If traveling to Africa is not on your bucket list this year, there is still a way to enjoy the cuisine from Ethiopia. These restaurants offer authentic Ethiopian dishes that are prepared with exotic spices traditionally scooped up with “injera,” a flat bread made from a fine grain unique to Ethiopia. To help you make a choice for a truly different and exciting dining experience, here are some of the best restaurants in the Metro Detroit area.

Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun – Closed

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To be transported into a world of exotic and tasty spices this restaurant located near Detroit’s famed Eastern Market is not only authentic, it has also been given the distinction as “Best of Detroit.”  Nice too, is the inexpensive menu options. A feast of $25 worth of Ethiopian cuisine will cost $12. Not convinced? Legendary Motown singer Stevie Wonder is seen in photos on the restaurant’s website enjoying the cuisine.

Hours: Tues to Thurs – 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Fri and Sat – 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Sun – 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Dining at this restaurant is an authentic experience in eating Ethiopian food. An essential part of the meal is the flat and tangy Ethiopian bread used to eat the assortment of flavourful offerings served up on this restaurant’s platters. The ambiance is exotic, with the glow of painted lights, intricate curtains and beautifully decorated woven tables. Since utensils are only available upon request, warm towels are offered to clean hands before and after enjoying this delicious food.

Hours: Mon to Thurs – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fri – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sat – 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday – 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

(credit: mediterrano.com)

This elegant restaurant prepares dishes from each of the 14 countries on the Mediterranean coast that includes North Africa, the South of France and from Greece to Spain. While the menu is extensive, Mediterrano makes it look effortless. Upon arrival, the exotic aroma of garlic, Mediterranean spices and fresh bread fills the air. The restaurant boasts using only the freshest and most flavourful ingredients to create what they describe as “hearty food.”

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Hours: Tues to Sat – 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sun and Mon – Closed

Altu’s provides quite a variety of Ethiopian dishes at this restaurant. Thick, stew-like authentic dishes are offered in both vegetarian and meats and are served either mild or spicy. Rather than using a fork or spoon, use small pieces of traditional flat bread to scoop up the stew for a tasty, edible utensil. For those who must use silverware, meals can also be ordered on a bed of rice served with silverware. Using quality ingredients for tasty dishes is what this restaurant is all about.

Hours: Tues to Fri – Lunch Buffet 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Dinner 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Sat – Buffet 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sun and Mon – Closed

Eating Ethiopian food at this restaurant is done with one’s fingers with the help of a spongy flatbread, injerra. However it is important to the owners, Sam and Sharon Terfa, to serve their food in a comfortable way for everyone and to provide silverware if requested. Dishes can also be ordered with rice or noodles instead of using the traditional flatbread. The menu offers traditional Ethiopian food, plus a few choices slightly adapted to American tastes. With barrel tables and thatch trim along the exposed brick and ceiling beams, the ambiance conjures images of a hut, which is what “go jo” means in Sam Terfa’s native land.

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As a news reporter for 25-years and an online writer for various publications, Rebecca Kelley is passionate about being a journalist. She currently resides in Michigan and writes exclusively for online publications. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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