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Ethiopian in Manhattan

markatz Mar 18, 2007 11:51 AM

Looking for authentic Ethiopian with some good spices in manhattan.

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    Curious Student RE: markatz Mar 18, 2007 12:38 PM

    Meskerem down by NYU is great.

    1. oolah RE: markatz Mar 18, 2007 12:56 PM

      There are 4 Ethiopian restaurants in New York that I'm aware of.

      Awash, on the Upper West Side
      Ghenet in Nolita
      Massawa way uptown (west harlem maybe?)
      Meskerem (locations in the West Village, Hell's Kitchen and UWS)

      I've never been to Awash or Massawa, so I won't comment on those, but I have heard good things about both.

      Meskerem (WV and HK) and Ghenet are both run by Ethiopian families, so I'm guessing they're fairly authentic. Of the two, I prefer Ghenet, mostly for the atmosphere, but I also find their flavoring a little more complex. Ghenet's injera is a little spongier and more sour, which I prefer.

      If you want very spicy, try the Kategna appetizer at Ghenet and ask for it hot -- it's delicious and will set your mouth on fire.

      Both are pretty cheap, although Meskerem is cheaper.

      1 Reply
      1. re: oolah
        bigjeff RE: oolah Mar 19, 2007 12:04 AM

        don't forget queens of sheba (info below) which is my personal favorite. been to a few of the mesekerems, been to ghenet, I still like queen of sheba. and fave dish? the very rare beef passed through butter (not sure of exact name or wording) but, its delicious.

      2. o
        olympusnyc RE: markatz Mar 18, 2007 02:30 PM

        Also, one on York in the 80's....forget the name. Food was very good.

        1 Reply
        1. re: olympusnyc
          jeanki RE: olympusnyc Mar 19, 2007 10:59 AM

          Well the name is forgettable (or unforgettable depending on how you think about it): Ethiopian Restaurant.

        2. g
          gaijingirl RE: markatz Mar 18, 2007 03:55 PM

          Awash is pretty darned tasty, and in the great East Village neighborhood, so there's plenty of good walking around to do after the meal. (The prices are good as well, and the Tej honeywine...yum!)

          1 Reply
          1. re: gaijingirl
            oolah RE: gaijingirl Mar 18, 2007 04:17 PM

            Did Awash move downtown? I could swear they used to be uptown, but I'd be psyched to have another downtown option!

          2. jakew8 RE: markatz Mar 18, 2007 04:20 PM

            also Queen of Sheba on 10th ave in the low 40s. i've got nothing to compare it against, but i've been there three times and enjoyed each visit.

            1. emilia RE: markatz Mar 18, 2007 08:13 PM

              i'm aware of the following ethiopian restaurants in manhattan (in loose order of my preference)

              -Awash (Amsterdam & 107th) - my long time fave
              -Awash (6th & 1st Ave) -downtown branch, not as consistent but still good
              -Meskerem (49th/10th) - yummmmm
              -Meskerem (Macdougal & W 3rd) -smaller portions but still good
              -Queen of Sheba (10th Ave * 49th?) -my ethiopian friends' fave; less sour bread
              -new ethiopian place on Ave B& 3rd St- same menu as meskerem- related perhaps? v good
              -Ethiopian Restaurant (83rd & York) - interesting spices, though not always spicy, decent and a good find for the area
              -Ghenet (Mulberry) - i've only been once but it was slow, more exp, and greasier than the others - but i should probably give it another whirl
              -Massawa (122nd & amsterdam?) - not my fave
              -new one on broadway & 113th

              i have also heard there is one on lenox and 132nd or somewhere uptown, although haven't been. plus meskerem opened another branch on amsterdam and 65th, although i heard they closed? if anyone knows of any others, let a chowhound know!

              3 Replies
              1. re: emilia
                rose water RE: emilia Mar 18, 2007 09:02 PM

                Zoma is on Frederick Douglass (8th Ave) and 113th. It's a few months old, and I think that may be what you're referring to. Zoma is fantastic, and easily my favorite Ethiopian in NYC. I far prefer it over Awash x 2, Meskerem x 2, and Ghenet. Food is intensely spiced, flavorful, with many outstanding options.

