Anton and FriendsEmpress_Taytu_Restaurant_Cleveland_5_Star_ReviewMy first, and so far best, dining experience at an Ethiopian restaurant. This is the place where I first discovered my love for injera (Ethiopian bread), beef tibs (cubes of beef marinated in an Ethiopian blend of spices), and tej (Ehtiopian honey wine). The food was truly amazing. The above mentioned items are must tries.

If you can’t consume alcohol and cannot compliment your meal with the tej wine, the mango juice should suffice as a good alternative.

The vegetable combination is also delicious. The common vegetables, prepared with specialty spices in a uniquely Ethiopian fashion, provide a good balance to the meal when eaten with the meat dishes.

Also, if time and budget permit, try the authentic Ethiopian coffee “ceremony.” It is a bit pricey but it is one of those things you must try at least once. You sit on little footstools while the server performs the ritual coffee roasting ceremony basking those partaking with the wonderful scent of fresh Ethiopian coffee. The server then adds a tiny bit of butter into the coffee (instead of milk or cream), which is apparently how it is served in their country.

If and when you do come, try to sit under the hut in the corner of the room on the little stools and eat from the large communal plate on top of the traditional basket table stand – this will make the experience more enjoyable.

This restaurant is the most authentic Ethiopian establishment I have eaten at thus far. The ambiance is more authentic than any of the Ethiopian/East African restaurants in my hometown of San Diego, despite the much larger population of immigrants from the Eastern (Horn of) Africa region.

In fact, I enjoyed Ethiopian cuisine so much that one of the first things I did after I moved back to San Diego after college, was look for Ethiopian restaurants and try the ones I found. My friends and I enjoyed Empress Taytu so much that we made the 1+ hour drive from Wooster, just to come to here, numerous times after discovering this restaurant.

Keep in mind, this restaurant is not located in the best area of Cleveland. Nonetheless, this place as a must try even though the outside of the restaurant and surrounding neighborhood is less than aesthetically pleasing, to say the least.

Anton T.