It's well known that Philadelphia is the place to be if you’re looking for a stellar food scene. But one unique element that sets the city apart from other culinary capitals is its plethora of Ethiopian food offerings, especially in West Philly.
Beyond just serving up traditional dishes, Philly's Ethiopian restaurants anchor the city's large Ethiopian community, which was estimated to be between 7,000 and 10,000 people in 2019. They are first and foremost cultural institutions that bring people together through a shared love of delicious food.
While many of us limit our takeout orders to tried–and–true Chinese or Italian locales, West Philly's Ethiopian food scene is home to plenty of places worthy of a spot your go–to list. There's no better place to dig in than your own neighborhood, after all.
Here are four West Philly spots to check out if you’re looking to gorge on injera, kitfo, wot, and more.
Abyssinia is a favorite Ethiopian spot for many West Philly residents. With a bar in the front and a dining area in the back, Abyssinia is the place to be if you’re looking for generous portions and a lively dining experience. Known for their injera—a sour fermented flatbread—and their veggie combo of collard greens, lentils, cracked yellow peas, cabbage, and salad, Abyssinia is a must–visit if you’re looking for something filling. The kitfo, rare minced beef served with cottage cheese and collard greens, is a personal favorite. And while their service isn’t necessarily the quickest, the food is definitely worth the wait.
Location: 229 South 45th St.
Hours: Monday through Saturday: 9:30 AM — 2:00 AM, Sunday: 10:00 AM — 12:00 AM
Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant
Located right next to Abyssinia is Meskerem—a family–owned restaurant that treats you like one of their own. From its intimate atmosphere to its home–cooked, mouth–watering dishes, Meskerem offers comforting food in a welcoming dining environment. With classic dishes like sambussas, dhoro wet (chicken stew), and kitfo on the menu, everyone is sure to find a meal they'd enjoy. Opt to order one of their big family style combos if you’re looking to try a little bit of everything or wanting to share with friends. They can easily feed four to five people for around $10 per person.
Location: 225 S. 45th St.
Hours: Wednesday through Monday: 12:00 PM — 10:00 PM, closed Tuesdays
Kaffa Crossing serves up high–quality, hearty Ethiopian food and ethically traded African coffee in a casual, almost café–like setting. This spot serves every Ethiopian dish under the sun including breakfast foods like fir–fir, hummus platters, and traditional tibs. Looking for a place to catch up with friends over a filling meal? Stopping by Kaffa Crossing is a must.
Location: 4421 Chestnut St.
Hours: Monday through Sunday: 10:00 AM — 10:00 PM
Gojjo Bar and Restaurant
Gojjo Bar and Restaurant serves more than just classic Ethiopian favorites. This spot is also known for its delicious Kenyan and Tanzanian offerings as well as their fresh takes on pub classics (Ethiopian Cheesesteak, anyone?). An intimate spot located on 45th and Baltimore, Gojjo is the place to be if you’re looking for a late–night spot with good food, good drinks, and good vibes.
Location: 4540 Baltimore Ave.
Hours: Monday through Sunday: 4:00 p.m. — 2:00 a.m.
TL;DR: A trip to Ethiopia is as close as a few blocks away.