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Letena Ethiopian Restaurant, Washington, DC

Letena Ethiopian Restaurant

4.8
4.8
54 Reviews
$30 and under
Ethiopian

Letena is a farm-to-table Ethiopian restaurant serving dishes made with natural, premium ingredients. Located in the heart of Columbia Heights, Washington DC, Letena is a family-owned destination centered around authentic, quality Ethiopian food.
Owner Yamrot Ezineh opened Letena’s doors in October 2016. Yamrot and her team love welcoming new and old friends to enjoy Letena’s delicious, fresh food. Their goal is to make the unique experience of Ethiopian food approachable for everyone, from vegetarians and vegans to meat-lovers alike.
Letena’s original Ethiopian dishes have won accolades from various publications and review platforms including Food Network, Washingtonian, TripAdvisor, and Yelp.

Make a reservation

2 people

May 2022
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Additional information

  • Dining style

    Casual Elegant

  • Cuisines

    Ethiopian

  • Hours of operation

    Mon–Thu, Sun 12:00 pm–9:45 pm Fri, Sat 12:00 pm–11:00 pm

  • Phone number

    (202) 733-4830

  • Payment options

    AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

  • Dress code

    Casual Dress

  • Executive chef

    Abay Mengestu

  • Catering

    Letena caters for all occasions, please contact us on www.letenadc.com

  • Neighborhood

    Columbia Heights / Brightwood

  • Cross street

    Entrance on Park Road

  • Parking details

    Parking: $1.50/hr, Target/USDCA Shopping Center

  • Public transit

    Metro: Columbia Heights, one block

  • Additional

    Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

Menu

Extra Injera/Pita bread $1, Gluten free injera $2.75, Vegetarian Side $4, Meat Stew Side $4.50

Salads

$6.50

  • Mixed Salad**

    Freshly chopped tomatoes mixed with lettuce, cucumber, jalapeño and onion tossed with house dressing

    • Timatim Salad*

      Freshly diced tomatoes, jalapeno, yellow onions mixed with house dressing

      • Beet and Potato Salad**

        Beetroot, potatoes and red onions in spicy dressing

        • Letena Salad**

          Steamed broccoli, red onions and avocado mixed with house dressing

          Meat Stews

          $12.50

          • Doro Wot*

            Spiced chicken stew served with hard boiled eggs and/or chicken meat

            • Kay Siga Wot*

              Beef stew in a spicy berbere sauce

              • Alicha Siga Wot**

                Beef stew in mild curry sauce

                • Yetamese**

                  Lean beef ground and cooked with seasoned butter and mild onion sauce

                  Tibs and Kitfo

                  • Lega Tibs* **$15.50

                    Cubed tender beef, marinated and cooked with onion, tomatoes and jalapeño

                    • Chef's Signature Tibs (Avail. Tues – Sun)*$15.50

                      Tenderloin cubes cooked with red onions and chef's special zest

                      • Chicken Tibs* **$14.50

                        Chicken cubes sautéed with onion, ginger and garlic

                        • Asa Tibs* **$15.50

                          Sauteed tilapia fish tossed with jalapeno, red onion and rosemary.

                          • Kitfo* **$15.50

                            Extra lean freshly minced beef, seasoned with hot chili powder and spiced butter, served raw, medium rare or well done

                            • Tibs Firfir*$14.50

                              Marinated beef cubes cooked in spicy berbere sauce and tossed with shredded injera

                              Vegetarian

                              $11.50

                              • Shiro Wot*

                                Mildly seasoned ground chick pea stew

                                • Yemisir Wot*

                                  Red lentils stewed in a flavorful berbere sauce

                                  • Kik**

                                    Yellow split peas, simmered in a flavorful mild onion, garlic and ginger sauce

                                    • Gomen**

                                      Collard green cooked with seasoned oil and jalapeno pepper

                                      • Fasolia**

                                        String beans and carrots sautéed with caramelized onions

                                        • Carrot Wot

                                          Minced carrot stewed in a flavourful berbere sauce.

                                          • Cabbage**

                                            Sauteed cabbage, carrots and potatoes in caramelized onions.

