2434 18th Street NW
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 462-4100
Cuisine: Ethiopian/African
Price: $$

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  • Hours
    Monday: 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
    Tuesday: 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
    Wednesday: 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
    Thursday: 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
    Friday: 12:00 PM - 1:00 AM
    Saturday: 12:00 PM - 1:00 AM
    Sunday: 12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
  • Special Needs Smoking Section, Non Smoking Area, Wheelchair Access
  • Atmosphere Romantic
  • Attire Casual
  • Amenities Dancing, TV, Private Party Room
  • Payment Methods Amex Diners Club Mastercard Visa


Dining in Ethiopia is characterized by the ritual of breaking injera and eating from the same plate, signifying the bonds of loyalty and friendship. The quintessence of those bonds are often demonstrated in the form of gursha-that is, the placing of food in the mouth of another diner from one's own (hand]Injera, the traditional Ethiopian bread, is part of every entree. It is a large crepe/pancake upon which the various stew-like dishes are served. The traditional way of eating is with the fingers, which is in itself a delicate art. In this manner, a bite sized piece of injera is broken off to pick up a mouthful of the chosen dish. Ethiopian dishes are characterized by the variety of spices used to give them their exotic taste. Watt, which is a stew-like dish, comes in a variety of forms-beef, lamb, chicken, and vegetables. These rage from hotly spiced (with barbered- a typical Ethiopian red pepper) to very mild. The more delicately seasoned watt are called alicha which contain no berbere. Fifit, another exotic staple, is a combination dish prepared with broken bits of the injera itself. Nitter kebbeh, a specially prepared butter, is a key ingredient used to give these dishes their exotic flavor. Vegetarian dishes are also a staple of Ethiopian cuisine, especially during Lent, a period of fifty-five days before Easter. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians are prohibited from eating all meat and meat by product such as milk, cheese and butter until Easter. Yet the variety of watts and other dishes made of lentils, peas and other vegetables are just as exotic and tasty as those containing meats.

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Rated 4.3 out of 5 by 203reviewers.
Rated 4 out of 5 Although our meal was good, I was disappointed that they no longer serve their green lentil dish. I also found that the Meskerem Tibbs were not as flavorful as it usuaally is. Mar 26, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by We enjoyed it. Feb 28, 2015
Rated 4 out of 5 by First time trying Ethiopian. Interesting cultural experience. The food was also interesting - definitely an acquired taste. Jan 22, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by We love Meskerem for their delicious food, which really should be the main reason to go to any restaurant, and have been there several times over the years (we're from out of town and it is a special trip for us). However we were a bit disappointed with this visit. The menu had changed and we ordered the platter to share but they no longer allow you to choose the options - they select the assortment for you which does not include much variety. Also, we had 3 people in our party and the quantity of each serving on our shared platter was barely enough to split between two people, yet alone 3 so we thought they were rather skimpy compared with the past and other Ethiopian places we frequent. The service was so-so. We may go again, but then again maybe not if this is the direction they are heading. Sad... Jan 5, 2015
Rated 2 out of 5 by Rude service Dec 13, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by Food is excellent. Service is not very friendly but the food is amazing and service is fast. So, I would give them a 5 for great food and fast but not friendly service. I'm willing to lose friendliness for speed and quality. Oct 21, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 Sarah and Midgi are always great! Oct 11, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by The restaurant was OK. The seats were not comfortable. Oct 10, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 I'm glad that the previous excellent brand of the honey wine is back! Aug 31, 2014
Rated 5 out of 5 by This is definitely an experience eating with your hands (no utensils) and having their traditional spongy bread and tasty food! It is located in the vibrant, eclectic area of Adams Morgan. Aug 10, 2014
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