Serves meat, vegan options available. In Ethiopian cuisine you will find vegetarian stews and dishes made from lentils, vegetables, and potatoes which are typically vegan-suitable. Menu offers several dishes of steamed greens, lentils and chickpeas, a potato and cabbage dish. Meal is served with injera bread. Open Tue 11:00am-2:00pm, Tue-Sun 3:00pm-9:30pm, Wed-Sun 11:00am-3:00pm. Closed Mon.

Venue map for Zemam's
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12 Reviews

First Review by cottrellbentley


Points +298

23 Jun 2023


One of the best Ethiopian restaurants I’ve ever been to. Great vegan options!



Points +1438

16 May 2023

Kinda meh

Zemam's has two locations now, this one and one on Speedway, just west of 4th Ave. I asked and the veg options don't have butter. The veggie sampler is plenty. The "spicy" dishes actually have a little spice, more than some other Ethiopian places. This is where I first tried Ethiopian and it's still good over a decade later. They also have beer and wine now.

*2023 update: I ate here recently and the food was very mediocre, bland. And the portion size is small. The veggie sampler is maybe enough for 1 person. This location was closed and the other location ran out of injera and had to close early.

Updated from previous review on 2017-12-31

Pros: Many veggie options, Quick service, Reasonable cost

Cons: Quality has really decreased


Points +381

02 Oct 2022

Split Pea Delight

Was traveling to Sedona and found this restaurant on this app. Look up Zemam’s Too. The regular Zemam’s is closed. I loved the split peas. It is served with injera bread that you use the eat your food. No utensils. Cool experience.

Pros: Vegan options, Cultural food experience, Tasty


Points +2435

14 Sep 2022


I absolutely loved Zemam’s! So fresh, delicious, and filling. I had the Gomen Alicha — carrots, cabbage & potatoes simmered in mild turmeric-based sauce; Yesimir Kay Wat — red lentils, sauteed with onions in a spicy berbere sauce; and Cauliflower — roasted cauliflower, spiced with a blend of peppers & garbanzo flour on injera bread. Tear off a piece of the bread, and use it to grab some of the deliciousness!

Pros: Great vegan options, Friendly staff, Delicious


Points +117

20 Jun 2021

Enjoyed the food so much I ordered another round

It was my first time having Ethiopian food (due to lack of availability in my home town) and I couldn’t be more satisfied. The staff were so helpful and assured me that the veggie dishes were/would be made vegan. I ended up getting another All Veggie Sampler because it was so delicious. I would highly recommend eating at either of the Zemam locations!

Pros: All veggie options can be made vegan, Friendly staff, Good prices


Points +40

08 Feb 2020

My Favorite Restaurant in All of Tucson

Because they serve meat, I cannot give it the five stars I wish I could. There is a good variety of vegetarian/vegan dishes to choose from, and everything is excellent. Some things are extremely spicy, so you should ask your server which dishes to avoid if your palate can't quite handle the heat.

My all-time favorite dish here are the split peas. I don't know how they transform something as humble as the split pea into something so bursting with flavor. My dining companion and I usually get one full order of the split peas, along with a veggie sampler. They always give us little dollops of other vegan things to try as well. I've never been disappointed with a meal here.

Pros: injera, split peas, off-street parking


Points +542

22 Nov 2019

Numerous vegan options

When traveling, Asian and Ethiopian food is a good bet for finding vegan options. Zemam's did not disappoint. The menu is simple, with both meat and vegetable options. One option is a "sampler" of three vegetable choices. The menu does not identify dishes as vegan, but my limited knowledge of the cuisine is that the vegetable dishes do not include dairy or eggs. The server confirmed this when I inquired. I had a hard time picking three, asked if I could have four, and the server quickly agreed. I selected the collards, brown lentil stew, green beans with carrots, and cabbage. All were delicious, with a bit of spice in the collards. The green beans were a bit salty for my taste, but not over the top.

The restaurant is modestly appointed, with several small rooms of tables. The rooms are separated by arched doorways. Each room is decorated with posters of Ethiopia and Ethiopian art. I arrived at 5pm, shortly after they opened for dinner at 4:30. I had the entire place to myself, and one person came in for a pickup order. I don't know if the place gets more business in prime dinner time, but I hope so. The food was fresh and tasty, and I would be a regular if I lived in Tucson.

Pros: Excellent taste, Multiple vegan options


Points +22

27 Feb 2019

Delicious Ethiopian, vegan options at Zemam

We both chose the vegetarian sampler and each picked three dishes. There were 7 vegan options on the menu and 1 vegetarian so we had many choices. The collard greens were our favorite: spicy and moist. The only disappointing dish was the cauliflower, which was boring but edible. The vegetable dishes were served atop a platter with a large injera bread, which we also ate. Ethiopian food is eaten with your hands: you tear off a piece of injera bread and use it to pick up a bite of stew. We also liked the Ethiopian tea that actually is just spices but was warming and tasty. We will definitely be back!

Pros: Many vegan options , Good value for the price, Two locations


Points +42

08 Jul 2018

Amazing Ethiopian food!

Our second favorite place to eat in Tucson. (The first is a vegan restaurant) There is a big selection and they make it easy with their vegetarian menu. Everything on the veg menu is vegan with the exception of one that comes with cottage cheese (I think you can ask to omit that). They have friendly and timely service too. If you like Ethiopian food, you will love Zemam's.

Updated from previous review on 2018-07-08

Pros: delicious food, veg menu, great service

Cons: restaurant is a bit drab looking


Points +32

01 Jun 2018

Great food! Cozy atmosphere.

The restaurant is small but it was perfect. My boyfriend (not vegetarian/vegan) and I went for dinner. The food was delicious and when they say spicy it is SPICY 🔥. But still very flavorful. The staff was very nice and helpful. I didn’t know much about Ethiopian food until I went there. It’s all served on one big metal plate. Which they did separate the food but if you plan on going here with a meat eater just ask for separate dishes. I will definitely be going back soon.

Pros: Food, Staff, Environment


Points +271

20 Feb 2018

Great Food

Really good food. Service is very friendly but inattentive. Be sure to call ahead and have them prepare the maskal teff injera. It has a lot more flavor.

Pros: Food, Atmosphere

Cons: Service


Points +223

09 Sep 2015

Great Ethiopian choices (check out 2nd location)

Zemam's is a little Ethiopian restaurant set inside of an old Arizona house in central Tucson. I've been there on dozens of occasions, and am rarely disappointed. The food listed under Vegetarian is all vegan except the spinach (which comes with a spoonful of cottage cheese)--they are happy to leave this off. You can order with low oil! You can also order gluten-free injera (spongy, sour flatbread), if you call a few hours in advance. Everything is fantastic here, and we always want more the next day (so order enough for leftovers).

The owners have opened a second location: Zemam's Too on Speedway near I-10. This location has a slightly different menu which my family likes even more than the original menu (probably only because we haven't had it as often). It, too, is inside of an old Arizona house.

Both places have ample seating and are easy to park at if you go at slightly off hours.

Pros: Excellent food and flavors, Friendly staff, Cute location w/ ample seating

Cons: Not 100% vegan

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