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Categorized | Food & Drink

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Dukem Topping The Lists for Ethiopian Food

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com. 

At the blending of U Street and Shaw neighborhoods, Ethiopian food overflows platters and plates 24/7. Classics like Dukem are mainstays of the neighborhood and considered a must on the DC eating bucket list. Little Ethiopia and its flavor is a must for local and visitors.


Dukem at the corner of 12th and U Street s NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Dukem for years has topped the city’s “Best Of” lists and receives the highest accolades and reviews. Its outdoor patio overlooks the bustling U Street bar scene while its next-door mini mart offers quick take-out and a small selection of grains and spices.

Dukem is a great setting for a larger party, and two platters provides plenty of food for a group of six-to-eight.

I recommend the beef tibs as an addition to a spicy platter — served on top of the edible placemat “injera” are “wots,” or stews, of a variety of meat and vegetable tastings. Dukem also offers vegetarian platters as well as a mild option for the more sensitive diners. I personally do not have the palate for the sweet honey wine called “Tej,” but the verdict is that it is the perfect complement to authenticate the experience.

Dukem: The Details

  • Where Am I Going: 1114 – 1118 U Street NW
  • When Am I Going: Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 2 am. Friday and Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm.
  • Delivery: No, but they do have carry out.
  • Paycheck:  $20 will provide you with plenty of food.
  • Say What? Be ready to enjoy your food with certain level of noise during weekend nights.
  • What You’ll be Eating: Ethiopian fare at its best.

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- who has written 45 posts on Borderstan.

Rinnig moved to Borderstan in Fall 2011 from Baltimore and hails originally from Los Angeles. Her dedication to the local food movement and commitment to eating simply and nutritiously have led her to both develop her culinary skills and write about her tasting new dishes both in her new city as well as her own kitchen. You can find Rinnig working downtown on weekdays, selling stone fruits and berries at the Dupont Farmers market on Sundays and splurging at fine restaurants here and there in-between. Email her at chelsea[AT]borderstan.com.

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One Response to “Dukem Topping The Lists for Ethiopian Food”

  1. IMGoph says:

    going to dissent and say that zenebech is much better!