Few people realize that the D.C. area is home to the largest Ethiopian population in the United States. Newcomers curious about the cuisine should head to Enjera for a hospitable introduction. Instead of utensils, enjera—a spongy sourdough flatbread—is used to pick up bites of seasoned vegetables or tender meats called wat. The best way to sample wats is to order a combo meal to share with a group—there are both meat and vegan versions available. Scoops of each entrée are served on a communal giant tray lined with enjera.
The restaurant sometimes holds free traditional coffee ceremonies on weekends that can be attended with advance reservations. Guests bond in a circle around a host who pan-roasts beans over a charcoal fire and discusses the significance of coffee in Ethiopian culture.