Image: Platter and hint of tibs.
Last Updated: March 2023
A long-time favorite spot for Ethiopian in D.C., Ethiopic is set on a corner of H Street with big windows and a warm glow coming from inside. Along with Das in Georgetown, it one of the first places to push Ethiopian into a nicer dining room and, as Carman notes, claim that it goes with white wine in a polished setting just as well as beer in a storefront shop. That may have set it apart, but it became a local favorite in the growing community around H Street because the food is good.
The vegetables are the star here, especially the green beans. Spiced and cooked they retain just enough firmness to provide resistance when scooping up with the injera or when biting down. The cold lentil salad is a favorite with just a hint of tang. The lamb tibs were good, but lacked the subtlety of the vegetables. The fish is served traditionally, meaning fried and crunchy, though unlike some places the meat retained some moisture. The injera is served cold in tight rolls. Gluten free injera available.
The wine list is basic, but works well enough. They offer a few African beers and cocktails. The warmly-lit dining room is a great date spot or a casual night out with family. In other words, it matches H Street. We think Ethiopic is worth a trip out of the way for some of the better Ethiopian in town.
Other Guidance: GF and V can do well. The restaurant is at street level.
Neighborhood: H Street
Address: 401 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Reservations: Opentable on Site
Washington Post: Tim put it on his Ethiopian Top 10, #10 in 2018. Tom gave it a positive 2 stars in 2010 (no longer on Post website). Tom gave them a tepid 2 stars in 2015.
Washingtonian: no coverage