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Delina Eritrean Urban Kitchen

Woodmont, Maryland

(44)

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5/5

44 customer reviews

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1 June 2019

Sad to report that when my dining companion and I went for lunch today to Delina, the printed note on the window stated that they closed the restaurant following dinner service last night (May 31, 2019). Among the three new East African restaurants of Bethesda, Delina became our overall favorite.  While Lucy's meats and Chercher's veggies may have been comparable or a tad better, we loved Delina thanks to its delicious dishes (most of our favorites were on-par or better than those of its peers), a flexible ordering system (tapas-sized smaller portions of meat and veggies to freely mix-match; ~5 dishes for the two of us) as well as its delightful Eritrean Coffee service.Our very favorites were the Dorho Tsebi (hearty, spicy chicken drumstick and hardboiled Egg in tart and herby thick Berbere sauce), Shrimp Tibsi (cleanly-flavored small crustacean sautéed in tomato, garlic, onion, and spices), Tim Timo (red lentils in spicy Berbere sauce full of character), and Collards (the firm greenery harmonizes with all other dishes).  Not quite dexterous with eating solely with our fingers, we liked having the food kept in the silver dishes so that we could spoon them out directly onto pieces of Injera we tore into bite-sized portions.Add to the terrific soul-warming food was a major asset in the traditional coffee service performed by Chef Abeba, starting with the presentation of the raw beans that she began roasting (savoring the aroma being half of the enjoyment) followed by the percolated beverage presented and poured from beautiful woven tableware complete with a mini-dish of burning incense.  The potent coffee was deliciously flavorful and wonderfully smoky, which was balanced by the herbal aroma of the burning of the Frankincense which served as a natural calming agent.A thoroughly transporting experience complete with courteous service by General Manager Deres, Delina has helped us to develop a newfound appreciation for cuisine of Africa's Horn.  While we are no doubt disappointed to see it close, we will no doubt continue to explore Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisines thanks to Delina. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

17 May 2019

I LOVE this restaurant! The Beef Tibsi is tender and well seasoned. The Shiro melts in your mouth. The injera soaks up all the juices. I now eat at the restaurant weekly. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

13 May 2019

Delicious, delicious. Highly recommended!  Especially if you are looking for vegetarian food with incredible flavor. Meat dishes abound as well. What a local treat.

Reviewed on Yelp

23 April 2019

A hidden gem! Eritrea borders Ethiopia, so expect the spices and seasonings to be similar. Delicious. Definitely on the spicy side. Dishes are served with injera (like a sourdough pancake), and small dishes (think tapas) are served on top. Tear the injera and use it to scoop the excellent flavors. We tried a chicken sautéed with onion, tomato, and spicy peppers. A similar dish with tilapia fish. Red lentils. Collard greens. A fresh romaine/cucumber salad. There's a decent bar with a little liquor for everyone. Deres, the manager is welcoming and friendly. Eat here. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

11 April 2019

Pretty new to Ethiopian food but this place is pretty good. Nice environment and servers are super nice. Would definitely come back.

Reviewed on Yelp

25 March 2019

I mean THANK GOD!! For this place. I'm an Eritrean and I 100% can say this is by far the best injera I've had (outside of my moms kitchen). It's so fresh. So filling and super flavorful. They also have SO many vegan/vegetarian options. I normally frequent injera restaurants in dc...hands down this is my new favorite and I'm soooo incredibly happy that it's a few miles away. The manager, owner, server and cook all came out to greet us. They were all super friendly, nurturing and really wanted us to get the best experience...we certainly did. I can't wait to come back and bring my bf here. Another bonus...prices are super reasonable. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

12 March 2019

Now a regular in our restaurant rotation Delina has a great menu, with regional standards as well as some unique menu items. A small but mighty team runs this places, and they are always welcoming and attentive.Quiet and relaxing vibe, with a nice bar as well. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

5 March 2019

As soon as you enter, just hearing the music and smelling all of the spices lets you know you're in for a cultural experience!  This is the first restaurant I have been to that strictly advertises itself as Eritrean -- I have only been to Ethiopian restaurants... and I found quite a few similarities, though our server definitely explained the subtle differences in flavors and such to us.  I'm used to pre-selected combo platters, but this menu emphasized trying a bunch of different things and making your own combos to have laid out on injera bread... how exciting!!!  There were plenty of meats & vegetarian options to choose from, and of course it was great seeing honeywine as an option on the menu as well.  The food came out in a timely manner, and I enjoyed every bit of it.  Personally, I can never have too much injera, so I think I asked for at least three extra plates of it.  The combinations we came up with were also very creative, so cheers to all the colors and flavors!  I am looking forward to returning. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

