Hawi Ethiopian Restaurant

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 8 reviews )

113 S Cayuga St (at State St and Green St), Ithaca, New York, USA, 14850

Serves meat, vegan options available. Has over a dozen vegan appetizers and main courses. The injera can be made gluten-free upon request in advance. The restaurant seats 35+ and gets crowded at dinner. Located right on the downtown Ithaca Commons, making it accessible to shopping and nightlife. Open Mon-Sun 12:00pm-10:00pm.

Categories: Vegan-friendly, Ethiopian, Non-veg

8 Reviews

First Review by Amber Gilewski

The WORST customer service - Edit

The food is good but the service and customer service are beyond reprehensible. It really isn't worth going because the service is so poor; I used to recommend this restaurant to people but will certainly not be doing so any longer.

This evening we went specifically because we had a coupon stating, "Enjoy a FREE Menu Item of your choice with the purchase of a Menu item of equal or greater value, up to a $10 value", which I had used once in the past without any issues. As the coupon specifically states, any purchase of $10 or greater should qualify you to receive an item of $10 or less for free. However, the restaurant REFUSED to honor the coupon. Additionally, when we asked to speak to the manager/owner, they refused to come talk to us. I have never been to any establishment where the manager was so cowardly as to refuse to talk to their paying customers, and I am so disappointed by this pathetic excuse for customer service.

Additionally, once when we visited in the past, the server tried to kick us out after an hour, saying, "Okay; we have another party who needs this table, please finish your drinks and leave."

I simply cannot recommend this restaurant to anyone anymore based on their abhorrent lack of customer service.

Cons: customer service, valuing loyal customers, cowardly owner

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Disappointed! - Edit

After having eaten Ethiopian food at Lucy's Kitchen in Toronto Canada I had high hopes that I'd enjoy a great meal at Hawi. But when the food came it was lacking. It was extremely hot in the place, uncomfortably so! The food wasn't all that great and my in-laws felt they were short changed with their food. So, I would only give this 2 stars. I think this restaurant could do better! We did express our feelings, but the fellow who was very nice just giggled..

Updated from previous review on 2017-10-01

Pros: Service was fast and friendly.

Cons: Short changed on food., Extremely hot inside the place.

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Awesome!! - Edit

Clean, items clearly marked vegan or made vegan optional. service was very good and very helpful in verifying what was vegan, or could be made vegan. also staff very kind with any other questions and in general. Wonderful!!!! Would certainly go again !!!!!

Pros: Lots of vegan options, plus deserts that can be ma

Cons: Sort of on the expensive side, but not too bad.

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Outstanding Ethiopian Vegan-Friendly Food - Edit

Hawi is an excellent choice for vegans or vegetarians located right in downtown Ithaca. I had the vegetable platter which was a sampling of eight different vegetable entrees for only $14 per person for the lunch special. I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys Ethiopian food.

Pros: Oustanding Food, Many Vegan Options, Friendly Service

Cons: A Little Pricey at Dinner, Serves Meat

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Fantastic Ethiopian Food - Edit

I tried them for the first time recently, and was extremely impressed. We came for dinner and didn't have a reservation (just taking a chance!) and they made us feel welcome and did their best to get us a table as swiftly as possible. Once seated, the friendly service continued, and I had the veggie combo - wow! Some of the best Ethiopian food I've had ever. So glad they are in town and doing well. Can't wait to go back! Would definitely give them 5 cows if they were all veg!

Pros: Friendly service, Fantastic food, Generous portions

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working out the kinks, but worth it - Edit

First off, this is a new place and they are still working out some stuff in terms of management and service, which is not to say that the service isn't warm and friendly, just not an efficient well-oiled machine. But the food is delicious! And everything "veggie" is vegan. The prices are a bit high for this town but maybe it will help them survive an awful landlord. I hope so!

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Great food, Slow service - Edit

Hawi is a great new addition to the wonderful restaurants we have in Ithaca. The food was interesting and flavorful, but we had to wait an hour and a half for our food and had to ask our friendly waiter three times for a diet coke.

Pros: Good Food, Good atmosphere , friendly staff

Cons: Long wait time, Bread was a bit too sour, Tables too close together

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Amazing Ethiopian food with many vegan options - Edit

We've been to Hawi twice since it opened on 3/11/15 and are so excited that there is finally an Ethiopian restaurant in Ithaca! The food is amazing! We've had wonderful Ethiopian in Philadelphia and Washington D.C. and this is just as good, if not better.

We had the veggie combo platter both times and were blown away with all of the flavors. The beets were an interesting addition and bring another dimension of color and taste to the meal. We had the vegetable sambusa as an appetizer and it was crispy, delicious, and had a nice, slightly spicy sauce. The restaurant is BYOB with a $5 corking fee per bottle. Gluten-free injera is available upon request with advance notice.

Hawi is one of the most vegan-friendly restaurants in town currently. There are easily over a dozen vegan options on the menu. The location is great: right on the Commons near shopping, the theater, and nightlife.

Since the restaurant is still relatively new, they have been swamped and are still hiring help. Be prepared for a long wait and slow, but friendly service. We plan on being regular customers now that there is this much needed cuisine downtown.

Pros: Many vegan options, Only Ethiopian food in the area, High quality

Cons: Long wait, Slow service, Corking fee

1 Response
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Jo Zee 28 Sep 2016 - It sounds amazing. I go to one in Canada, in Toronto called Lucy's on Danforth Avenue. If it can do half as good as Lucy's I'm going to give them a try, thanks for the info.  

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