Bunna Cafe

Restaurants, Ethiopian Bushwick
5 out of 5 stars
(7user reviews)
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettCombination plate at Bunna Cafe
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettKeysir (chilled beets) at Bunna Cafe
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettGomen (Ethiopian collard greens) at Bunna Cafe
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettAtkilt alicha (cabbage-carrot stew) at  Bunna Cafe
 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica GannettCombination plate at Bunna Cafe
When shrimp-and-grits staple Mama Joy's bowed out of Bushwick, it made 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 has since moved in 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 cooked 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 (sautĂ©ed 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.


Venue name: Bunna Cafe
Address: 1084 Flushing Ave
Cross street: between Irving and Knickerbocker Aves
Opening hours: Mon–Thu, Sun 11am–midnight; Fri, Sat 11am–2am
Transport: Subway: L to Jefferson St
Price: Average entrée: $11. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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Average User Rating

4.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
1 person listening

The food here is amazing, but what makes Bunna Cafe stand out is its drink menu. From traditional Ethiopian honey wine to cocktails infused with the Cafe's unique coffee, this is a great place for dinner and drinks with a small group. It can get a bit loud, so be prepared to shout across the table, but the experience here is totally worth it.

This place has a line out the door on a Tuesday night. That goes to show how incredible it is!!

One of the best Ethiopian restaurants I have ever been to. The service and atmosphere are fantastic, the coffee ceremonies are great and it's all vegan, which is an added bonus.

Simply put: this is Ethiopian food at its best.  It's one of the few places both you and your non-vegan compadres can appreciate.  At Bunna, eating is best thought of as a team sport; groups of friends huddled around tables hand-picking colorful dishes from oversized Injera-covered plates. The casual atmosphere and low prices make this a spot worthy of many repeat visits.  Come for a coffee ceremony or order some out-of-this-world T'ej (Ethiopian honey wine) to complete your trip to the horn of Africa.

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I'll second  bigmovie's thoughts.  They could double their prices and I would still come.