Best Ethiopian

Cafe Colucci

If you’re learning about a new cuisine at the same time you’re discovering it, it’s hard to discern the good from the merely okay. And while it’s easy to find Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants on the long stretch of Telegraph starting just south of the university and ending in Temescal, it’s not always easy to find gomen and shiro wat with nuance. Enter Cafe Colucci, Fetlewerk Tefferi’s long-time fixture on the Berkeley-Oakland border, with a decor that makes you feel a bit like you’re dining in a tent. The kitfo (minced raw beef spiked with Ethiopian chiles, cardamom, and spiced butter) shines just as hard as it always did, and the menu lists unusual items like assa tibs — whole fried fish with Ethiopian-style fried potatoes — even doulet, a dish of liver, beef, and lamb tripe. What’s more, Cafe Colucci’s injera — the ubiquitous, slightly fermented pancake-like bread – is made with a high proportion of teff, Ethiopia’s nutty-tasting cereal grain.

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