Saturday, December 20, 2014Partly Cloudy -2°C
Best of Toronto

The Best Ethiopian Restaurants in Toronto

Posted by Liora Ipsum / December 5, 2014

Ethiopian TorontoThe best Ethiopian restaurants in Toronto faithfully represent the communal dining traditions of this East African nation. Expect a feast for the senses; from the vibrant assortment of wot presented over spongy injera bread to the custom of eating with your hands and feeding your friends.

Diverse flavours will range from crunchy fresh salads and saucy stews to spicy meats and, of course the whole experience is best finished off with the traditional coffee ceremony often fragranced by beans roasted table-side or with incense burned for extra impact.

Here are the best Ethiopian restaurants in Toronto.

Rendez-Vous

Rendez-Vous

Ethiopian and Eritrean foods are the main attraction at this restaurant on the Danforth. At breakfast, find kita firfir (thin strips of bread with kibe, berbere and cooling yogurt) and foul (buttery mashed beans), while at dinner, dig into house specialties like gomen besiga, a lamb stew with collard greens. More »

Nazareth

Nazareth

A dedicated fan base keeps this Ethiopian eatery in Bloorcourt Village perpetually packed. The menu offered at excellent value features stellar representations of spicy kifto and lamb tibs stew. Nothing on the menu exceeds $12, and generally that's enough food to feed at least two people. More »

Lalibela

Lalibela

Combo platters with sautéed beef or split peas, and beets, cabbage and collard greens are a pleasure to scoop up by hand with torn bits of injera at two locations of Lalibela. Ethiopian coffee and fresh popcorn is the customary way to conclude any big meal and should not be missed. More »

Keeffaa Ethiopian

Keeffaa Ethiopian

Ethiopian brunch options and strong coffees creamed with coconut milk are an excellent start at this coffee house on Queen East. Later in the day, you'll find a brief but satiating selection including vegetable platters topped with an array of stewed cabbage and carrot, lentil, beet, kale and split pea. More »

Pero Restaurant

Pero Restaurant

This romantic, dimly lit lounge on Bloor is a perfect date night spot where swooning couples can get their gursha on and hand-feed each other sizzling cha cha (lamb) or split pea tsebhi pinched in injera. Of course no meal would be complete without enacting the traditional coffee ceremony featuring a few rounds of strong jebena (clay-pot)-brewed coffee. More »

African Palace

African Palace

Located just a couple doors down from Nazareth on Bloor, this place picks up its neighbour's overflow but is also deserving of its own praise. Tasting platters scaled to the size of any dining party are the best bets when out for an assortment of wot, including red lentils, garlicky spinach and carrot, and turmeric-flavoured cabbage. Coffee-roasted tableside is a must! More »

Lucy's Ethiopian Kitchen

Lucy's Ethiopian Kitchen

Vibrant and varied combo platters featuring stewed meats and/or vegetables over a base of spongy sourdough flatbread are among the highlights at this Ethiopian restaurant on The Danforth. The decor here, is a little bare-bones but this place still radiates lots of warmth. More »

Hirut

Hirut

This lively Ethiopian restaurant and cafe on The Danforth plays host to live jazz and open mike nights. The menu matches the vibrant atmosphere with beautifully presented platters and spicy kifto served up with an ample supply of injera. More »

Sora

Sora

Delight in scooping up of morsels of chicken between injera bread, when dining on the doro wot at this Ethiopian eatery on The Danforth. Other highlights on the menu include the thick chickpea-based shiro dip and kifto platters available for dine-in, take-out and catering. More »

Discussion

29 Comments

Guest / December 5, 2014 at 11:31 am
user-pic
I love Ethiopian food. I wonder if any of these places offer gluten-free injera.
db / December 5, 2014 at 11:34 am
user-pic
good list, could have added Adis Ababa on Queen W.
!!! / December 5, 2014 at 12:26 pm
user-pic
Man, Ethopian food is so frigging good!!!

Love it.
KP / December 5, 2014 at 12:36 pm
user-pic
dat purple sponge though
JK Fowling / December 5, 2014 at 12:40 pm
user-pic
So, okay. List after list after list after list of every possible ethnicity in the city. So, how exactly are we to take seriously the opinion of a most likely white middle class hipster teenager?
Melissa replying to a comment from JK Fowling / December 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm
user-pic
The only way to find out whether your opinion is more valid is to go to the restaurants and try the food for yourself.
Tenayistilgn / December 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm
user-pic
It's an awkward sensation for me when a best of list doesn't mention what I consider the best of that category. Part of me is sad others don't recognize what I see as great but another part is elated that I see the good others don't (or haven't yet). Big fan of Ethiopian cuisine (not bad at creating my own facsimile of as well) and I prefer Ethiopiques at Church & Dundas. That is all.

