Ras Dashen

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 6 reviews )

5844 N Broadway (at Ardmore), Chicago, Illinois, USA, 60660

Serves meat, vegan options available. Ethiopian food typically offers a number of spiced vegetable dishes. Live music Sunday. Atmosphere is relaxed.

Categories: Beer/Wine, Ethiopian, African, Non-veg

6 Reviews

First Review by JulieV

Updated Menu! - Edit

This is one of my husband's favorite restaurants in the whole city! We've been a few times, but tonight I noticed they had reorganized the menu quite a bit.

They have an entire section of Vegetarian entrees, not just the sides, and most of them are vegan. I have enjoyed everything I tried so far, but to tell you the truth, I can't remember what the items were called. My entree was made of okra and lentils, cooked in spices and oil. The side was spinach cooked with onions and garlic. Very tasty! I have leftovers for tomorrow.

Service here is a bit spotty when it is busy like tonight, but the staff is very courteous nonetheless. I highly recommend checking this place out! If you haven't had Ethiopian before, this is a must try!

Pros: tasty veg options!, fun experience

Cons: can be pricy, noisy, lots more meat on the menu than veg

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Mixed Feelings - Edit

The way a restaurant's menu is laid out always makes a big first impression. It tells me whether, as a vegan, I'm going to be treated with respect and my dietary choices held in proper regard. Are the vegetarian and vegan items specially marked? Where are they placed on the menu? Are the veg items on top of the menu or tucked below as an afterthought?

Ras Dashen had the vegan items specially marked on the menu...fantastic. It had the veggie items listed before the meat items...top notch. The problem is all the veg items are listed as "sides". The beef and lamb dishes are listed as full-out "entrees". So if you order a Meat Combo you choose your entrees and 3 sides (the veggie dishes). For the Vegetarian Combo you choose 5 sides. I am sick of being downgraded to a side dish! To anyone with an ounce of compassion and notion of proper healthy eating, vegetables are a main dish. Instead of "sides", call them "Veggie Dishes" and your whole menu will make sense.

I liked the "come as you are" casual atmosphere. Beautiful flowers made the outdoor tables tempting. Wait staff was friendly and we were well attended to though service was a bit on the slow side. This restaurant has the best injera bread of any Ethiopian restaurant I've been to. I highly recommend the Tikil Gomen Alicha (choice #5) which is cabbage, potato and carrot stew and the Misser Wat (#10) which is pureed red lentils in a spicy berbere sauce.

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I'm in love... - Edit

I admit it, I love Ras Dashen so much. Every time I get a craving I cannot deny myself of this delicious food, and end up making an hour trip by train up north! I was hesitant to even look at the reviews so that I wouldn't be tempted to go today! I've been to a few Ethio places and Ras Dashen is definitely my favorite!

Vegan ice cream if you can even manage to eat dessert after the amount of food you get... I get the veg platter for two and eat for two days lunch and dinner! Their Injeera is the best I've had, the Mushroom Wat is possibly my favorite food in the whole world.

Ok, I'm done gushing... I should probably get ready to make the trip up north and eat...

Pros: BEST Ethiopian food, HUGE portions, live music sometimes!

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Best Ethiopian in the World - Edit

I have tried many, many Ethio restaurants in many cities, and Ras Dashen is the best I've ever had. Fortunately I live a few blocks away and can go often. Chef Zenash makes her own spice blends from scratch and the food is incredibly flavorful, complex and satisfying. I recommend the dupa wat (spicy pumpkin stew) and the mushroom wat (spicy mushroom stew with chickpeas) as well as all of the sides, 100% of which are veg! And yes, they do have vegan icecream for dessert.

Pros: Romantic atmosphere, Lots of veg options, Best food in the world

Cons: You eat until you hurt

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Great Vegan Options! - Edit

I recently ate at Ras Dashen and found it to be a very pleasant experience. Being a Vegan I found it very easy to find several options here. They have a separate section labeled as vegetarian and a V is next to everything that's Vegan. Virtually every veggie dish was Vegan so that's a plus in my book. I got the Vegetarian Sampler and I got to choose five different items. I can't remember the names of what I got, but the numbers were 5, 8, 10, 11 (I got two of one of them). My meal was so good and I was partial to the potato and green bean item. After our meal they gave us the desert menu, and to my surprise, they had Vegan Temptation Ice Cream! This place gets many stars in my book! Great food and great options!

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I can not say enough about this place! - Edit

I am so in love with Ras Dashen, I might even go as far to say as it is my home away from home! My fiance and I have been dining there since 2005 and at one point we were going twice a week for a about a month or two. They have live music on Fridays and the atmosphere is very comfortable. You can sit at traditional Ethiopian tables or at regular tables. The food is DELICIOUS! We highly recommend the Shirro, a chickpea "buttery" dish as well as many of the sides. Just a heads up to anyone with gluten issues, injera, the bread that you eat with is gluten free! If I could give them 5 stars I would!

P.S if you go with a party larger than 2 on a weekend evening call ahead and make a reservation.

Pros: excellent food, healthy cuisine, good portions

Cons: can be a little noisy

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