Little Ethiopia only stretches roughly one, long block between Olympic and Whitworth on Fairfax, but much like Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak, this pint-sized neighborhood packs a punch. Filled with some of the city’s best African meals, including massive vegetarian combos, spicy lentil stews, and excellent coffee ceremonies fit for royalty, here’s our guide for where to get takeout and delivery in Little Ethiopia.
Meals By Genet
Meals By Genet isn’t just one of the best restaurants in Little Ethiopia, it’s one of the best in the entire city. Open for takeout, you can get all of their incredible dishes to go, like a super-spicy doro wot, a fragrant chicken stew that’s marinated for 50 hours, or their vegetarian combination - a massive platter that brings together every side dish on the menu, like collard greens, split peas, green lentils, and pureed sunflower seeds, and is served with an absolute brick of sponge-y injera bread. Call (323) 938-9304 to place your order.
Rosalind's Ethiopian Restaurant
Under normal circumstances, Rosalind’s is the best option in the neighborhood for a big celebratory group dinner. But since they only have a tiny patio out front, we’ll happily order takeout and delivery from this long-standing spot. Our go-to order is the vegetarian combination, which comes with collard greens, chickpeas, spicy yellow split pea, red lentils, and cabbage all wrapped around sponge-y injera. The “Yedoro Wot,” is a great complementary dish for your meal as well with marinated spicy chicken stewed in a tangy red pepper sauce. Call (323) 936-2486 for takeout, and delivery is available on most major apps.
Messob Ethiopian Restaurant
The classic spot in Little Ethiopia is offering their full menu for both takeout and delivery, and while you can get any dish a la carte, we recommend the “Super Messob Exclusive.” For $33, It’s a massive plate filled with nine dishes from all sections of the menu, ranging from collards to spicy lamb stew.
Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant
Forcing yourself to eat vegetables while in quarantine can be like doing any other forced activity during quarantine: pretty unpleasant. Unless you’re ordering from Lalibela. We usually get the “Veggie Utopia,” a giant spread of 14 different plant-based dishes, such as spicy chickpea stew, collard greens, and split peas, all served upon on soft and spongy injera - which just so happens to be perfect for mopping up the occasional tear. Call (323) 965-1025 to order.
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As its name suggests, Merkato is a market filled with everything from pantry goods to CDs and T-shirts. But behind all the merchandise is a tiny kitchen in the back that’s making excellent Ethiopian food. We usually stick to the vegetarian section of their menu, the spicy and earthy lentils are a standout, but you can’t really go wrong with anything. Call (323) 935-1775 to order, and know that they also sell Ethiopian wine to go.
If you’re in the area, stuck in the perpetual traffic on Fairfax, or just need a quick caffeine jolt, Paradocs is our favorite option in the area. The tiny coffee shop has a large menu filled with everything from blueberry matcha lattes to Kyoto-style cold drip, plus a daily pastry box filled with almond croissants and kouign amanns, and to-go sandwiches if you’re hungry. Just be sure to get there early for the pastries, they tend to sell out by noon. Takeout only.
Equal parts coffee shop, market, and excellent Ethiopian restaurant, Buna is your one-stop-shop for handcrafted drums, jewelry, large tubs of spices, as well as beef tartare, fiery hot beef stew, and homemade tiramisu. We particularly like the meat combo, which involves both the lamb and beef stew, and all the injera one can handle. They also have a few tables outside that are great for leisurely grabbing a cup of coffee and chatting with a friend. Available for takeout, delivery, and limited outdoor seating.
Little Ethiopia Restaurant
Although we miss dining in this classic, colorful spot, Little Ethiopia Restaurant is a great place to know about, especially for breakfast. We love their timatim fit-fit, a bright, refreshing tomato dish mixed with onion, jalapeno pepper, olive oil, lemon juice, and bits of injera. And if you’re like us and are a monster without a little caffeine, get an order of their coffee ceremony. Even at home, it’s a beautiful pitcher of smooth, freshly-roasted coffee that can serve up to three people. Available for takeout and delivery, call (323) 930-2808 to place an order.
Although many of the places on this list have great vegetarian dishes, Rahel fully commits to the plant-based lifestyle. While they only serve vegan/vegetarian dishes, you won’t even find yourself missing meat, with dishes like the yefasolia wot stew containing delicious steamed string beans and carrots that are seasoned with garlic, ginger, and coriander. Or try the millennium specil (calm down, Star Wars fans), a behemoth with everything from split lentil stew to sunflowers mixed with injera and pumpkin stew. Available for takeout and delivery, call (323) 937-8401 to place an order.
If Lalibela and Rahel are our go-to temples of vegetables, then Awash is whatever the opposite of that is. Sure, there are plant-based dishes on the menu here, but what you want to focus on at this Ethiopian restaurant is (to paraphrase an Arby’s tagline) the meats. We particularly like the breaded chicken cutlets, steak with rice, and the “Special Kitfo” that’s an Ethiopian-style steak tartare mixed with garlic, onions, and jalapeños. Available for takeout, call (323) 939-3233 to place an order.