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5 Amazing Ethiopian Restaurants in Footscray

Ethiopian Restaurants in Footscray
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Ethiopian Restaurants in Footscray

Melbourne brings both pain and joy. So when I recently landed for the first time in almost 5 years, I immediately started feeling the pain. It was all coming back like it was only yesterday.

Ethiopian Restaurants in Footscray
Centre-Place | Dennis Obel

But my pain suddenly subsided when I remembered African food in Footscray. I have been there countless times over the past decade, and I wanted more.  In complete contrast to William Street in Melbourne, the seat of hate, Nicholson Street in Footscray brings peace in my heart.

 

Footscray, a vibrant Melbourne suburb, is a haven for multicultural dining experiences. Ethiopian food shines brightly among its many cuisines, offering an explosion of flavour and a unique communal dining style. If you want to embark on a delicious adventure, here’s your guide to the 5 most amazing Ethiopian restaurants in Footscray.

 

1. Unveiling Ethiopian Cuisine: A Spice Odyssey

Ethiopian food centres around injera, a spongy, slightly sour flatbread made from teff flour. Injera serves as a plate and an edible utensil to scoop up savoury stews and vegetables, creating a delightful textural experience.

Ethiopian Restaurants in Footscray
Injera-bread

The heart of Ethiopian cuisine lies in its vibrant stews, known as wat. These stews simmer with berbere, a fragrant spice blend featuring chillies, fenugreek, ginger, and other aromatics. Wat comes in vegetarian and meat variations, with popular choices being Misr wat (spiced lentils), Shiro wat (chickpea flour stew), and lamb or beef wat.

 

2. Fine Dining or Casual Eats? Picking Your Perfect Spot

Footscray’s Ethiopian restaurants cater to various preferences. Let’s delve into some of the top picks:

  • Ras Dashen

Ras Dashen Restaurant Footscray
Source: Google images

A Footscray institution, Ras Dashen boasts a spacious setting and an extensive menu. Their signature vegetarian combination platter is a fantastic option for first-timers, allowing you to sample a variety of wats.

 

They also offer excellent meat dishes like lamb tibs (strips of marinated lamb) and yebeg wat (spicy stew with minced lamb). Open for lunch and dinner, Ras Dashen is perfect for a relaxed introduction to Ethiopian cuisine.

My best, recommended by my girlfriend:

  • Konjo Cafe & Restaurant

Craving a taste of Ethiopia from breakfast onwards? Konjo, an Amharic word meaning “love”, has you covered.

yene konjo
Ethiopia is “the land of origins”, of love and the Solomonic dynasty.

 

Here, you can experience a traditional Ethiopian breakfast of scrambled eggs (Shiro) cooked with berbere, injera and spiced tea.  Their vegetarian combo and spicy lamb wat are must-tries for lunch and dinner. Konjo offers a warm and inviting atmosphere, making it ideal for a casual meal with friends or family. You can find them in Footscray at address 89 Irving St, Footscray.

Ethiopian Restaurants in Footscray
Shiro-wat
  • Abesha Restaurant and Bar

If you’re looking for a lively experience with a touch of Ethiopian nightlife, Abesha is your answer. This popular spot offers a fantastic selection of wats alongside vegetarian options like gomen (collard greens with spices) and fasole (green beans stew). Abesha stays open late on weekends, making it perfect for a post-dinner drink with friends while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere and Ethiopian beer.

Ethiopian Restaurants in Footscray
St George Beer Ethiopia

Source: Google images

  • Yetenbi Ethiopian Restaurant

This no-frills eatery focuses on delivering authentic Ethiopian flavours at pocket-friendly prices. Their vegetarian platter lets you discover lesser-known wats like atkilt wat (split pea stew) and ye’abesha wat (potato stew). Yetenbi, located at 249 Barkly St, Footscray, is a great choice for a quick, flavourful lunch or casual dinner.

Yetenbi restaurant menu
Source: Google images
  • Queen of Sheba Restaurant

Queen of Sheba
King Solomon welcoming the Ethiopian Queen of Sheba (Makeda)

Named after the legendary Ethiopian queen, Makeda, this restaurant boasts a menu rich in traditional dishes. Their siga wat (spicy beef stew) and veggie combo, which focuses on regional Ethiopian specialities, is highly recommended.

Injera bread and wat
Queen of Sheba Restaurant Footscray

Queen of Sheba offers a more intimate dining experience, perfect for a date night or a quiet meal with loved ones. Find them in the heart of Footscray on 224 Nicholson St, Footscray.

224 Nicholson St, Footscray VIC 3011
Source: Google images

3. Tips for the Perfect Ethiopian Dining Experience

  • Forget forks and knives! Use your injera to scoop up the flavourful stews directly onto the injera. If you are a couple, feed your lover – it is a common practise in Ethiopia.
  • Ask the restaurant for recommendations.
  • If you’re new to Ethiopian spice levels, start with mild dishes.
  • Injera is the star of the show. Don’t hesitate to request additional injera throughout your meal, as it’s your plate and utensil.

 

Conclusion

Footscray’s Ethiopian restaurants offer a delicious and culturally enriching experience.  So, grab your friends, embrace the communal spirit, and embark on a delicious Ethiopian adventure in Footscray!

 

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