3 March 2019

I came here with a bunch of folks and so since we all ordered several dishes, I have no full memory of what we got. This is what I remembered:We had metal plates that had the injera bread on it (injera has a slightly spongy texture and is flat and you tear off pieces of it to pick up the different items to eat). Of all the items we ordered (I did not taste everything), these are the ones I remember going back to for seconds, which meant I must have enjoyed it on the first grab:Collard GreensTim Timo (Red lentils) - I actually enjoyed this.Sambusa (Flaky dough stuffed with lentils) - this dish was spicy, but I ate it anyways.Tibsi - Ground Fish - I found myself eating a lot of thisTibsi - Chicken - I liked this but preferred the Ground Fish more.A'ter - Split Yellow Peas - I think we ordered this. I know I found myself eating a dish with peas.This was only the third time in my life eating dishes with injera bread and in all three times, I went with folks that did all the ordering. I would love to check it out again and try to see if I can do the ordering myself (I wonder if I would remember what to order)...hmmm.To add, they also serve coffee here. I don't drink coffee, but there is a process they do in serving it (pretty cool). The folks that work here were really helpful and if you needed more injera (which we did), you could get extra. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

23 February 2019

So this Eritrean restaurant is trying something different. For the uninitiated, most Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants revolve around large combo platters in which several different stews are served with large pieces of flatbread. What Delina is doing is to have you order a small portion of each dish individually rather than as a combo, with the intent of ordering several, like tapas/mezze/dim sum/etc., something I've not seen tried with this sort of cuisine before. Like all the small plate restaurants, this gives you more flexibility but generally costs more per dish. That being said, what they put out here in terms of food and experience is well worth it.I arrived on a bad weather day less hungry than curious. I wasn't immediately offered their snow day special, but otherwise got great service. When the special was offered, it turned out to be well more than I wanted to eat, but I took leftovers. Their lentils were spicy and the flatbread just sour enough, and the chickpeas I took to go were likewise delicious. I also ordered a sambusa, a lentil filled pastry which was hearty, if a tad dry. Their special also included a rather impressive coffee preparation in which the beans were displayed to me for some reason I never quite discerned before being brewed, and a massive jug with incense next to it arrived with the finished product. I'm not a coffee person, so I can only say it was strong stuff.They're quite vegetarian-friendly. I would say they could improve by making some things clearer; for example, their menu does not actually state that injera comes with the meal, and there was nothing about coffee or non-alcoholic beverages on it. Do they have gluten-free injera? Wasn't clear to me. And of course, their snow day special is not every day, but between the excellent service environment and some great food, I am confident that even if the experience had been a tad less of a deal, I would still have given them a perfect rating. I left a proportionally large tip because I felt bad for taking so much food for so little. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

5 February 2019

I really liked Delina, met up with a friend who I hadn't seen in a min. I figured Eritrean food is not much of a deviation from Ethiopian. Between the two of us we ordered a bunch of dishes which average at about $5 a pop. The Njera bread was a little different, out of all the dishes which were flavorful and delicious the one that I could eat a whole bucket off was the Komidere Fit-Fit that was delicious. I rarely if ever come to Bethesda, but if in the area or u live close by try them out. Service was friendly and warm. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

2 February 2019

Amazing food and top notch service!! The portion size of the tapas was perfect. Will definitely return!!

Reviewed on Yelp

26 January 2019

Delicious food, freshly made. The food is very authentic and tastes just like my mom makes it.

Reviewed on Facebook

24 January 2019

This is the best Ethiopian in the Greater dc area. I have been to over 20 different Ethiopian restaurants but this the best. Ask for the coffee it is to die for with their house honey. We had the shiro, tipps, green beans Comintern fit fit. Delicious!!! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

24 January 2019

A delicious and delightful find! By far the best Ethiopian/Eritrean food that we have had in the DMV. Make sure to try the bunna coffee ceremony - it is a real treat and amazing coffee!

Reviewed on Yelp

12 January 2019

My favorite place- I always crave Delina when it’s cold out :)

Reviewed on Facebook

6 January 2019

Different in a very good wayYou don't need to know Anything about Eritrea to enjoy a comfortable meal here. Basics:  it is injera based with a large spongy and flavorful bread as a base that doubles as silverware. Advanced: it isn't Ethiopian although it looks a lot like Ethiopian. The two countries separated and speak different languages and differ in their use of tomatoes, onions and some spices. Delina replaces a deli in this corner of Bethesda, and advertises itself as a "tapas-like" restaurant, although the dishes are more substantial then your usual tapas. I found two orders from the menu to be more than enough food while wanting to try much more. I love the alicha cabbage as a complement to a meat dish as a flavorful and filling meal. Service was fast and personal. Mood was happy and light. Great lunch place. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

2 January 2019

I've been getting delivery from Uber eats and they are super fast, and nice to get a few dishes to try for under $20.

Reviewed on Yelp

27 December 2018

Wonderful service, delicious food, and live music one Thursday evening. I especially enjoyed the Korosho-Dorho Fit-fit, the Tim Timo and the spice tea.

