Food is our common ground isn’t it? In Ethiopia the food was unlike anything I’d ever had before. And I loved it. As it is in almost every African cuisine there was the obligatory heavy starch meal called gamfo (like fufu). However more important are the country’s staples – injera and of course coffee. Injera is best described as a sour pancake and is usually eaten with shiro, which is a mix if chickpeas, onions, spices etc. Especially during fasting where dairy and meat are forbidden, shiro and injera becomes the staple. Food is seamlessly woven into Ethiopian culture and tradition.
1. Gondar – Four Sisters restaurant
Five stars on TripAdvisor tells you pretty much everything you need to know about this knockout restaurant. Start by four sisters – hence the name. The unassuming entrance leads way to an open lilac oasis in the middle of Gondar.
On the menu as National Food I recommend you share this with someone else or two only you’d like to tackle this beast yourself then go right ahead. This was the best injera I had during my time in Ethiopia which is saying a lot, I recommend it.
This is Ethiopia after all, so of course coffee is on the table. The origin of our favourite caffeinated beverage. Make sure you take part in the spiritual experience of the coffee ceremony. The smell of roasted coffee beans and incense …I also got asked to bless the roasting beans which was a nice touch.
2. Lalibela – Ben Abeba
The rock hewn churches (a UNESCO world heritage site) of Lalibela bring tourists to this humble village in the mountains of Amhara. If you’re looking for a great place to eat and amazing views then Ben Abeba is for you. Have dinner and watch the sun set.
It was a bit chilly that evening but the local gin and lemonade cocktail warmed us up nicely. We were so hungry we ate the food before taking any photos 😦 I know I failed as a millennial. But it was injera again, this time I got Doro Whet (?sp) my favourite Ethiopian dish with chicken, spices, onions and just yum. I hope my sparse descriptions suffice. After dinner we had some cake and I opted for tea this time.
Although there were more than two restaurant in which I had great food these were the stand out ones. And without sounding contrived, I had the best food and experiences in the homes of welcoming hosts who took in a plucky student on her elective.