur replying to a comment from MH / November 23, 2011 at 09:09 pm
user-pic
I don't know about standard practice but it seems like there's very little dairy or eggs involved in Ethiopian dishes in general, except that there is a chicken dish (doro wat?) that comes with a hardboiled egg and there's a crumbly kind of cheese served with one or two beef dishes, but I've never seen them with vegetables, now that you mention it. You might still want to ask how the vegetables are cooked though.
the lemur / November 23, 2011 at 09:18 pm
user-pic
I'm surprised Queen of Sheba isn't on the list.
POTHEN / November 28, 2011 at 02:35 pm
user-pic
I can't believe BlogTO omitted HIRUT, the brilliant Ethiopian restaurant located at the northwest corner of Danforth and Woodbine (which, btw. is getting to be a real hot spot). I love Ethiopian food, and I've been to just every place on your list. I prefer HIRUT. First, the consistency of their food is much better (not too runny, and injera holds together). Second, the their interior is actually classy and appetizing – great for a date (unlike a lot of other Ethiopian places, where the décor ranges from safari kitch to S&M). Third, they have Saturday and Sunday night jazz shows which have got to be the best-kept secret in Toronto.

I discovered this place only when I moved to the neighborhood (from Ossington Station area), but if I ever had to move to another part of town, I’d still come back here to dine.
POTHEN / November 28, 2011 at 02:35 pm
user-pic
I can't believe BlogTO omitted HIRUT, the brilliant Ethiopian restaurant located at the northwest corner of Danforth and Woodbine (which, btw. is getting to be a real hot spot). I love Ethiopian food, and I've been to just every place on your list. I prefer HIRUT. First, the consistency of their food is much better (not too runny, and injera holds together). Second, the their interior is actually classy and appetizing – great for a date (unlike a lot of other Ethiopian places, where the décor ranges from safari kitch to S&M). Third, they have Saturday and Sunday night jazz shows which have got to be the best-kept secret in Toronto.

I discovered this place only when I moved to the neighborhood (from Ossington Station area), but if I ever had to move to another part of town, I’d still come back here to dine.
POTHEN / November 28, 2011 at 02:36 pm
user-pic
I can't believe BlogTO omitted HIRUT, the brilliant Ethiopian restaurant located at the northwest corner of Danforth and Woodbine (which, btw. is getting to be a real hot spot). I love Ethiopian food, and I've been to just every place on your list. I prefer HIRUT. First, the consistency of their food is much better (not too runny, and injera holds together). Second, the their interior is actually classy and appetizing – great for a date (unlike a lot of other Ethiopian places, where the décor ranges from safari kitch to S&M). Third, they have Saturday and Sunday night jazz shows which have got to be the best-kept secret in Toronto.

I discovered this place only when I moved to the neighborhood (from Ossington Station area), but if I ever had to move to another part of town, I’d still come back here to dine.
POTHEN / November 28, 2011 at 02:36 pm
user-pic
I can't believe BlogTO omitted HIRUT, the brilliant Ethiopian restaurant located at the northwest corner of Danforth and Woodbine (which, btw. is getting to be a real hot spot). I love Ethiopian food, and I've been to just every place on your list. I prefer HIRUT. First, the consistency of their food is much better (not too runny, and injera holds together). Second, the their interior is actually classy and appetizing – great for a date (unlike a lot of other Ethiopian places, where the décor ranges from safari kitch to S&M). Third, they have Saturday and Sunday night jazz shows which have got to be the best-kept secret in Toronto.

