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Horn of Africa - 24 Reviews - 5237 NE M L King Blvd, Portland, OR - African Restaurants Reviews - Phone (503) 331-9844

Horn of Africa

5237 NE M L King Blvd
Portland, OR 97211
(503) 331-9844
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Main categories:

Restaurants , African Restaurants

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Food & Dining


Horn of Africa - Portland, OR
Horn of Africa - Portland, OR
Horn of Africa - Portland, OR
Horn of Africa - Portland, OR


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First time to this wonderful place. Everyone at our table has been to Africa and this reminded us of the wonderful people and food we love there. We tried a little bit of everythi...


I had been here before when they were at their old location and it was okay then, not wonderful, but pretty good. The last time I went the service was really horrible. Although t...

Good food if you are willing to wait 6/10/2011

The place has nice food... their appetizers (sambusas: both chicken and particularly veggie, bajiya) were really good. The entrees (Lamb with berri berri sauce) was great. The chicken (with berri berri sauce) was good and the chicken kabob was good as well. Nothing to complain about the food, it took more than 45 minutes for our order to come (even after the appetizer showed up). The quantity of the food was also less... one entree is definitely enough. more

For the love of god NO! 3/5/2011

I had been here before when they were at their old location and it was okay then, not wonderful, but pretty good. The last time I went the service was really horrible. Although the place was empty it took for ever for the waitress to take our order. Then she brought out samos with meat in them which I didn't discover until I bit into them. I had been really clear that I wanted the veggie, as I'm a vegetarian. After I sent them back she avoided us for the rest of the night. A different waitress had to serve us, and all the food was lousy and over priced. more

Awful, awful and awful. 8/21/2010

The food was awful, the service terrible.. this restaurant turned what should have been a nice family evening out into a nightmare. The food was so bad we had to drive through for burgers on the way home. I will never, ever eat here again. more

Horrible service and completely devoid of any taste! 8/21/2010

We arrived at 6:00 and were the only ones there for a while. It still took forever to get our vegetarian food. I have been to many Ethiopian restaurants in the US and I always have been served the vegetarian mix platter very quickly. When it finally arrived, it was missing any and all taste. Regarding the service, I understand there was only one waitress, but I had to get my own napkins and it took 10 minutes for her to get me some more water after I asked. Then she ignored the other glasses on the table! When we tipped appropriately for the level of service we received, she turned super witchy. more

Horrible Service and Cold food 4/19/2010

Horn of Africa has been inconsistent since its opening. Quality and service would suffer when they would have a booth at the Festivals. Since moving to the new location it has just gotten bad. The service is horrid. Clueless wait staff. Long long waits when not even 1/3 full wrong food delivered and cold. Female owner needs to learn some manners and people skills when the meal has been a disaster don't dump the check on the table and ignore the problems. Twice the steam table at lunch was not even on resulting in cold food. Cons: Most things more

exotic flavors from Africa 3/25/2010

I had never really had African food before, so I didn't exactly know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised. Lots of interesting flavors, textures and smells. I'm basically a vegetarian and there were plenty of options for me. I started with a lentil soup which was hearty and comforting. I was given, on the house, an appetizer pastry called a lentil sambusa. (I guess they're big on lentils.) My server suggested the vegetarian platter, which was excellent. It had navy beans, red lentils (yes, lentils again), collard greens, carrots in some sort of cream sauce and fava beans. Apparently you're supposed to scoop all this stuff up with the squishy-spongey bread called injeera, which was addictive. I had to switch to a fork because I was getting too full on bread! I had a drink called a mango lassi which I liked so much I had another. It was similar to mango smoothies or bubble tea I've had in Asian places. I was too full for dessert so I can't comment on that. Service was friendly and helpful but not overly intrusive. I was visiting Portland from Chicago so I don't know when I'll be back, but I'd gladly go again. Pros: good, interesting food Cons: in a strip mall, neighborhood not so interesting more

Great Service Great Food 2/13/2010

First time to this wonderful place. Everyone at our table has been to Africa and this reminded us of the wonderful people and food we love there. We tried a little bit of everything and were not disappointed with anything. Our waitress was from Uganda, and so personable. We will definately be back to bring a new group of friends and share this little slice of Africa in Portland. more

