Irresistible Ethiopian Food at Grand Restaurant in Addis Ababa

By Mark Wiens 14 Comments
Ethiopian food
A platter of Ethiopian food before me is one of my favorite things in the world!

You’ll find plenty of wonderful restaurant in Addis Ababa, most of them, usually marked by signs sponsored the classic yellow St. Georges beer company.

Step into anyone of these delicious restaurants and you’ll likely find a pretty delicious meal throughout the day.

But there’s one place that I ate at, and kept eating at over and over again when I was in Addis Ababa, because the food was so insanely good (it also helped that the restaurant was located right around the corner from Toronto Guest House where I was staying – great hotel by the way).

Paintings on the ceiling
Paintings on the ceiling

I was browsing through the articles on Addis Eats, and came across their recommendation for a small restaurant named Grand.

I saw that it was right on the street I was staying at, in the Chechnya area of Addis, and so as soon as it was lunchtime, I wen to check it out.

You may be a little skeptical about the restaurant from the beginning, because the entrance appears to just be a dark entrance to a bar…

… But just enter, the friendly staff will greet you, and you can walk to the back of the restaurant, where the atmosphere opens into a circular dining room with Ethiopian paintings covering the ceiling.

It’s actually quite a pleasant dining room surprise in the back!

Ethiopian food
Mahaberawi at Grand Restaurant in Addis Ababa

Mahaberawi at Grand

The first time I went to Grand restaurant, I had no clue what to order, so I just did my best to order the mixed plate – known as a mahaberawi.

My platter came with a base of injera, and topped with the dishes of the day, this time being key wat, a wonderful beef stew, shiro wat, the popular Ethiopian chickpea curry, and salata, a simple and refreshing tomato onion salad.

Shiro wat
Shiro wat

Let me tell you, I wasted no time getting started devouring this beautiful creation.

The key wat was lovely, nicely spiced with just the right amount of berbere seasoning, and with good meaty chunks of beef that had some great texture.

But the dish that really impressed me the most at Grand Restaurant was the shiro wat.

Shiro wat is easily one of the most common and widely consumed dishes in all of Ethiopian cuisine, and I think I ate it every-single day I was in Ethiopia (and I absolutely love it).

The version at Grand Restaurant, I thought, was one of the absolute best I had.

Shiro is made with chickpea and broad bean flour, mixed with butter and oil, some light seasoning, and in this case, a ton of garlic.

The wonderful garlicky flavor was what really made their shiro wat shine.

Salata - tomato salad
Salata – tomato salad

Another wonderful item on the menu at Grand Restaurant in Addis Ababa is their simple salata, or Ethiopian style tomato salad.

It’s actually quite similar to a Kenyan or Tanzanian kachumbari: just good fresh tomatoes, onions, and chilies, all sliced and diced and seasoned with salt and lime juice.

Eating the tomato salad along with that shiro wat, I was actually speechless.

Grand Restaurant, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Grand Restaurant, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

It didn’t take long for me to polish off everything, and since I probably ate too fast, I still wanted more.

So that’s when I decided to order the full bone-in piece or meat key wat curry.

I actually thought the meat was goat, but then according to the name it was beef and potatoes (dinech besiga) – so I’m still not sure what type of meat it was – but one thing I’m sure of was that it was lip-licking tasty.

Here’s a video from the restaurant…

(If you can’t see the video, with it here:

Along with a few more orders of shiro wat and a few more scoops of tomato salad, I was incredibly satisfied, and probably too full as well, but it was so unbelievably good.

Total bill
Total bill

Total bill came to 95 ETB ($4.84), which included the first full mahaberawi, a few extra scoops of both shiro and tomato salad (which is normally included), and an extra big dish of dinech beseg, plus a bottle of water.

Grand Restaurant in Addis Ababa is just a normal restaurant, but they serve incredibly good food – food that has home cooked love in it.

I ate at Grand Restaurant at least 5 or 6 times during my time in Addis Ababa. Big shout out to Addis Eats for the suggestion!

How to Get to Grand Restaurant:

Grand restaurant in Addis Ababa only has a sign written in Amharic, but it’s directly across the street from “3 Days International Hotel” right along Mike Leyland street in an area of Addis Ababa known as Chechnya (yes, you read that correctly!).

14 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • High Rated Gabru

    3 years ago

    COOL BLOG!! Thanks for share.

  • William Murphy

    3 years ago

    I have never been to Ethiopia nor I had any Ethiopian food here in the US. Can you suggest any good restaurant in Pleasanton?

  • Jolanda Mak

    10 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    I am going to visit Ethiopia in November. Your video in the Grand restaurant makes me so hungry. The Grand is on my list to visit. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Hey Jolanda, very cool to hear you’ll be going to Ethiopia later this year. The food is outstanding.

  • Spa

    10 years ago

    Hey mark! You are amazing! I am from Thailand and I have to say you know your ways around Bangkok more than I do!
    On another note, I read your post on Ethiopian food in Bangkok. Compared to the one you ate at Ethiopia (obviously the local one is better), is it still any good? Should I check it out?

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Thank you very much Spa! Honestly, it’s not nearly as good in Bangkok, but I think it’s still worth trying. Yes, you should check out the restaurant in Bangkok if you’re up for a food adventure! Let me know how it goes!

  • Joe

    10 years ago

    Ethiopian food is sooo underrated. And eating with the injeera is fun, whether you’re with a group or by yourself.

  • Jonathan Look, Jr.

    10 years ago

    Ethiopian food is definitely one of my favorite cuisines. Hard to find but well worth seeking out. Looks like I should make a trip to Ethopia on a food hunt!

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Hey Jonathan, taking a trip to Ethiopian just to eat is definitely worth it. Glad you enjoy it too!

  • Damien

    10 years ago

    What happened to you’re two videos a week? Replying previous videos doesn’t count

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      Hey Damien, I still publish 2 videos per week on my YouTube channel: I just haven’t always been posting them in their own article, because they often fit into other articles like this. Would it be helpful for me to post a video in its own article? Thanks.

  • fernando

    10 years ago

    Great video Mark! I’m hungry now, the lamb looks soooo good. Very fair price…! Thanks for sharing.