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Best Ethiopian?

  • i

Alrighty, 'hounds, what in your opinion is the best ethiopian in the following borders: the don valley, jane, bloor and the lake?

After perusing it seems like people think Lalibella is the good stuff. What about Addis Ababa on Queen?


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  1. I tried Lalibella a couple of months ago, and it was very tasty. I only sampled the vegetarian offerings, but I found them to be very well-spiced. The meat-eaters I was with also enjoyed their dishes. The atmosphere was fun, too.

    1. I like Paradise on the Danforth near Donlands. It was just delicious and the spicing was bright. I mean you could taste the different spices, they seemed fresh.

      1. Addis Ababa _____'s and they are rude too. They actually scammed me on the pricing too. Plus they burn the most disgusting incense imaginable that fills the whole place.

        Queen of Sheba is my favorite Ethiopian place. It is on Bloor a couple blocks east of dufferin. They give you unreal good large plates of stuff with side plates of ingera. Get the mixed queen of sheba platter that has a mix of vege and meat dishes all on one plate plus side plate of ingera and salad, all for like $8 or 9 or something. You won't finish everything, it is good value for the cash. It is nothing special in terms of atmosphere though, just go for the food.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bolo

          I'll second Queen of Sheba. Ridiculously cheap, ridiculously filling, not overwhelmed by incense. Just make sure you tell friends what is in kifto, unless you somehow have room to finish theirs :) May lack atmosphere, but it is roomier than other places I've been (large circular tables, which make more sense if a group is sharing platters).

          As for other places mentioned in this thread, I also like Ethiopian House (especially their lean, flavourful tibs, which wouldn't serve as a bad introductory dish, since they're more like a twist on fajita-style meat), though it can be painfully slow and the a la carte chicken stew is overpriced. Wasn't terribly impressed by Addis Adaba - service was non-existant, seemed pricier than other places without being noticeably better. Haven't tried Lalibela yet.

        2. I've only been to Lalibela (sp?) and Ethiopian House...
          I thought all in all, Lalibela was really good, but I prefered their vegetarian dishes to their meat dishes. I found the meat to be chewy.
          I liked Ethiopian House, but found there was less variety with the vegetarian dishes, but the meat was tender, and their injera was less sour than Lalibela. I'm not sure if thats a good thing or not...

          1. I have tried Ethiopian House, Queen of Sheba and Addis Ababa. Ethiopian House is small and you can feel a little cramped, but the food is good and has a much better atmosphere/decor. Addis Ababa is a little bigger, but I didn't like the dim lighting, I could barely see what I was eating. Queen of Sheba is bigger in size, but the food seemed to soak through the Injera more than others. Out of these three, I would recommend Ethiopian House. Just wondering, where is Lalibella??

            2 Replies
            1. re: pocky

              Bloor just west of Shaw. We used to go there often until the quality seemed to go down, haven't been back in six years or so. They used to serve some really delicious potato thingy as an hors d'oevre... do they still do this? Based on the recs below, we'll give them another try.

              I third Ethiopian House. Slow on occasion, yes, but consistently good, IMO. Comparing Q of S and Addis Ababba, I'd say the rude folks are at the Queen... service has been universally rude to non-existant for us, and we live close and have gone often. We still go only because of the proximity. Food is OK, but not worth writing home about. Addis Ababba has given me some really nice meals lately (yep, it's stinky of incense if that's not your thing) but is probably the most expensive of the bunch. Being close to the Drake Hotel, you're paying a 'hip premium' now, I suspect.

              Feeling adventurous? Start at Lalibela at Bloor & Shaw, and walk west a couple of blocks. Both the north and south sides of the street have a number of Ethiopian places that I haven't yet tried... bit of a village, it would seem.


              1. re: Schmal

                I agree with your comment about Queen of Sheba -- I've found the service to be indifferent, at best, and downright rude at it's worst. The food is fine, but I now don't go there unless dragged by friends -- I go to Ethiopia House. Slower, yes, but atleast polite.

            2. i

              thanks for all your responses. i shall report back when i go (my dinner date prompting the question was postponed).

              1. The Ethiopian Village on Danforth near Woodbine has closed.

                3 Replies
                1. re: embee

                  So where is the best place to go these days? I'm looking to go this evening, and I would like to find a place that serves the millet pancake-bread. Anyone?

