This page is for archiving comments prior to 2010 for Abyssinia.

2005-04-25 15:39:06   The best Ethiopian food in Rochester. Opened in October 2000, Abyssinia offers exceptional fare, particularly in its combos, served with fairly authentic injera (a kind of Ethiopian bread). A particularly special treat is the kitfo (raw ground beef, seasoned), which is offered as part of one of the combos, but the place also offers great variety for vegetarians, especially with its superlative lentil preparations. The atmosphere is very relaxed, and they also have one mesob (a traditional dining table). UR students get a 15% discount under the UR RED program. — Karan Vaswani

2006-07-21 13:25:56   Fun place to bring friends willing to get more adventurous (and whose fingers you don't mind in your food, one should add). Only been once - will refrain from verdict for now. —ChristineLeo

2006-07-22 05:45:47   Any dish served in a clay sizzling pot is excellent (Beef Cha Cha is my favorite). I'd definitely agree with the above comment about it being a fun place to bring friends—hey, you can even eat your plate! Don't go if you're short on time. Every time I've been there, the service has been painfully slow. It's nice to be given time to relax, but when the plates are cleared away and there's a 20 minute break before the check comes, something is wrong. There was only one waiter and he was also bartending last time I went. The food is great, though, and there's a nice variety of dishes including plenty of vegetarian options. —RachelBlumenthal

2006-11-13 23:52:22   The food was excellent, however my only complaint was that there was no music playing when my husband and I went— other than another group of people in the corner, and the owner's kids doing homework at the bar, the atmosphere was dead! Wouldn't mind going back (their chicken dish was yummy). —CatherineConnolly

2006-11-30 12:40:38   i love this place—the food is always excellent and i love the family feel. one time assemblyman gant was behind the bar helping out with drinks! —DulcineaEsq

2007-02-05 09:15:35   Although this kind of ethnic diversity is sorely needed in rochester, the food here is greasy and made my stomach hurt. —NjTourist

2007-02-05 10:26:21   I ate there over Christmas and didn't find the food greasy - it was pretty good, actually. —RottenChester

2007-02-05 12:08:22   I've always enjoyed it quite a bit, it's a lot of fun, and I've never found it to be overly greasy. A great place to go with a large group. —DanielMiner

2007-03-02 20:13:00   I love Ethiopian food, and this is almost as good as the stuff my Ethiopian friends make. —IsaacVanDuyn

2007-04-14 10:02:38   Only been there once and the food was great. The atmosphere however, left something to be desired - there were only a few other customers and the restaurant is located in the downtown/inner loop area which isn't a very hopping place in the evenings. All in all, the food was worth it though. —JaneDoe

2007-04-20 21:36:57   Sigh...there's already a picture on this page. Ben and I got interrogated by an owner or someone who was suspicious that we were taking pictures there today. Oops. Anyway, I've already commented on this place, but I just want to add that I'm obsessed with the injera!! (For those who haven't had the good fortune to experience injera yet, it's the Ethiopian version of bread—flat and spongy and a bit sour. It's also used as a plate!) —RachelBlumenthal

2007-05-10 00:42:34   I've been to Abyssinia twice now, and have gotten delicious, filling food for two for under $20 (the vegetarian platter is fantastic). No Red Cross rations and malaria-infested water here! —JayUnnikrishnan

2007-08-29 14:44:03   We come here periodically and always have a wonderful meal. The service can be slow (and the owner isn't always good about topping off the water glasses), but the food is delicious, and the place is fairly clean. It's also a hangout for David Gantt, NYS Assembly Member. —KatieSchmitz

2007-08-29 15:14:40   We ate at Abyssinia a while ago, and I enjoyed everything we ordered. The food was interesting, and tasty. The service was unrushed, but I didn't mind that. I did not find the food greasy at all. Abyssinia's location is a bit out of my way, but I found dining there pleasant enough that I plan to go back. —CedrickStanton

2007-11-08 13:38:20   Went for lunch for the first time. The food was excellent and the portions were large. The lady serving us was very nice and helpful also. I'll be making a return visit before long. —GeorgeBluth

2007-11-10 13:50:41   My sister told me about how delicious Ethiopian food was, and when I found out that there was an Ethiopian restaurant in Rochester I told her to come and visit so we could try it out. We were not disappointed. The food was absolutely delicious. The injera has a very pleasant taste and texture and is filling. My husband, my sister and her boyfriend and I got a platter for 4 and we honestly should have gotten the platter for 3, cause there was enough food left over for at least one more person. The only thing that I didn't like was the fact that the service was very slow. It took a long time for the food to come out and we were waiting a while for the check, but it was on a Tuesday and the owner was the only one serving. Don't come here in a rush, relax, cause the food is definitely worth it. —CatMagro

2007-12-04 19:27:26   Excellent for vegetarians. This food easily rivals what I've had in NYC, DC and Boston. It's spiced without being just spicy, and not greasy at all (although I can't speak for the meat dishes). Atmosphere is ok; there's only one mesob (but I always get it right away); service is relaxed but very friendly. This is the only restaurant I've been to where they'll bring you free seconds of an entree! —AzureHansen

