Jozi is a melting pot of cultures and cuisines, which means a great restaurant find is always just around the corner. Though the ‘Little Addis’ neighbourhood is best known for its smorgasbord of shops and restaurants run by Ethiopian expats, Maboneng sports a few of its own Ethiopian eateries. Patrons mainly comprise locals and tourists, but Ethiopian immigrant communities from all over Johannesburg also flock to these spots. Want to know where they’re eating? Here’s your guide to Maboneng’s Ethiopian restaurants.
Habesha (Shop 3, 289 Fox Street)
Habesha opened its doors in November 2017 and is owned by an immigrant family from Ethiopia’s Gonder region; however, the menu offers a variety of dishes from all over the country. Says restaurant manager Eden, “It is important for us to cater for all Ethiopians that may be from any part of the regions in Ethiopia and furthermore give our non-Ethiopian customers a more comprehensive experience of the variety of dishes from the variety of regions.” On some nights, the restaurant bring out an Ethiopian band to add to the comprehensive experience of Ethiopian culture Habesha offers. Dishes on offer include doro wot (a chicken stew rich in spices), alicha wot, and kitfo (a meat dish prepared with mince, butter, homemade cheese and spices). All are served with injera (Ethiopian flat bread).
James XVI (Unit 9, Maverick Corner, Commissioner Street)
Like Habesha, James XVI Ethiopian Café offers inexpensive meals and efficient service. Though you may have heard so much about their authentic Ethiopian coffee that it’s the reason you stop by, make sure not to pass on James XVI’s variety of injera meals that come with dollops of meat and/or vegetable wat, or tshebi (stews) and maraq (sauces).
Little Addis Café (280 Fox Street)
Little Addis Café has been around since the early days of the Maboneng precinct and offers an assortment of injera dishes. The mahberawi, which is enough for two people to share, includes chicken, beef, lamb, lentils, spinach, pumpkin and beetroot served on top of injera. The beyaynetu is a vegan variation, with beans and chickpeas instead of meat. They also offer delicious stews, and the drinks menu includes Ethiopian coffee and spiced tea.
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