Seattle >Food & Dining > Meskel Ethiopian Restaurant
2605 E Cherry St, Seattle, WA | Directions 9812247.607879 -122.298637
Neighborhoods: Central, Central Seattle
What I frequently cite as the best Ethiopian restaurant in Seattle to those interested in exploring the cuisine. Warm service, a homey environment, outdoor seating and good prices make it a hidden gem. Don't miss the kikil kitfo, grilled tibs, vegetarian platter or doro wat.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Unlike many Ethiopian restaurants, Meskel puts a focus on the ambience. Diners can choose between the sunny porch, the cozy first floor or the basement bar (where international soccer dominates the big screen TV), all of which are beautiful and allow for extremely pleasant dining. All three parts of the converted house serve the same excellent selection of Ethiopian dishes. As could be surmised from the enormous grill on the patio, Meskel puts special care into top-notch meat dishes—vegetarians will have options, but they may be better elsewhere. For a carnivore, though, this is paradise, between the stews like Doro Wat, and the grilled Tibs dishes. For the more daring eater there is the beef jerky like Quanta Firfir and the raw beef dish known as Kitfo.
The Best Ethiopian Restaurant in Seattle!! – My husband and I love eating here. The food at Meskel's is the best! Don't waste your money trying the other Ethiopian restaurants in that neighborhood- NONE will compare! The service is not terrible, they just aren't overly friendly. It's the cleanest Ethiopian restaurant that I've been to. I would suggest sitting on the patio in the summer time; their dining room gets too hot!
Gurage Kitfo = Love – Having been to Ethiopia myself, I've really come to love their cuisine for its unique blend of flavors and spices. Meskel captures this tradition quite nicely. You always know bad Injera what it's too sour, and I've never had sour Injera at Meskel. Their green chicken and yebeg tibs are amazing.
The best part of Meskel is the kitfo. They use a Gurage recipe that is really a cut above all others that I've tried (of course, being a typical American, I ask for the kitfo well done). The other great thing to order is their spice tea. They actually use Addis tea, which gives it a much better flavor than the Lipton I've had at other places.
The people are nice, the food is great, the atmosphere is pleasant. I highly recommend Meskel for the first-time diner.
Lonnnng Wait.. – Would have given 4 stars because the food was great. I brought a few of my friend and made reservations on a Saturday night and arrived on time only to be seated in a waiting area for 15 mins and we order food (3 dishes) that took them 1 hour to make. By then we were starving to death and pretty much anything tastes good in our mouths by that time. Very slow service maybe next time I'll order take out instead.
Most authentic – Compared to other Ethiopian restaurants in Seattle, Meskel has proved to be the most authentic to what I had in Ethiopia. Service was great and the food so good. I highly recommend this restaurant!
This is the spot for Ethiopian in Seattle – Always tasty, with a superb blend of flavors. If you eat meat order the green chicken. The tea is always a great pre-dinner treat. I get cold in the summer and hot in the winter. When I visit I feel like I'm warmly welcomed. They are popular so sometimes you have to wait a bit. The wait staff is totally responsive if you "flag" them to your table.
A couple of hints for the first timers so you don't appear culturally ignorant.
1. When you come in go ahead and find a seat. The friendly wait staff will know you are there.
2. The flat bread is called injera (pronounced in-jeera) and all food is served atop in a family style way. You eat your food by breaking off a piece of the injera and scooping your food with it.
3. Questions are cool. Just remember that you are asking about someone's home food and be respectful. I have seen plenty of Westerners having totally snobby and privileged stances that are totally inappropriate.
4. Ethiopian food is not Indian food. Maybe a quick online study of Ethiopia would help before you go. (I'm totally serious - I could tell you stories of how many things I have witnessed from ignorant folks eating there. Sometimes humorous and sometimes downright rude)
Avoid - much better options within a couple of blocks – We've been eating at other ethiopian restaurants in the city and went in here today because our favorite was closed. Terribly disappointing. The food was worse than mediocre, service poor and the prices unreasonable - considering the quality of the food, service and location.
Don't go here....there are other restaurants within a couple of blocks that are way better.
Extremly Dissapointing – I called in an order for pick up. A very rude waitress took my order, I went over the order with her again and again. I was told it would be 15 minutes. I arrived 20 mins later, I couldn't figure out who worked there no one greeted me. A young man came by after a few minutes and asked how could he help. I let him know I had an order for pick up. The food was not ready, it had not even been made. I waited for 23 minutes for the food to come out. My total was $37.62 for 2 orders of food. I asked what was so expensive, since I couldn't read the hand written reciept. That waitress acted as if she didn't understand my question. She told me to hold on and walk to the back, after waiting another 5 minutes I just left. The food was not worth the wait or the the money.
Worst experience by far! – After being recommended I invited my co-workers to Meskel's. We waited for 15 mins before anyone greeted us then we were sat. we waited another ten before they came to the able to take our order. since it was our first time we had a few questions. the waitress seemed very annoyed at us at one point she walked away in the middle of a question. When she finally returned she said "ready yet?" I wanted to leave at this point but i was convinced to stay. Although we had confirmed our order 3 times, it still came out wrong. When we informed the waitress she told us we ordered it wrong. we went back and forth for a bit. Then I asked if we could just have what we ordered. she said yes but you have to pay for it. along with the wrong order she had put in. This was by far the worst experience i have had. I will never return and would not recommend this place.
Great Food, Cheap Date – Meskel is great for eating in or carry out. I love the "veggie combo" which includes split peas, spicy lentils, salad, tomato fitfit (no clue if i'm spelling this correctly), potato stew and homemade cheese. It is great. Eat in and they have a small selection of African beer and wine and a few American beers also. If you haven't tried Ethiopian before, this is the place to go. If you have, and haven't been to Meskel, it's time to go!
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