by December 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,625 1 Comment

From Chelsea Rinnig. Email her at chelsea[AT] 

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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