Ethiopian Food

Home to the African Union, various United Nations offices, and countless foreign NGOs, Addis Ababa is very much an international city and visitors can enjoy all types of cuisine.   Outside of the capital, your food options are more limited.  The major tourist destinations usually have good - some very good - western fare, but in the more remote areas, injera with various  meat, vegetables, and "wot" will be your primary option.  Various pasta dishes are also widely available.

Bottled mineral water, sparkling and still, is available throughout the country.  In most towns an assortment of fresh-squeezed juices or smoothies are available.  Home to a surprising number of breweries, Ethiopia boasts some very good beers.  Ethiopian wine is sweet for many foreigners' taste, but if you  enjoy a drink now and then, you should definitely try "tej," a, home-made honey wine found throughout the country.  For something stronger, there is always "ireki;" try it at your own risk.

Tea or “Shai"

Ethiopia is very famous for its fine coffees, but its also home to some excellent teas.   Ethiopians often drink tea at the end of meals to aid with digestion. Most tea has a reddish-orange hue to it and has a slightly minty flavor. A variety of black, green, and herbal teas are widely availalbe at coffee shops.


Chopped up injera mixed with spices. There are different varieties of fir fir including fasting and non-fasting versions, and it can be served with meat, vegetables, and even french fries. It’s served on top of more injera and is usually eaten at breakfast by Ethiopians. 


A traditional Ethiopian breakfast - chopped up injera mixed with awaze (chili) sauce and a few other spices. Topped with yogurt and served with local honey for dipping.


A smoothie-like concoction except it’s not made from fruit. This is a classic pre-workout item for Ethiopians; barley and sometimes other grains are blended together with a mixture of water and honey, providing some great fuel for competition. However, it is also enjoyed outside of an athletic context.

Injera with Wot Variety

Injera is the staple food of Ethiopia and it is served at almost every meal. It is a soft, spongy, sometimes sour bread. Tear off a piece with your hands and use it to grab one of many different wots - stews of vegetables, meat, beans, or spices - that you can order. There is an extraordinary variety of wits including spicy and non-spicy options.


Ethiopian juice is some of the best you’ll find on the planet -- everything is freshly squeezed. Juice bars, or ‘jus bets’ are everywhere and at any of them you can order combinations of a variety of fruit juices. The classic Ethiopian preparation is called “spriss,” which is a mixture of mango, papaya, and avocado. 


Beef or lamb cut up into pieces and fried - topped with peppers and onions and served with injera. Usually comes with chili, awaze, and Ethiopian mustard sauces for dipping.


A fried and crispy - almost pastry like breakfast. This flaky, pancake-like base can be filled with vegetables, meat, and fruit, but is most commonly filled with eggs. Fetira is almost always served with honey.

Coffee or “Buna"

Ethiopia is famous for its coffee and all visitors should try it. Ethiopian coffee beans are as fresh as they get and Ethiopians are proud of the history and culture surrounding their coffee. Coffee ceremonies and cafés are ubiquitous.

Fasting Food

As some Ethiopians fast up to 250 days per year, there is a demand for a variety of fasting food. Fasting food is essentially vegan, except for an exception of fish made by many Ethiopians. Rice, lentils, barley, and a variety of vegetables are used in preparation of these wots.

Ambo and Mirinda

Mirinda and Ambo are both Ethiopian-made beverages that can be found at almost every restaurant in the country. Mirinda is an orange soda that is made with the sugar cane grown in southern Ethiopia. Ambo is a bubbly mineral water that is bottled in a town west of Addis Ababa with the same name, Ambo.

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