                                            • Mushroom Tibs**

                                              Stir fried mushrooms and onions

                                              • Mushroom Dulet* **

                                                Finely chopped mushroom mixed with jalapeño, red onion, garlic and olive oil

                                                Combination

                                                • Tibs with Shiro$14.50

                                                  Comes with a vegetarian or salad side

                                                  • Yemesir wot with Tibs$14.50

                                                    Comes with a vegetarian or salad side

                                                    • Gomen with Tibs$14.50

                                                      Comes with a vegetarian or salad side

                                                      • Vegetable Sampler$17.50

                                                        Choice of 4 vegetarian dishes and choice of two salad side

                                                        • Meat Sampler$19.50

                                                          Doro Wot, Kay Siga Wot, Yetamese, Alicha Siga Wot, and choices of two vegetarian side/salad sides

                                                          Last updated: February 1, 2022

                                                          What 54 people are saying

                                                          Overall ratings and reviews

                                                          Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant

                                                          4.8
                                                          4.8 based on recent ratings
                                                          • 4.8Food
                                                          • 4.3Service
                                                          • 4.3Ambience
                                                          • 4.7Value

                                                          NoiseModerate

                                                          Sort by

                                                          Filters

                                                          1. B

                                                            Beth

                                                            Detroit

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on May 5, 2022

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience3

                                                            THE BEST! I love Ethiopian food and make a point of finding a new restaurant when we are in DC because my hometown does not have it. I can say this was my absolute favorite ever. We had the veggie and meat sampler plate for two and an order of the Beef tibs. WOW to taste, Wow to value.

                                                          2. LR

                                                            LaurenR

                                                            Baltimore

                                                            6 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            5.0

                                                            6 reviews

                                                            Dined on April 30, 2022

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            I would give this place 10 stars if I could!! Can’t wait to go back.

                                                          3. T

                                                            Travelingdiner

                                                            Minneapolis

                                                            39 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            5.0

                                                            39 reviews

                                                            Dined on April 21, 2022

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Nice variety of vegetable and meat dishes with a good Washington state Cab to go with the meal. Service was attentive and helpful.

                                                          4. AV

                                                            AnnabelleV

                                                            San Diego

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on March 8, 2022

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Wonderful and warm customer service! The food was divine - we loved every bite!

                                                          5. m

                                                            marialc

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            24 reviews

                                                            4.0

                                                            24 reviews

                                                            Dined on March 10, 2020

                                                            overall4food3service4ambience4

                                                            Tasty food, nice ambiance and friendly service. I will definitely be back!

                                                          6. TD

                                                            TDVegetarian

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            13 reviews

                                                            5.0

                                                            13 reviews

                                                            Dined on March 1, 2020

                                                            overall5food5service4ambience5

                                                            Letena is always delicious. This is my family’s go-to Ethiopian restaurant in DC

                                                          7. OT

                                                            OpenTable Diner

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            11 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            4.0

                                                            11 reviews

                                                            Dined on February 16, 2020

                                                            overall4food4service4ambience4

                                                            Great dinner with kids. Did the samplers and it was a lot of fun. Delicious!

                                                          8. AS

                                                            AllysonS

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on February 2, 2020

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            My young daughter and I went to dinner. The menu had a lot of different choices to satisfy us both. The spices seasoning the food were delicious. The waiter was welcoming and polite. We will be back to enjoy the food again.

                                                          9. R

                                                            Rich

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            9 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            5.0

                                                            9 reviews

                                                            Dined on January 27, 2020

                                                            overall5food5service4ambience5

                                                            Fresh, well-prepared Ethiopian classics. Veggie combo always a good idea, and the kitfo was high quality. The restaurant was in exemplary physical condition - super clean and comfortable.

                                                          10. LD

                                                            LilyD

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on January 25, 2020

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            This is a wonderful neighborhood spot. It's always a good choice anytime we dine there.

                                                          11. NS

                                                            NSY4

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            38 reviews

                                                            5.0

                                                            38 reviews

                                                            Dined on January 24, 2020

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Always one of my favorite places!

                                                          12. RF

                                                            RobertF

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            5 reviews

                                                            4.0

                                                            5 reviews

                                                            Dined on January 19, 2020

                                                            overall4food4service4ambience4

                                                            I love having this as a neighborhood place. The food is good and very reasonably priced.

                                                          13. OT

                                                            OpenTable Diner

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on December 31, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            The food was delicious, each dish had it's own unique flavor, and tea tea was amazing.

                                                          14. NS

                                                            NSY4

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            38 reviews

                                                            5.0

                                                            38 reviews

                                                            Dined on December 16, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            This place is always reliably delicious and creative. A slightly different take on traditional Ethiopian food. Highly recommend it!

                                                          15. TH

                                                            TomH

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            6 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            5.0

                                                            6 reviews

                                                            Dined on November 18, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Letena was an unexpected charmer. The ambience is wonderful. The food delicious. The prices reasonable. And the service great. Our waitress was very helpful and friendly, with a constant smile. I'd definitely go back again.

                                                          16. KJ

                                                            KaraJ

                                                            Chicago

                                                            7 reviews

                                                            5.0

                                                            7 reviews

                                                            Dined on November 10, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            I love this place! The meat and vegi platters are a great deal and delicious! Highly Recommend. You can order Gluten Free (Full Teff Flour) injera, which I always do. You have to ask for the traditional plating on the injera, otherwise the platters will come in small sides.

