African, Ethiopian

Ethiopian restaurant offering vegan dishes. A microwave is used on some foods. Ask about special of the day. Black-owned. Open Tue-Thu 11:30am-9:00pm, Fri-Sat 11:30am-9:30pm. Reported to have irregular hours - call ahead.

Venue map for Little Africa
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33 Reviews

First Review by erbavore


Points +185

29 Jul 2023

Great service amazing food

Got the combo platter - my favorite dish was the ground chickpea one - the lentils were my least favorite - but everything was amazing - can’t wait to come back. Staff was super nice.

Pros: Chickpea dish



Points +97

17 Jun 2023

Best Ethiopian food

Such great tasting food, a good variety if you get the shared plate, but also can order individual dishes. Try the tea too. We come whenever we're in grand rapids and it doesn't disappoint. And it's ok to eat the injera off the plate!

Updated from previous review on 2023-06-17

Pros: Greg flavors , Great variety , Nice owner


Points +33

20 May 2023

Vegan and Gluten Free

Most restaurants we can eat at offer a few vegan dishes and a few gluten free dishes that are usually not vegan. Little Africa is a completely vegan restaurant. You can order the combo either regular (with wheat injera) or gluten-free (with 100% teff injera). All the food is unique and delicious. We don't get to Grand Rapids often but ate here about ten years ago after finding the restaurant in Happy Cow. It was a surprising discovery then and we rediscovered it with Happy Cow yesterday. The food is still delicious. The prices are also very reasonable. Credit cards can now be used to pay. The restaurant is a small, not so up-to-date place, but everything is clean and the owner is pleasant. We recommend it highly.

Updated from previous review on 2023-05-19

Pros: Completely Vegan, 100% Gluten Free Available, Pleasant owner

Cons: Not updated restaurant


Points +198

18 Apr 2023

Tastebud paradise

Every single one of the options are blissful! Highly recommend!

Updated from previous review on 2023-04-18


Points +26

01 Dec 2022

Wonderful Dive

A great place and the owners are friendly. If you've never had Ethiopian cuisine before you're in for a treat.


Points +52

04 Aug 2022

Favorite vegan restaurant

The food tastes great and I swear has healing properties. The combination of spices is really good. Absolutely still our favorite vegan restaurant in Grand Rapids. We always get the spicy combination for two. Lou’s tea is sweet and a favorite of ours as well.


Points +84

03 Jul 2022

Ethiopian Platter

Service was phenomenal! The food was good, as was the tea. Some items are microwaved. Be aware it’s cash only. Not the cleanest restaurant, but I would eat here again.

Pros: No meat in site

Cons: Cash only


Points +77

28 May 2022

Enjoy Ethiopian

Truly enjoyed Ethiopian dinner.

Pros: All vegan, Reasonable price, Delicious

Cons: Decoré is sub par


Points +58

25 Mar 2022

Great food in a cool atmosphere

Fully vegan, delicious, not too expensive, what more could you ask for. Went on a week day and were the only customers, so very timely service. Got the group platter and everything was delicious, lots of interesting spices and tastes.


Points +541

21 Nov 2021

Platter Matter

We stopped in while driving through GR and picked up a couple combo platters. They were excellent. Would definitely return.


Points +242

09 Sep 2021

This place rocks!!

Incredible meal, fantastic service and what sweet owners!

Updated from previous review on 2021-09-09

Pros: Delicious , Intriguing flavors, Well executed

Cons: None!


Points +412

24 Jul 2021

Yummy, Comforting Food

We were traveling through Michigan and were happy to find this place. They have gluten free teff Injera, though we had to call way ahead of time to make sure that it was prepared once we came in. Their food was great (I got the Kik and Alicha) and the mango juice was very tasty. The owners were very friendly. I would highly recommend going here!

Updated from previous review on 2021-07-24


Points +183

17 Oct 2020

Always delicious!

Lou puts some love into the food. Best sweet tea to offset the spice. Yummm


Points +503

01 Sep 2019


While visiting our daughter we went to Little Africa. This was our first Ethiopian food experience. The food and the experience were GREAT!! This is definitely a place to return to.


Points +1371

29 Jul 2019

at least it is vegetarian....

We ate at Little Africa on July 25. We ordered the vegetarian platter for four people for approximately $11 each. It included a sample of every available dish. Some of the items were a bit spicey but not too bad. We all liked the lentil dish best.

Everything was served on injera and you eat with your hands.
We were all stuffed and couldn't finish.

The place is a little worn around the edges. Service was adequate. We've had better Ethiopian food.....

There aren't many places for vegetarians in Grand Rapids and I wanted to love this place however I doubt we will return.

Pros: all vegetarian

Cons: bit worn around the edges


Points +41

28 Jun 2019

May be out of business

Called to see if open since op said they can be closed randomly. Voice mail said it would be open for lunch on Fridays. Arrived for lunch and it was locked up tight. Windows were dirty and it just looked abandoned to me.

Cons: Visited Friday June 28. Looks out of business.


25 May 2023


Points +215

20 Dec 2018

Wonderful restaurant

The tea is amazing. The spicy tomato soup is so good too. The first time I went I got the deluxe platter with my SO and my family. The platter is good to get the first time because you can try everything on the menu, and then you know later exactly what you like best (it’s hard to figure out still though cuz everything is amazing). The platter is $18.50/person. You get to try every entree, soup for every person, as well as tons of tea. Individual items are priced much cheaper.

Pros: All vegan restaurant, No wrong choice because everything is great


Points +19

28 Oct 2018


Seriously amazing food - all vegan!


