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“have you tried Ethiopian?”
Review of Zemam's

Zemam's
Ranked #126 of 1,995 Restaurants in Tucson
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Ethiopian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Tucson, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
198 reviews
129 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
“have you tried Ethiopian?”
Reviewed March 18, 2012

Zemam's is a cozy place in a typical little house where you will find the exotic tastes of Ethiopia. Be prepared to eat with your hands, using the injera bread as a scoop. The food is fragrant and tasty, with a large variety of meat and vegetable dishes. Lentils are done particularly well here.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
Thank Yanni_Pannimayoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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97 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    63
    30
    2
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Norwegian first
  • Any
English first
Fresno, California
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“A great find”
Reviewed March 4, 2012

Me and my husband are into trying new foods and discovering unexpected gems in restaurants. This is one of those gems. Every time we go to Tucson, this is one of our first stops.

  • Visited April 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank A A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level 6 Contributor
321 reviews
239 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Tasty Food, Terrific Value”
Reviewed February 8, 2012

What this place lacks in decor and atmosphere, it makes up for in food quality. Each dish is well prepared and tasty; the combination plate gives you an opportunity to try many (although not all) of the menu offerings. While the individual portions of each dish may appear to be rather small, they -- combined with the accompanying injera -- are plenty filling. No alcohol is served, but you can bring your own wine for an extremely modest $1.50 corking fee.

Service can be a bit slow on busy nights, especially if you aren't ready to place your order almost immediately upon your arrival. But Zemam's is definitely worth a return visit.

  • Visited February 2012
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank MichiganBanjoMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tucson, Arizona
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
72 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Another great Zemam's evening”
Reviewed January 8, 2012

After the rush of the holidays it felt so good to catch up with friends while eating at Zemam's. We had a party of 8 and all the tables were taken. The ladies said it would be about a 40 minute wait, which usually I would not do, but for Zemam's I can wait.

Luckily for us a couple of tables in the side room cleared and we asked if we could put 2 tables together, which they gladly agreed to and we were seated in 10 minutes, not 40.

As usual the atmosphere was friendly, relaxed and inviting. I feel like I am being welcomed into a private home as a guest, not as a paying customer. We all opened our bottles of wine and beer, sharing and laughing. When our "wait-person" came over, with a big smile and wine glasses, we said just bring us enough food for 8 people with an assortment of meat and vegetarian servings. They always group the vegetarian food together, so we can figure out what is on the platter.

There were dishes of the Injera, which is the soft, warm flat bread, which you tear apart and use to scoop up the food, and bring it to your mouth. The flavors are awesome. I was almost tempted to request cooking classes to learn how to use the special spices that make everything taste so good. Maybe one day I will get up the nerve.

Our group always enjoys themselves while eating here. Between the food and the atmosphere we just relax and feel welcomed and cared for. The water glasses are kept fill without asking and extra Injera is brought to the table when needed as are napkins. There are no utensils, so be prepared to use the Injera. It is fun and a novel culteral experience. I always carry some hand sanitizer so I am not worried about eating with my hands.

The price is always right!!!! Parking is conveniently located in front of the restaurant. If you are new to Tucson, you will be happy to learn that parking is free in most restaurants in town, Zemam's is no exception, also If you are a first time visitor you may have a little trouble finding the restaurant after the sun sets. While driving East on Broadway from the Campbell direction, the restaurant will be on your left about 1/2 block before reaching Country Club. If you get to Country Club and Broadway make a "U" turn and go back 1/2 block. Once you find the restaurant the first time you won't have any problems.

Recommendations:
1. Bring your favorite wine or beer.
2. Dress casually and comfortably, but not sloppily.
3. Bring a big appetite, the food is very good and filling and you won't want to leave anything on your plate.
4. Be prepared to be wowed and wonder why you have not been to Zemam's before.
5. Come with great friends, you will enjoy everything more that way and you will have a wonderful time.

  • Visited January 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Foster7204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wisconsin
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Flavors we've never experienced”
Reviewed October 31, 2011

What a great restaurant! We went there for lunch, and each ordered the sampler with three choices. It was served on a large pizza pan to be shared. Each dish was flavorful and delicious. The meal was one of the highlights of our recent trip to Arizona. Thank you for a wonderful and adventurous dining experience. We will be back next time we visit the area!

  • Visited October 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank WiscPack
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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