Ethiopian/Eritrean in Boston

Hi folks. I didn’t get my act together in time, and Sarma is booked up during our trip to Boston next week, so I thought, what else is on my bucket list? Well, I’ve never had Ethiopian or Eritrean food, and there seem to be several options in Boston, all with decent-to-great Yelp ratings (for whatever that’s worth):

Blue Nile
Ethiopian Cafe
Lucy Ethiopian Cafe
Asmara (Eritrean)

In particular, I’ve always wanted to try kitfo, though I am of course open to specific dish suggestions at any of these places. It’ll just be the two of us, so we’ll likely only order 2 or 3 dishes depending on portion size.

Does anyone have any thoughts on any of these places?

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I don’t have personal experience with any of those. In general, Boston isn’t a great place historically for Ethiopian/Eritrean.

You might want to check out Sarma’s sister restaurant, Oleana, in Cambridge. It’s not Sarma, but it is very good and there is beautiful outside dining in the garden. At this moment, there seem to be some openings for next week.

Sarma does accept walk ins at the bar…you have to get there well before they open. Oleana also accepts walk ins. It’s a gamble, of course!

Enjoy your visit!


Oleana would be great too! It looks like the nights we have free, the only times they have available are fairly late. I’m debating whether that might work well on Saturday, though, since we’re getting brunch at Mariel, which sounds like it’ll be a filling meal.

Last we checked, Oleana’s lovely patio seating is only available for walk-ins. We’re usually willing to come early and wait in line for that but I can see it not being an option for folks with limited time. That said, their selections of meze would work well for a late dinner after a filling brunch.

As for Ethiopian/Eritrean, our current go-to is Habesha in Malden, which is not at all fine dining nor exactly in Boston but has excellent kitfo (be sure to specify if you want it raw) as well as great shiro (with butter for us). Those two dishes are quite rich so if you want to try more I’d suggest either an app or the veg combo.