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Oct 21, 2008 01:50 PM

Best Ethiopian in Raleigh/Durham

We're excited to be moving back to Raleigh in a couple of weeks - what are the best Ethiopian/African restaurants in town now? I haven't had good African food since I left.

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  1. To my knowledge there is only 1 Ethiopian restaurant left in the Triangle, that being Abyssinia in Raleigh. Queen of Sheba in Chapel Hill closed, as did the one in Durham I believe (Blue Nile?). Haven't been to Abyssinia myself, but it has got fairly decent reviews on various sites.

    There is also an African restuarant called Mawa's Taste of Africa, which is relocating soon to Morrisville. There was a thread on here about it a few days ago, but it seems to have been removed. Not sure why.

    1. Here is a two-year-old post I did when I tried the last two Ethiopian restaurants in the area. As MGreig notes, now it's down to just Abyssinia. This is ridiculous, even if based solely on the subjective observation of how many Ethiopians work at RDU! Who do I talk to about this crisis?

      5 Replies
      1. re: klmonline

        I'd kill for a good Ethiopian restaurant. I was in Frederick Md.last March and ate at a great place...injera.etc..bliss.

        1. re: klmonline

          Yes, I used to eat at Queen of Sheba for lunch all the time. Since moving away, I miss getting my fill of curried fish, lentils, and injera. Abyssinia is good as well, so we'll just head out there.

          Thanks for the information!

          1. re: jazzy77

            The Queen of Sheba will be reopening on November 1, 2008. (They're taking reservations.)

            This post is from the Queen of Sheba yahoo group:

            Dear all,
            I am absolutely thrilled to announce that Friesh has found a space for her restaurant (the former Dreamcatcher Cafe) and will be having a GRAND RE-OPENING on Saturday, November 1!!!

            Here is the information on the new, absolutely beautiful location:

            Queen of Sheba

            1129 Weaver Dairy Road

            Timberlyne Shopping Center

            Chapel Hill, NC 27514

            (919) 932-4986

            For the Queen of Sheba Grand Re-Opening, Friesh will be having a special buffet. It will be $20/person (kids 8 and under eat free; 9-14 year-olds $10). She will have her regular menu after that, but wanted to have a buffet on the opening night so that she can visit with her customers! The restaurant will open at 5:00pm on 11/1. I will send more details within the next few weeks.

            It has been a long 18 months as Friesh has searched for a way to re-open Queen of Sheba, and she is very, very happy that the place she set her heart on a few months ago has come through. I hope you will continue your patronage in the weeks, months, and years ahead!

            Laura Nufire

              1. re: kizil

                Yeah, near my house! I'll be going often.

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. Wow, that's awesome! I may stop by on opening day and try some things ... never did eat at Dreamcatcher. Judging by the reviews it got here, though, it sounds like I probably didn't miss anything.

              Found the web site for the new Queen of Sheba:


              3 Replies
              1. re: romansperson

                Had lunch there today. Lunch is buffet including sweet tea. There is a pile of injera next to the pile of plates. You cover your plate and ladle on what you want. Everything on the buffet was top-rate. There was an outstanding sauteed chicken with garlic as the only non-vegetarian item on the buffet. Bill for two was $18 and change.

                Friesh talked to us for a few minutes when we asked what was in the injera. They mix some barley into the teff to adjust the color and texture. The batter is fermented for a couple of days to give it the sour-dough lightness.

                The place was relatively empty, with only one or two other tables filled at any one time. We had an enjoyable long lunch there. Now, I need to find the right people to go there for dinner.

                1. re: dfilpus

                  avoid Friday or Saturday night. I felt like I was on the set of Kitchen Nightmares -- it took us 90 minutes to get our food. The server was great and our daughters were troopers...but next time I'm going for that $10 / person buffet lunch over the $25 / person dinner.

                  1. re: peetoteeto

                    I was just there Friday for my birthday. What an incredible meal! Do make a reservation: they were packed and it was raining hard. I've had Ethiopian food in New York City and this March in Frederick Md. but nothing like Queen of Sheba; Friesh is an incredible chef.

                    I had the 'Chef's Choice' which I shared with a family member & the 2 others in my group were sorry they didn't order it: From the fiery appetizer of stuffed chile and chickpea puree, then cool yoghurt with amazing smoky tomato, then the most amazing lamb [hey I don't like lamb!] to spicy ground beef, mild yellow split peas, a chicken leg in a hot smoky sauce, another beef dish, tiny shrimp cooked to a t. Fish pan fried (fish tibbs) then when I was stuffed another lamb dish, it was broiled and so succulent I ate more....all served on injera. This was one of the best meals I've ever had. And finished with terrrific Ethiopian coffee

                    Our waiter was outstanding, so attentive; since I didn't order I can't remember the names of the many dishes I had & apologize to my fellow Hounds, but I am in absolute heaven, gourmet bliss.

                    the weekday buffet is $8.95 and I'm going by during the week to eat some more:) Thank you for telling me this place was back open!!