Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant
Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant

Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://meskeremethiopianrestaurantdc.com/
  • Phone: 2024624100
  • Hours of Operation:
    Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 12:00am, Friday - Sunday: 11:00am - 2:00am
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Ethiopian
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes

Getting there

  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant
Dining in Ethiopia is characterized by the ritual of breaking injera and eating from the same plate, signifying the bonds of loyalty and friendship. Injera, the traditional Ethiopian bread, is part of every entree. It is a large crepe/pancake upon which the various stew-like dishes are served. The traditional way of eating is with the fingers, which in itself a delicate art. In this manner, a bite sized piece if Injera is broken off to pick up a mouthful of the chosen dish. Come experience our tradition and savor our cuisine!
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Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant reviews from OpenTable diners
14 reviews since June 3, 2014
Overall Rating4.4
  • Food4.6
    Service4.2
  • Ambiance4
    Noise LevelModerate
100% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (10)fit for foodies (9)good for groups (6)special occasion (4)kid-friendly (2)romantic (2)great for lunch (2)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Fantastic Ethiopian Food
    310LakesideVIP
    Dined on 9/13/2014
    Was visiting DC and we were in the mood for something different. I have been to a few Ethiopian restaurants in various cities ad the food here is top notch. Nothing fancy, but the food did not disappoint. Would definitely return.
    Special Features:
    great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Enjoyable
    Debbie
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    Service was great - very interesting food and atmosphere
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistently excellent
    Mountaincoco
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The most consistent Ethiopian in the area, in my opinion. The food is always fresh, flavorful and very good, and beautifully presented. Took some out of town guests there a few days ago and they loved it!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Good Ethiopian in DC
    Ancorreas
    Dined on 6/4/2014
    The food and the injera were excellent. Not very spicy. They didn't have Ethiopian coffee though.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Ratings-Only Reviews
    Based on 10 ratings-only reviews submitted since June 3, 2014
    • Overall Rating4.3
    • Food4.4
    • Ambiance4.2
    • Service4.4
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The following 44 reviews are from the Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant reviews archive.
  • Delectable
    Disappointed
    Dined on 4/27/2014
    Ethiopian food at Meskerem is top notch. For a culture appropriate experience, sit upstairs on the cushions and eat at the low tables!
    Special Features:
    Fit For Foodies, Late-Night Find, Neighborhood Gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Ethipoian Food
    blueboybob
    Dined on 4/12/2014
    Fun way to eat with your hands. Good food and good service in a fun neighborhood.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good casual ethnic dining experienc
    CseksVIP
    Dined on 4/3/2014
    Very lively neighborhood and a fun, different dining experience with Ethiopian food. Casual place. If you eat upstairs, be prepared to sit in low chairs bending over a small round table. Downstairs has customary tables and chairs.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Disappointed after all I had
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 3/1/2014
    Disappointed after all I had heard about this place. Very loud, food thrown at you, seating, while perhaps authentic, was very awkward. I wont go back with all the other options we have now.
    Special Features:
    hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Okay food. Poor service.
    miraluz
    Dined on 2/8/2014
    The food was decent, thought not as varied as other Ethiopian restaurants I have been to. On food alone, it would be 3 stars, but the terrible service and generally grungy state of the restaurant knock it down. Two stars is generous.  My date and I waited more than ten minutes before we were greeted and drinks orders were taken, then waited excessively long for the waitress to come back to take our order, and waited again for an extended period of time before we could flag someone to get our check. I enjoy a well-paced, leisurely meal - this wasn't that. t The staff simply wasn't attentive. The food was okay, but the tablecloths were threadbare and stained, and in general the place looked like it hadn't been "deep-cleaned" in decades.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • presentation was off
    Dialextic
    Dined on 1/30/2014
    I brought some international friends here excited to give them their first taste of Ethiopian food. While the service was fine, the platter arrived all messy--it looked like the sauces had been accidentally sloshed around everywhere and all mixed together. Other places are usually careful to place each dish on the injera neatly and with spaces in between. For newbies to the cuisine, it didn't look appetizing. The food was good. There were 4 of us and we didn't have quite enough food despite ordering the combination platter for 4 (also, it only came with 3 eggs) so we ordered two extra dishes.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • EXCELLENT
    Julia
    Dined on 1/17/2014
    This was by far the BEST ETHIOPIAN I've had so far in DC!!! Great food, great service. Can't wait to go back!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Haven't been there for 20 years
    PSResident
    Dined on 12/20/2013
    Since we moved across country, we haven't been there in about 20 years. It was as good as we remembered. A good Ethiopian restaurant. A good introduction to the cuisine and the culture.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food
    asha
    Dined on 12/13/2013
    Meskeram has long been my favorite place in DC, but I'd heard it had gone down. Not So! It was a delicious return to the Capital! Wonderful time and we can't wait to return.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Good year after year
    Robert
    Dined on 11/11/2013
    Meskerem has seldom had the very best Ethiopian food in Washington ( I would give that title to Ethiopic currently) but it has had very, very good food that has been exactly the same for decade after decade. Food critics may grow bored with a restaurant whose food is unchanged, but we neighbors love it. Special things that Meskerem has going for it are the mesob-both regular and vegetarian--a sampler platter of 6 to 8 dishes; and the kitfo, a dish mixing seasoned raw ground beef and a ricotta-like cheese which is the equal of any Ethiopian restaurant. Try the tej, an Ethiopian honey wine, if sweet wines have any appeal for you. Service can be a bit fast, but everyone is nice, and you can linger after your meal without being pushed.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Consistently good food and service
    Jross87
    Dined on 9/25/2013
    Although I only get here a couple of times a year, the food and service are as great as ever! Beef and lamb are lean and succulent - cooked to perfection.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Authentic food!!
    ClauDCVIP
    Dined on 9/20/2013
    The place lacks a bit of maintenance and cleaning. But the people very kind and the food was great.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 9/7/2013
    Still the best Ethiopian food in the DC area in my opinion. From vegetarian to kitfo to wat. Traditional woven tables are delightful touch, but the restaurant needs more small seats with backs vs hassocks.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Wonderful, Unique Experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/24/2013
    We always come to Meskerem when we are in Washington, DC. The food is great and it is a fun experience which brings friends closer together. Our 8 year old son even enjoys eating here.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Perfectly fine Ethiopian food
    SCD2VIP
    Dined on 8/16/2013
    Meskerem is nearby, so I go there often. The dining room is getting a little tired, and the servers seem a little tired too, but the food is good, and it's a unique place to bring out of towners (as is the Adams Morgan neighborhood in general). I always recommend ordering one vegetarian sampler and one meat sampler for the table, so we can try a little bit of everything, and it makes for an attractive, colorful plate. Food generally arrives very quickly. It would be nice if the servers would explain what's in each of the dishes (since everything is pureed it can be hard to tell) when they deliver the food, but they don't speak much voluntarily, so be sure to ask for a quick tutorial. (Your dining companions will probably appreciate it).
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • They did not have the shrimp
    Quieter
    Dined on 8/12/2013
    They did not have the shrimp and I was looking forward to some seafood. The waitress was nice and the samosas were served hot.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • First time not too bad
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/9/2013
    We did not know what to expect since we never had Ethiopian. We are vegetarian, so keep that in mind. The appetizer was good, but oily. The food was good too, but it was a little surprising that some dishes were cold. I think that should be highlighted better in the menu. The restaurant needs some redecorating/ updating. The price was good, and the food was good. We would probably do it again, but now we would know what to expect.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, great for lunch
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • excellent food and service
    FineDiningVeg
    Dined on 7/26/2013
    The Vegetarian platter was some of the best Ethiopian that I have had (compared to about a dozen others in many states in the USA). Service was very accommodating towards the needs of our picky kids. We were really grateful for their understanding.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fantastic food
    Sweetapples
    Dined on 7/5/2013
    I love this restaurant. I started eating here almost ten years ago, and the experience has not really changed in that time. The food is always delicious, the service is good, and the restaurant is filled with interesting instruments and art. I've never had a bad meal here. I love getting the dinner where you get to sample a little of many dishes. I highly recommend Meskerem.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Always a good experience
    OpenTable Diner Since 2003
    Dined on 6/22/2013
    I have been going to Meskerem for many years and it is always very good food as well as a fun atmosphere especially upstairs with the low tables and ottomans to sit on. I have taken a number of children here over the years to experience the ambiance and food upstairs and they have all enjoyed it. This past weekend did not disappoint. The little girls I took as well as some out of town adult guests enjoyed the food and experience very much. There are other Ethiopian restaurants but this one has really stood the test of time. Thanks Merskerem for being a very good and reliable place to introduce people to Ethiopian food and to just enjoy each time I have gone.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion, kid-friendly
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Meskerem Memories
    LLH1VIP
    Dined on 6/9/2013
    While the Meskerem holds a special place in my memories and it was a nice introduction to ethiopian food for my children, the food is really quite average especially compared to other such restaurants in DC. Not bad; not great.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Sad slide down
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 6/4/2013
    Meskerem has been a DC mainstay, once regarded as one of the city's top Ethiopians but no more.On a re-visit, the food was bland, insipid and dull. It also has gone up in price even as the portions have shrunk. A group of five of us all order the messobs -- a platter of various meats or vegetables -- and the stuff that shows up looks as if it might have been enough for two or three. Of course, once you begin eating, you're probably grateful for that... Won't be back.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fine Restaurant
    Paul
    Dined on 5/31/2013
    My wife and I went here on a Friday night - parking in the neighborhood is horrible -to be expected in Adams Morgan. We were sat quickly upstairs. The low seating, low tables, and unique food make for interesting dining. The staff was very good. We were seated quickly, our server was attentive, and food was delivered promptly. We ordered the vegetarian platter for two. That with an appetizer filled us up pretty well. The food was good, but a little bland, which I found surprising. I would go back, but not very often.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good, solid Ethio cuisine
    OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 5/23/2013
    Received a warm welcome upon arrival and given a choice for where to be seated. Chose the upper level with a great view over the restaurant in a pleasantly busy (but not loud and crazy) atmosphere. Wine selection met expectations. Nice variety of entrees and sides served on freshly made injera that had a healthy amount of teff flour (not the "wonder bread white injera" that so many places serve in the states). Service was friendly and unobtrusive, yet there when needed. Would recommend and return to this restaurant.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Definitely had better in the DMV
    gloriousfood
    Dined on 5/11/2013
    I'm surprised this place is recommended so highly for Ethiopian food in the DMV area, because quite frankly I've had a lot better. We made reservations, arrived early and were seated, but, unfortunately our food didn't get to the table for another 40 minutes. The food was good, but it's been better spiced at Sheba (Rockville) and Etete (U Street). Also, the seating was incredibly awkward - I get the look they were trying to achieve, but it is not convenient sitting for over an hour on stools and bending to get to your food.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • I've been there many times
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 4/14/2013
    I've been there many times before and it's always the same - kind of nice 'same' not like boring same.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • The most important part, the
    FoodMatters2me
    Dined on 4/5/2013
    The most important part, the food was good but it got cold quickly and the staff was not attentive to see if you needed anything like more bread until after the food was too cold to continue eating. They were nice but perhaps it was too crowded to give each table the best service. I won't be going back on a Friday but I may try it during the week to see if they can be more attentive.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Ambient Ethiopian
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 3/11/2013
    This multi-tiered restaurant had very pleasant ambiance, decorated with traditional musical instruments and ottoman like chairs with pretty wood carvings had a nice, lounge look and feel to it. It would be easy to imagine how full the place must be on the weekends with large groups gathered around massive trays of injeera and chili-spiced meats. The food was solid, and the service very quick.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Good for Vegetarians
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 3/1/2013
    We really go for the food, especially the vegetarian sampler. The restaurant has charm but its a bit worn down. The chairs are in dire need of replacement. Service tends to be slow too. However, it's the "best" Ethiopian restaurant I've found in NW.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • This was a nice restaurant,
    RobinVIP
    Dined on 2/16/2013
    This was a nice restaurant, bustling with activity. We had a great seat by the window, our dish was really tasty (beef and vegetable sambussas and the vegetarian platter for two). It was plenty for us, and it felt very authentic. My friend was visiting from out of town, and it was just what we were looking for.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • The food was delicious! My
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 2/16/2013
    The food was delicious! My boyfriend and I tried the zilzil tibbs and the meskerem messob. Both were flavorful and fun to eat. I wasn't crazy about the honey wine, but you win some, you lose some. Be prepared to sit very close to the tables around you. Our server was a little hurried when we first sat down but eventually stopped rushing us to order and eat. Overall, Merkerem was a good dining experience, and I will definitely go there again!
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Used to be good, but no longer....
    OpenTable Diner Since 2006VIP
    Dined on 2/15/2013
    I use to come here all the time. My how things changed, but for the worst. Service was terrible. Nice, but I mind as well as served myself. Food was bland even though I asked for spicy. I would not go again, nor would I recommend to anyone.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Felt unwanted in an almost
    DrBarry
    Dined on 2/9/2013
    Felt unwanted in an almost dead restaurant. We were one of two tables on the second floor. 3 servers sat and talked to each other while our water, wine, and tea went unfilled. Weird place. Typical Ethio food
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • I really enjoyed the food
    Abtsofsteel
    Dined on 2/8/2013
    I really enjoyed the food at Meskerem. I got a massob combo platter so I could try a lot of different things, and it was a good choice. Some of the people I was with had never tried Ethiopian food, and they all seemed to like it. However, the seating for large groups is a bit awkward. We had 11, and were seated on chairs that were about a foot and a half off the group. It made eating a bit awkward, and I ended up spilling on myself because of it. Because the chairs have no backs, there is also nowhere to hang your coat or purse. Overall it was a very good experience, though, and the prices were very reasonable.
    Special Features:
    good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Meskerem is a wonderful place
    DebyVIP
    Dined on 2/7/2013
    Meskerem is a wonderful place to introduce someone to the delicious food of Ethiopia. The servers are knowledgable and very capable of suggesting a variety of dishes to satisfy all tastes within your group. I reccomend the upstairs dining area for a warmer and quieter experience.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • As always I am never disappointed
    Shahreen
    Dined on 2/1/2013
    As always I am never disappointed by this place. Took my friend there to have Ethiopian food for the very first time and she loved it. Thanks!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate