5 of the Best Coffee Shops in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

By Mark Wiens 44 Comments
Best coffee shops in Addis Ababa
An Ethiopian style macchiato

If you drink coffee, you probably already know that Ethiopian coffee is perhaps the best in the world.

So one of the best activities to do in Addis Ababa is to search out the best coffee shops in the best coffee country in the world.

Not only will you want to drink as many cups of the goodness as possible while in Ethiopia, but it’s also a must to purchase coffee beans in Addis Ababa to bring back wherever you may be going.

In fact, I’m still sparingly nursing my Ethiopian coffee beans from my latest trip to Ethiopia – I’m drinking Harar coffee as I write this.

I drank a lot of coffee when I was in Ethiopia – I barely even slept – I was wired my entire trip, and I was able to sample some wonderful coffee.

So here are 5 different Addis Ababa coffee shops where you can not only get a winning cup of coffee, but at some of them you can also buy great coffee beans to bring home.

Tomoca (TO.MO.CA) coffee shop
Tomoca (TO.MO.CA) coffee shop

1. Tomoca (TO.MO.CA) Coffee

Tomoca coffee is the gold standard of Ethiopian coffee in Addis Ababa, everyone knows about them.

Though it’s written up in virtually every guidebook and piece of Addis writing you’ll come across, it’s for a good reason, and it’s a coffee shop you must visit if you love coffee.

It’s a very small, antique looking, coffee shop where the aroma of coffee will hit you before you enter.

There’s no seating, so you basically order a cup of coffee and either stand somewhere, or place your cup of coffee on one of the few stand-up coffee tables.

I ordered a macchiato (the Ethiopian style of a macchiato which became one of my standards), to which you can either request strong or medium.

I got the strong, of course.

It was one of the best cups of coffee I had.

Price – Macchiato is 10 ETB ($0.50).

Price for beans – They sell only Harar coffee beans, 1/2 kilo is about 80 ETB ($4.07) after taxes

Mokarar (Harar Coffee) Coffee Shop
Mokarar (Harar Coffee) Coffee Shop

2. Mokarar (Harar Coffee)

In English the sign reads Mokarar, but in Amharic, it’s known as Harar Coffee shop – so if you take a taxi, most locals are only familiar with the latter name – this caused my taxi driver some serious confusion – so just remember to tell you taxi driver to go to Harar Coffee shop, which is directly across the street from the Soramba Hotel.

This friendly local coffee shop and coffee bean roaster in Addis Ababa is another local favorite.

They sell both fresh cups of coffee, and good quality roasted coffee beans.

Again, I ordered a macchiato, and it was rich, creamy, and sharp. I loved it. Plus the coffee bean filled tables were pretty cool too.

Price – My macchiato was just 6 ETF ($0.30)

Price for beans – For coffee beans, they sell a number of different choices including Harar and Sidamo. I bought a few kilos of Harar, packaged after ordering, for 140 ETB per kilo (comes to more like 150 ETB ($7.64) per kilo after tax).

Alem Bunna coffee shop
Alem Bunna… yup, I had to settle for a tea…

3. Alem Bunna

Another local Addis Ababa coffee shop chain that is a favorite among many is Alem Bunna.

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to Alem Bunna until the final day that I was in Addis Ababa, and guess what?

They somehow didn’t have coffee the morning I went…!

That’s right, they said something like the coffee delivery truck got stuck or broke down, or something like that, and no coffee was available for the time being.

So I had to settle for a cup of tea, which by the way, Ethiopian tea is also quite good.

At some Alem Bunna locations, and if they have their act together, you can purchase beans or ground coffee – but sometimes it seems they are a little disorganized – like when I went and they didn’t have any coffee!!

You can purchase Alem Bunna coffee at the supermarket too, though I could only find ground coffee, not beans.

Coffee shops in Addis Ababa
This is my wife’s cappuccino, it was prettier than my Americano

4. Kaldi’s Coffee

With a green circular sign, Kaldi’s is the local Ethiopian version of Starbucks.

It’s a huge chain spread throughout Addis Ababa and the shop is very modern designed and sort of the trendy coffee shop to go to.

It’s not exactly the local Ethiopian coffee shop experience, but I admit it can be convenient and comfortable.

Kaldi’s Coffee serves an array of modern international coffee drinks like cappuccino and mocha. They also sell cakes and pastries.

I had a cup of Americano, pretty decent, but for myself, it was not nearly as satisfying as the cups of local Ethiopian coffee mentioned above. But then again, Kaldi’s is more of a relaxing sit-down and get some work done, or have a meeting, kind of a coffee shop.