I discovered this place only when I moved to the neighborhood (from Ossington Station area), but if I ever had to move to another part of town, I’d still come back here to dine.
seo tool / December 10, 2011 at 05:02 pm
user-pic
Hi! Your article rocks as well as being a legitimate wonderful understand!??
http://realbooster.com/
Calgary / December 18, 2011 at 07:30 pm
user-pic
That is great selection of Toronto Ethiopian Restaurants
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People / December 22, 2011 at 07:50 am
user-pic
I'll complain that you have copied material from another source
http://www.dbookshelf.com/p185673/Download-The-7-Habits-of-Highly-Effective-People-book-online/
at&t cell phones / January 12, 2012 at 05:13 pm
user-pic
if you want, I'll write you articles. Copywriter looking for work
free mp3 downloads / February 2, 2012 at 08:11 am
user-pic
I can??t really help but admire your blog site, your site is adorable and nice
Jo Zee / February 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm
user-pic
Lucy's on the Danforth near Coxwell is excellent, you missed that one. My daughter lives close to that one and she loves it. Not only is the food great, the atmosphere and friendly staff are outstanding!
impotence help / March 23, 2012 at 12:30 pm
user-pic
Really informative blog.Really thank you! Keep writing.
orajel side effects / March 29, 2012 at 11:49 am
user-pic
Thank you for your post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.
http://www.buysnoprescription.com/drugs-description/baby-orajel
fast weight loss / April 6, 2012 at 01:14 pm
user-pic
Thanks so much for the blog article.Really thank you! Great.
kimberly / April 18, 2012 at 03:33 am
user-pic
since i become a big fun of Ethiopian food i have been trying different dishes at different restaurant.The vegetarian platter, meat combination and some of them named it "chacha" and others "drketebs" are my favorites.After two years experiences of Ethiopian food i found that Blue-Nile located on Danorth & Greenwood is the greatest one,the Taste,Presentation & Portions of the food is amazing,the Cleanliness of dining room & Restrooms is more i like about plus a Friendly and Knowledgeable servers are definitely makes me back .....
Kjope Cialis / April 24, 2012 at 09:07 am
user-pic
Just a fast hello and also to thank you for discussing your ideas on this page. I wound up in your blog right after researching physical fitness connected issues on Yahoo guess I lost track of what I had been performing! Anyway I'll be back once once more inside the potential to test out your blogposts down the road. Thanks!
ways to increase stamina for men / May 5, 2012 at 05:19 pm
user-pic
Found your blog on Google and I should say that I wholly adored reading it. Im going to bookmark
steve mcqueen / June 18, 2012 at 04:29 pm
user-pic
I first went to Ethiopian House and then several times over the years. I remember it being amazing food. I lived in Van for awhile then and it was Nayala. MMMMMMM!!! And the coffee ritual was intense! I am trying Hirut tonight. I'll report back.
click here / June 20, 2012 at 06:45 pm
user-pic
actually enjoyed what that you published . it really is not that simple to find great posts to read (you know.. READ and not simply going through it like some uniterested and flesh eating zombie before moving on), so cheers man for not wasting my time on the god forsaken internet. :p
http://www.cialis20mgonline.com/work-related-stress-and-impotence-in-men/
Alon / August 24, 2012 at 04:44 pm
user-pic
An easy place to overlook but which is by far the BEST Ethiopian restaurant in the city is KEEFFA COFFEE. It is located on Queen St. East just east of Parliament. It's a small little cafe that you wouldn't think serves full meals, but I've now eaten there 5 times and it is consistently the best Ethiopian food I've had in Toronto. I've tried most of the restaurants listed above and they do not compare. At Keeffa's the food is made from scratch, fresh, daily. You can find them on Facebook.

