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Plant-Based Ethiopian

Since 2011

Ethiopian woman roasting coffee beans over a coffee ceremony apparatus

Bunna (ቡና) = Coffee

Coffee is everything in Ethiopia. Not only does it drive the economy, but it drives everyday life. Ethiopians drink coffee multiple times a day, be it as an espresso, cortado, or through the traditional coffee ceremony — the intricate, intimate process of making coffee from raw bean to brew while bringing people together in conversation and celebration as the process develops.

When we created the concept of Bunna Cafe sitting in a coffee shop in Union Square in 2011, it was evident that coffee had to be the anchor for everything we do. To build a restaurant that truly embodied the feel and essence of Ethiopian culinary culture, it had to be present, front and center. To that effect, in our initial dinner parties and pop ups, we would set up an elaborate traditional coffee ceremony, including our Rekbot, custom-made by our friend Shimelis Fikre. 

Almost a decade later, the coffee ceremony still anchors everything about Bunna Cafe, sitting on our beautiful thatch roof stage in the middle of the dining room. We hand roast single origin beans there, and serve fresh Bunna for free at various times throughout the week. It is our calling card, and we are proud of its effect. For more information on the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, CLICK HERE.

This is fun, delicious, nutritious, and communal cuisine. Habesha have a tradition of sharing. Meals are shared, coffee is shared, homes are shared. It is a source of pride and honor to be able to give what you have to those that do not. Dining is more than putting food in your mouth. It is also putting food in others' mouths (see: GURSHA). It is an event, a time to tell stories, to learn, to build. The anatomy of Ethiopian cuisine encourages that setting to a tee.

Pair the food with a variety of beverages — including T'ej, a sweet, rich, fermented golden honey wine. We also create our own specialty cocktails and Ethiopian beer. For those inclined to sobriety, we have soothing spiced teas, and the most photogenic layered pureed juice you've ever seen. Grab Bunna of course, or purchased hand roasted beans for you to brew at home.

Since 2011, Bunna Cafe has been curating Ethiopian-themed food and music events around NYC. In February 2014 we opened up our first brick-and-mortar restaurant on the heels of an inspirational Indiegogo campaign. From 2011 up until now, we have been blessed with a family of support – from friends, family, customers – enough love and kindness that we could do this the rest of our lives and be ok with that. Gratitude is too weak of a work to express how we feel. We need a few hundred "በጣም" in front.

So Enamesegnalen, from all of us. Want to know who we are? CLICK HERE.

Bunna Cafe interior during a busy dinner service. A server is laying down food on a table in the foreground.
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