Injera, Berbere & Beer: Good Veggie Eats @ Addis Abeba

riverflows @riverflowsa month ago · 3 min read


If I am craving African, Indian or Vietnamese, it is to Melbourne's west I go. Footscray, only a short train ride from Melbourne CBD and on our side of the city, has always had a large migrant population, although much of it is now becoming gentrified as close by suburbs such as Seddon and Yarraville become bought up by those wishing to get on the housing market - now, much of these areas are unaffordable too. My son and his girlfriend rent there now, so I had twice the excuse to pop past this area on a way back from a work conference on Sunday - good food, and good company.

Addis Abbaba, named for the Ethiopian capital, is a vegan restaurant on Nicholson Street, only two minutes walk from my son's house and only 5 minutes walk from Footscray station. Its a sweet and humble cafe style restaurant with a small bar.

Overwhelmed by choice, we went for the banquet - $55 AUD for 3 people, plenty to stuff us silly, plus an extra serve of injera, an Ethiopian flatbread that the meal is also served on - like a huge crepe. One scoops the meal up with the bread rather than use cutlery, which is my favourite way to eat.


Ethiopian dishes, particularly their spicey ones such as Miser Wat, a lentil stew much like a dhal, contain a spice blend called berbere, which you can find a recipe for here. It is a mix of spices including chilli, cardamom, turmeric, allspice and others which is very reminscent of an Indian spice blend. On the platter were two types of Miser Wat, one with potatoes and one without, plus a creamy split chickpea stew similiar to channa dahl. There was also vegetable rice, a cabbage and carrot concoction and the most amazing kale dish which was quite lemony and which I would like to replicate at home. The owner kindly brought us another whole dish of this for free as an added bonus which was lovely. In the centre was a huge salad.


We also enjoyed a malty Ethiopian beer which was refreshing after the hoppy IPA that is the trend at the moment. My boy is student broke, so it was nice to treat him to a feast. The two of them are great home vegan cooks that rarely have enough cash to go out, though they are surrounded by good, cheap eats such as Addis Abbaba. There is a plethora of vegan restaurants all throughout Melbourne, which isn't useful if you are on a student budget.



Would we go again? Yes, undoubtedly. Not only that, we are busy googling Ethiopian recipes to add to our personal repertoire of vegan meals. Luckily I had bought my boy bunches of kale, loads of lemons, broad beans, garlic and shallots from my garden, so at least he has something to start with. I don't envy the poor student life, though I do remember it with affection.

Have you ever eaten Ethiopian food?

What is your favourite dish?

Addis Abeba is located at 220 Nicholson Street, Footscray, and is open 10 am to 11 pm, 7 nights a week.


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Amazing feast for real foodies - just yummy


This sounds delicious and like a fun trip. Who awesome it must me to have a mom like that ( not that mine isn't sweet ) or, in your case, a son like that :>)

I don't remember having ever eaten Ethopian food ( although I might have once ) but friends of my parents used to live in the Ethiopian capital for a couple of years, before they moved on to South Africa and later ( now they're retired ) to France.

Posts like this make me realize how hard it is for me to find any international cuisine nearby. The closest would probably be Porto or Lisbon but without a car, that isn't easily reached. Nevertheless, there's benefits of not having this culinary 'luxury', namely this: it will taste extra good, whenever it does happen.

Um abraço

P.S. I'm writing a lot about food in my hypersensitivosaurus novel so far. Nothing exciting though ( for now ), merely about fish haha

P.P.S. Just spilled loads of cinnamon on my kitchen floor. Decided to not vacuum clean it but swipe it up and throw it from my balcony, in the rainy Portuguese Autumn air. Back to nature!


Cinnamon air sounds very sweet! I think you should experiment with a different cuisine every month! Look up online recipes. I think Ethiopan food is fairly easy to make, especially with the ingredients you must have there.

Yep, you're Murakami!! xx


It sure sounds like a great experiment. I actually have a bunh of international cookbooks in my kitchen. I think they are from the 1980s and I have no idea where I got them. I like experimenting though, as you know ;>)

I will definitely dive into Ethiopian food ( with my mouth open and a small sprint, if I can ) and try to remind myself of getting the necessary ingredients as soon as I'm close to a ( super ) market, once again.



Holy moly that looks like a delicious spread! Despite Atlanta having a great international food scene, I haven't tried Ethiopian food yet. Perhaps I need to make that a 2020 goal--start trying more new restaurants on occasion! As much as I love to cook, it is a true treat to enjoy a healthy and delicious meal out. Especially in cuisines I'm not familiar with. I'll look forward to you trying to recreate that kale dish at home!


It was holy moly delish!!! I thought of you! I really want to get a vegan Ethiopan cookbook now, i think there's a few around!


I do love some good cookbooks! Even if I just use them to get inspiration, I love having a solid collection. :)


You are fortunate to live close to a wide variety of foods! I wish we had more Vietnamese here. @alliedforces curate


Yes, Footscray is the home of the Vietnamese after we accepted many of them post Vietnam. You can get a damn good pho there!

Jagged @jaggeda month ago

I've not had Ethiopian food, so gotta add that to the list of "to tries"

Thanks for sharing.


Ah it is good, and not far from you @jagged!


$55 for 3 people! That's a really good price. The last time we ate out it was around the $100 mark and that was at one of the cheaper places.
That looks absolutely amazing too. I haven't tried Ethiopian before, but love that we're being exposed to so many more culture's cuisines these days. Growing up it was Italian, Chinese and Indian and even they were anglicised.


Oh, yes, a different story in the UK that's for sure! Melbourne has lots of cheap eats, particularly around that area. I guess it was similiar to Indian, but not as spicey.


Oh yes! I love vegan Ethiopian food! It's been a while since I've been in one, because the restaurant in Toronto is quite far from where I live. It is also small and humble and always packed, lol. I am glad you shared this one in Australia with us. I can totally smell and taste the delicious food 😊

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I love Ethiopian food! We have one Ethiopian restaurant close to our place and I must say that I go there very often. Food is really delicious, spicy and very often surprising. I like the simplicity in ingredients accompanied with complexity of flavors. Oh, now I feel like going there again :)

Thank you for sharing!


I saw a vegan Ethiopian book online I really want to try!