FIVE LOAVES: Having Breakfast In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

CafeinAddisAbaba1There are many restaurants and cafes established either by an expat to bring their home to another land or a native whom have been abroad for a while brings a foreign experience to their motherland. Positively all these contribute in making up Addis Ababa as an interesting African arena that provides a little bit of everything from all around the world.

CafeinAddisAbaba2Having breakfast in Addis Ababa can be an exciting experience as there are two choices either to relish in the very filling traditional Ethiopian breakfast or to step out of the ordinary and enjoy a simply delightful breakfast for celebrating positive culinary fusion.

CafeinAddisAbaba3Personally I prefer to enjoy a destination through simple little eateries, patisseries, bakeries or bistros rather than hugely sophisticated restaurants that can be as far as the actual destination – unreachable for many locals. As a firm believer that a destination can be enjoyed through as simple as having Chai at the Indian restaurant or green tea at Chinese restaurant but I believe it should be compellingly accessible to the locals even though there is nothing wrong of making it all fancy.

CafeinAddisAbaba4CafeinAddisAbaba5One Saturday morning in honoring a cosmic urge of try out something new, I found myself at the newly opened little Bistro and Bakery that goes by the name FIVE LOAVES. The brick and wood refined one story building that the bakery housed in is pleasantly inviting. Spotless, well-furnished and creatively designed interior makes it all cozy.

CafeinAddisAbaba6CafeinAddisAbaba7As an inquisitive person, If not outside at verandah, I choose sitting by the window to be enchanted and inspired by Addis Ababa’s everyday life from the street while enjoying my breakfast and the ambiance of the café at the same time. Downstairs at this Bistro, table 1 and 2 beautifully and conveniently set up by the window and I pick table 2 as it is the perfect spot to observe and enjoy my surrounding either from the inside or outside through the window.

Little bit about the ambiance of the Bistro, I really enjoyed the little framed black and white Ethiopian photographs hanged up on the walls reminders of how rich our ordinary life can be as there are pictures that shows everyday life of Ethiopia.

CafeinAddisAbaba8Time for me to order. Well as it is was the beginning of the day. As the place was once just a dream or in the imagination of the owner of this place while being abroad either somewhere in Europe or North America. Even better as it is a Bakery. I thought it would make a perfect sense that I have as simple as sweet breakfast bakery – CROISSANT.

And of course as an Ethiopian and being at its birth place I wouldn’t miss my morning coffee for the world. If it is straight from the espresso machine, then I love my coffee with a dash of Milk so CAFFE MACCHIATO that is. Croissant avec foamy Macchiato made of Ethiopian coffee was a heavenly match at least for me and I thought can it get any simply European than this here in Addis Ababa.

Till my breakfast arrive, why don’t I share with you a little bit more about the bistro I found myself at here in Addis Ababa. Well obviously as a bakery it provides different kinds of freshly baked loafs and breads and sweet treats from doughnuts to beautifully decorated creamy cakes. As a bistro, it serves different kinds of vegetable salads and sandwiches which you pick from the hand written menu on a board that hanged up on a wall behind the counter either to enjoy it downstairs or upstairs.


OH HAPPY DAY! I ate my food with my eyes already and I must say it really tasted as good as it looked maybe even better. The crispy top kissed with pristine white sweet sugar powder and the not too dense rather fluffy texture from the inside that just crumbled in my mouth was divine. Compared to many bastardized croissant I had here in Addis, this one is just the best by far.

CafeinAddisAbaba11Talking about coffee, l am going to be brutally blunt about the fact that you can have unpleasant coffee at some places even here in Ethiopia where coffee is nothing but a religion. But today here at Five Loaves Bistro and Bakery, my coffee experience through Caffe Macchiato was truly delightful …I crossed my fingers so that it stays the same.

CafeinAddisAbaba12Obviously it feels good to experience a destination without leaving home and even in some places to the point that makes you feel that you are actually somewhere else, but the ordinary Addis Ababa’s everyday life scene which I am being able to capture through the not so much openly reveling wooden framed windowpane is a constant sweet reminder of that I am at Home and apparently for visitors that they are at the interestingly lively capital city of Africa – Addis Ababa.