                                                          17. CL

                                                            CatLover2

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            3 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            5.0

                                                            3 reviews

                                                            Dined on November 9, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            We love good Ethiopian food and therefore love Letena! The food is delicious and definitely is less oily and greasy than other Ethiopian places (yet equally tasty if not better!). We got the kik wot ("infinity thumbs up" from my daughter), lamb tibs and the kitfo dullet (which was incredible). We also love their veggie sides, like the yemisir wot, cabbage and mushroom tibs. The food is also very reasonably priced because with each main dish, you get a side dish to to with it, so you can try a lot of different dishes. The restaurant is very comfortable and the service is super-friendly. It is also very kid-friendly. It is always our go-to place when we are in Columbia Heights or nearby. Tip--it is a bit confusing but the restaurant is actually located on Park Road versus 14th Street (close to the parking garage entrance)!

                                                          18. KK

                                                            KarenK

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            3 reviews

                                                            4.0

                                                            3 reviews

                                                            Dined on October 28, 2019

                                                            overall4food4service5ambience5

                                                            I love that the restaurant is woman owned!! I enjoy coming here with friends to share this cultural treat in food and in ambiance!

                                                          19. OT

                                                            OpenTable Diner

                                                            Philadelphia

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on September 17, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Amazing! Amazing service too!

                                                          20. OT

                                                            OpenTable Diner

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            72 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            3.0

                                                            72 reviews

                                                            Dined on September 15, 2019

                                                            overall3food3service3ambience3

                                                            The Yebeg Wot was good. The Ethiopian beer was tasty. The rest not so much.

                                                          21. DS

                                                            DelaneyS

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            3 reviews

                                                            4.0

                                                            3 reviews

                                                            Dined on August 16, 2019

                                                            overall4food5service3ambience4

                                                            The food was excellent and the coffee martini was percect

                                                          22. j

                                                            joblow

                                                            Los Angeles

                                                            32 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            5.0

                                                            32 reviews

                                                            Dined on August 6, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Excellent service. Food was delicious. Good selection of beer and wine

                                                          23. OT

                                                            OpenTable Diner

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on August 3, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Extraordinary in every way.

                                                          24. JR

                                                            JohnR

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            4 reviews

                                                            5.0

                                                            4 reviews

                                                            Dined on June 8, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Terrific food, helpful staff, and good value! Very enjoyable. Cold Ethiopian spiced tea was a new treat for me. Entrees were excellent.

                                                          25. A

                                                            Albarinho

                                                            New York Area

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on May 25, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service4ambience5

                                                            Amazing food for very decent price. I highly recommend the meat platter, as one can try different variety.

                                                          26. W

                                                            Winter

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on May 18, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            The food and service were amazing! Do not miss the opportunity to enjoy this restaurant!

                                                          27. NS

                                                            NSY4

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            38 reviews

                                                            5.0

                                                            38 reviews

                                                            Dined on May 18, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Always delicious and the service is great.

                                                          28. V

                                                            Vera

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on May 17, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience4

                                                            Dining at Letena is always great. The food is excellent and inexpensive; you get a lot of bang for your buck. Our server was very friendly and helpful. Great for large and small groups alike.

                                                          29. NS

                                                            NSY4

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            38 reviews

                                                            5.0

                                                            38 reviews

                                                            Dined on May 8, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service4ambience5

                                                            Second time here and the food was just as delicious as I remembered. Highly recommend!

                                                          30. AW

                                                            AngelaW

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            14 reviews

                                                            5.0

                                                            14 reviews

                                                            Dined on May 6, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            The staff delivered great customer service! This was my first time there and the food was delicious. I had the vegetable sample and enjoyed every bite. I will definitely go back.

                                                          31. C

                                                            Claire

                                                            1 review

                                                            4.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on May 3, 2019

                                                            overall4food4service4ambience5

                                                            Really enjoyed this restaurant! Easy to share, yummy food, nice vibes. Would go back again.

                                                          32. OT

                                                            OpenTable Diner

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on April 24, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            The food is beyond amazing as is the service. I cannot recommend this enough as my new go-to Ethiopian restaurant in DC.

                                                          33. LT

                                                            LynT

                                                            New York Area

                                                            16 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            5.0

                                                            16 reviews

                                                            Dined on April 23, 2019

                                                            overall5food4service5ambience5

                                                            Should have written this a few months ago when a friend and myself visited. Really lovely experience. Food delicious. Lovely, friendly staff. I would recommend this restaurant to try out for authentic Ethiopian cuisine.