Amazing food, horrible service 1/25/2010

My boyfriend and I love North African food and for Christmas I got him a gift certificate to Horn of Africa. We were super excited and upon arrival asked our server for a recommendation of drinks. She brought us two Ethiopian beers. We ordered hummus and Sambuccas for apps. We got the hummus in about 20 minutes. Then continued to wait for another 40 min. When we had been there about an hour the table across from us, got their order although we had been there about 25 minutes longer. Our waiter continued to ignore us and I finally asked the status of our other appetizer. The waitress snapped that they were coming. That is when the table across from us realized that the dinner they ate was not what they ordered. Someone came out from the kitchen and apologized to them and said they would make their order. Still, nothing was said to us but by now it was obvious our dinner had been given away. Finally an hour and half into this experience we got our 2nd app of sambucas although they were not the beef and lentil we ordered they were still delicious. The dipping sauce for them was unbelievably good. When our entrees came, there was no apology or acknowledgement about the mistake, or wait time. The lamb curry was very good although not spicy like I had requested, it probably was the first time they had cooked it. My boyfriend's dish was lamb with beri beri sauce and was average. The dishes were served with bideen bread although the menu said we could have bideen or saffron basmati rice, our server didn't offer it. We asked for our check and that was the only thing that came to the table quickly, then the server returned while I was still signing the credit slip and waited for it. The funny thing is, when we arrived there was a couple sitting, looking very unhappy, asking about their food. When they got it they ate in 5 min, and quickly left. We thought, wow, what rude people, 2 hours later, we were in their shoes. Such a disappointment because we would love to return for the food. Even with the poor service, if our waitress had apologized or admitted the mistake or anything, we would have been fine and happy to wait. I used to be a server years ago and I know mistakes can happen but to be ignored and spoken rudely to for 2 hours is enough reason to never return. Pros: food Cons: service, atmosphere more

I can't believe the favorable reviews 11/13/2009

The worst dining experience I have had in years. Server was uninformed about what was in the dishes. A ""vegeterian platter"" is on the menu and listed at a ""variable"" price -- but she couldn't tell us which items were in it or how much it cost this evening. She went to ask and then someone else (owner? chef?) came to our table to make suggestions. We opted for the buffet at his suggestion. But every single item was a disappointment - and some were so awful that we simply decided to leave. Add in he lack of decor (wooden tables with no tablecloths; bright ""security"" type lights glaring from outside into the glass front of the restaurant) and an uncomfortably chilly dining room, this place is a wonder -- wonder how the devil it has so many favorable reviews. Pros: I can't think of any Cons: decor, pricing, menu, food more

Fabulous Food! 4/23/2009

This a unique ""Ethiopian"" restaurant that stands out among the many different Ethiopian offerings available throughout Portland. This restaurant blends spices and flavors from the geographic region that includes the Horn of Africa, the Middle East and India, to create complex flavors that are delicious and refreshing. If you are new to this cuisine, try the lunch buffet or better still, the Sunday dinner buffet! You'll be able to sample most everything from the menu, and creative innovations from the Chef. The restaurant has moved to a beautiful new location at 5237 NE MLK Blvd/Vanport Plaza. It is a family friendly place, and even offers a party room for private events. Pros: Food/Service/Family Friendly Envivornment Cons: None! more

Simply the Best!!! 2/20/2009

Without a doubt, the Horn of Africa served the most flavorful, authentic, and freshest African food in the area (and we have certainly tried them all multiple times). The food is prepared with great care and attention to detail. The owners came and spoke with us multiple times regarding the different flavors, presented us with various spices to try, and talked about the origins of the food. There is a banquet room upstairs for parties of six to 12 that we can't wait to try with couches, plush curtains, and ""family style"" low tables. We understand they have applied for both a liquor license and are looking into having live African music in the next few months. We can't wait to return! more

Food that makes you Feel Good 12/5/2008

I stumbled across this wonderful little restaurant about two months ago. Kind owners who are always welcoming - they are like neighbors. They are famous for their homemade chai, made fresh to order. The spices and flavors will make your mouth water. Using ingredients native to the horn of Africa their food is truelly ethnic and worth a try. This restaurant is like none other. Make sure to ask for an order of Somosas and with your meal, Serrean (a Naan-like bread). The food is incredibly fresh, good for the mind, body and soul. If you are on a time budget try the lunch buffet! Pros: the flavors, kind friendly service, homey more

