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Berbere Restaurant

Santa Monica
Ethiopian Restaurant
$$$$
Available for Delivery/Takeout

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Smorgasburg darling Tezeta “Tete” Alemayehu is behind this African-inspired vegan spot in Santa Monica, with two levels of sleek, wood interiors, plus a small astroturfed parklet and sidewalk seating. You’ll find plenty of Ethiopian ingredients and spices on the menu, but the first restaurant concept from the chef ventures far outside of traditional Ethiopian cuisine, with a modern menu that includes popular Smorgasburg items like ET Twist Tacos with potato, lentil, mushroom, cilantro, awaze, tangfaye sauce, and microgreens, plus a bevy of new additions like Eat the Rainbow, with red lentils, turmeric garbanzo, and purple cabbage with potato and sautéed greens, served with teff injera bread.
How to book: Walk-ins welcome. Order takeout and delivery via UberEats.

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Chef Tezeta “Tete” Alemayehu, who gained a following during her stint at Smorgasburg, has generated even more buzz since opening her self-proclaimed “unusual vegan restaurant” last year. Named for the Ethiopian spice blend, her plant-based fare comes with an Ethiopian twist, incorporating ingredients from the nearby Santa Monica Farmers Market to create innovative dishes like Blueberry Teff Pancakes and tofu-and-bulgur breakfast burritos in the morning and Rosemary Root Salad, cauliflower-and-mushroom-stuffed lettuce wraps, and a butternut squash-based burger come afternoon. You’ll also find an array of fresh-pressed juices and smoothies.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome. Reservations are accepted for special events and larger parties. Order online for takeout.

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Dedicated carnivores might raise their eyebrows at Berbere’s self-billing as an “unusual vegan restaurant,” but we promise it’s worth venturing out of your comfort zone for. Led by chef/owner Tezeta “Tete” Alemayehu, who opened her first brick-and-mortar in fall 2021 after wowing diners at Smorgasburg LA with an Ethiopian-inspired vegan menu. There’s plenty of space in the two-level restaurant, including a streetside patio, so get comfy as you dig into vibrant dishes like a Black Seed Blueberry Teff Pancake with a tofu scramble and breakfast potato; a hearty Rosemary Root Salad with celery, red onion, potato, beets, carrots, turnips, creamy cilantro sauce, and fresh lemon; and Shiro, a clay pot garbanzo stew.
How to book: Walk in or select from the various pickup and delivery options on their website.

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Named for the Ethiopian spice blend, this self-proclaimed “unusual vegan restaurant” that’s become one of the buzziest restaurantson the Westside in recent months, is all about plant-based fare with an Ethiopian twist. Chef Tezeta “Tete” Alemayehu (who gained a following during her stint at Smorgasburg) incorporates produce from SaMo’s nearby fabled farmers market to create unique dishes, like gluten-free blueberry teff pancakes and garbanzo scrambles at breakfast, and rosemary root salad, potato-mushroom-lentil tacos, and a butternut squash-based burger come lunch. Also look for fresh-pressed juices and smoothies.
How to order: Walk-ins welcome. Reservations accepted for special events and larger parties. Order for pickup online or for delivery through delivery apps.

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In LA, vegan food is often approached from a Eurocentric point of view, but Tezeta “Tete” Alemayehu’s new brick-and-mortar restaurant is shaking up the scene by introducing the Westside to African-inspired vegan fare. Born and raised in Ethiopia, Alemayehu is intimately familiar with plant-based eating; due to religious reasons, half of Ethiopia’s population abstains from animal products for about 200 days per year, so the chef and nutritionist learned how to leverage her native country’s vibrant spices and sauces to flavor her dishes. Based on her original recipes, Berbere is a refreshing take on veganism and a reflection of what Alemayehu cooks for her family at home. Featuring local farmers markets produce, the menu includes the mouthwatering sliders and tacos that made Alemayehu’s Smorgasburg pop-ups so popular, in addition to new dishes like rosemary root salad and clay plot garbanzo stew. While Berbere isn’t a traditional Ethiopian restaurant, Alemayehu’s heritage influences the menu at every turn; she prepares fresh injera flatbread daily, and spices like korerima, beso bela, and berbere (naturally!) take center stage. What else to expect? Fresh, healthy smoothies and juices, as well as made-from-scratch sauces and dressings (like a truly unique almond berbere spread) that are available to purchase on site.
How to book: Walk-ins only.

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