                                                          34. e

                                                            epicurian1

                                                            New York Area

                                                            10 reviews

                                                            5.0

                                                            10 reviews

                                                            Dined on April 13, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Letena was a lovely surprise. I’ve been eating Ethiopian food for years and it was wonderful to dine at Letena - not only is the food delicious, but the ambiance and service are fantastic too. The restaurant is stylish and elegant. The injera was very good, I kept wanting more. We had the meat sampler and chef’s special tibs - everything was flavorful and tasty. We were visiting from NY and I wish we had an Ethiopian restaurant like Letena in the city.

                                                          35. BJ

                                                            BethJ

                                                            Fort Lauderdale

                                                            5 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            3.0

                                                            5 reviews

                                                            Dined on April 8, 2019

                                                            overall3food3service2ambience4

                                                            It was lovely inside and the food was fine. While the waiter was friendly and helpful in ordering, our meals were not all served at the same time and our drinks didn’t make it to the table until we were nearly done eating. They seem a bit disorganized.

                                                          36. M

                                                            Madie

                                                            1 review

                                                            2.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on March 31, 2019

                                                            overall2food1service4ambience5

                                                            Dear Letena, The setting is fabulous. You have A+ for the decorations and design. Unfortunately, our food had very little taste. It was well cooked but had almost no flavor. PLEASE make the food as if all your customers were Ethiopians. DO NOT DILUTE IT. Though it is the fanciest place in town, we will not come back if you do not serve authentic flavoring. We have been in small Ethiopian restaurants where the food was more authentic. My husband worked in Ethiopia and our family has visited your beautiful country. We have eaten there some of the most delicious food in the world. So we are not Ethiopians but we know the difference. Kind regards, Madie

                                                            Letena Ethiopian RestaurantResponded on April 11, 2019

                                                            Hello Madie, We are sorry you did not enjoy your food experience at Letena. We are committed to offering our customers healthy Ethiopian dishes without compromising quality and authenticity. We use high quality ingredients (including imported spices) and fresh and natural produce. We do not use flavor enhancer chemicals. We are grateful to all our customers (including Ethiopians) who appreciate the authenticity of our offerings. A more specific comment would have been more helpful.

                                                          37. P

                                                            Peggy64

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            12 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            5.0

                                                            12 reviews

                                                            Dined on March 26, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            Letena lived up to its good ratings! The food was delicious, and my vegetarian companion in particular appreciated the wide range of choices. Service was friendly and attentive from the moment we were warmly welcomed when we first walked in. The decor was attractive and authentic. It was also a rare pleasure to be able to hear ourselves talk - the acoustics were great. The location is also handy, just a block from the metro.

                                                          38. BG

                                                            BellG

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            1 review

                                                            5.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on March 16, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            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!!!

                                                          39. JV

                                                            JosieV

                                                            1 review

                                                            4.0

                                                            1 review

                                                            Dined on March 15, 2019

                                                            overall4food4service4ambience4

                                                            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.

                                                          40. MB

                                                            MayaB

                                                            Washington DC

                                                            19 reviews

                                                            vip
                                                            5.0

                                                            19 reviews

                                                            Dined on March 2, 2019

                                                            overall5food5service5ambience5

                                                            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.

                                                          FAQs

                                                          You can order delivery directly from Letena Ethiopian Restaurant using the Order Online button. Letena Ethiopian Restaurant also offers delivery in partnership with Postmates. Letena Ethiopian Restaurant also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (202) 733-4830.

                                                          Letena Ethiopian Restaurant is rated 4.8 stars by 54 OpenTable diners.

                                                          Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable.

                                                          Make a reservation

                                                          2 people

                                                          May 2022
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                                                          9:00 PM


                                                          Google Map for Letena Ethiopian Restaurant

                                                          3100 14th St NW Washington, DC 20010

                                                          Additional information

                                                          • Cross street

                                                            Entrance on Park Road

                                                          • Neighborhood

                                                            Columbia Heights / Brightwood

                                                          • Hours of operation

                                                            Mon–Thu, Sun 12:00 pm–9:45 pm Fri, Sat 12:00 pm–11:00 pm

                                                          • Cuisines

                                                            Ethiopian

                                                          • Dining style

                                                            Casual Elegant

                                                          • Dress code

                                                            Casual Dress

                                                          • Parking details

                                                            Parking: $1.50/hr, Target/USDCA Shopping Center

                                                          • Public transit

                                                            Metro: Columbia Heights, one block

                                                          • Payment options

                                                            AMEX, MasterCard, Visa

                                                          • Executive chef

                                                            Abay Mengestu

                                                          • Additional

                                                            Bar/Lounge, Beer, BYO Wine, Cocktails, Corkage Fee, Delivery, Full Bar, Gender Neutral Restroom, Happy Hour, High Tea, Late Night, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Takeout, Wheelchair Access, Wine

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