Best African

Empress Taytu Ethiopian Restaurant

Cleveland is blessed with an abundance of appealing options when it comes to ethnic eats. But only one restaurant in town does what Empress Taytu does. And what it does is transport diners to another place, where the food is exotic, the setting unique and the service as gracious as one could hope for. Authentic Ethiopian cuisine, as one might imagine, hasn’t always been an easy sell in Cleveland. But after 20-plus years, the owners here have made fans of us all. Sit at mesobs — traditional low-slung basket tables — and enjoy flavorful stews by picking them up with pieces of injera, a grainy flatbread. Given that Ethiopian cuisine has always been largely vegetarian and gluten free, it is ideally suited for modern times.

6125 St. Clair Ave., 216-391-9400,