Bunna Cafe to open in Bushwick

The nomadic Ethiopian pop-up moves into a permanent space in Brooklyn.

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  • Photograph: Erica Gannett

    Combination plate at Bunna Cafe

  • Photograph: Erica Gannett

    Keysir (chilled beets) at Bunna Cafe

  • Photograph: Erica Gannett

    Gomen (Ethiopian collard greens) at Bunna Cafe

  • Photograph: Erica Gannett

    Atkilt alicha (cabbage-carrot stew) at  Bunna Cafe

  • Photograph: Erica Gannett

    Combination plate at Bunna Cafe

Photograph: Erica Gannett

Combination plate at Bunna Cafe

With shrimp-and-grits staple Mama Joy’s bowing out of Bushwick, it makes way for a restaurant with roots touching even farther south: Ethiopia. Founded by Sam Saverance and Ethiopian expat Liyuw Ayalew, the wandering vegan pop-up—running in North Brooklyn since 2011—hosted African lunches out of Mama’s vacant space starting in July 2013 and is now setting up shop permanently. The brick-walled joint honors Ethiopia—widely hailed as the birthplace of coffee—with traditional coffee ceremonies and live Abyssinian music. Java is made in a jebena pot and infused with cloves and cardamom, served with snacks like ambasha bread or roasted barley. Those looking for heartier options can dig into vegetarian plates, served on a bed of injera bread, like misir wot (red lentils in berbere sauce), keysir selata (sautéed and chilled beets) and shiro (garlicky ground chickpeas). Along with pureed juices (mango-avocado-papaya), beverages include Ethiopian beers (Castel, Harar), tej (honey wine) and cocktails, such as a whiskey-spiked Shai spiced tea. 1084 Flushing Ave between Irving and Knickerbocker Aves, Bushwick, Brooklyn (347-295-2227)


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