CafeinAddisAbaba13CafeinAddisAbaba14Anbesa Autobus – the yellow and red local bus with a side sign of Anbesa which literally means a lion.  The 12 seated white and blue minivan local taxis that runs around throughout the city are indeed the eloquent pieces of Addis Ababa besides just being means of transport and this is rather how I see it -live colorful details that portraits the beautifully ordinary everyday life of Africa.

CafeinAddisAbaba15Basking in the ordinary bliss of BREAKFAST!

Posted in Addis Ababa, Africa, Breakfast, Coffee, Ethiopia, Ethiopian Music, Food, Food Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Ethiopian Cultural Event Compendium

Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa1A day of celebration in honoring ETHIOPIAN CULTURE via art, music, traditional costume, food, drink and dance; here in the rhythmic cosmopolitan African City – Addis Ababa.

Leading armchair travelers from all over the world, through one of the many interesting events Addis Ababa hosts throughout the year; to experience the destination and to inspire. In spite of it all, in honoring my passion of giving homage to the Extraordinary within the ORDINARY.

Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa2It was a bit daring to pick from the many cultural podiums which presented at this particular event, as Ethiopia is a beautifully diverse country; filled with so many fascinatingly warm domestic details -in which I tempted to present it all at this particular culture post though obviously impossible. Eventually, I am forced to choose few that truly resonates with my heart for a brief and sweet taste of Ethiopian culture.

As culture and Art is a an inspiring marriage made in heaven, I choose to spend a little while at the podium of time honored and historical Ethiopian Playhouses in Addis Ababa presented at the cultural event.

Showcasing these Playhouse’s cherished and honored works of Art in glorification culture and tradition through Theatrical plays, traditional music and dance along with the traditional costumes, and the locally well-known Ethiopian musicians and artists that these Playhouses brings into fruition … through pictures and entertaining replicas.

Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa3Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa4Traditional costumes hanged up on a long rope like an ordinary everyday scene of a freshly cleaned laundry, be carried on the breeze outside under the blazing sun of Africa. But here, it is to showcase different kinds of traditional costumes from different ethnic groups of the country in all honoring CULTURE.

Ethiopian cultural Event In Addis Ababa5Little bit of Sidama from the southern part of the country, to experience the destination through the colorful traditional accessories. I found the happy colors and cozy details of this handmade everyday life ornaments of Sidama people is so up lifting. Culturally colorful!

Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa6Still standing at the little Sidama podium that I found here at cultural event in Addis Ababa, being all mesmerized by the colorfully decked traditional costume of Sidama Women. So culturally graceful!

Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa7MUSIC FOR THE SOUL! Giving the deserved homage to the distinctive Ethiopian Traditional musical instruments – Begena, Krar, Masinko, Kebero, Washint- culturally soulful.

Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa8Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa9Time for admiring culture through craftsmanship that speaks AFRICA out laud!

Ethiopian cultural Event In Addis Ababa10Here is a toast to honoring and preserving culture! A celebration of culture through locally brewed Ethiopian traditional drinks – Areke and Tej (honey wine or mead).

Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa11Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa12From the many exotic Ethiopian traditional cuisines made up of culinary influence, fusion and with exotic touches of Ethiopia’s very own indigenous produces, I choose to put a spot light up on one of the regional delights from the sweet Dire Dawa – warmly embracing, town of sweet people from the eastern part of the country. Halwa and Mushebek for culturally sweet treat.

Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa13Hitting the great outdoors, it would not be complete without traditional music and dance embellished with traditional clothing in celebrating culture. From many exotic Ethiopian traditional music and dances, for now I pick two fascinating destinations within Ethiopia to experience through music and dance.

Transported to GOJJAM through the energetic rhythm and rhyme that can make you move your shoulders like Ethiopians.

Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa14Ethiopian Cultural Event In Addis Ababa15And to the exotic AFAR through distinctive beat that can make you jump of joy.

