Meaza Ethiopian Cuisine

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52 Reviews
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$30 and under
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Ethiopian

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Good Vegetarian Options
Ethiopian owner Meaza Zemedu, whose Meaza Restaurant, Cafe and Gourmet Grocery Store have been featured in such press outlets as the Washingtonian and the Washington Post, was born of humble roots. Meaza Zemedu started her business by supplying local Ethiopian stores with her home-baked injera bread, a crepelike staple of Ethiopian cuisine.

Demand for the tangy bread grew, allowing her to open her majestic restaurant, which welcomes guests to dine on traditional Ethiopian fare. Northern Virginia Magazine heaped praise upon the menu, including the doro wat stew—the national dish of Ethiopia—which includes chicken, red pepper, garlic, and hard-boiled eggs. Many of Meaza’s dishes are flavored with purified, spiced Ethiopian butter, from the ye beg kikil—lamb stew in spicy sauce—to the kifto—ground beef traditionally served raw or rare and mixed with cardamom and a mitmita spice blend.
What 52 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.0based on recent ratings
4.3
food
3.5
service
3.8
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Quiet
80% of people would recommend it to a friend
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S
New England
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 1food 1service 2ambience 2

Had a reservation, but they seemed surprised when our group of eight came in. We waited for water, then after ordering we waited about 45 minutes for food (at first we thought only one person was serving the whole dining room, but I guess there were a couple more). The food was just OK—not as well spices as other Ethiopian restaurants I’ve been to (I seriously make a better chicken door wat at home). My husbands lamb cubes were chewy. Had to wait and wait for the bill—one of us finally went up to the bar. Overall just not worth it. Did all of the five-star reviewers go to the same place?

BB
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on September 7, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Very good value and yummy Ethiopian food! The restaurant probably needs a paint job, but was crowded with a mix of Ethiopian and non customers.

S
Washington DC
15 reviews
Dined on August 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was amazing! The waitress was very helpful in recommending different dishes and the chef was more than accommodating when we needed to make a few changes. Very reasonable prices, too. Can't wait to go back!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Been eating Ethiopian food since I lived there in 1971, and Meaza is no doubt a standout for quality in the DMV (District, Maryland, and Northern Virginia).

I
Philadelphia
45 reviews
Dined on June 22, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Food is good. We had lamb stew. Would have loved to try Ethiopian dessert.

CC
Washington DC
105 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

Our waitress was very slow and not very welcoming. She was no the owner who is very friendly and nice. The food was good and delicious but service is lacking a bit. It was slow for a Tuesday and we had to wait a while before being greeted, or to receive our menus. I think they need to staff up a bit to improve the experience. Furniture is dated as well but not a big deal. Bathroom seems to be a bit neglected and needs an upgrade.

EC
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 2ambience 3

It's been several years since we went to Meaza and decided to take our kids (1 and 4). The first thing that I noticed was that the furniture (seats and tables) were looking worn, particularly the fabric on the chairs. We were able to order quickly, but were only given two waters. While it's understandable not to give glassware to children, our kids had to share our glasses with us. This wasn't a big deal until we ran through our first glasses of water quickly and didn't see our waitress again. The food was spicy, so we had to pause eating because we had no water to drink. We also ran out of injera (bread), so we had difficulty eating.

We finally flagged down another waitress, who brought us refills and thankfully left a pitcher of water to refill ourselves. She also brought us more bread.

The food was quite good, but service seems to have decreased.

T
Washington DC
31 reviews
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Food was very, very good!

DN
1 review
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 3ambience 3

I would recommend this restaurant to a friend only if he or she has time to wait. My husband and I waited for one hour with the food. It was hard to wait I’ll track down the waitress. They were too busy

R
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on March 21, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food. Went for lunch on a Thursday with friends who had never had Ethiopan food before. We had the special vegetarian platter with kitfo and beef tenderloin (special of the day recommended by the server; it was fantastic) added. For some reason service was quite slow, unlike when I've been there for dinner. We were not in a hurry so it didn't matter much; just wanted my friends to get the best impression. One of the things I love about Meaza is the quiet. If you want to be able to have a conversation over great food, Meaza's a great place.

VA
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on March 12, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

This restaurant was recommended to me by an Ethiopian friend who is very familiar with places in Northern Virginia. We were not disappointed!

MT
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was good and plentiful. Prices were very reasonable and the servers were very attentive and helpful.

R
Washington DC
33 reviews
Dined on February 22, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

The spicy items had a lot of flavor with the “right” amount of heat. The mild items need more herbs or spices that don’t add heat; they were bland. The decor needs an upgrade but the service was respectful without being too friendly.

JL
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on January 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

First time had Ethiopian food and it was really good. My only issue is that service was slow. That said, we would still go back.

R
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on January 11, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Had not had Ethiopian food in ages and thought I would drag my husband and son out for some. Food was fantastic. Atmosphere was very nice: quiet, easy to have conversation.

HT
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on December 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Reunion with a longtime friend!

TX
Washington DC
48 reviews
Dined on December 5, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 3ambience 3

We went for the new lunch buffet, a bargain at $10. Options were limited, but I expect that for $10.

CN
Washington DC
40 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great veggie options

HR
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great choice for those of us who enjoy Ethiopian food. service can be a little slow sometimes but the food makes up the slowness

OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 3

Awful service. We had an open table reservation. They did not seem to care
We sat down. They brought silverware but no napkins. We waited an hour for food only to be told 1) that they could not do one of the dishes. We walked out

OT
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

The food was very good. We had the special vegetable combo platter along with tibs and kitfu. As always, the service staff was friendly and attentive. Finally, the very good food was an excellent value with respect to the price.

d
Washington DC
20 reviews
Dined on August 4, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

Over 45 minutes from order to arrival of food. Had to request water refill, waitress avoided table due to delay.

