Since Ethiopia is the ancient birthplace of coffee, it makes sense that coffee culture is a big aspect of life in the capital, Addis Ababa. There are all types of coffee shops that cater to all types of tastes and preferences, from authentic old-school joints, to modern American-style emporiums. But wherever you go, you’re bound to get a quality cuppa joe, and meet loads of Ethiopians who are as enthusiastic about coffee as you are.
Harar Coffee, known as Mokarar Coffee to non-locals, serves coffee and also roasts its own so you can grab a fresh cup or buy a fresh bag of beans to take home. The atmosphere is humble and cozy at this local favorite, but with that simple décor comes simple, affordable prices and high-quality coffee.
Belay Zeleke Rd., Tel: +251 11 111 2783
Café Choche opened in 2011 in the historical railway building. With a lovely gated, cobblestone patio covered in potted plants, it’s a great place to sit for hours with a book.
La Gare Station, Tel: +251 910 12 25 15
To.mo.ca is the oldest coffeehouse in Addis, having been founded in 1953. The antiquey-looking interior reflects this with wood-paneled walls and vintage knick-knacks hanging everywhere. This coffee shop is Italian-style, meaning you don’t have great big couches and loads of tables to linger at for hours — you drink your java standing up at tall tables and chat with your neighbor. Don’t forget to buy some Harar beans to take home with you.
Wavel Street, Tel: +251 11 111 781
With multiple locations around town, this place is known as “the Starbucks of Addis.” They even have a similar green circular logo. Kaldi’s offers coffee that’s less satisfying than mom-and-pop shops or famous places like To.mo.ca, but better than Starbucks. And like the famous Seattle-based chain, it’s stores have an inviting atmosphere where you can sit for a while, chat with friends, or conduct an informal business meeting.
Numerous locations around Addis
This restaurant chain, which started as a coffee roastery 2005, has expanded to also serve a wide range of traditional Ethiopian food. The eatery offers a triple threat: fantastic coffee, authentic food that’s made with care, and an enticing “old world” atmosphere.
7 locations in Addis
This hip spot not only brews a mean cup of joe, but some tasty international breakfast and lunch items as well. You can sit with your laptop and surf the net (when the wi-fi works) while tucking into a macchiato, a glass of their famous lime mint juice, and a plate of enchiladas.
Jessie Beck and Julia Austin contributed to this article.