Price – Coffee is 10 – 15 ETF ($0.50 – $0.75)

I didn’t purchase any coffee beans at Kaldi’s, but my Father who has taken a few trips to Ethiopia, told me the beans weren’t very good.

So if I were you, I would stick to beans from either Tomoca or Mokarar.

Ethiopian food
Is it alright to include a little food in this coffee post!?

5. Yeshi Buna

Another coffee shop that doubles as a restaurant, and they have some very tasty Ethiopian food there too, is Yeshi Buna.

This restaurant is another Addis Ababa institution, with a number of branches spread throughout the city. They have quite a following, for the good quality food and drinks they serve.

Some people go just to eat, while others go just to relax and have a cup of traditional style Ethiopian coffee.

Since I was staying at Toronto Guest House, there was a Yeshi Buna restaurant right across the street, so I went there a few times to eat and have a coffee.

Street coffee and other restaurants

Finally, another delightful option for coffee shops in Addis Ababa are the infinite hole in the wall coffee shops.

In tiny little closet sized shops you’ll find vendors roasting, pounding, and brewing coffee in the traditional jebena clay coffee pot.

They serve coffee black, with sugar mixed in. The traditional type of Ethiopian coffee at street food stalls is incredibly delicious, and it’s always a fun experience.

Price – cups cost around 5 ETB ($0.25)

coffee shops in Addis Ababa
Small local coffee shop in Addis Ababa – there are thousands of them!

Also, at most restaurants you eat at in Addis Ababa, such as Kategna, you’ll be able to order either western style steam machine coffees or traditional coffees.

The best thing about drinking coffee in Ethiopia is that you’re never far from coffee.

Some countries I’ve visited, you wake up in the morning and worry a little about where you’re going to find a good cup of coffee (which is why I normally travel with my own coffee), but in Ethiopia, there’s no need to worry. Coffee is always right around the corner!

When it comes to the best coffee shops and where to buy coffee beans in Addis Ababa my top choices are both TO.MO.CA and Mokarar.

Enjoy, and please leave a comment if you know of other great coffee shops in Addis Ababa!

(I’ve plotted most of the coffee shops in this article on this map, just scroll through the list of things in Addis Ababa and click on one of the “coffee cup icons” for the location)



44 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Ziama

    3 months ago

    There are two funny hot drinks I tasted in Ethiopia. “Spris” = not the layered juice but the combination of black coffee and tea that can wake up a dead one in the morning (found in Moyale). And then a natural (not branded) hot beverage made with groundnut and sugar (found in Wouldia).

  • Russel Meyer

    1 year ago

    To the person who asked about coffee at the airport: they have various blends at duty free. Try Tomoca, my all-time favourite.
    The reviews in the article are excellent! Thank you!
    Can only add that Tomoca comes in Familigia (milder) and BAR (stronger) blends. Both In ground coffee packets and beans. I prefer BAR.
    I’m in South Africa, don’t get to visit Ethiopia anymore. Very sad. Loved Addis.

  • selam

    1 year ago

    TOMOCA!!!hands down the best coffee in the world……

  • Alive_and_Travelling

    1 year ago

    I will be changing planes at Addis airport next week; dont think I will have to time to step out (time between flights is 4 hours). Is there a shop selling coffee beans in the airport ?

  • abiyo

    2 years ago

    As a coffee lover born and raised in Ethiopia, I like and agree with your post. My personal favourites are Tomoca and street vendors. Thank you for mentioning the street vendors. There are those, even among Ethiopians, who will never sit down to buy coffee from them. You are awesome to appreciate their coffee.

  • Christin

    2 years ago

    ROBERA coffee in Addis! You can even take a tour of the factory!

  • vera

    2 years ago

    I can smell the aroma of coffee!

  • Rai Come

    2 years ago

    Hey Mark

    I was wondering if you would now, where to buy fresh raw coffee beans, do any of these shops sell them fresh?
    Or can you buy them at a market, im not a importer, but have a friend there goes to Addis all the time, so would just need small amounds, for home use self roasting.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Rai, not sure if you can buy raw beans at these shops, but definitely at Addis Mercato you can buy lots of raw beans as well as walking along on certain areas of the roadside.

  • Hannah

    2 years ago

    Great information thanks. I have a lay over in Addis airport and am such a coffee fan I’d love to pop out of the airport and grab a drink. Any idea what time Tomoca or others will be open until? Which one is most practical to get to from the airport? Many thanks!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hey Hannah, glad you enjoy coffee as well. I’m not sure, but I think about 8 pm or so. Hope you have a great layover!

