A visit to the restaurant Addis Abeba is one of the most authentic culinary experiences you can try in Barcelona. This Ethiopian restaurant is considered one of the best African restaurants in Barcelona (many people would argue the best, even).
Addis Abeba is located in the heart of the district of Sants (Vallespir, 44), very close to Sants Station, far from any tourist attraction and the chaos of the city centre. Despite this, it’s a very popular restaurant among local people, as it offers the opportunity to discover a very different culture via its gastronomy. I always think that when you can see queues of people at the entrance to a place it’s often a good sign that there’s something special inside. And this is what I found in Addis Abeba.
On entering, the first thing to catch your attention is the colourful decoration, which transports you to the African continent. Inside a small, charming area, you’ll find a restaurant completely decked out in Ethiopian fashion, with dim lighting and low tables where food is shared by people sitting on benches and stools.
Addis Abeba is definitely worth a visit, as much for its excellent service as the authentic experience of African gastronomy it offers. Both the owners and the waiters overflow with kindness from all corners. And when it’s time to eat… surprise! Don’t look for cutlery, because you won’t find any.
Basic ingredients of Ethiopian food
Addis Abeba’s culinary offering is basically made up of a base of bread known as “injera”, on top of which different types of meat, vegetables and pulses are added (it’s an ideal destination for vegetarians). All this is served on a gigantic round tray, where guests break of bits with their hands and share food. We shared a Segawor combo (beef, soft cheese and potatoes), and a Dorowot combo (chicken, squash and lentils). Leaving the initial shock of eating with your hands to one side (you can ask for cutlery if you really must), the food is delicious. I loved the mix of flavours and spices, but the best bit for me was the opportunity Addis Abeba gives you to touch the food and sense its textures, temperatures and smells, something which would be difficult to find elsewhere in Barcelona
The Addis Abeba experience culminates in a variety of spectacular home-made desserts: cheesecake, carrot cake, chocolate tart and home-made yogurts, which are a great way to round off a special dinner. I tried the yoghurt with shavings of chocolate, which I loved. To finish off, we were offered some Amarula shots on the house (Amarula is a South African liquor).
The price-quality ratio of this restaurant is fabulous. The combos which I mentioned above cost €12.75, and, with a drink, you can have a proper dinner for less that €15. Despite the fact that the menu’s not terribly varied and the ingredients used are quite basic, the food is tasty, although it should also be said that you do pay for the setting and the fact that this sort of cuisine probably differs from that to which you’re normally accustomed. Try it!
Addis Abeba is somewhere you can happily take friends or your partner, with the unusual touch of eating with your hands from the same shared plate. Given that it’s very popular, despite not being very touristy, there’s always a queue to sit down and it’s recommendable to book in advance. For your information, this restaurant is only open during weeknights and at midday and during the evening during the weekends.
Addis Abeba is without a doubt a highly recommendable restaurant if you’d like to try something different. The quality is magnificent and the service from the waiting staff excellent. It’s a real pleasure to go to a restaurant where you’re served with a smile from ear to ear.
You’ll really enjoy the experience if you’re someone who likes exploring cuisines from other parts of the world and if you’re open to a new culinary experience such as eating with your hands. Addis Abeba is not for you if you’re strictly a lover of traditional food, you don’t like trying new flavours and the idea of touching your food with your hands doesn’t appeal.
Given its delicious food, the charming service, attractive decoration and reasonable prices, Addis Abeba is a very recommedable option of you’re looking for a restaurant in Sants. It’s somewhere you can enjoy a different culinary experience, and will have you licking the food off your fingers (literally).
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