199 E 3rd St, New York, NY | Directions 1000940.722927 -73.983228
Neighborhoods: East Village, Downtown, Alphabet City
Cute Ethiopian Restaurant – I haven't had any Ethiopian food in NYC and this is my first time although I had them in DC several times.
Meskel is a tiny and kind of shabby restaurant on E. 3rd st. The service however, was very friendly and attentive. We tried several meat with their bread and they were all pretty good. The marinate was savory and bread was just abundant and fluffy.
The only complaint I have is one of the meat was kind of dry compared to the ones I had in DC.
Be Careful what you Read! – Just wanted to note to everyone this restaurant is no longer B.Y.O.B. The place has had a liquor lisence for the last two years! When I went with a friend and popped open some bottles, the waitress told us they would charge us for them. Luckily, the manager was reasonable enough to listen to our explanation about wrong information given on this website. We ended up ordering another platter to smooth things over, but just be aware not to bring your own. Instead, they offer a variety of wines and beer now.
Excellent food – I've been here quite a few times and have never been disappointed. The food here is beautifully seasoned and delicious (I highly recommend the vegetarian combination, though meat eaters will easily find things on the menu to make them happy). When it's not too crowded, the softly-lit dining room is very pleasant. I agree that the staff sometimes seem overworked, but they have always been polite and I have never been left wanting anything. The only drawback I can think of is that the dining room is rather small, and when the weather turns cold the restaurant gets very cramped on busy nights with hungry, waiting customers hovering over seated customers and ogling their food--not very conducive to a relaxing meal. On the whole though, Meskel is not fancy, but is a great casual restaurant for a date or a dinner with a small group of friends. It's an excellent place to take someone who loves Ethiopian cuisine, or a wonderful place to introduce someone to it for the first time.
Favorite Ethiopian – Truly believe this to be one of the best Ethiopian restaurants in Manhattan. Always fresh and delicious, with an endearing space. Very local. It's my Sunday favorite. I always get the veggie platter, so I cannot speak for the meat dishes. Also, the sauce that comes with the samosas is amazing.
Unique food in a small setting – Came with a group of five, which is a bad idea because the place is teeny tiny. Service was ok ... there is one server for the entire place, which seats about 30 people. The food was great .... fun and innovative, and we relished eating with our hands. The chicken was ok but the beef was awesome. Overall the food was very good, but the setting is less than desirable. If I lived in the neighborhood, I would consider it the perfect place for takeout.
Finger-friendly Ethiopian food at easy-on-the-pocket prices. – In Short
The homey yet exotic offerings--available at bargain prices--cause artsy locals to crowd inside this modest Ethiopian eatery. Eating with your hands is the norm, and diners seem to delight in scooping up dishes with the thin, spongy injera bread that doubles as a plate. Chopped beef braised in red pepper, boneless fish with garlic, onions and tomatoes, and a veggie variety spanning chick peas to collard greens all come seasoned with African elan.
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