  • Solomon

    2 years ago

    We found another coffe house in Addis Ababa, which is calld Melang coffee roasters, one off the best coffee and coffee house , anybody’s who is in addis you should try there coffee or macchiato, there way of frosting is just perfect

  • Ashenafi

    2 years ago

    Well said about our coffee shops in adiss but you miss test of coffe shope piaza arada building what a test

  • Sanjai Saxena

    2 years ago

    Thx for the tip Mark. Visited Tomoca today. The aroma as you enter feels like you’ve hit paradise. Had a macchiato. Super flavorsome! Picked up kilos of their beans too 🙂 Prices have gone up though now. Half kilo of beans costs around 130 Birr (i.e US $ 6.50) – more than 50% up from the time you posted around a year and a half back.

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Hi Sanjai, good to hear you visiting Tomoca, and thank you for the price update!

  • Malcolm Vernon

    2 years ago

    I agree with you that Mokarar is a great coffee shop and their beans are definitely worth bringing home. Just be aware that “1kg” of coffee beans bought from Mokarar will weigh about 850g (at least, mine always does, but I totally look like a tourist): armed with this info I’d point this out to the lady that measures it out, and politely insist on them ‘checking’ the weight …

  • Alice

    2 years ago

    Hello, I just find this blog and I’d like to share with you a beautiful place where we can taste a excellent coffee here in Addis, Galani Coffee. It’s open only weekends and is worth to visit it.

  • Jay

    2 years ago

    Had the good fortune to have great coffee in my hotel in Adis Ababa. When I asked what coffee it was , my host said that it was Tomoca!
    I couldn’t go to the Tomoca shop to buy some coffee. Maybe next time!!

    • Mark Wiens

      2 years ago

      Thank you for sharing Jay, glad you had some fantastic coffee!

  • vanessa

    2 years ago

    I’m enjoying Ethiopia and the coffee is awesome,I’m from Kenya and i would love to come back for more coffee

  • Ross

    3 years ago

    Great tips. I went into Alem Bunna and found them good. In Addis and in any small village there was always a café. As a coffee lover this was heaven. Usually in the developing world a coffee is only in the bigger towns.

  • Jon Blomquist

    3 years ago

    Umm… I am little obsessed with coffee (just now downed my 3rd cup in a Chicago cafe) but mine doesn’t look anywhere near as good as those first few photos of macchiatos. I loooove extremely dark roast, almost like an oil or sludge 🙂 with a thick frothiness on top. And at those prices!! Looks like a piece of my heaven. I think I found my new top reason to book an adventure out to Ethiopia!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Jon, excellent, glad you love coffee too – and the dark only stuff! Hope you can make it to Ethiopia soon!

  • Esteban

    3 years ago

    Thank you so much for the tips!
    I’ll be in Ethiopia from a month and I’m just heading out to Churchill Road to buy coffee.
    Your review on Kategna definitely opened my appetite!

    Thanks a lot!

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Esteban, you’re welcome, glad this is useful. Enjoy Ethiopia, the food and coffee!

  • Larry

    3 years ago

    I love my sleep, but with coffee this good, I might have to sacrifice some zzzz’s if I ever make it to Ethiopia…!

  • elaine schoch

    3 years ago

    Just bought my first bag of Ethiopian coffee today. After reading this I’m excited to “sample” it tomorrow.

  • Oliver

    3 years ago

    I love coffee from glasses and these Macchiato look amazing! However the street coffee looks pretty intriguing too, so thanks for the wee “caffeinated journey”… 😉
    Best wishes, Oliver

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Oliver, you’re welcome and thank you for reading this, glad you love coffee!

  • SaravanaKumar

    3 years ago

    After reading your post I feel like the coffees I drank for so many years were not coffee at all 

  • Al

    3 years ago

    The best coffee is what my mother makes. So go and get yourselves invited to Ethiopian friends’ homes and enjoy the best Ethiopia can offer.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Al, oh yes I believe you. I’ve been to some Ethiopian friends’ homes and I can agree with you!

  • semhal

    3 years ago

    Tomoca’s coffee is the best & ground coffee of alem is not good but their macchiato is best.

  • Alexander

    3 years ago

    I am not partial to coffee myself. In fact I really don’t like the taste. I do, however, absolutely love the smell of coffee beans.

    • Mark Wiens

      3 years ago

      Hey Alexander, thanks for the sharing, the smell is amazing!