Letena Ethiopian Restaurant

4.8
17 reviews
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$30 and under
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Ethiopian
Letena (pronounced as Lá.Tey.Nah), located in the heart of Columbia Heights, DC, is an Ethiopian Restaurant that offers authentic, premium quality dishes, with special attention to vegetarians, vegans, health conscious, and adventurous customers.
Our menu options cater to vegetarians, vegans and meat lovers alike at reasonable prices. Our dishes are freshly prepared from quality spices imported from Ethiopia and locally sourced naturally grown ingredients, raised and grown without pesticides or antibiotics.
We serve desserts, coffee and specialty drinks, 7-days a week. We source our coffee from Counter Culture coffee, a certified-organic roaster with two decades of history working on coffee quality and coffee farmer sustainability.
What 17 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.8based on recent ratings
4.8
food
4.3
service
4.7
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Moderate
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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BG
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This is a hidden gem in Columbia heights, it’s my second visit and I was blown away by the authenticity of the food , the creative cocktails that represented the best of both worlds, great ambience and service. The place is extremely clean, with gorgeous and tasteful decors. Loved our server Yamrot, will definitely recommend and be back!!!

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JV
1 review
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Excellent food, service and value. Friendly staff. When we first got there the noise level wasn't bad but when music was on and place was full, it was loud. This would be very attractive to us if it were quieter.

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MB
Washington DC
16 reviews
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have eaten at many Ethiopian restaurants, and on this evening, took visiting relatives from overseas who cannot get upscale Ethiopian food where they live. The service was excellent, the room more elegant than the typical Ethiopian restaurant in the area, and the food was delicious. Our server was patient explaining the menu to us, and the staff were very attentive (filling our waters when we ran out, supplying us with more injera when we needed), but not overly solicitous or in the way. We had a sampling of vegetarian and meat dishes to share, and had a feast for four for about $65 that included Ethiopian spice tea, and Ginger/lemon tea for the table. Since we live in NW, we have been looking for another close alternative to our usual Ethiopian favorites, and we will definitely revisit Letena very soon.

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KK
1 review
Dined on February 25, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I love the distinct flavors. All the better it is woman owned!

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S
Washington DC
4 reviews
Dined on February 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Great food and nice atmosphere. Service was a little slow, but not so bad that it took away from an otherwise very enjoyable experience. A great place to bring someone who hasn't had much experience with Ethiopian food before - it's cleaner and more accessible than the traditional DC mainstays.

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NS
Washington DC
26 reviews
Dined on February 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

Hands down the best Ethiopian food I've had in DC, and even the less traditional items (like avocado and broccoli salad) were DELICIOUS. Also, they had Armenian wine on the menu, which I highly recommend.

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OT
Washington DC
6 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

My wife and I are very fond of Ethiopian food. We took a group of people to Lethena on Saturday night and in the good loved the food, the wine and that atmosphere in the restaurant.

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OT
New Orleans
11 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It is hard to choose which was better at Letena, the food or the service. We were warmly greeted by various staff people who clearly love this restaurant and are so happy to offer you a chance to love it too. I had the vegetable sampler and my companion had the chef’s special beef dish. Each dish was prepared to order, delicious, and of course, the injera “bread” was perfect. Ethiopian cuisine is unique, but first timers should not be frightened away by the way that you eat with your hands or the unfamiliar dishes. The food can be mild or spicy (the menu clearly indicates which is which) and the flavors are warm and subtle. I try to enjoy Ethiopian food when I can, and Letena is authentic, cheerful, and by far my favorite!

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ND
Baltimore
3 reviews
Dined on June 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Got the vegetarian sampler and it was enough for three people. Really really good food. My friend got the Ethiopian honey wine and wasn't a fan. I would recommend asking for a taste before you get a whole glass.

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JS
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service here are still excellent. We came shortly after it opened, and have continued to come occasionally when we have the time. Best of its kind that we have found in the area. Hopefully it will continue to stay that way!

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NC
Washington DC
14 reviews
Dined on May 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

My food was very flavourful and the service was great!

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OT
Washington DC
5 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Amazing food and very friendly staff. Highly recommend this place!

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OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We have loved Letena since we first moved to DC (6 months ago) and thankfully were able to introduce our two friends to it as well! The service is excellent and the food is delicious. Try the Alicha Siga Wat and Mushroom Tibs!

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M
Washington DC
25 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 4

I was excited to try this place. The atmosphere is great but the food was just ok. The waitress seemed annoyed when we asked questions. She ended up being nice so maybe an off day. Not my favorite Ethiopian place but it’s not bad. We got the meat sampler. Maybe stick with tibs.

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JN
Chicago
16 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

What a gem! We were warmly greeted by the owner and seated in an out of the way area which was wonderful. The server recommended dishes as this was our first experience with Etheopian food. The recommendations were spot on. There was a birthday party that had live music and we were invited to partake in the festivities. What a great experience. When back in the DC area this will be our first stop!

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I
West Lothian
14 reviews
Dined on March 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

This was my second time at this restaurant and I like the food very much!
The service is a bit slow, though. This is where Letena could improve.
The servers are very nice but maybe not enough servers. However the servers are very nice!!!

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I
Detroit
2 reviews
Dined on February 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Letena made my Valentine’s Night so special! The food was delicious and quick, everyone on the staff was awesome, and the atmosphere was both chill and intimate. I highly recommend this place!

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