Fun Twin Cities Trivia: As many as 40,000 Ethiopians call Minnesota home.
And not surprisingly, as the largest metro area in the state, Minneapolis also boasts the state’s largest Ethiopian population. That’s because over the years, many Ethiopians have immigrated to the Twin Cities seeking political asylum or other reasons.
The result is a thriving Ethiopian community within the Twin Cities, which, among other things… brought their delicious food to the city!
What’s that? You’ve never had Ethiopian food? Well then, you’re missing out, my friend!
Known for its community approach to dining, Ethiopian food is famously served with a whirlwind of spices on top of a big piece of inerja (Ethiopian flatbread). And no need for utensils, either. Don’t be afraid to get traditional by simply tearing off a piece of the bread and using it to soak up all those delicious bites!
Up for the adventure? Then check out our picks for the 12 best restaurants for Ethiopian food in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Map of the Best Ethiopian Restaurants around the Twin Cities
Best Ethiopian in Minneapolis
Dilla’s Ethiopian Restaurant
Cozy. Hole in the Wall. Charming. Authentic. The list goes on when you’re talking about Dilla’s in the Riverside neighborhood. Open 7 days a week, they have an extensive menu of traditional and specialty dishes and really friendly service. Their combo platters and the small lunch buffet are a popular (and affordable) way for anyone new to Ethiopian flavors to sample a good variety of menu items.
- Address: 1813 Riverside Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55454
- Website: Dilla’s Ethiopian Restaurant
Katar River Restaurant & Bakery
Best injera in town. Extra spicy menu. And a Doro Wat (marinated chicken stewed in a pepper sauce with yummy veggies and a hard-boiled egg) you’ll want to write home to Mom about. Expect to spend a little more at Katar River than some other places in Minneapolis, but it’s worth every bit extra.
- Address: 2751 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406
- Website: Katar River
Mesert Ethiopian Restaurant
As a fan of Mesert on Minnehaha, it’s hard to stop talking about the veggie combo. The vegetarian platters here have an eclectic mix of tasty things, two rounds of injera, and so many leftovers you’ll be prepped for lunch the next day. It’s also a great take-out option to add to your Friday night rotation.
- Address: 3867 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55406
- Website: Mesert Ethiopian Restaurant
Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant
Don’t let the random strip mall location on Hiawatha distract from the good things going on at Mesob. The restaurant’s high ceilings and inviting dining area compliment the approachable menu. It’s a great option to explore if you haven’t yet taken the dive yourself or if you want to introduce your less-adventurous friends and family to Ethiopian food.
- Address: 3915 Hiawatha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406
- Website: Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant
The Red Sea
Since 1990, The Red Sea has been a top destination for an authentic Ethiopian night out. They claim to be the first Ethiopian restaurant in the city, and they’re definitely now one of the longest operating in Minnesota. A few Red Sea highlights: the menu also has Eritrean options, plenty of selections for vegetarians and ‘selective’ eaters, a full bar with a choice of Ethiopian beers, live music, and a dance floor. If you’re aiming to impress your foodie friends, The Red Sea’s the ticket
- Address: 320 Cedar Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55454
- Website: The Red Sea
Shabelle Grocery & Restaurant
Looking for a grab-and-go Ethiopian option? The counter at Shabelle Grocery in Minneapolis’s Seward neighborhood offers fast service and an excellent lunch choice. The market has an entire stock of East African spices, flours, and ingredients you’re not likely to find anywhere else.
- Address: 2325 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406
- Website: Shabelle Grocery
Best Ethiopian in St. Paul
Agelgil Ethiopian Restaurant
If it’s your first or your fifteenth visit to Agelgil in St. Paul, it’s hard to pass up their house-special namesake dish. Traditional agelgil comes served in a colorful basket with various meats, vegetables, and cheeses in an authentic experience you won’t soon forget. Agelgil is also one of the few spots on this list that opens for breakfast.
- Address: 2585 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55116
- Website: Agelgil Ethiopian Restaurant
Bole Ethiopian Cuisine
Fans of Bolé Ethiopian Cuisine were heartbroken when the Midway restaurant was burned to the ground in the 2020 Twin Cities civil unrest. Co-owners Solomon Haile and Rekik Abaineh were committed to re-opening the restaurant and finding a new location. A GoFundMe campaign helped the restaurant raise more than $152,000 and open a brand new site just west of Como Park. Bolé is named for a neighborhood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and the menu shines with traditional flavors. The menu here even has some American dishes (yes, there are chicken strips on the kids’ menu!)
- Address: 1341 Pascal St, St Paul, MN 55108
- Website: Bole Ethiopian Cuisine
Another University Avenue mainstay, Demera’s menu is carefully crafted with Ethiopian and East African flavors. Huge portions, affordable prices, and the friendly service you might expect from a family-run restaurant. If you’re not familiar with traditional Ethiopian dishes, you might want to do some research before you check out the menu at Demera. It can be a little intimidating for first-timers.
- Address: 823 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55104
- Website: Demeria Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar
Mention Ethiopian food in the Twin Cities, and chances are someone will mention Fasika. It’s the most popular spot in St. Paul for Ethiopian food and shows up a lot on social media. Located on Snelling Avenue between the Hamline University campus and Alliance Field, expect a cozy, ‘hole in the wall’ dining experience, good menu, and friendly staff. Fasika tends to fill up quickly on the weekends and occasionally for the weeknight dinner hour; plan accordingly as you may need to wait for a table.
- Address: 510 Snelling Ave N, St Paul, MN 55104
- Website: Fasika Restaurant
The bright sign outside Langano Restaurant and Market in St. Paul promises visitors will find “The Ethiopian Taste.” One-half of the property offers traditional East African groceries, meats, and spices along with one of the best spots to grab a cup of coffee in Frogtown. The other half of the property is a full-service restaurant. Right off the light rail, it’s easy to find this off-the-beaten-path option for Key Wot and Atkilt. The Langano Special Combo has a mix of everything on the menu and an excellent way to get to know the flavors here.
- Address: 421 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103
- Website: Lagano Restaurant
Ras Restaurant and Lounge
Located near the Pearson’s Candy Factory in St. Paul, Ras has been a staple in the area for many years. Ras has a little bit of everything, landing somewhere between a great lunch spot with friends, an authentic Ethiopian restaurant, and a bar/nightclub. It may not be the best date-night option or place for your next family dinner, but the take-out is some of the best in the neighborhood.
- Address: 2516 7th St W, St Paul, MN 55116
- Website: Ras Ethiopian Restaurant
Around the Twin Cities
If you’re outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul area but still looking for some classic Ethiopian options in the North Metro, check out Adama Restaurant and Awash Bakery in Columbia Heights. Their menu has a mix of Ethiopian, East African, and Oromo dishes. Expect top-notch flavors, easy parking, and excellent service from their committed staff.
- Address: 3970 Central Ave NE, Columbia Heights, MN 55421
- Website: Adama Restaurant and Awash Bakery