You’d Be Remiss to Not Try Ethiopian Food in DC

If you’re looking for great Ethiopian food, D.C. is the spot. Amazingly, the city is home to the largest Ethiopian community outside of Africa.

The history of the Ethiopian food scene here is a one-two wave in the 1980s—famine and war, says Kate Gibbs with Destination D.C., the official destination marketing organization of our nation’s capital. Ethiopians began to relocate to the D.C. area in 1974, first into the Adams Morgan neighborhood, and eventually shifting in the 1980s to the Shaw neighborhood and historic U Street which today is known as Little Ethiopia—and where you’ll find the largest concentration of restaurants and markets. Silver Spring, Md. and Alexandria, Va. have also seen a rise in Ethiopian population in recent years.

One of the beauties of the Ethiopian food scene in D.C. is that it is “still delightfully mom and pop,” says Gibbs. Although, that isn’t to say the neighborhood hasn’t changed through the years—it is no longer exclusively Ethiopian coffee shops and restaurants that you’ll find here.

One spicy way to learn all about the history of D.C.’s Ethiopian food scene, as well as sample some of the most popular Ethiopian dishes, is to take the walking food tour of Little Ethiopia conducted by D.C. Food Tours. You’ll learn a bit about the history of Ethiopians in D.C., as well as experience traditional Ethiopian cuisine. … READ MORE