                  1. re: dlw88

                    I can't posit a "best".

                    Lalibela on Bloor west has a more extensive menu than most and, to my taste, a lighter injera. I like them. They generally have a discount coupon in Now, but it's hardly pricey without it.

                    Dukem on Danforth has been reliably good for a few years.

                    Ethiopian House on Irwin has much nicer decor and OK food. I think it's a bit pricier - can't remember for sure.

                    Addis Ababa on Queen west has more atmosphere than the others, but I've been hearing bad things about their food and service lately. I haven't been there for a long time.

                    1. re: embee

                      Much appreciated. Looks like Lalibela for me. I'll try and post some afterthoughts.

                2. Went to Lalibela on Saturday night. Food was very good. We got the lailbela platter that had a lot of the vegetable dishes on them. A number of them were cold (collard greens) and a few others .. Is this traditonal? At the few ethiopian places I've been, the greens have always warm.

                  1. Went to Lalibela last Friday and found it to be really unremarkable. By Christ, that had to be the worst Ethiopian experience (in terms of service) I've had in Toronto...Much worse than Addis Ababa, that's for sure.

                    Firstly, after confirming it twice, the waitress brought us red wine instead of white. Then, instead of the Ethiopian Potato Salad, I received the tomato salad (which, by the way, ew).

                    My gf really enjoyed the vegetarian platter, but I found the meat platter to be uninspired and very very dry (found myself rationing the sauce that came with the stewed hen to use with the very dry ground beef and very tough lamb). The only thing I'd give Lalibela is the portion sizes, but I'd rather get less of something good than a lot of soemthing mediocre.

                    All in all I'd give it a 6/10 at best. Addis and Ethiopian House are far better.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: flashy_mcflash

                      Anyone else been to Lalibela very recently?

                      I've had consistently good food there (the only exception being when others insisted that the kitfo be served cooked - ergo dry ground beef). I hope your experience was just a bad day. I've always excused any service lapses due to good food and a warm welcome.

                    2. Rendez-Vous Cafe on the north side of the Danforth, east of Greenwood (close to Monarch Park) looks slightly dodgy from the outside but has a very tasty vegetarian platter and friendly atmosphere inside (if you don't mind soccer played silently on big screens).

                        1. I have to stand up for Addis Ababa. I eat there regularly. The food is consistently tasty and beautifully presented. The owner is a lovely, warm woman, who always makes us feel at home.

                          (She has a cookbook out now. I got it for Christmas, but haven't tried it yet.)

                          I tried Queen of Sheba once and wasn't impressed. The food was slopped onto the injera in a big pile, making it soggy in the middle.

                          1. I too must defend Addis Ababa. I don't have an enormous frame of reference for quality Ethiopian food, but have always enjoyed the dishes there. As well the service has always been at the very least good, and often times great.

                            1. Addis Ababa is certainly my favourite in the city... of course i've only tried it, ethiopia house and queen of sheba

                              1. It falls well past the borders above ;) but this is the best Ethiopian I've ever eaten. Beautiful space too, but that's New York for you.


                                2 Replies
                                1. re: flashy_mcflash

                                  The area of Bloor east of Ossington has about 5 or 6 different Ethiopian/Eritrean restos, we went tonight and instead of opting for Lalibela, chose the place that was the most crowded, which turned out to be the new kid; African Palace (834 Bloor W, 416 588 7819). We're lazy so we just ordered the combo platter for 3. They were out of the chicken (doro wat) so they brought us some lamb instead which was super yummy. Another meat dish (perhaps beef?) little tough but not overly so. The rest of the vegetarian (lentils and vegies) were tasty and would be ok even for those not too adventurous. Their grand opening is on the 13th of October and the boss assured me that there would be a lot of food and fun so check them out.
                                  The 3 person set meal, plus 2 beers, 1 mango juice, and coffee for all came to 50$ before tip, which I don't think was excessive.
                                  The food was on par with the Ethiopia House (?) on Irwin off of Yonge but the service was way more friendly. Next time I would order more stewed meat dishes and less lentils.

                                  1. re: mbe

                                    I have only eaten at Addis Ababa and Lalibela (multiple times). While Addis Ababa is good, I found Lalibela to be significantly better.

                                2. Here's my review and subsequent discussion of Dukem.