Points +961

21 May 2017

very very good

Absolutely delicious. Perfect blend of spices and flavor. Ran by a sweet married couple. Atmosphere is very laid back, kind of a diner feel but with African music and decorations. Highly recommend


Points +5618

23 Jul 2016


You can't go wrong with any of the entree selections. The mango and guava juices are also amazing. Coke products. Casual interior. Large, spacious booths to sit at. Very reasonable prices & friendly service. Cash only. Love this place.


Points +26

03 Dec 2015

Great, all-vegan restaurant, cash only

What else is there to say? Great small business, friendly service, excellent food, you get to eat with your hands, and you'll leave full! My recommendation is to get the sampler platter for 1 or 2 more people than you have if you really wanna be stuffed.

Pros: All vegan, Small, family-owned business, Get to eat with your hands

Cons: Cash only?


Points +21

17 Aug 2015

Best ever

Little Africa is by far the best restaurant in Grand Rapids. It is impossible to leave hungry and to spend more than twelve dollars. It's also BYOB, so if you bring a bottle of wine, Lou will provide glasses for the table. Not open on Sunday or Monday, unfortunately. Don't forget to bring cash!

Pros: Great food, Good atmosphere, Super affordable


Points +109

28 Jul 2015

Randomly opens and closes on a whim

I wish I could review this place. My husband and I were very excited to try the food after reading great reviews and receiving a word of mouth recommendation. I called ahead in the early afternoon to make sure the place was open. The person who answered the phone said they were open until 9pm. When we arrived a couple hours later the place was closed. No sign. No explanation. We wandered around the neighborhood for 30 minutes hoping someone would come back. Nope. We called and got the answering machine. We called again an hour later and got the machine again. A proprietor on the block told us that randomly opening and closing on a whim is a regular occurrence at this restaurant. We are from out of state so we won't have the opportunity to give it another chance.

Cons: Random, unreliable hours


Points +16

25 Jul 2013

Amazing Food!

So yummy! Trust the reviews. Amazing, and reasonably priced, friendly vegan place. I had never had authentic Ethiopian food and I was really impressed. Definitely worth the trip!

Pros: Excellent food, Good value, Friendly staff

Cons: NONE!


Points +16

07 May 2012


We took our kids to the Children's Museum in GR for the day and were about 8 or 9 blocks away from this restaurant. We decided to walk there, although a bit chilly that day, to see if the reviews from this site were true. As a previous reviewer stated, this place is a whole in the wall and there is only one employee (at least when we were there). We'd never eaten this type of ethnic food before but were amazed at how delicious it was. Our 6 and 8 yr old loved it, although my son's dish was a little to spicy for him. Portion sizes...ha...bring your appetite because we all had "doggy bags" to take home. Service was slower but the wait was worth it. Really decent prices. As I mentioned before, we'd never tried this type of ethnic food so when we asked for a fork, the owner looked at us kinda funny but provided us with some. This type of food is eaten without utensils. Our family of 4 walked out of there for $40 and that's including a very very generous tip. Would like to see some desserts on the menu but other than that this place settles on the taste buds nicely.

Pros: Great Food, Low Prices, Nice Atmosphere

Cons: Slower Service, Place needs updating, Desserts needed


Points +136

20 Aug 2011

Trust the Reviews

Trust the reviews: the food here is good! I would never have walked into this place without reading about it. "Hole in the wall" is the perfect description for this restaurant. Often times nobody is there eating. The menu is plain and not 100% clear. For example, what does "all you can eat" mean? (For the record, we discovered it means you're served a little bit of everything and if you want more you just ask. Not a bad deal!) However, all the dishes are fantastic and hearty. They'd be perfect for the dead of winter. You can specify spiciness. Also, the guava juice was delicious! I can't wait to return.
Updated from previous review on Saturday August 20, 2011

Pros: Delicious, Cheap, Vegan

Cons: Styrofoam takeout containers


Points +384

18 Dec 2010

One of Grand Rapids' Brightest Gems

I find Teshlou's Little Africa to share a lot with the city of Grand Rapids: both are unassuming, thoroughly satisfying, cultured and - used liberally - delicious!

After a first visit to Grand Rapids my date and I attempted to go to eat at Little Africa but it was a Sunday and the restaurant was closed *note: if you are in the area on a Sunday, just across the street from Teshlou's is a very good Indian restaurant, open on Sundays*

So, my second visit to Grand Rapids I needed to try their only vegan restaurant. Having eaten at a handful of Ethopian restaurants in the past - never entirely vegan though - I was wholly pleased by this little establishment.

It's like being invited over and eating in someone's giant dining room. The owner/cook/only employee on site is friendly and happy to inform customers about the menu offerings. Service can be a tad slow but, the food being as good as it is, you'll most likely sit and savour it for quite awhile.

All dishes (about 8-9 choices) come atop delectable African flatbread. There are also a few drinks on the menu - I ordered a tall glass of guava juice. In terms of food I opted for two "dishes" while my date, cleverly, ordered only one. Alas, I was too ambitious and there was no way I would finish two dishes on my lonesome. Please note that the minimal cost of dishes does not translate to minimal food - the portions are large.

We both enjoyed our meals though next time I may go for something a little less spicy.

This is Ethopian food done right, done healthy and done deliciously. Visit Grand Rapids - especially for the mind-blowing summer extravaganza that is ArtPrize - and visit this restaurant. 4.5 Cows on 5!

Pros: All vegan Ethopian!, Owner/cook, Price

Cons: Food a bit spicy for me, Service is pretty slow

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