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Sammy’s Ethiopian Kitchen takes over former Addis NOLA spot on Broad

(Sammy’s Ethiopian Kitchen)

By Marielle Songy, Mid-City Messenger

Sammy’s Ethiopian Kitchen opened in January, serving fresh traditional food in the Broad Street space that once held another Ethiopian restaurant, Addis NOLA

The owner is a veteran of the two other Ethiopian restaurants in the city: Addis NOLA, now on Bayou Road, and Café Abyssinia, on Magazine Street. 

Sammy’s Ethiopian Kitchen is owned by chef Samuel Shifferaw and his son Henok Samuel. (It’s Ethiopian tradition for children to take their father’s first name as their last name.)

Shifferaw, an Ethiopian native, has worked in the restaurant industry for over 35 years. In the 1990s, he owned Abay, a successful Ethiopian restaurant in Atlanta. He also had a hand in opening the popular Desta Ethiopian Kitchen, which has multiple locations across Atlanta.

After moving to New Orleans in 2010, he cooked at Café Abyssinia. In 2019, helped open and was the head chef at Addis NOLA.

After working hard to help others open their Ethiopian restaurants, Shifferaw and Samuel both thought it was time for Shifferaw to, once again, run his own restaurant.

When the building on South Broad became available, Shifferaw jumped at the opportunity to open a restaurant and add to the landscape of Ethiopian restaurants in town.

Tibs (Sammy’s Ethiopian Kitchen)

Samuel noted that his family has nothing but respect for Addis NOLA and Café Abyssinia.

“We’re happy to be open and serving the neighborhood and adding to the other Ethiopian restaurants that are in the city.” Samuel said. “It’s all love between us — they’re doing a great job of representing Ethiopian cuisine. There were only two Ethiopian restaurants in the city, and now there are three. That’s really a drop in the bucket when you consider the whole of the New Orleans restaurant scene.”

Shifferaw learned to cook while growing up in Ethiopia, and the food served at Sammy’s Ethiopian Kitchen’s menu are family recipes that he learned from his mother.

One of the restaurant’s specialties is Sammy’s Special Kitfo, minced beef with Ethiopian butter, mitmita sauce and Ethiopian cottage cheese. Samuel explained that this traditional Ethiopian dish is made with minced beef and is typically served nearly raw. However, Sammy’s version is cooked to the customer’s preference, and the meat is infused with Ethiopian spices.

Vegetable Combo (Sammy’s Ethiopian Kitchen)

Other menu highlights include Rib Eye Tibs and Lamb Tibs. This dish is made with meat sautéed in spiced butter, grilled onions, green peppers, tomatoes, rosemary, olive oil and fresh herbs.

Vegetarian dishes include Shiro, an Ethiopian-style hot chick-pea flower stew; Kik Alicha, split peas cooked with oil, onions, garlic, turmeric and ginger; and the Vegetarian Combo, an array of vegetarian dishes such as collard greens, cabbage, red lentils, yellow split peas, chick-pea stew, beet salad and green lentils.

Quality is most important to Shifferaw, and, as Samuel said of his father, he believes that the secret to good food is that it is served fresh.

“He’s very passionate about his restaurant and his food. He’ll come out and greet the customers; he cares,” Samuel said of his father. “He wants to make sure his food is always served as quickly as possible when it comes off the pan.”

Sammy’s Ethiopian Kitchen has applied for its liquor license and expects to serve honey wine and other specialty cocktails soon. The honey wine has important ties to the family’s history.

“My family in Ethiopia had been well off, but lost everything when the Communist regime took over,” Samuel said. “My grandmother, who was a widow, had a big family that she had to take care of. In order to make ends meet she made honey wine and taught my father how to make it. In the future, we want to offer honey wine and continue that story.”

Sammy’s Ethiopian Kitchen is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sammy’s Ethiopian Kitchen
422 S. Broad St.


Reporter Marielle Songy can be reached at

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