We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“A fantastic place.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Merkato

Merkato
196 Caledonian Road | Kings Cross, London N1 0SL, England
+44 20 77138952
Improve this listing
Reserve with OpenTable
Merkato is not available for your requested time. Choose another time, or search restaurants with availability.
The time you selected has already passed.
Ranked #6,378 of 17,141 restaurants in London
Price range: $42 - $59
Cuisines: African
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Buffet
Description: Tucked away on the New Caledonion Road near Kings Cross, London, Merkato has won critical acclaim for its authentic Ethiopian cuisine and warm, cosy atmosphere. Small, but perfectly formed, the dining room is a jostling space filled with live musicians and an animated local crowd, and the helpful staff are always on hand to help you navigate the extensive menu. Popular dishes include the wot ��� a thick prawn or chicken stew served over traditional injera bread; tibs ��� which is grilled meat; and the kitfo ��� a distinctive dish made with raw ground beef marinated in chilli powder. Vegetarians can choose from diverse selection of dishes, and the cheap prices and overall jovial atmosphere are guaranteed to keep you coming back for more.
Faversham
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“A fantastic place.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2013

Food......rich, spicy, exhilarating. Service......charming, attentive, warm. Came for a meal, left beguiled by Ethiopean hospitality. An unassuming establishment run by a cook with a generous heart, who simply took pride in sharing her culture and cuisine.

  • Visited April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

14 reviews from our community

78% Recommend
    4
    7
    3
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
249 reviews 249 reviews
158 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
176 helpful votes 176 helpful votes
“Great vegetarian dishes”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

We live nearby so decided to try this place. This is my third time eating Ethiopian food, and while I'm not a huge fan of injeera (find it a bit vinegary), I did really enjoy the mix of veggie dishes I ordered.

If you're new to Ethiopian cuisine it's a good idea to try one of the combo dishes to get a bit of variety. We also had meat and one of those were very good, think it was lamb.

Service is so sweet and friendly, and the beers were great. I'm sure we'll be back.

They have shisha here, too.

Visited June 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Top Contributor
178 reviews 178 reviews
106 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
170 helpful votes 170 helpful votes
“Overpriced, but acceptable”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2012

Went here as a backup when Addis Ethiopian Restaurant was full. It is my second time here and now I remember why I couldn't recall the meal I had before. Nothing bad but not great either. Add in the more expensive prices when compared to nearby Addis and the equation doesn't add up. The place was empty too on a Sat nite. Humm...wonder why?
Cost 24 pounds for combo platter (3 lentil/pulse, 3 veggies, doro wat and lamb stew (which was too watery), included a meager amount of injera/bread!
Kitfo: 10 pounds, appropriate spices but it was more like minced hamburger meat, overcooked as i requested on the rare side. worst kitfo ever. it should be like a steak tartar.
Pros
Food tasted fine.
Service was good.
Cons:
Too expensive for the price value (ie 35% more costly for the same meal as Addis!)
Charged extra for more injera! Never have I been charged extra for injera and i have eaten in Ethiopian restaurants across the globe.
Decor: on the verge of ugly.
Neighborhood is not that attractive, 15-20 mins walk from King's cross

Not worth a third visit. Recommend a visit to Addis Restaurant which is just near to King's cross. See other review for more details.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Fantastic Ethiopian Cuisine”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2010

I've been to this wonderful little Ethiopian restaurant many times, and it's never disappointed. You can get off at the Kings Cross Tube stop and walk up Caledonian Road (10-15 mins). The menu is impressive, and the food is served on large injera (slightly sour pancake style Ethiopian bread). The dishes cost £5-8 each and are poured onto the injera, for everyone at the table to share. There are no knives or forks. I recommend the doro wot and the lega tibs, both delicious! The staff are friendly and helpful, and the honey wine is worth trying out.

    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mainz, Germany
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Something different”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2010

Before you think about going to a tradtitional Ethopian restaurant like Merkato you should be aware of the very spicy cuisine which the Ethopian one is.

Food: Very spicy (even the meals which are declared as "les spicy") food but if you like that it will be a pleasure to eat at Merkato.

Service: The service is really slow. There was only one waiter even the restaurant was full. So, some level of patience is absolutely necessary.

Value: The prices are reasonable and fit to the prices of other restarants in this area.

Atmosphere: The atmosphere is very simplistic and not ugly.

Tip: Try the different sorts of beer which are offered at Merkato!

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Merkato also viewed

 
London, England
 

Been to Merkato? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Merkato, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.