Meals of lamb are especially tender. Like the yebeg kikil, cooked in a butter sauce and richly seasoned with ginger, rosemary, and satisfyingly stinging bites of jalapeño peppers; and the yebeg tibs, a sautéed, fragrant dish of bite-size pieces of lamb marinated in garlic and fresh-ground rosemary with red and green peppers, onions, and a large sprig of rosemary on top for good measure.

At the end of your meal, when Ejersa asks you and your dining companions if you would like coffee, you should accept. That is, if you have another hour or so. Unlike the fast-paced and wakey-wakey reputation it has in America, the drinking of coffee is a highly social, ritualistic, and leisurely endeavor in Ethiopian culture. Its ceremony, enacted after every meal, is one of the most enjoyable parts of the Ethiopian restaurant experience, and an invitation to one is considered a mark of friendship or respect.

And during the coffee ceremony, you may find — after watching Ejersa sit at a small, altar-like area amid burning incense, reverently taking the coffee though its life cycle, from washing and roasting the beans to grinding and boiling to pouring the strong brew into the small, china cup at your table — that this Ethiopian eatery oddly located in the back of a convenience store isn't so strange after all.

Ethiopian Famous fills a niche for Central Phoenix fans of the African cuisine.
Jackie Mercandetti
Ethiopian Famous fills a niche for Central Phoenix fans of the African cuisine.

Location Info


Ethiopian Famous Restaurant & Coffee

4111 E. McDowell Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85008

Category: Restaurant > Ethiopian

Region: East Phoenix


Ethiopian Famous Restaurant & Coffee
905 North 16th Street
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (call first; hours may vary)

Doro wot: $15
Kit fo: $15
Ye-stom beyaynetu combo: $12
Ethiopian coffee (serves 2 to 5): $8

In fact, you could get used to the place.

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