A Superb Cuisine in a Delightful Setting 11/23/2008

Superior Ethiopian Food/Superior Ambiance more

Portland's best African food 11/19/2008

Now that Horn of Africa is in their new space, there's no reason not to visit. Their food is consistently remarkable. The flavors are complex and intriguing, they have fresh, seasonal ingredients and the new clay oven has expanded the offerings in delightful ways. The prices are very reasonable and the buffet is lavish. Every time I go I taste some new, wonderful flavor I've never experienced before. Mohamed and Khadija are warm, friendly people who make you feel welcome. You can tell that they put care and love into their food and their business. more

Fantastic food. Beautiful restaurant. Family-run and friendly. 10/26/2008

This restaurant has moved a few blocks north: 5237 NE M L King Blvd, Portland - (503) 331-9844 and it has done them a world of good. The food was already fantastic, but after Khadija visited her family in Africa this past year, her already delicious food has an extra-level of subtlety to it. more

Amazing Hospitality & GREAT Food! 10/26/2008

Eating at the Horn of Africa was one of the BEST dining experiences i have ever had thanks to the warmth and hospitality of the owners! Mohammed talked with us about how they prepare the food and how they got their start. He was such a delight! The food was amazing and so fresh. We will come back many, many more times to this gem of a restaurant! Pros: Great prices, yummy food, AMAZING hospitality Cons: NONE! more

Gorgeous food, beautiful owners, awesome private upstairs room! 9/25/2008

Seven friends and I went to Horn of Africa two days ago for the first time and left amazed at how delicious every item we had was AND just how friendly and warm Mohammed, the owner, was. This was a first but definitely not a last; we are all definitely coming back! Pros: Upstairs loungy space, great neighborhood ""step outside the norm"" food choice more

It's not about the decor 12/8/2007

If you're looking for a place with an intimate atmosphere (or even a place where the heat is turned on), this isn't it. But, if you're looking for an affordable Ethiopian restaurant with decent food, this fits the bill. The curried chicken and spicy lamb were pretty good and priced reasonably (at least for this town), The couple at the next table over ordered the vegetarian platter to share, which looked huge and tasty. Service was slow but friendly. Try the mango lassi--it's very tasty. Overall, I would reccommend it, and I hear they're moving to a new location in the near future. Pros: Yummy food, Mango Lassi (the yummiest) Cons: Ambience more

Sorry to report~ 9/16/2007

Sorry to report this restaurant is nothing like the reviews listed ~ Just a huge disappointment on all fronts. Grant you, the interior decoration is down right stark, desolate and uninviting, but good food and good service will always make up for a lack of surrounding ambience at any restaurant. But in the case of ?The Horn of Africa? the poor service, and definitely the quality of the food served was abysmal and made the lack of effort spent on the interior ambience clear evidence of what is to come from food and service. I have dined at many Northeast African inspired restaurants and the sheer slothfulness of the decor, the food and the service at The Horn of Africa should inspire someone out there to start a good Northeast African inspired restaurant in Portland. Perhaps there is one already, but it?s sure not The Horn of Africa. On a scale of 1 to 10, a 2 is being more than kind. Pros: nothing Cons: ambience, service, food more

Best African Food in Portland 8/12/2007

Favorite lunch spot. These people have taken no classes in U.S. restaurant management. I was confused at first, but love it now. You walk in, find a table, and go directly to the buffet where you will be dazzled by the array of freshly made African food -- and everything is organic. The owners appear with icewater and fresh spongy bread. They sell products, and have real Spanish Saffron for the best price I have found anywhere in town. more
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Menu for Horn of Africa

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  • In Short
    This eatery is decorated with only a few pictures on the walls and a set of purple Formica tables. In sharp contrast to the exotic and colorful food, there's a near-dineresque...

  • 7/11/2006 Provided by Citysearch

Additional information

  • Hours:

    Mon-Thu 11am- 10pm; Fri 11am-11pm; Sat 5pm-11pm
  • Payments:

    Visa, Master Card
  • Neighborhoods:

    King, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods