Ethiopia meets Scotland. Want to see how that works out? Then visit the fabulous Ben Ababa. Everything about this place is incredible from the location atop a spine of hills, to the Ethiopian modernist architecture and - of course - the delicious menu designed to be a fusion of Ethiopian and Scottish flavours. Anyone for an Ethiopian scotch egg?
Eating at Ben Ababa not only tastes good, it feels good. The team identify and train local staff, even assisting promising candidates to find good work elsewhere when they can’t be employed internally.
Popular online and rightly so, Unique has an uninspiring entrance but a reputation for providing a warm welcome along with tasty and affordably priced food. Located opposite the Asheton Hotel, it serves a good mix of international and Ethiopian dishes.
While its days as a place to stay may be over, Seven Olives is still serving good food and works well as a lunch spot. The grounds are lush and wooded, full of birdlife. The tukul style construction is homely and the menu is varied.
Alem Cooking Class Bar & Restaurant
Something different here: a charming little place where the owner and host, Alem conducts cooking classes, teaching visitors how to prepare local Ethiopian favourites before serving them the real thing. This is a lovely addition to Lalibela.
Torpedo House/ Askalech Tej Bet
A place with two names is always interesting and normally needs to be checked out - especially if a visit promises potent honey wine, song and general good times.
Torpedo opens early and closes late, meaning that any time is ‘tej’ time. It serves the best local honey wine in town, along with a wide range of beers, plus a limited selection of tasty dishes to soak it all up. Added to this, Torpedo is famous for the azmari music and dancing Amhara waitress. The fun normally begins about 8pm, so join the local crowd for a taste of Lalibela by night.