                Also, oolah--Awash has two locations (as emilia details above).

                1. re: rose water
                  emilia RE: rose water Mar 18, 2007 09:22 PM

                  ooh! can't wait to try it. waiting for a time when i'll be uptown, but its preference over awash on your list warrants an uptown jaunt solely for zoma.

                2. re: emilia
                  twiggles RE: emilia Mar 19, 2007 10:07 AM

                  Yes, the meskerem on amsterdam and 65th has closed. But at least the one on 47th isn't too terribly far.

                3. Ira.B RE: markatz Mar 18, 2007 08:26 PM

                  I will throw my vote in for Awash at Amsterdam/106th. Their combo platters are well done, if you can't figure out what to eat.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ira.B
                    curryfan_ave RE: Ira.B Mar 21, 2007 12:02 AM

                    another hurrah for awash on amsterdam!

                    lovely warm and dark interior with awesome food (there is a bar in the back).

                    if your party orders different entrees, they will ask if you would like them separately or together. i always opt to share a dish: your food will arrive on different sides of a large piece of Teff Injera (spongy bread).

                    and i beseech you...try the honey wine...can i say, amazingness?

                  2. a_and_w RE: markatz Mar 19, 2007 09:47 AM

                    Queen of Sheba over Meskerem, imo. Can't speak to the rest...

                    1. ballulah RE: markatz Mar 19, 2007 10:55 AM

                      I love Ghenet on Mulberry, they served me one of the hottest meals I've ever had, but still full of flavor and complexity. I used to eat at Massawa all the time in college, I lived right upstairs from it for two years. I always used to hear that it was one of the best Ethiopian restaurants in the city, but I don't remember ever really enjoying anything I had there.

                      1. f
                        fullmanti RE: markatz Mar 21, 2007 11:22 AM

                        Did you notice that the Times did a piece on African food in NYC this past weekend? You can still read it for free on the website. Look in travel or try this link:


                        1. D...DF RE: markatz Mar 21, 2007 05:03 PM

                          Queen of Sheba. And they will spice to your tastes.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: D...DF
                            bigjeff RE: D...DF Mar 22, 2007 08:26 AM

                            yep, great meal. and again, get that very rare beef dish, gored gored?

                          2. s
                            Selam_ RE: markatz Mar 22, 2007 01:47 PM

                            I recomend a visit to "Saba" -Quen of Sheba.....Lovely Place!!


                            1. e
                              EVKeith RE: markatz Mar 22, 2007 01:53 PM

                              Meskel on 3rd St near Ave B --almost no atmosphere but I think the food is just as good or better than Ghenet or the downtown Awash, it costs about a third less, and last time I was there it was BYOB...strongly suggest trying it.

                              1. sequins RE: markatz Mar 22, 2007 03:01 PM

                                No one's mentioned this place yet, but I've had a couple of nice meals at Zula -- Amsterdam and 122nd. Pleasant space, friendly service. I was last there about a year ago.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: sequins
                                  ballulah RE: sequins Mar 22, 2007 03:14 PM

                                  Hmmm...are you sure that you were there a year ago? Zula has been closed for a long time, I'm not positive, but I'm guessing more than 3 years. It's been Sezz Medi for awhile.

                                  1. re: ballulah
                                    sequins RE: ballulah Mar 22, 2007 05:24 PM

                                    Was definitely there c. two summers ago, then went to the same place last year. But the second time around I must've ended up at Massawa, a few doors down, and was too starved then too soon gorged to notice. Rather certain about the first time, though -- had some delicious lamb.

                                    1. re: sequins
                                      ballulah RE: sequins Mar 23, 2007 08:02 AM

                                      Yeah, I always thought the food at Zula was better than Massawa, but those couple of extra blocks north isolated it...plus two Ethiopian restaurants practically across the street from each other was strange. I'm kind of sorry that Massawa won the longevity race.

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