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BEST ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT Phoenix 2006 - Cafe Lalibela

Cafe Lalibela

Cafe Lalibela

849 W. University Drive

Tempe, AZ 85281


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So here's one place where adults can eat with their hands with complete impunity: Tempe's Cafe Lalibela is a classic Ethiopian eatery where traditional stews called wat are served on large pancakes of spongy injera, a bread made from the grain teff, which is native to northeastern Africa. Along with your stew of beef, lamb, fish, and any number of veggies, like collards, lentils or cabbage, you get a hopper of folded teff. You tear off a bit, scoop up the food from platter to mouth, and munch out. No fork needed! Brilliant, eh? Also, the wat lends itself to endless Abbott and Costello-like discussions, such as: "What's on my plate?" "That's right." "What?" "Yes, wat." And so on. Great for hours of amusement as the proprietors wonder when your party's finally gonna vacate the premises.
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Decent lunch specials - you can try various dishes for around $6. Service is a bit slow...but this isn't fast food, so it shouldn't matter anyway.