San Diego is Full of East African Restaurants

Photo - Rahel Ethiopian Veggie Cuisine

Photo - Rahel Ethiopian Veggie Cuisine

It’s the end of an era for this blogger. After more than two years of working with East African refugees I will be broadening my scope to working with people from around the globe.  I wanted to mark this rite of passage by sharing some of the East African restaurants in San Diego where one can do delicious dining. This article is adapted from one I wrote for the Taxan newsletter.

Many restaurants cater to the approximately 30,000 East Africans in San Diego who like to eat foods that are familiar from their homelands, and also to people of other cultures who like to try ethnic foods. There are several East African restaurants in the City Heights area where numerous East Africans live.

Some restaurants serve a mixture of East African and Mediterranean food, such as Safari Grill at 4990 University Ave #E. They also do catering and food to go.

African Spice in Safari Market at 54th and University Ave. has East African and Mediterranean food seven days a week. Another East African and Mediterranean restaurant is Farida’s Bistro at 1754 Euclid Ave.

There are many Ethiopian restaurants in San Diego. Red Sea at 4717 University Avenue has a good vegetarian combination plate that include 3 or 4 items such as lentils, green vegetables, salad, and of course, the wonderful injera bread.

Awash Ethiopian Restaurant, at 4979 El Cajon Boulevard, also has vegetarian combinations and in the University Heights area, you’ll find Harar Ethiopian Restaurant at 2432 El Cajon Blvd.

Nearby is one of my favorites, Muzita Abyssinian Bistro (Ethiopian/Eritrean), at 4651 Park Blvd., a more upscale restaurant with good veggie options. For really tasty Eritrean food, try Asmara at 4155 University Ave. with entrees similar to Ethiopian cuisine. A newer Kenyan-owned place is Flavors of East Africa, at 2302 El Cajon Blvd. The food’s great and the atmosphere relaxed.

There are more restaurants than those featured here, so enjoy a taste of Africa right here in San Diego while supporting local businesses! L.A. has East African options too, like the all-veggie Rahel Ethiopian Cuisine –  don’t be afraid to try something new.

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7 Responses to “San Diego is Full of East African Restaurants”

  1. chris g Says:

    Bayu on University by 5th is great too!

  2. Teagen Says:

    I had no idea there were so many! I love Mutzita. I want to try Rahel, that photo looks so good!

  3. Teagen Says:

    I looked at the site for Rahel. 100% Vegan? Yea! Los Angeles? doh!

  4. Paige Newman Says:

    Thanks for reading and for the comments. Bayu, never heard of that one!

  5. Abel Woldemichael Says:

    Thank you for all your work helping refugees. As an immigrant I know how hard it was for my family (especially for my mom and dad) to settle in a new country. But it is people like you that we met along the way that made it “easier”. Now 20 some years to see my mom run Muzita Bistro with the same passion (“always use fresh and quality ingredients”) that she used when cooking for us five kids, is at the heart of Muzita Bistro.

    Thank you and hope to see you soon.

    Abel W. Michael
    Muzita Abyssinian Bistro

  6. Paige Newman Says:

    Abel, thanks so much. LOVE your restaurant – both the food and the atmosphere. Keep up the good work.

  7. Teagen Says:

    ‘Flavors of East Africa’ Kenyan inspired cuisine just opened 6 months ago. I’ve been there twice in the last week, it is so good!

    2302 EL Cajon Blvd in North Park. on the corner of El Cajon and Louisiana (1 block west of Texas st.) Lots of vegan choices clearly marked.

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