A live band is rocking the crowd with smooth tunes. A round of drinks are being passed around the table. People are dancing until they can't stand anymore. Sounds like the hottest club in D.C. right? Well, not exactly. This is the nightly scene of one of the most popular restaurants in the U Street Corridor: Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant.
Dukem stands on the corner of U Street NW and N 12th Street and is the landmark of cuisine and entertainment in this lively neighborhood. The restaurant's decor is elegant, yet relaxed with warm-colored walls, stylish paintings, and traditional Ethiopian art setting the mood for a delicious dining experience.
Each night, customers can enjoy a complete menu of traditional Ethiopian food with everything from kitfo, tibs, kornis, alicha, all accompanied by plates of injera, a sponge-like bread used as the utensils (so no forks or knives here!) to scoop up bites of food. This is the one place where it's the rule to eat with your hands (sorry mom).
The meals are served on centerpiece platters so groups of friends can enjoy dipping and dabbing into a variety of flavors instead of being stuck with one entree. Beef, lamb, and chicken are the major meats on the menu but for the veggie lover, vegetarian dishes come in abundance with many flavors to choose.
Besides its delectable food, Dukem's other claim to fame is its nightly entertainment. Mimicking a small lounge, the restaurant hosts many Ethiopian musicians and dancers to show their talents to guests, especially on the weekends. Customers can also enjoy the service of a full bar and take out, if they need an exotic meal on the go. A patio is also available for dining when the weather permits and during the summer.
Reservations should be made, except for Fridays and Saturdays after 9 p.m. Hours: Sunday - Thursday 11am - 2am, Friday - Saturday 11am - 3am, Sunday 11am-2am (Kitchen closes 1hr before closing time). Carry Out: 9am - Midnight.
Nearest Transit: U St/African-Amer Civil |War Memorial/Cardozo (Green, Yellow)
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