7 Great Ethiopian Spots in NYC

The best places to get perfect injera, gomen, sambusas, and other Ethiopian specialties in NYC.
7 Great Ethiopian Spots in NYC  image

When we want food that’s equal parts flavorful, sharable, and soul-satisfying, Ethiopian is at the top of our list. Fortunately, New York City has a ton of great options all over the five boroughs, so you never have to travel far to get some perfect injera topped with dollops of richly-spiced stews. From a popular food truck with locations in Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan to a vegan spot that’s a date night go-to, these are some great Ethiopian restaurants in NYC. 

The Spots

photo credit: Emily Schindler


East Village

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerDate NightVegetarians
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This spot on Avenue B is the kind of place that instantly makes you feel like you’re at your best friend’s house. The staff is super friendly, there’s a lot of seating, and even though there’s almost always a small crowd of regulars, it never gets annoyingly busy. Haile is a restaurant you’ll return to again and again, not just for the exceptional food, but for the warm, cozy atmosphere.  

Good date night spots shouldn’t just be cute. You’re there to make great memories, while also eating some excellent food. Ras Plant Based, a vegan Ethiopian spot in Crown Heights, comes through on both fronts. This dimly lit hideaway full of colorful murals makes a plant-based meal feel like a multisensory art exhibit. And even if you’ve enjoyed more Ethiopian meals than you can count, the menu at Ras will likely include at least one classic stew or stir-fry you’ve never had before. That’s because this is one of the only spots in the city specializing in plant-based Ethiopian food like tender mushroom tibs and meat-free dulet.

This classic Manhattan Valley spot blends white tablecloths and stunning paintings with a relaxed atmosphere and perfect sambusas, which is why it’s one of our favorite Ethiopian spots in NYC. It’s a great option for special occasion group dinners when you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on an outstanding meal, but still want to have a memorable night—though Awash is equally food for lowkey date nights or solo dates with an order of their outstanding kitfo.

The popular Makina Cafe food trucks serve Habesha food, which includes both Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine and culture. The original truck is parked at Fort Greene Park Friday through Saturday from 11am to 9pm, and it’s the ideal place to grab not-boring picnic food. There’s also a truck in LIC that’s open Monday-Saturday for pick-up only, but note that it’s in an industrial area with nowhere to eat nearby. No matter which protein you choose for lunch (we like the beef tibs or the vegetable combo option), get the injera as your base. Makina’s injera is heavily fermented, sour, and you’re inevitably going to want more of it to sop up your gomen and miser. You can also order delivery directly through their website. 

There are several ways to approach a meal at Bunna, a lowkey Bushwick cafe that’s consistently packed with people having a good time. Your easiest and best route is The Feast: a giant plate of dishes like miser wot, gomen, shiro, and kale salad with avocado (because we’re still in Brooklyn). The Feast isn’t just perfect for sharing - it’s designed for it. You’ll eat nine different things off the same shared plate, plus your own personal pile of injera (flat, spongy sourdough flatbread for scooping) so you don’t have to fight anyone for the last piece. If you want even more food, the appetizers are also great, and you can add extra orders of any of the dishes a la carte.

This casual spot on the border of Park Slope and Gowanus is a reliable choice for group dinners, especially if there are vegans in the mix. The space has big windows, a faux-thatched ceiling, and booths that make it easy to get cozy with your friends around a bunch of delicious food. We always go for the combinations here—the vegan option is $84 for four people and comes with four stews—because it’s such a good deal. 

Abyssinia is an ideal spot in Harlem to bring a friend or go on a date once you get to the phase in your relationship where you don’t mind sharing some excellent spicy beef stew off of the same plate. The food here is extremely good, and all of the vegetable dishes are vegan. Get the meat or vegetable combo, and between the different stews, injera bread and vegetable sides, you’ll have a ton of food for around $30 per person. 

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