Places in San Jose to get Ethiopian food

From the fluffy injera bread, to the beautiful blend of spices in every dish — enjoy great Ethiopian cuisine at these four local spots.

A plate of curries and vegetables atop injera bread.

Wouldn’t you like to dig into this generous plate from Zeni?

Photo via @jiayue9

Look deep into San Jose’s diverse culinary scene and you’ll find the exquisite harmony of flavors + aromatic dishes of Ethiopian cuisine.

Whether it comes as a surprise or not, the great 408 boasts plenty of Ethiopian restaurants — with one of them being a San Jose staple for 20+ years.

If you’re unfamiliar with the fare, expect lots of spices, stews, and curries. These are traditionally served atop a large, spongy bread called injera — which is meant to be torn off and dipped. Ready to dig in? Let’s go.

🥘 Zeni, 1320 Saratoga Ave.
This establishment is one of the oldest Ethiopian restaurants in San Jose, and was opened by a married couple who emigrated from Ethiopia in the 1990s. Owner Zeni prepares a specialty dish from her hometown in central Ethiopia — kitfo (Ethiopian beef steak tartar) with mitmita (a hot spice blend).

🥘 Gojo, 1261 W. San Carlos St.
Enjoy generous portions — and fresh sambusas (fried pockets of meat or lentils) — at this family-owned eatery. If you have any dietary restrictions, don’t worry, you can request gluten-free injera bread and find comfort in the fact that most of its vegetable entrees are vegan.

Someone dips the injera into the curry.

Don’t be afraid to use your hands.

Photo via @sjfoodies

🥘 LeYou, 1100 N. First St.
Incorporating new Ethiopian cooking styles, LeYou offers a modern spin on the traditional. Most notably, you can order a pescetarian version of kitfo with tuna — which is one of its most popular dishes. The staff is extremely helpful to newcomers, so don’t be intimidated as they’ll be happy to explain their menu in detail.

🥘 Mudai, 503 W. San Carlos St.
Step into Mudai and prepare to be instantly transported with large-scale murals of Ethiopia + Eritrea that decorate its walls. We suggest ordering the honey wine, honey tea, or an Ethiopian beer to accompany the restaurant’s delicious veggie or meat combos.

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