Where to Eat in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region: The Best Restaurants and Bars

August 17, 2017 Diedre Savory

Discover the best restaurant in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, Ethiopia including Besha Gojo Restaurant, Dolce Vita, Fikir Coffee, Bekele Mola Restaurant, Kenu's Place, Hi Life, Soma Restaurant, JEBM Restaurant, Lewi Cafe, Venezia Italian Restaurant
Things to do in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region

1. Besha Gojo Restaurant

Jinka, Opposite Hospital, Jinka, Ethiopia Seating, Reservations African, International, Ethiopian Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner +251 91 682 9373
Excellent
13%
Good
61%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
10%
Terrible
6%
Overall Ratings

3.5 based on 29 reviews

Besha Gojo Restaurant

Contact details are as follows: +251 (0) 467750568, +251 (0) 921328271. The restaurant is well known among tour agents in Ethiopia. Its clean, friendly and the staff speak English. I visited the restaurant many times during my stay in Ethiopia. I have many images taken in January/February 2011. However, they do not have a website.

Reviewed By luka99 - Shropshire,UK

In the context of where we are, Jinka, this is very good. Nice tables and chairs in covered outside area with small hand washing basin behind a screen. The loo, through restaurant, is not good! Waiters friendly though we had our guide and driver with us which always helps. We had two lunches here and it was fairly full with other travellers. For both lunches we had the chicken curry though I had ordered the stir fry both were the same! It was good with rice, carrots, green chillies and moringa leaves. Also Harar Beer. Our driver who only eats injera and tibs said it was very good. All good value. Nice atmosphere and a small restaurant.
Look out for the Guide to the Omo Valley Tribes on sale here. It is written by a local man from Jinka. Very good value at 150Birr and extremely useful.
There are a lot of road works going on in Jinka at the moment which makes the town extremely dusty and several main roads are closed. In addition problems with the water supply.

2. Dolce Vita

No Names, Awasa, Ethiopia Reservations, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Waitstaff, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible Italian, Pizza, European Lunch, Dinner +251 91 143 3661
Excellent
21%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
21%
Poor
4%
Terrible
4%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 47 reviews

Dolce Vita

Reviewed By Ollerbarrow - Altrincham, United Kingdom

We were taken to this Italian/Ethiopean restaurant by some guests who clearly enjoyed its pretence at Italian cuisine. We did have some difficulty locating it as it had moved its location, but the Tuk-Tuk drivers knew were it was! It wasn’t what we were expecting from an Italian restaurant, as it offered many different cuisines; these did, however, include pizza, which our guests were very happy about. It was very cheap at around £6/head including drinks.

3. Fikir Coffee

Awassa, Awasa, Ethiopia African, Ethiopian
Excellent
45%
Good
44%
Satisfactory
11%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 9 reviews

Fikir Coffee

Reviewed By Tanja S - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

We had excellent coffee in Fikir Coffee which is a local Ethiopian Restaurant/cafe in Awassa. Coffee is served in little clay pots. In our case, just right portion for the 3 of us! There are also bigger and smaller coffee pots, depending on number of clients drinking coffee together. The little incense burner on our table enhanced the lovely aroma of freshly grounded coffee which was poured in front of us! The restaurant is lovely decorated, with local utensils and fabrics. Super coffee, personal service, nice setting. What more do you want? Go and enjoy! Warmly recommended.

4. Bekele Mola Restaurant

Arba Minch Road, Sodo, Ethiopia 046 551 2382-6
Excellent
50%
Good
0%
Satisfactory
50%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 2 reviews

Bekele Mola Restaurant

Reviewed By luka99 - Shropshire,UK

My ratings are in the context of Ethiopia and I have given it a general Average because of the state of the lavatories. I feel that the founder of this hotel group would be horrified at how run down this place is now. I don't think they are taking hotel bookings anymore [checking their website] however, it is a popular stopping place for lunch for many tour companies. We stopped here for lunch on 10th and then 18th February. You can sit outside in front of the hotel by the car park on the Terrace & there is a garden at the back of the hotel. Table cloth arrived not too clean. We had Spaghetti with tomato sauce both visits, a St. George's beer each and good coffee afterwards. I didn't trust the meat sauce as doubtful about cleanliness in the kitchen given there was no running water.
The loos however were not good. Door doesn't shut, no flush as no water, smelt terrible, no seat and like many in Ethiopia no paper. No running water to wash hands but a basin outside with a bucket and jug and, surprise, a soap dispenser with soap in.
However, the waiters were nice and the food was really quite good by Ethiopian standards. Our driver said his injera and tibs were good and our guide had Spaghetti with vegetable sauce.

