Cleveland is a city with a lot to be proud of, but the diversity of our population and the way that each of our cultures and heritages comes together must be at the top of the list. When you combine that with our love of food and community, you get some dining experiences that you won’t get anywhere else. Bringing with them the history and traditions of countries like Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Morocco, Cleveland’s African restaurant community welcomes the city to sit down, share a meal and learn more about the places they come from and the food they love.
In the immortal words of James Brown, please please please try Zoma’s meatless or vegetarian tibs, a hearty stew both filling and delicious. And if you find it odd that tiramisu is on the dessert menu, read up on Italy’s influence on Ethiopian cuisine before ordering. You will thank us later.
Kifaya’s Kitchen offers Somalian and East African comfort food served unpretentiously and deliciously. Try the Kaykay, a stew that can be served with or without meat, or the Baris Iyo Hilib (basmati rice with goat meat).
In the mood for a small plate? Empress Taytu’s appetizers are every bit as delectable as their entrées, with a wide array of vegan and gluten-free options. Order the avocado salata or the Kai’sir beet-and-potato salad with house vinaigrette.
Your meal begins with an aptly named Refreshing Bliss—a craft cocktail made with champagne, ginger beer, peach schnapps and fresh strawberries. Keep the palate party going with pomme lyonnaise (fried African potatoes) and grilled lamb served with zucchini and jollof rice.
Momo’s menu includes traditional Moroccan fare, such as beef (or vegan) couscous and the aromatic tagine (a stew made with lamb or beef). Add tabbouleh and have tea poured at the table for the true experience at this family-owned eatery.
Since 2019, this South Euclid spot has been serving up authentic African delicacies with specials such as roasted plantains with spicy tomato sauce and a turkey wing flat. The savory and sweet mix is sure to satisfy the palate, especially with a side of jollof rice.
Allow yourself to experience the pure elegance of the coffee ceremony at this new West Park spot. Traditional to both Ethiopian and Eritrean cultures, the ceremony is essential to Habesha hospitality. But first, order the gomen—collard greens sautéed in onion, garlic and ginger—with ambasha bread for the table (or just you, because it’s really that good).