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Sep 4, 2001 02:16 AM

African or Middle Eastern Food in Austin?

  • s

Hi, I just moved to Austin from Santa Barbara, CA, and I love African food (especially Ethiopian) and Middle Eastern food. However, I can't seem to find much of either here. Can anyone help?


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  1. Steer clear of One World Cafe on MLK. I ate there about 2-3 weeks ago and it wasn't good at all. Maybe they're just settling in and need to have a few months to really get it down. I'll probably try again in October. BTW, glad to have another Chowhound in town, welcome aboard!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Greg Spence
      David "Zeb" Cook

      Isn't that World Beat? Maybe it was on off night. I've been there a few times and found it good and it met the approval of my Nigerian friend, (maybe because they had drinks he hadn't had for 13 years).

      1. re: David "Zeb" Cook

        You're right, it was World Beat and I had Ethiopian at lunch. Do you have any ordering recommendations?

        1. re: Greg Spence
          David "Zeb" Cook

          The egusi with fufu was pretty good. I haven't tried the jollof rice but I'm told it's good.

    2. d
      David "zeb" Cook

      World Beat Cafe -- Nigerian, I think, and Ethiopian food. MLK just west of UT. Fufu, injera, etc.

      Ararat -- Middle eastern, North Loop

      Phoenicia Bakery -- Mid east grocery and lunnch food, felafel, etc. One on Burnet, another on South Lamar.

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. I do not like Ararat. Phoenicia Bakery has some excellent food (shwarmas!), but it's just for lunch. You missed out on Aster's. It was a good Ethiopian restaurant, but it's been closed for some years now. Good luck.


          2 Replies
          1. re: Jim Washburn

            Jim, thanks for the tip on Ararat. my friends have been pushing me for some time to eat there. but there is something about the combo platter of belly dancing and food that just never seemed a fit for me.

            1. re: Jim Washburn

              Aster Kassaye, who formerly ran Aster's Ethiopian Restaurant in the early 90's, closed it when her husband was transferred from Austin. They came back to Austin in 2003, but she wasn't ready for the grind of running a restaurant full time, so she's been selling her food as "Aster's Ethiopian Catering" at several stores (including Wheatsville) and at the Austin and (at one time) Sunset Valley Farmer's Markets:


              She's got the restaurant bug again, but hasn't found the right location. Visit her at the Farmer's Market and encourage her to take the plunge and reopen! She's currently our only chance for an Ethio restaurant in Austin.

            2. I've been hunting for good African food in town. There really isn't any unfortunately. I'm not a big fan of World Beat, I'm surprised it's still open though - I thought that it closed a while back.