• Cafe Desta

  • (18)
  • White Veg-options

Serves meat, vegan options available. Offers some vegetarian though butter is used in many dishes - vegans should clarify whether vegetable oil is an option in preparation. Can be served family style. Has a coffee bar. Simple atmosphere. Open Mon-Sun 11:00am-9:00pm.

Venue map for Cafe Desta
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18 Reviews

First Review by ranwe


Points +16

14 Jan 2024

Lots of clearly marked vegan options

Delicious!! Cute spot.



Points +322

23 Jun 2023

Authentic and delicious!

Best Ethiopian food in Tucson! So delicious!


Points +30

27 Apr 2022

Delicious and cheap

Small place and normally empty but the food is wonderful. I consider it my favorite place in Tucson for vegan food. The dishes are generous. There are around 7-8 vegan options. There is an option for vegan food with 3 choices and one where you can request a vegan sampler of all vegan options for 40 USD. The latter is enough food for 3-4 people. Food is well spiced. Injera is provided generously as well.

Updated from previous review on 2022-04-27


Points +388

12 Jan 2022

Greta vegan options

Staff is knowledgeable about vegan options! I love sharing a mixed plate with a friend. The collard greens are divine and I always feel nourished and full after eating here!


Points +720

13 Nov 2021

Vegan Platter

The space itself was very calming and featured a lot of vegan options! You have to eat with your hands when you order a vegan platter *loved that*. I really favored the spicier options on the platter.

*would probably rate 3.8*

Updated from previous review on 2021-08-10

Pros: Lots of vegan options , Great space and environment


Points +46

09 Jun 2021

Where My Love of Ethiopian Food Started

This place is absolutely amazing! Never had a dish I didn't like and the staff is so kind. Very vegan friendly and you definitely will leave feeling full and happy. Check this place out!! Wish I could give it 5 stars


Points +125

08 May 2021

Vegan sampler

For my first visit the vegan sampler was a phenomenal idea, aside from its massive almost big enough for 3 people size!

I enjoyed the red lentils and the chicken peas the most, but ut was all soooo good!

Be sure to have an Ethiopian espresso to accompany your choices!

Pros: Price, Serving size, Quiet


Points +35

18 Jul 2020

Amazing with lots of options!

I ordered the vegan platter which had every vegan dish they serve. I loved every dish! From then on I’ve order the vegan combo. The portions are big and the food is very good

Pros: Lots of vegan options, Very filling, Large portions


Points +544

20 Mar 2020

The best!!!

Food was incredible, vegan options clearly marked on menu. Ethiopian food heaven 😍😍

Pros: Vegan options right on menu, Delicious!

Cons: No vegan dessert:-(


Points +542

27 Oct 2019

Vegan fix in Tucson

In town for business, wanted solid vegan food (not some lame modification). The other highly rated Ethiopian restaurant in town was closed, so tried this one. Was very happy! Vegan options are clearly marked. Got the "Individual" vegan combo, which came with choice of three vegan dishes. I got the collards, yellow lentils, and green beans. All were delicious, as was the added lettuce-based salad. The enjera didn't strike me as fresh cooked, but the flavor was nice. I wouldn't hesitate to come here again.

Pros: Price, Good vegan options, Not crowded


Points +68

28 Mar 2018

cafe desta forever!

this restaurant is never at the top of any vegan tucson lists, and i really don't know why. this is one of my favorite vegan-friendly places to eat. the restaurant has a great ambience and the server is always very sweet. the vegan options on the menu are clearly marked and everything i've tasted is sooo good. i usually go with a friend and we share the combination platter and choose 5 vegan dishes we'd like to try. if you split the cost of that meal, it comes out to $12 each before tip. they also have coffee and vegan milks/creamers.

Pros: clearly marked vegan options, delicious and healthful


Points +162

05 Nov 2017

Vegan section on menu and other items listed as vegan

Delicious fresh vegan meals. Served with injera but you can substitute rice. Friendly and helpful service. Clean little cafe.

Pros: Clearly marked vegan items on menu, Several vegan dishes , Friendly helpful service


Points +22

17 Oct 2016

Delicious cultural experience in Tucson

Very yummy and very easy to order vegan here.

Pros: Vegan options on the menu

Cons: none


Points +223

08 Sep 2015

Great all-around Ethiopian fare in Tucson

Vegan? Order the vegan plate. It'll give you a little taste of all the vegan meals. We've had it about 20 times, and only once was it ever made incorrectly. Emphasize that you are ordering it vegan, and it'll be perfect.

But!!! Here's the most awesome thing they have on their menu: vegan soup with moist bread. My older daughter and I spent 6 months going out for lunch once a week in Tucson. Our goal was to try as many vegan soups as Tucson offered. This was the one we personally voted the best. We've been back for it a LOT of times. It's amazing.

This place is quaint and welcoming to all, vegan and non-vegan alike. I'd give it a 5-star rating, if that were allowed.

Pros: The vegan platter, Great place for all people, Service


Points +84

05 Jul 2015

A Favorite!

This is our favorite restaurant in Tucson. We'd give it 5 stars if Happy Cow allowed it. The place is super cool inside and allows you to bring your own wine to drink. The vegan shiro and gomen are drool-worthy and the owners and staff are the sweetest.

Next door is the restaurant 5 Points, which was originally started by the same people and has an awesome vegan breakfast.


Points +45

22 Dec 2013

So good!

Cafe Desta is just great. The atmosphere is comfortable, food is great, and the servers are friendly. One other plus if that they can make gluten free injera if you give them notice a day in advance. Truly a gem!

Pros: Great food, Nice atmosphere, Good drinks

Cons: Location, No vegan deserts, No vegan milky coffee options


Points +200

16 Sep 2011


Very good food at reasonable prices. As many vegan as meat options on the menu. My omnivore friends love this place too. And you can BYOB (or wine), with no corking fees!

Pros: yummy, great selection


Points +52

01 Jan 2011


This was my first taste of Ethiopian food and it was delicious! The lentils and the yellow split peas are may favorite. Bread is also very good. I was assured by one of the owners that the vegetable dishes and bread did not have butter in them but unfortunately the lentil soup does have butter. Vegetables are also prepared separately from the meat dishes. Can be ordered as sides, entrees or wraps. Can also be served family style on a platter. Prices were inexpensive. Sides from $4.95, entrees from $6.75 and platters with two vegetable options from $12.95.

Pros: excellent food, friendly staff, healthy

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