KEEFFA COFFEE.
Alon / August 24, 2012 at 04:46 pm
user-pic
Oh, and do try an Ethiopian breakfast at KEEFFAA's. AMAZING!
Monic / September 13, 2012 at 10:05 am
user-pic
Recently I dine at Dukem, consider top Ethiopian restaurants on Danforth Ave, near Donlands subway station. Dukem has intimate ambiance, a reasonable prices for a good meal. Additional the restaurant future photography from all over Ethiopia. Grate small place to visit in Toronto. More on Ethiopia: http://ethiopiavoyage.com
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 10:20 pm
user-pic
I'm surprised Queen of Sheba isn't on the list.
YEGConvert / October 21, 2012 at 03:32 am
user-pic
I'm absolutely shocked that Pero Restaurant and Lounge isn't on this list. It's right at Bloor and Crawford on the northwest side. Classy, traditional, clean and the food is superb! I've been dining there for about 4 years steady and it's top notch. I have been to many other Ethiopian/Eritrean restos around town,Lalibela being my next favourite, Ethiopian House (slow service, sometimes cold food and cranky waiters), Addis Ababa (ate there once and never returned), Queen of Sheba (language barrier sometimes but the food was decent).
Declan / November 5, 2012 at 10:51 pm
user-pic
Hirut is the best. Great food, warm atmosphere. Went there for Hirut Hoot, the monthly comedy show. Saw some fantastic pro comics. A little gem of a place.
Virginia / February 14, 2013 at 11:07 am
user-pic
Does anyone know which of these restaurants offer glutan free injera? I know in some places they mix the teff flour with regular flour.
I love Ethiopian food, but am now on a GF diet so need to have injera made from 100% teff.

Thanks!!
alssasda asdam / March 3, 2013 at 02:30 pm
user-pic
wow! many thanks for that incredible content. I really beloved it towards core. Hope you keep submitting these types of fantastic articles or blog posts
Adventures in Florida / March 22, 2013 at 10:53 am
user-pic
Heya i'm for the primary time here. I found this board and I in finding It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot. I'm hoping to provide something again and help others such as you aided me.| Adventures in Florida http://www.floridarealadventures.com
Jasa Beli Barang / March 23, 2013 at 03:25 am
user-pic
You've made some really good points there. I looked on the net for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.|
trading / March 23, 2013 at 10:07 am
user-pic
This page truly has all the information and facts I needed concerning this subject and didn't know who to ask. %7
Procurement in East-Africa / March 23, 2013 at 10:19 am
user-pic
Do you have any video of that? I'd care to find out some additional information.|
C replying to a comment from Virginia / June 29, 2013 at 04:05 pm
user-pic
Did you find an answer yet? Please post the answer if you find it. Thanks!
C replying to a comment from Virginia / June 29, 2013 at 04:06 pm
user-pic
Please post the answer when you find it. I have the same question. Thanks!
Tendai replying to a comment from sharon / July 2, 2013 at 07:00 pm
user-pic
You can't trust this review at all. The food at Ethiopian House was terrible. Not fresh either. Is Blogto being paid to write these reviews. I wish we had Zagat in Canada.
alprazolam / July 28, 2013 at 09:12 am
user-pic
I'm gone to say to my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this webpage on regular basis to take updated from newest news.
weightlossplan / August 20, 2013 at 11:57 am
user-pic
WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for Toronto
kt replying to a comment from Virginia / November 9, 2013 at 11:45 am
user-pic
I know for sure that Nazareth and Pero (which isn't on this list - it's around Ossington and Bloor) can offer gluten-free injera - you have to ask for it but they will make it for you.
James / December 2, 2013 at 02:18 am
user-pic
Lost interest in these reviews about a quarter way through. Too many grumbling wankers and "foodies". Been going for Ethiopian for almost two decades, my spouse lived in Ethiopia and I am not a "foodie". I consider the food to be comfort food, an intimate way to share a meal with friends and the most fantastic vegetarian food around. All these foody people seem to be out for is to eat as cheaply as possible, search for some some sort of cathartic cultural experience and pretend they are some sort of serious food critic by complaining about every single aspect of their meal. These people and their obsessive yelping about the slightest transgression, I'm sure, are the reason why my favourite, Queen of Sheeba is now gone. Not familiar with the restaurants on the east end but would like to state my opinion that Lalibela is quite good on the west end and though fairly new, African Palace has amazing and very reasonably priced food. The self-entitled, arrogant "hypstrz" need to get a grip, appreciate things for what they are or save their left over change from their PBR binges to spring for a meal at a posh restaurant. There they can be justified in bellyacing over not getting their money's worth.
Me replying to a comment from James / December 2, 2013 at 08:46 am
user-pic
I wouldn't go anywhere based on a BlogTO "review".

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal