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“Great first time experience”

Dukem Ethiopian Market
Ranked #510 of 3,749 Restaurants in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Ethiopian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Neighbourhood: U Street Corridor
Description: This is an Ethiopian Restaurant serving an ethnic food in the Washington DC area.
Reviewed 20 July 2016

Visiting DC with a family of four, tried Ethiopian food for the first time. We chose Dukem based on a strong recommendation from a friend. We went for dinner on a Monday evening and it was not crowded at all. We sat on the patio and told our server that we were new to the experience. She recommended a sampler platter and I really enjoyed the variety of meats and vegetables. More flavorful than spicy. Our server walked us through all the dishes and what types of flavors to look for in each one. She even explained how to eat it since there is no silverware involved, trust me on this. The atmosphere was laid back, the service was friendly, and two adults and two hungry kids were full for less than $50. Not bad. Since this is my first time eating food from this culture I really can't compare it to anything else, but I still recommend Dukem. Overall a great experience.

Date of visit: July 2016
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Nathan K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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51 - 55 of 239 reviews

Reviewed 4 July 2016 via mobile

Great food but biggest roach I've ever seen in my life ...anywhere! Roach actually flew from the bar to our table! You decide!

Date of visit: July 2016
Thank Sheilamarie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2016 via mobile

I'd been to Meskerem a few times but Dukem looked like the best choice remaining after the former had closed permanently. We got a reservation for 7pm on the Saturday of July 4th weekend but wound up not needing it, as the restaurant was a little less than half full. Decor is on the shabby and dark side, and kind of downscale for the newly-gentrified U Street area, but we weren't there for the design.

One of our party had never had Ethiopian food before, so we got the big combo platter for two (I think #27 on the menu) and the lamb tibs, which were all served together on the pan atop injera. Three extra injera came alongside, and we washed it down with crisp, malty St. George beer from Ethiopia.

The lamb tibs was wonderful, crispy, and had good rich flavor from jalapeños and sauteed onions. We also really liked the yellow lentils, the cabbage and potato dish (with a surprisingly fiery carrot), the tomatoes (which had spent time in an amazingly tasty marinade) and the other three wats. Beef tibs didn't have a whole lot of flavor but the peppers were nice.

Our server Helen was very friendly and helpful with explaining the menu.

Date of visit: July 2016
Thank Vidiot42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 June 2016 via mobile

Having enjoyed Ethiopian cuisine since the first such restaurant on the West Coast opened in Seattle in 1982, I was expecting great things on a visit to DC, which boasts the largest Ethiopian population outside East Africa. My first two lunchtime choices in the "Little Addis Ababa" centered along U Street were either temporarily closed for renovation (Etete on 9th St) or were shut down due to liquor license violations. This did not bode well, but I persevered in my search and ended up at Dukem.

Dukem look as if it has been around for decades and seems to be some sort of pillar (a rather decaying one as it turns out) for the community. With its slightly disorienting layout that seems both sprawling and confining, it has the air of a place that is made for the night life. All the better, as the darkness would hide the fraying dinginess that is all too glaringly evident on a summer afternoon.

I turned up at 2 p.m. for a rather late lunch. Service was perfunctory but a bit distant. Food arrived in short order, and here is where the real disappointment set in. (Decor be damned if the grub is great!) I custom ordered a vegetarian plate with five options: spicy lentils, spicy chickpeas, shiro, greens, cabbage. The first three were so salty as to be nearly inedible -- and I have a remarkably high tolerance for sodium. Moreover the two allegedly spicy dishes had scarcely any piquant essence. The latter pair were coarse and insipid. Quantities, however, were generous. Even though I was famished after a series of harrowing bicycle adventures in the late June heat, I left a fair portion uneaten on the injera, a first for me.

Date of visit: June 2016
1  Thank SeattleDSpar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 June 2016

We visited this place as it was an advice of our travel guide (and the travel guide was almost always right). And the food was really very good and authentic.
However, the staff made us not feel too welcomed; we felt more like a disturbance on a relaxed day.
Another disadvantage: Prices are quite high.
Apart from these point I can suggest this place.

Date of visit: June 2016
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Sven R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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