While Melbourne’s current atmospheric climate is just flat out hot. On a possibly unrelated note, we’ve decided to round up all of our favourite African restaurants in and around Melbourne so you can get out there and have a carefree meal with some damn good grub at one (or all) of these superb local businesses.
So, here are Melbourne’s best African restaurants.
The Abyssinian Restaurant
Described as ‘slow-food from the horn of Africa’, this Ethiopian restaurant has been serving up nothing but five star reviews for years. If you’re an African cuisine virgin, a great way to explore all the new tastes and flavours is with one of their platters (there’s a vego and non-vego option!). The serving sizes are YUGE, the venue is gawj, and the service is so warm and friendly that you will have cut ties with your local KFC before the night is through.
Little Africa Restaurant
After a restaurant with even more five-star reviews being dished up in the kitchen? Swing over to little ol’ North Melbourne where you’ll find Little Africa. This gem is a cozy little number dishing up authentic African flavours every day of the week (except Monday). It’s hella cosy, but what it lacks in space it makes up for is phenomenal service and delicious food. If you like something a little spicy, make sure you try the dorho zighini.
African Taste Cafe
African Taste Cafe in Seddon is another must-visit for African food enthusiasts and cuisine virgins alike. Dishing up delicious Ethiopian food in the west, sometimes less traditionally (try the butter gnocchi), you can be assured that the portions are massive, the service is Sunny (literally, that’s the waiter’s name) and the atmosphere is great. Put it on your list.
Savanna African Restaurant & Cafe
Immerse yourself in the full African experience at Savanna African Restaurant & Cafe in Collingwood. This lesser-known Ethiopian institution is known for its top-notch vegan options and a stellar range of Ethiopian beer and wine. Vegetarians will lose their MINDS at the array of delicious options they have, but EVERYONE will have their socks knocked off by the great service and big servings. Definitely one to check out ASAP.
If you’re looking for a venue that’s packed full of mouth-watering plates and African vibes, you can’t go wrong with CBD restaurant—polēpolē. First appearing on the Melbourne food scene in 2015 alongside its sister safari bar, Glamp—polēpolē specialises in African style food and drinks, largely thanks to the venue’s head chef, Michael Stolley, who has travelled the world, spending time in South African and Macau, before settling in Melbourne. Stolley’s recent reworking of the polēpolē menu has resulted in some drool-worthy new dishes that cater to vegos and gluten-intolerant diners, as well as traditional African game meats and slow-cooked ribs.
New Somali Kitchen
New Somali Kitchen on Racecourse Road is owned and run by Somali-Australian, Abdo (otherwise known as Sean), who’s spent as much of his life in Australia as he has in Africa. Originally starting the restaurant to simply feed the growing Somali community in Melbourne, the place has since become a heaving staple on the Flemington strip, mainly due to some stoked locals who’ve gone bananas over the delicious menu.
Cafe Lalibela in Footscray is another much-loved Ethiopian restaurant in the west. It’s been dishing up consistently delicious dishes for over a decade now and has more than earned its stripes on the Melbourne food scene. We recommend the pan-fried chicken as well as trying one of their imported beers.
Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant
Based on cuisine from the far northern region of Tigray, the delicious meat, vego and vegan dishes at Saba’s Ethiopian Restaurant will literally blow your mind (so will their famous Injera bread), plus the entire menu is gluten-free. PLUS they can cater for fructose intolerance if you give them 24 hours notice. But, more about the menu - definitely get your hands on some of their lamb and the doro wat.
This culturally-rich Ethiopian hotspot offers a spicy and diverse menu packed with goodies. Most meals are served on communal platters which means it’s perfect for a family night out or dinner with your mates. A dish to die for is the carnivore platter with will blow you away with all its delicious curries and soft bread.
Konjo Ethiopian Restaurant & Craft
Collingwood & Footscray
Set in two equally delicious locations - Footscray and Collingwood - there’s almost no excuse not to let Konjo Ethiopian Restaurant & Craft turn your hard earned dollars into and easy to devour meal. Their homely atmosphere makes sharing one of their massive communal platters even more fun, plus their vegetarian platter is definitely one to phone home about, especially at such a reasonable price.
In the CBD and looking for a good feed? Here are the best restaurants in Melbourne's CBD.
Image credit: polēpolē | Griffin Simm