Amesege'nallo'
Ron Tabby / December 5, 2014 at 01:35 pm
user-pic
Nazareth does gluten free injera if you ask.
Dr Mantis replying to a comment from Melissa / December 5, 2014 at 01:38 pm
user-pic
Bingo. As these endless lists are useless.
K/F / December 5, 2014 at 01:41 pm
user-pic
Do they have knives and forks at these restaurants? I've heard that you have to eat the sponge with your hands which has deterred me.
Come on Man replying to a comment from K/F / December 5, 2014 at 01:47 pm
user-pic
Thats the fun part.

Nothing better than scooping up a a nice mess of tibs and veggies with the sauce soaked injera !!

You're missing out by eating like royalty with a knife and fork.
JP / December 5, 2014 at 02:40 pm
user-pic
No Sheba (College nr Bathurst)? Really great food and the sisters are terrific. A must visit anytime we have out of town guests, in fact a must visit any time. Their shiro and chacha tibs are phenomenal. Not sure how you could miss them, makes me distrust your list in general
SW / December 5, 2014 at 03:05 pm
user-pic
How about NUNU on Queen West...?
Joy / December 5, 2014 at 03:06 pm
user-pic
Hirut is good, in the east end.
S replying to a comment from db / December 5, 2014 at 04:27 pm
user-pic
Adis Ababa is closed, isn't it? Nunu should be on this list - maybe not the cheapest, but certainly the most inventive flavours I've ever had.
KingSumach_O / December 5, 2014 at 05:21 pm
user-pic
Another vote here for Nunu, West Queen West. Love it, and find it hard to fathom how it didn't make this list. Those other places must be really, really, REALLY good to knock Nunu out of the running.
Francesco / December 5, 2014 at 07:43 pm
user-pic
Disgusting, I'll stick to my Italian food
@Francesco / December 5, 2014 at 09:10 pm
user-pic
Please Francesco, don't be one of those Italians that won't try different foods! How boring! I'm Italian and love trying different foods because I can't make them. I make every effort to eat anything not Italian when I go out because we have it all the time. I have several friends that are so closed minded when it comes to anything other than Italian, it's very irritating! Give something different a try.Buona festa!
Ron G / December 5, 2014 at 09:18 pm
user-pic
I'm personally a fan of Nazareth on Bloor just east of Dovercourt. It's an eatery that serves delicious food in large portions and very affordable prices. A veggie platter for 2 is only $12 and the drinks are cheap too. Service isn't much tho, and the place is small, so be prepared to wait on weekend nights. If the wait is too long, African Palace a few doors down is a decent, yet more expensive alternative.
Gillian / December 5, 2014 at 09:38 pm
user-pic
My vote is for Nunu on Queen West as well.
Randal / December 5, 2014 at 11:25 pm
user-pic
Is NUNU that good? I walk by it everyday.never been in. Seems like a hidden Jem. In this area they should do take out instead of dining room.
MikeeDee / December 6, 2014 at 12:23 am
user-pic
I have eaten at a few of these places and Sheba ( College and Bathurst) is by far the best Ethiopian I have had, Can't imagine why it isn't on the list.
shant / December 6, 2014 at 08:19 am
user-pic
Definitely agree with Rendez vous. My top go to. And I'm Armenian! Always fresh, always delicious, never any disappointment
Mike / December 6, 2014 at 04:18 pm
user-pic
What does you being Armenian have anything to do you with commenting Ethiopian restaurants? Confused
Hayley / December 6, 2014 at 05:12 pm
user-pic
Yesss love Ethiopian! Pero & African Palace are the best I've had - will have to check out Nunu as it's close by. Had Shiba the other night (College & Bathurst) worst, most bland Ethiopian I've ever had. And they forgot left out a combo platter from the bag - 50% of our order hah.
Francesco Mio / December 7, 2014 at 05:53 pm
user-pic
Do you get out much? If you tried something different and disliked it then I wouldn't argue.How do you know if you dislike something if you haven't tried it? "Ethnic slop"? I'm sorry....what the hell is polenta? Traditionally it is eaten on a table, no plate, farmer style, and how about that jello made with pig blood , ears, scrap in it? Every culture has their own slop! You sound like an old fashioned Italian parent. Come on, I love Italian food as well( I'm Italian) but when I go out without my kids it's ethnic food all the way! BTW our Niagara Region wines kick serious ass!!!
@Francesco/ Francesco vero / December 8, 2014 at 06:56 pm
user-pic
Whether Francesco and Francesco vero are the same person beats me. I'm far from being a disgrace to Italians buddy. Before chirping on a blog try what you are so repulsed with first and if you don't like it then fine. I didn't call you racist I recall people calling Rachel racist for her "black people food" comment. There was no mention from Francesco that you tried it. BTW take the wife beater off mama is waiting to wash the sugo stains off of it! Va in pace!
Mel / December 16, 2014 at 11:26 am
user-pic
African Palace is amazing. The jalapeño dip that comes with the samosas is crack.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Guest / December 18, 2014 at 02:19 am
user-pic
Why not just stick the the places that offer such fare, and leave these places alone? Why does everything have to cater to your (and others) need to indulge this fad?

Add a Comment

Other Cities: Montreal