Top Ethiopian Cuisine In Denver

May 9, 2012 6:00 AM

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Denver contains hidden gems packed with full-flavored Ethiopian cuisine in every nook and cranny of the city. The Colfax area especially acts as a home to Denver’s city’s top spots for unique cuisine. Head to this neighborhood, among others, to try Ethiopian food, traditionally packed full of spicy meats and vegetables and served on flat bread. Don’t wear a new white shirt – you eat Ethiopian with your hands! Don’t be afraid to ask your waiter for a few of his or her favorites. What better way to sample a new cuisine than to take recommendations?

for africana cafe thinkstock Top Ethiopian Cuisine In Denver

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Africana Café
5091 E Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80220
(303) 320-9515

Price: $11- $30
Hours: Daily – 9 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Africana Cafe prides itself on offering traditional Ethiopian cuisine with a menu full of meat and vegetable combinations. The spicy lamb meal is a good starter dish here, encompassing this region’s flavors with spices that add some flare to a typically blander meat. Also try the Shiro Wat; Africana Cafe offers some of the heartiest pea soup in the area. Whatever you pick will be presented perfectly from the polite and consistent service here.

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areda Top Ethiopian Cuisine In Denver

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Arada Restaurant
750 Sante Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
(303) 329-3344

Price: $11- $30
Hours: 24/7

When sitting down to investigate Arada’s menu, it becomes very clear this restaurant offers a true Ethiopian experience. The menu has a wide selection of meat and vegetarian options so no eater will have a taste bud left unturned. The restaurant’s fully stocked bar adds another flavor punch with Ethiopian wine, beer and coffee. For a starter, order the Azifa. You will never taste lentils this good with seasonings of lemon juice, garlic and onions. If looking for some beef, the Minchet special is your best option. This plate comes with a healthy portion of ground steak first fried with ginger, onions and cardamon then sautéed with key wot, a stew-like sauce. The end result: one of the best Ethiopian dishes you will ever try.

honey wine thinkstock Top Ethiopian Cuisine In Denver

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4116 East Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80220
(303) 316-8830

Price: $11-$30
Hours: Wed to Mon – 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tues – Closed

Abyssinia is the perfect place for a first-time Ethiopian indulger. The pleasant, welcoming staff is happy to give suggestions catered to your preferences. Whether or not you’re a vegetarian, the meatless dishes here are delightful. Choose either the Atklit Wot, a combination of mildly seasoned cabbage and carrots, or the Timatim Fitfit, a salad made with injera tomatoes, jalapeños and onions, all dressed with an oil and vinegar dressing. Ask for a glass (or carafe) of honey wine to complement your meal and you’re set for the night.

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ethiopian food thinkstock Top Ethiopian Cuisine In Denver

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The Ethiopian Restaurant
2816 East Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 322-5939

Price: $11-$30
Hours: Daily – 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

This hole in the wall is one of Denver’s top restaurants of its kind. The homey atmosphere and laid-back service helps bring the already great food to new heights. This spot features one of the most unique injera breads in town. This bread comes out somewhat thick and sponge-like, perfect for sopping up leftover sauce. Also, the gravy used in the wot stew-like dishes is spicier than most, but delicious nonetheless.

injera thinkstock Top Ethiopian Cuisine In Denver

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Queen of Sheba
7225 East Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80220
(303) 399-9442

Price: $11-$30
Hours: Tues to Sat – 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Mon – Closed

Queen of Sheba is the perfect place to take friends and family not only to enjoy great food, but great company as well. The food – freshly prepared – can take a little time, but the wait is well worth it. Experience a bit of everything by ordering the sampler platter, which comes with injera bread. This comes packed full with more traditional Ethiopian dishes, offering a well-rounded summary of what makes this regional food so great. Choose your favorite from the platter and order that particular item on your next visit.

Zack Christofferson is a freelance writer living in Denver. Deeply devoted to all things food and drink, Zack can be found tasting the best liquid and solid indulgences that Denver has to offer morning, noon and night. His work can be found on