Phoenix Restaurant Guide

A searchable directory of recommended local restaurants

Waamo Top 100

Some hidden gems are known in certain food circles, and others are more like the Somali eatery Waamo Restaurant: more truly hidden. Marked by a loud green-and-white sign, Waamo buzzes, nevertheless. Inside its yellow-lighted, yellow-painted dining room, there's multilingual conversation, regulars cradling hot coffee, and often a takeout logjam. A mango smoothie and chapati wrap cost just $10 and change. The smoothie is simple and on target, perfectly tropical and refreshing. Waamo does other drinks well, too, including a sweet black tea warmly spiced and scented with lemon. The wrap goes big — about a foot long and stretched with filling, walls thick, hot, and doughy. They are the puffy flatbread chapati, also known as roti. Potatoes, chopped juicy chicken, and green peppers make for a simple, stellar filler. A seedy, fruity hot sauce comes on the side. Waamo's food travels from East Africa to across the Mediterranean. It does best, though, when sticking to Somalia. The specialty is Somali-style halal goat, richly satisfying, plenty of muted gaminess left intact. Waamo also deep-fries beef sambusas, a Somali pastry. There is a slapdash flow to a meal at Waamo, a little chaotic yet endearing. Basheir Elmi's restaurant is warm and comforting, even if it's off the radar of the Phoenix foodie crowd. New Normal: Waamo is temporarily takeout only. Orders can be placed by phone for pickup, and delivery is available through GrubHub and Seamless.
Chris Malloy
  • Hours: Daily 8:00 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
  • Takeout:
  • Delivery:
Recent Best Of Awards