J
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

Family oriented food, decor and service, but with tired ambitions to be something better. Not a standout for standard fare, but a great, consistent value.

AA
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on July 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 4

Great time sitting outside with the local crowd. Nobody was in a hurry, including us, which was good when the food came - tons of it. The waitress helped us make sense of the menu and picked a sampling of dishes. Incredible food.

VA
Washington DC
3 reviews
Dined on June 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

This is my second visit to Meaza, which is a shame. I should be a regular. It is friendly, has great service, and the food is authentically superior. The only issue is that the place looks a bit worn. Some fresh paint and new linens would go a long way. But nevermind, the food is spectacular, and the prices are incredibly reasonable, even for the beer from Ethiopia.

GK
Washington DC
7 reviews
Dined on May 13, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 1ambience 2

I just went for my 4th time on Mother's Day. Every other time, the service was poor, but the food was pretty good (not downtown DC good, but good and close). This time, however, everything was bad. It took 40 minutes (no exaggeration) to get a check for two people (the table next to me was so frustrated that they were yelling at servers about it). The food was served half cold (yes, actually cold). I ordered the special vegetarian platter because I wanted the additional dishes that the "Special" version afforded (and it cost more money). When they brought the dish, it was missing (the potatoes and carrots and salad). When I asked they said that they were busy and ran out. So I did not have the option to switch to something else, or anything. They just brought me a lesser dish with half cold food. No thanks. Never again.

B
Washington DC
19 reviews
Dined on April 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Food was fantastic.

AK
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

really good food and ambiance. friendly staff. You get good value for the Price too.

OT
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on February 24, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Great food

CC
Washington DC
105 reviews
Dined on January 10, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 2

The food is great! Always predictable and delicious. Good portion sizes for your money. The dining chairs need a serious upgrade though as there are unsightly stains all over the cushions. There was just another couple there besides us so the place was pretty empty on a weeknight compared to weekend night. The women’s room had a bathroom that has been “out of order” for months. They really should get that fixed as it speaks volumes about the lack of care for the restaurant and its patrons. In addition, it’s always so cold in there.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 22, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

really enjoyed the food here. Injera was perfect, special kitfo was excellent. The injera for the table came with a spice, hot sauce and some crumbly cheese too. Would definitely go back.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on November 4, 2017
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 2

After reading reviews we expected the food to be great. The special veggie combo was fine but the beef awaze ribs were so tough we couldn’t eat them. We told the waitstaff but she brushed it off. Overall not worth a second trip.

TX
Washington DC
48 reviews
Dined on September 27, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

A reliably good Ethiopian restaurant. Well priced. We highly recommend the asa dullet (spicy snapper), veggie combo, and beef tibs.

OT
Milwaukee
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We ate here on a Thursday around 6:30 and got seated right away. The service was great and the server offered several good suggestions. We had the sambussa appetizer, which was crispy and very tasty. We had the Meaza beef special, lamb and vegetarian combo, which all came on a very large dish. It looked great and the food was delicious. I'd go back!

OT
Baltimore
2 reviews
Dined on May 14, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Nice Mother's Day dinner after my sons soccer game. Used a groupon. Well worth it, even w/o the discount.

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 13, 2017
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was our second visit. A great table was waiting for us when we arrived. On each occasion service was friendly but unobtrusive and the manager checked in first to assist with our order and then to make sure we had what we needed. I look forward to our next dinner at Meaza Ethiopian Cuisine.

OT
London
26 reviews
Dined on May 12, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Great food. Good service. Real value.

The "local" lager is also very drinkable.

MG
Washington DC
95 reviews
Dined on April 29, 2017
Overall 4food 5service 2ambience 3

We went to Meaza at the recommendation of the other couple in my party. The restaurant is definitely a family place, and many of the customers are ethnic (I assume Ethiopian). We ordered four entrees -- a vegetarian dish, a seafood dish, a beef dish, and a lamb dish -- along with a salad. I assume anyone going to an Ethiopian restaurant knows you eat family style (i.e., everything piled on a large plate lined with injera [a soft spongy bread] and without utensils, using the bread to pick up a mouthful of food at a time. (If you don't know what you're eating or how to eat it, you may want to ask a server.)

Speaking of servers and service, that's my only real complaint with this restaurant. Even though we were there early (6:00 PM on a Saturday evening), it took a long time for us to be served (30+ minutes from placing the order to delivery of food), and the restaurant wasn't busy when we placed our order. (It filled up as we sat there.) Also, no one came by to find out if I wanted another drink. And we had to track down our server to get our check.

I recommend Maeza for the quality of their food. But make sure you don't have any place you want to go after dinner.

DM
Washington DC
8 reviews
Dined on March 18, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

I have eaten here many times and love it! Be prepared for communal no-utensils dining and sometimes spicy food. Most times I've been there the restaurant was filled with ethnic Ethiopean customers, many of them large families - a sure sign of authentic cuisine. Saturday evenings can be crowded, so reservations are in order. This is not a fancy restaurant; the dress is casual and the food is delicious, different, and fun (especially for first timers.) Recommended!

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 4, 2017
Overall 4food 4service 2ambience 4

The vegetarian & fish combo was delicious. I also tried the lamb, it was a bit on the dry side but the seasoning was good. The only negative was that our server rushed us while we were still looking at the menu and clearly not ready to order. I also ordered honey wine, but that never got to the table. Overall, the food was good but the service felt like a fast food restaurant.

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