2007-12-05 18:12:25   After 3+ years of choosing Dashan when I've craved Ethiopian food (convenient location) I went to Abyssinia last week. And just as it was 3+ years ago the food is excellent. —ZedOmega

2008-01-06 07:41:07   Restaurant is very plain inside, service was slow but friendly, and the food was good although this was our first experience with Ethiopian dishes so we can't say how authentic. Good variety (both meat and veg) and fairly decent explanations of the dishes on the menu. Very different from any other ethnicity, can't easily be compared to Indian, Asian, etc. There's no silverware, you eat using the bread which tastes like sourdough and has the consistency of a pancake. This one might not end up on our favorites list but we'd certainly go back when in the mood for something different. —DottieHoffmann

2008-01-21 15:51:29   Best Ethiopian in town. The portions are large and if you finish everything they will happily bring you more. I've brought a bunch of different people here and everyone has loved it! As others said it can be slow but it's worth the wait! —StephChows

2008-01-22 21:24:35   I concur with the above positive comments. Restaurants like Abyssinia make the Rochester winters survivable. —ThomasPawlik

2008-01-26 14:48:06   Its a unique experience to have food there. The people are very nice and the food is GREAT !! Do try the Tomato-onion Salad (I think its called Timatim Salata). —TanushreeArdis

2008-04-09 20:41:30   Good food. I especially liked the lentils, although I hated the raw beef. I'm very open to experimenting, but it just tasted like cold, bland hamburger.

However, terrible service! The place wasn't remotely crowded, but things took forever—literally! We never got our drinks, even after asking twice. Pretty pathetic. I'd go again sometime, but only if I had two hours to spare. —OwenThompson

2008-04-18 17:18:59   Interesting, tasty vegetarian options, but the service was nonexistent. I have been a restaurant server, and I had the urge to get up and start waiting on people myself! Maybe I would have been more patient if I had gotten the drink I ordered. This restaurant might be unusual for Rochester, but that doesn't mean it's really good. —OxfordWriter

2008-09-19 16:04:14   This is my favorite restaurant in Rochester, and my all-time favorite kind of food in the universe. Abyssinia never fails to make me extremely happy! The veggie combo and special tibs are my token order, when I'm with one other person. Everything is delicious, though! I have actually had dreams about the shiro vegetarian dish - it is THAT good. *swoons* —HilarieLloyd

2008-11-01 22:28:24   Thank goodness for a true Ethiopian restaurant in Rochester, NY!!!

The owners didn't seem to treat us like family as I've experienced at the Ethiopian restaurants/lounges in DC, but considering this is Rochester where the Ethiopian population is much less, they were still very friendly and hospitable at this restaurant! DEFINITELY coming back here again and again. —JenFromDC

2008-11-06 11:32:39   A very unique dining experience. Good food. Be prepared to wait on busy nights. A good chance to sit and take your time...but do not go if you are in a hurry. Service can be slow. —ChampsElysses

2008-12-10 12:35:38   I went there for lunch with a couple of friends (it was my first Ethiopian cuisine experience) and I walked away impressed and one more delicious pancake away from exploding. I'll be going back. —BatGuano

2009-01-03 19:04:28   Tasty, tasty food — VERY long wait for service. It doesn't matter whether the place is packed or you're the only customer there. Last time I went, it took 30 minutes for them to bring us water. But the food is SO good! —LaraC

2009-02-08 19:45:21   My girlfriends and I went out last night and chose to try Ethiopian cuisine from Abyssinia. It was a perfect choice for me because it served both vegetarian and meat options and because the bread is gluten-free. Very, very tasty dishes, and although the portion look small, because you're literally taking every bite of food with the spongy, unleavened bread, it fills you up quicker than you might expect! I loved this place so much, I begged my husband to give it a try— so we went there this afternoon for lunch. The service is only a bit slow— it was slower more last night, when crowded. Also, the ceiling fell on my friend at dinner last night, but it was quickly cleaned and taken care of. Mood music would be greatly appreciated. In all, though, it was an awesome experience and I can't wait to try it again!!! —jramey

2009-06-01 18:29:40   Overall excellent experience. I loved everything I had..unfortunately I don't really know the names of what I had. My friends and I ordered a combo for 4 and we got chicken, beef, lamb and 4 vegetarian side dishes (included automatically for the combos). Everything was fresh, delicious and flavourful. Eating together with 3 other people off one giant plate was quite the bonding experience. I think you can opt to have separate serving plates. The server was patient and attentive. The interior was kind of dark and outdated but the food outweighs that. I will definitely be back..and probably soon. —OneLove

2009-07-04 18:33:04   Went with a friend last night and the entire experience was terrific. We were waited on promptly and our food came quickly. Everything we had was delicious (chicken, beef and lentils). The prices are reasonable and the decor, while nothing to write home about, was comfortable and cozy. It wasn't terribly busy so that could account for not having to wait as others mentioned above. We are already talking about when we can go back! —ShawnaLusk