5. Kenu's Place

Zefine Rd. 215, Zefine, Ethiopia Waitstaff African, Ethiopian Breakfast, Lunch +251 94 384 6823
Excellent
91%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 11 reviews

Kenu's Place

Reviewed By Jimmy L - Rochester, New York

I just wanted to say that Kenu (or Tarikwa) serves the best Ful I've had in Ethiopia. She is always ready to serve her customers as her sister Melkam prepares the food in the back. At lunch they serve a very nice bayonet. Also, the chai and buna are both prepared all day, whenever you need some caffeine. I would recommend this restaurant to any local person or traveler.

6. Hi Life

Ground Floor, Lake View Hotel, Awasa, Ethiopia
Excellent
18%
Good
55%
Satisfactory
27%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 11 reviews

Hi Life

Reviewed By Richard C - Cornwall

We did not stay at the hotel - which seemed very good - but we ate a number of times at Hi Life.
The restaurant is a stones throw from the lake side and is an ideal spot for an evening or lunch time drink and meal. It is excellent value for money, the food is generous and whilst you may not all be served at the same time the overall service is delightful.
Go for a stroll alongside the lake, take a boat trip and then relax in the restaurant afterwards. Its lovely.

7. Soma Restaurant

Adiros Arba Minch, Arba Minch, Ethiopia +251 92 273 7712
Excellent
25%
Good
50%
Satisfactory
25%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 4 reviews

Soma Restaurant

Reviewed By ffrige - Shanghai

The grilled tilapia is excellent, but the place in general is not very clean and we were not comfortable eating all the raw vegetables they served.

8. JEBM Restaurant

Konso Road 123, Arba Minch, Ethiopia Waitstaff Seafood 468991585
Excellent
91%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 11 reviews

JEBM Restaurant

Reviewed By Graham B - Vancouver, Canada

This restaurant was highly recommended by our guide from Paradise Resort. We had lunch for a family 5 which included whole grilled tilapia with vegetables for the adults and ethiopian perch and chips for the kids. The food was incredible and the service was super friendly. Dinner for 5 including 2 pops, 1 beer and a bottle of wine was only 450b.

9. Lewi Cafe

Main Road 74 | Hawassa, Awasa, Ethiopia American, African, European, Ethiopian
Excellent
0%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
40%
Terrible
20%
Overall Ratings

2.5 based on 5 reviews

Lewi Cafe

Reviewed By MarcusHolmgren - Kampala, Uganda

Lewi seems to own half the hotel and cafe business of Awasa...
Quite up and down in terms of what they have and the quality...
Service is ok and location is good.
To be on the safe side, go for the Ethiopian dishes if that strikes your fancy. Otherwise, pizzas are ok as well.

10. Venezia Italian Restaurant

Area, Hayik Dar Sub City: Hawassa 05 | Infront of Oasis International Hotel, Awasa 1939, Ethiopia Italian, African, Southwestern, European, Central European, South American, Ethiopian Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Drinks HK$39 - HK$785 +251 94 650 9290
Excellent
40%
Good
40%
Satisfactory
20%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4 based on 10 reviews

Venezia Italian Restaurant

Italian restaurant in Hawassa: Ethiopia we serve Western and Ethiopian Dishes. We are located in the most renowned recreation area in Hawassa where you can enjoy Lake Hawassa and the nearby places and come to us to have great Italian Dishes with Imported from Italy ingredients. Our meals are prepared by Ethiopian and Italian owners.

Reviewed By Ollerbarrow - Altrincham, United Kingdom

Surprisingly, there is an Italian restaurant on the road to the Hawassa Fish Market, just over from the Oasis International Hotel, with an owner who certainly some European heritage. The restaurant is very clean and the food is very good, albeit somewhat more expensive than many surrounding venues. If you want a pretty authentic Italian meal then you can expect one here. Around £20 a head with a bottle of wine between 3, and water.

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