Ethiopian and Eritrean immigrants began arriving in Seattle in large numbers in the early ’80s, with the first restaurant serving Ethiopian cuisine popping up in 1982. The community struggled to adapt injera recipes designed for high-altitude Addis Ababa to sea-level Seattle, resorting to self-rising wheat flour to make the staple teff flatbread. But once they did, they also found a welcoming audience for their vegetarian-friendly, flavourful food in Seattle.
These days, there are nearly almost more Ethiopian restaurants in the area than there were Ethiopians back then, with most of them serving a standard spread of lentil stews, salads, and meat dishes. But among the dozens of shops around town, many set themselves apart with a specific specialty, sweet space, or simply great service – this list shows where to find some of those spots.