>> Tsion Cafe | Eat the World NYC

04 July 2019

Tsion Cafe

ETHIOPIA 🇪🇹

Sometimes called fir-fir like on the menu here, and sometimes fit-fit elsewhere, recently there was an intense craving for this Ethiopian breakfast dish that thankfully was easily satisfied when work was nearby Tsion Cafe on a morning last week. They simply call it a "spiced onion stew" here, but it is much more than that, full of berbere and most notably, small chunks of injera.

Usually served in a bowl and eaten with a spoon, what makes the fir-fir ($12, below) unique here is that instead of offering a piece of injera on the side they actually wrap the stew up with it with the care taken to bundle a little baby. As you peel away the top folds, tear pieces and use them to pick up the stew. In fact, unless you ask, this will be your only utensil, the way it should be.


As stated, this is primarily a breakfast dish in both Ethiopia and Eritrea, but it looks like Tsion Cafe offers it all day. The cafe is deceptively larger than it seems from the street, the small storefront opens up into a fairly expansive space a few steps down from the sidewalk, and even has a backyard for the 25 or so nice days a year that happen in New York City.

If it seems familiar, you are showing your age (and your good taste) because it used to be home to Jimmy's Chicken Shack, the historically essential Harlem club known for good food and jazz. The Sugar Hill space once frequented by Charlie Parker and Redd Foxx is this exact room, now the domain of tasty Ethiopian food. Tsion Cafe opened in 2014 and seems to focus on the healthier aspects of its chef's cuisine.


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Tsion Cafe & Bakery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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