Ethiopian cultural Event In Addis Ababa16COMMEMORATING ETHIOPIAN CULTURE!

Posted in Addis Ababa, Art, culture, Culture Festival, Dance, Ethiopia, Ethiopian Music, Events, Festival, Music | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

BOOKS: Ethiopian Winter Splendor

“We raked books of the shelves by the dozen and hauled them along on picnics, to haylofts, up oak trees, to bath and to bed, the one terrifying possibility was to find oneself without a book.”   Kathleen Norris

Ethiopian Winter Reading. KiremtKiremt – Ethiopian Winter – is officially sets in here in Ethiopia. Time for pouring rain, shivering cold and sticky muddy shoes but the good news … like many other things in life, we do have a choice of unveiling the hidden splendors that Kiremt brings along instead of dreading the season.

Obviously it all depends on how we see it but we do really have reasons to even enjoy these once in a year JOYS OF KIREMT – the warmth of Gabi, the freshly picked corn, the seasonally scrumptious baked yum (sweet potato), the magical shoes shiners to be found at every corner of the street, the after rain earthy smell, the heavy rain interludes to be present, and of course time to be at home for rejuvenation and keep ourselves warm not only through the blazing charcoal that sits up on Kesel Midja ( Charcoal brazier) rather I am talking about through reading books that can transport us to another world from the comfort of our home, broaden our mind, touch our emotions, makes us think and of course warm our heart.

Having a pleasant rendezvous with a good book after a long rainy day is the heavenly warm alleyway that can takes us through the cold night while savoring the Kiremt Splendor – Book.

Happy Kiremt Reading!

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Addis Ababa: Healthy Soul Food Joint

SoulfoodjointinAddisAbaba1While out stalking the city, what could be more rewarding to accidentally discover hidden gems of local soul food joint that bring super food out to the main street… and for me this unexpectedly rewarding ordinary everyday life experience is pure SERENDIPITY. Just recently while meandering through one of my favorite alleyways of Addis through a mesmerizing neighborhood with its own unique character, I accidentally end up paying a visit to the little healthy food eatery that enroll Addis Ababa’s Soul Food Joint club just recently. SoulfoodjointAddisAbaba2My curiosity not only actuates me to pay a visit but end up actually having a delicious and rewarding dish which not only divinely fill up my tummy but strikes a thought that there are interesting details worth giving homage to and most of all sharing it with the world regarding Ethiopian grain based culinary delights from which this particular post steamed out of. Addis Ababa is an interestingly full of character cosmopolitan African city and ILAN’S FALAFEL is an expat owned eatery that applauds my two favorite healthy grains and a super healthy seed for a vegetarian, fresh and healthy eating. Shimbra (Chickpeas), Bakela (Fava Beans) and of course the little dynamite Selit (Sesame seed) deliciously transformed into Falafel, Hummus, Ful and Tahini as the whole world knows it. Ilan'sFalafelcartIlan'sFalafelMenuLittle bit intimidated by on what to choose from the wittily Amharic and English Menu … as I really love all these super ingredients for the main dishes served at this eatery but gladly with the suggestion of the Chef and owner of the place as a special order for the inquisitive first time scavenger like me, I end up having a Special Ful which contains a little bit of every ingredients – Bakela, Shimbra and Selit – a special mixture of Ful with Tahini complemented with a delicious one ball of Falafel and a drizzle of cooking oil, green pepper sauce and Awaze (deep red Ethiopian Berbere spice mix paste) for an Ethiopian touch. ful1As they say you eat your food with your eyes and it actually tastes as good as it looked. The nutty flavor and creamy texture of the Tahini with the crushed Fava Beans that gives a chance of delightful chew on via the little chunks of the beans and with a bit of crunchiness from the fresh raw vegetable mix of tomato, red onion and cucumber that comes along with the dish which I choose to incorporate it into the mixture was filling but still light enough for a delightful eating experience. ful2Talking about seasoning, then here comes the green pepper sauce and Awaze for that little bit of an exciting kick as hot and spicy just hits home for Ethiopians so I really loved the little note of Berbere that comes through at the back. ful3And for the Chickpeas which I enjoyed through the perfectly browned and crispy top that quickly crushed to lead to the surprisingly savory, yellowish fluffy texture from the inside which I hardly chew on as it almost melt in my mouth and that was my one ball of Falafel which actuates me to order more balls of Falafel besides it is the signature of this eatery so I thought why not. felafelinAddisAbaba2felafelinAddisAbabaLike many traditional Ethiopian cuisines these Middle East culinary delight in ETHIOPIA, do require to be eaten with your hands for a genuine taste and obviously to get intimate with your food as we Ethiopians do so this is where you can clean your hands before and after eating via the creatively made water faucet which resembles the Ethiopian traditional clay made water pot. Ilan'sFalafelwaterpotThe eatery is more like a street food vendor but not limited on takeaways only as it still provides a pleasant ambiance and craftsmanship even up on a little space it encompasses for someone who want to eat outside sitting on local produce – little bamboo chairs and tables with Ethiopian flair – under a yellowish little shady nook attached to little tree in the middle. felafelinAddisAbaba3The neighborhood that this small eatery located at is also another warm domestic detail worth applauding as I believe the LOCALE is also part of enjoying the overall eating out experience and it is filled with an inspiring validation of how opulent our ordinary lives are. Tele Medhanialem alleyway, is a particular neighborhood known as being an interesting bridge that connects two Addis Ababa neighborhoods – the heterogeneous Hayahulet Mazoria and The Contemporary Bole Medhanialem – via an asphalted straight road lined in between. TeleMedhanialemAddisAbaba1The main signature of this particular area is its array of mostly clothing shops lined one after the other at both sides of the main street with their unique and interesting way of displaying what’s trending on Addis Ababa’s Fashion scene. Of course it is not only for shopping that the locals usually drawn to this affectionate and relaxed shopping district but also to meandering through while capturing its refreshingly unique aura and to relish in few of its soul food eateries hidden somewhere along the way and now this middle east culinary inspired eatery – Illan’s Falafel – could be one of those reasons to pay a visit.

Eating this delicious dish that let me enjoy my favorite healthy grains one by one via Illan’s Falafel, do really actuates me to think about Ethiopian grain based deliciously healthy cuisines made of these super ingredients – Chickpeas and Fava beans.

Starting with Shimbra (chickpeas), as an Ethiopian the first dish that usually comes to my mind when I think about this super grain is of course Shiro Wot – Ethiopian stew made of chickpeas flour – this slow cooked stew with Ethiopian Bereber spice mix is a vegetarian dish which is widely available throughout the country as it is almost an everyday meal for many Ethiopians. Shirowot1Shiro is one of the stews that we never get tired of eating over and over again next to our addictive Injera (Ethiopian flat bread made of fermented tef flour). We mostly love to eat warm straight from the clay pot Shiro with Injera for breakfast for an energetic morning even though Shiro can be eaten for lunch or dinner.

ShirowotShiro shines more than ever during Ye Abey Tsome (the long lent offering), other lent offering sesons scattered throughout the year and the fasting days of Wednesday and Friday for Ethiopian orthodox religion followers. There are eateries that dedicate to serve Shiro in particular throughout the city. The Falafel of course reminded me of the little pastry like fried chickpeas dough from one of my cherished experiences of walking through the old town of Harar – Jegol.

harar2Shimbra Asa Wot is also another much anticipated and adored Ethiopian dish which usually enjoyed during the long lent offering. Shimbra Asa Wot is simply pieces of chickpea dough baked separately and added into slow cooked stew of finely chopped onion and Berbere Spice Mix.

shimbra asaButicha is also another chickpea flour based delicious Ethiopian culinary delight.

ButchaFor a sweet taste of regional delight from Dire Dawa, Halwa is a super sweet treat prepared from super ingredients of peanut, chickpea, and honey… heavenly nutty, sticky, crunchy, and surprisingly healthy SWEET.

HalwaShimbra also serves as snacks like Kolo (mix of roasted barely, chickpea, nuts, and suf) or Nifro (simply mix of cooked grains like wheat barriers, chickpeas or barley).

kolonifroSo much the Falafel and Hummus made of Chickpea reminded me all these traditionally grain based healthy Ethiopian cuisines. Now it is time to put the spot light up on Bakela (fava beans). Siljo is at the top of the list for many Ethiopians when it comes to traditional grain based Ethiopian culinary delights made of fava bean flour. Siljo is also another much anticipated traditional cuisine enjoyed mostly during the long lent offering.

siljo1Ethiopians also use this lean protein healthy grain with wheat berries as a special once in a year dish called Gulban (simply cooked fava beans and wheat barriers seasoned with another Ethiopia spice mix – Mitmita) eaten to commemorate the last supper three days before Ethiopian Easter Holiday.

gulbanWhen it comes to Selit (sesame seed) it is the first and the only delicious Selit snack that Ethiopians enjoy for so long thanks to the delightful culinary influence and fusion. A round ball truffle like skillfully prepared of roasted sesame seeds and melted sugar which is very filling and delicious snack.

selitLast but not least, time for one of Ethiopian spices and condiments that this soul food joint choose to incorporate for a complete Ethiopian touch with Middle East culinary delight and that is Awaze.

Originally Awaze is a paste made of Berebere spice mix, little bit of finely grind mustard seed mixed with local drinks like Areke, Dry Gin or Tej (Home Brewed Ethiopian Honey Wine) and this is exactly how many Ethiopians like it but of course different people have their own version of Awaze paste some just use water or oil to turn the Berbere spice mix into a paste.

The alcohol not only gives its distinctive flavor but a long shelf life. Even though Awaze goes perfectly with Tibs (Stir – fried meat) we also use it as a snack or an appetizer with Injera or bread.

AwazeBecause of the fact that almost all the dishes of this eatery are meat and dairy product free which based on grains and vegetables, without a doubt it can become one of the fasting food destination for many locals. For visitors of Addis Ababa this can be an exciting healthy vegetarian destination and a perfect local spot when a break from Injera is needed in the adventure of traveling taste bud through Ethiopian exotic traditional cuisines.

“We should have ritual and ceremony, not just gobbling down some food to keep us alive.” M.F.K. Fisher

Beyaynetu2Healthy Eating Ethiopia!

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ETHIOPIA: Travel and Be Inspired!


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PIASSA: Addis Ababa’s Mesmeric Old Town II

piassa1The first episode of this virtual tour of Addis Ababa’s Mesmeric Old Town – Piassa – as the locals would call it, brought to me a challenging but inspiring opportunity of actually escorting visitors of Ethiopia from Germany into my world.

PiazzacitytourAs I am being so inspired by this beautiful experience of leading a group as a local for an actual walking tour just recently through this old but charming neighborhood of Addis Ababa –Piassa/Piazza, I decide to bring the last episode of a virtual tour of my favorite neighborhood from my home town to the whole world … and I choose to go back to De Gaulle Square to finalize my adventure of rediscovering Addis Ababa’s mesmeric old town…while reliving the enchanting childhood memories as someone who grew up at this particular area.

aroundkryiasisThere is no doubt that paying a visit to Piassa usually means to stopover at one or more coffee shops as this old mesmerizing old town known for its many time honored and full of character coffee shops where locals still patronize. So heading down south from De Gaulle Square to DEj JOTE or around Ethiopian airlines office in Piassa, there is of course another much adored old patisseries of Addis Ababa which scores more than 40 years in business. KYRIAZIS PATTISERIE still provides the best and delicious pastries in town within one small room and full of character coffee shop which usually overcrowded by the locals.

KryiazisContinuing down further from the coffee shop … is surly to be able to experience the pleasure of glancing at more time honored buildings of Piassa with flair and dated way back during Emperor Menelik’s era (1889 – 1913 G.C.). Starting with the staggeringly elongated five-multistory residential house designed by Minas Kherbekian the Armenian architect who also designed Itegue Taitu Hotel. It is also believed to be the very first skyscraper before the Italian occupation (1936 – 41 G.C.).

multisoreybuilding1multistoreybuilding2From here, if one takes one of the interesting alleyways that takes way up to the Cunningham Street where more interesting old buildings, old cinema, old post office and interesting Piassa’s street life scenes to be spotted but wait …before all that, it is at the center of this particular alleyway’s of Piassa from many that the historical Ethiopia’s very first hotel –Itegue Taitu Hotel– that worth pay a visit can be found.

taitu2taituLike the unique architectural style of Piassa is the multinational touch of Armenia, Ethiopia, India, and Italy, interestingly its winding streets also retains another foreign names and this time it’s British.

Cunningham is one of the streets of Piassa named after one of the British officials and military men by Emperor Haile Selassie regime (1941 – 74 G.C.) to echo his gratefulness to the British officials for their military aid. But of course during the Italian occupation many Piassa’s streets used to retain Italian names like the one from De Gaulle Square all the way to Ras Mekonnen bridge (Arat Kilo – Arada) street name was Corso Vittorio Emanuel III which later renamed Haile Selassie Street.

Despite the fact the old town of Addis Ababa – Piassa- comes with street names that is foreign for Ethiopia like Waverly street and Churchill avenue, the interesting detail I would like to mention here and of course the inside truth is locals use mostly native names for most areas of Piassa and obviously that would make the foreign street names usually to be functional on city maps, guide books and alike.

Doro Manekia, Serategna Sefer, Mazegaja, Arada, Mohamud Muzika Bet, Giorgis, Ras Mekonnen Dildiye, Yehager Fiker, Seba Dereja and many more local names which usually used in everyday life of the locals … whether it is to meet up somewhere in Piassa or to tell the location of a particular area.

piassacunnighamstreetNow we are at the Cunningham Street and for many locals one of the reasons of being at this particular street of Piassais to stopover at one of the oldest cinemas of Ethiopia. The now Cinema Ethiopia or formerly known as Nageliz is one of the still operating old cinemas which is known by entertaining via local Ethiopian movies and western movies alike till this day.

cinemaethiopia1Regarding entertainment, it is at this mesmeric old town that cinema was being introduced to Ethiopia during the early 20th century by screening black and white silent pictures to being a host of a pioneering event when talkie movies first brought to Ethiopia by Monsieur Glize.

CinemaEthiopia2Besides entertainment, the other usual reasons for many locals to be at this particular area of Piassa would be shopping or window shopping as this area also encloses many shops as Piassa is indeed the old commercial center of Addis Ababa.

arada3Talking about shopping, Arada Business Center which is one of the oldest even the very first modern shopping center of Addis Ababa which Piassa still proudly embraces at the Cunningham Street. It is the history that it represent that makes it more impressive than its looks as the name suggest – Arada. This one Amharic word – ARADA – is the original name of this mesmeric old town of Addis Ababa before christened it Piazza del Littorio during the Italian occupation.

aradabusinesscenterIn spite of being the original name that represent the now Piassa, at the end of the 19th century Arada was Ethiopia’s pivotal area of commerce and spot of the city’s most important bank, post office, entertainment center, local market (Arada Market) and shops way before the bustling local market of Arada moved to the now Merkato (One of the biggest open market in Africa) during the Italian occupation…so it seems like this particular shopping mall which is named after this historical commerce district– Arada – is the refection of the golden times of Piassa when it was the soul of urbanization for Ethiopia.

arada1While capturing the feel of Piazza starting from De Gaulle Square on Cunningham Street that leads all the way at the intersection of Gebeyehu Street provides ordinary but interesting everyday life scenes of this mesmeric old town of Addis Ababa along with more time honored interesting buildings and residential houses, old post office and many more.

piassacunninghamstreet2piassacunninghamstreet3postofficepiassapiassaoldpostoffice1Talking about interesting street scenes of Addis Ababa, I pick the small street markets as I always find it fascinating and as it usually being Piassa’s signature – different kinds of amazingly colorful and fresh fruit and vegetables, outdated magazines, movie and music CD and DVD…all sold on the streets of Piassa.

streetvendorstreetvendor2The Cunningham street do lead to few different interesting alleyways that takes its visitors to the southern part of Piassa which make it more like unveiling the hidden treasures of this old town … so for today I would like to take the world through one particular narrow alleyway of Piassa which known as the Mahatama Gandhi Street which I think worth taking to really experience Addis Ababa and to discover more … so please stay with me.

ghandistreet1ghandistreet2ghandistreet3ghandistreet4Reaching at the intersection of Mahatama Gandhi and General Wingate Street means more old coffee shops, restaurant, bank, old buildings and more. When every time I found myself at this particular intersection my feet usually take me to one of the oldest patisseries of Addis Ababa or Piassa – one of those places where I can be able to pour more sugar on the sweet memories of childhood. I do really hope I can relate on this one with many other Ethiopians whom had once or twice visit the little Italy in Ethiopia through Piazza’s ENRICO.

generalwingetstreet2General Winget streetEnrico3Enrico is the first patisserie of Addis Ababa which was established by one of Italian migrants more than 50 years ago. In spite the test of time, Enrico still provides amazingly delicious pastries. Its specialties are delicate custard cakes that just melt in your mouth. The steel and Formica made of solid furnishing, vibrant picture boards of assorted Italian specialty cakes on display, the half – dozen basic tables which are usually full and the overall atmosphere of the bustling café has the power to transport you to the golden times of Piazza and even more better as my Italian friend once affirmed you could also be in Italy somewhere around mid-20th century through Piazza’s time honored Italian café – ENRICO PASTRY.

Enrico1Enrico2Next to Enrico there is another time honored restaurant –Oroscopo – where locals still frequent to delight in Italian dishes like Spaghetti or Lasagna in Addis Ababa.

enricoandoroscopoBefore heading further to cross the street and find yourself at the other exciting street – Waverly Street – another historical building dated 1905 G.C. can be found. The stone Bank of Abyssinia is indeed one of the treasures Piassa inherited from Menelik’s era …February 15, 1906 G.C. memorialized the beginning of banking in Ethiopia when the bank was inaugurated by Emperor Menelike II.

AbyssiniabankCrossing the street to continue further… couldn’t help being hypnotized by the revitalizing coffee aroma that tantalizingly emanates from another old coffee shop. To stopover for another coffee might sound extreme but believe me Ethiopia is the birth place of coffee and this mesmeric old town is at the top of the list when it comes to serving up coffee for the soul as it also comes with the very fascinating history of introducing café culture to Ethiopia in spite of the fact coffee is a religion in Ethiopia.

tomoca4Legend has it, back then the locals find it strange to buy cup of coffee made out of espresso machine and enjoying it in a café outside their home as making coffee at home with Jebena (traditional coffee pot) and with all its traditional eloquent pieces from the scratch and enjoying it with family, friends and neighbors for free almost every day was and still the most valued coffee tradition of Ethiopia… so these old café’s used to be frequented by foreigners and few Ethiopians back then but they finally manage to attract the locals and played huge role on today’s interesting Addis Ababa’s Café culture.

tomoca3TOMOCA is one of Addis Ababa’s must visit coffee shops. The one that you find in Piassa comes with unique character as it has been there for more than 50 years not only serving up great coffee but a pleasant ambiance to delight your soul.

tomoca2tomoca5tomoca6Addis Ababa is one of the cosmopolitan cities of Africa, where a visitor still be able to experience the good old past that present is built up on with its very own unique African character.

aroundkryazisAnd this is the final installment of my tribute to Arada/Piassa – a neighborhood created up on the historical rich era!

Benimosqu“To see the World in a Grain of Sand, and a Heaven in a Wild Flower…”

The End…

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ETHIOPIA: Romancing HOME through TRAVEL!

“Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between

man and the universe.”  Anatole France


Home Sweet Home… I live for moments like these!

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