Reviewed on Yelp

11 December 2018

This was a big hit with my family! The sambuusa was great - the lentil filling was especially tasty! I'm glad we ordered enough so that everyone could have their own! Otherwise, everything is served "family style" which I love! Some of our favorite dishes were A'ter - yellow lentils - and Shiro - chickpeas. I also loved something I had never tried before, korosho fit fit which was toasted injura cooked in a flavorful sauce. We also really liked our server, Leoul, who had helpful advice. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

10 December 2018

Had a fantastic lunch here today. The lamb was tender, the mushrooms were delicious, and the injera was perfect. Highly recommended!

Reviewed on Yelp

2 December 2018

This was my first time, one of my friend’s recommended, we came with a group of girlfriends celebrating our girl’s birthday. Dinner was amazing, the staff went out of their way, customer services was phenomenal. Definitely coming back.. More...

Reviewed on Facebook

24 November 2018

After having no Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurants, Bethesda all of sudden has three! Delina just opened around two months ago and it's a winner. A small place, it's cozy despite being a straightforward and unpretentious or fancy place. Service is very friendly and welcoming.One problem for solo diners at Ethiopian/Eritrean places is that ordering more than one dish is too much food. Delina has solved that problem as its portions are small (but reasonably) sized and priced quite modestly at around $5.00 apiece. So even someone on a budget can try a few without either busting their budget or waistline. The food is tasty, freshly prepared and you can get it mild or with hot source.A great addition to our community. Give them a shot. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

24 November 2018

This food is AMAZING. Did not know what to expect but they have a ton of options. I am a vegan and my boyfriend is a carnivore and we both enjoy this place. Saturday nights they have a couple of jazz players perform and the staff is super friendly. The food is simply amazing and bursting with flavor. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

3 November 2018

Second visit and it was solid. The place looks a little more like a fast food place, but both service and food are awesome. Servers make you feel welcome. The food is very tasty, portions are good size. Have done both lunch and dinner and both times was great! All the family loved it and we will come back for sure! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

2 November 2018

Really great restaurant! I would say this place would be 4.5 stars. The food was delicious! I had gotten the tim timo and the beef tibsi. They both were spicy and I loved it! You can choose to have the tibsi as mild or hot. And it all came with two rolls of injera. You can ask for more injera if you need it and I don't think they charge extra. The service was exceptional. Our server would check up on us every now and then to make sure everything was okay. She was very sweet as well and gave great recommendations when I asked her which of the vegetarian dishes she liked. I removed one star because they advertise and highly recommend you need to get 3-4 dishes per person because the servings are small. Two dishes plus the injera was more than enough to fill me up. Very very filling. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

29 October 2018

What an unexpected delight! I happened to stumble across this little gem on my way to another establishment for lunch, but after a quick scan of their menu my plans changed and in I dove right in! As a long time fan of Ethiopian cuisine, I was thrilled to discover this quaint eatery tucked away on one of Bethesda's side roads. I ordered two items off their all ale-carte menu, one vegetarian dish and lamb tibs. Both were outstanding and a great value -- I will be putting this little gem in my regular restaurant rotation and will write a more extensive review when I am able to explore more of their wonderful menu. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

28 October 2018

This place is a gem in Bethesda for a cozy, flavorful meal. The service is excellent, and everything we tried was light and bursting with flavor. We were kindly informed of Eritrean traditions by the server and other staff members. It was a great experience! We will definitely be back! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

27 October 2018

The vegetable dishes were great! Spicy and flavorful. The chicken however was dry and over cooked. I will definitely go back for the veggies! Service was prompt and efficient!

Reviewed on Yelp

23 October 2018

Every bite is to die for

Reviewed on Facebook

17 October 2018

The food is delicious. Everything I've tried so far is really tasty and flavorful. The staff is kind and attentive. A great new restaurant!

Reviewed on Yelp

12 October 2018

Came here for lunch with a friend and really enjoyed it! She had been here previously so she made recommendations of what she liked most. The menu suggests 3-4 items per person. We decided to order 5 total and found that it was more than enough food and left us both seriously satisfied.Our waiter was quick and friendly, and food came out fast! We got the alicha, green beans, collard greens, tim timo, and a'ter. Everything came served on a large plate of injera with extra rolled up injera on the side. The tim timo definitely had a spicy kick but it was great to eat with the other more mellow flavors. The a'ter and alicha were our two favorites and definitely items I'd order again! The green beans were good and the collards were just okay. Overall though, everything was really tasty and if I still worked in Bethesda I'd be visiting Delina more often! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

10 October 2018

We discovered this restaurant during the "Taste of Bethesda" event on Saturday, October 6, 2018 because they had a tent. We loved the food so much that when we were in Bethesda the following day for a Yoga class decided to visit the brick and mortar restaurant. Being a vegetarian--there were many options! The four (4) reasonably priced dishes we ordered came with delicious injera (flatbread). I highly recommend the Tim Timo and enjoyed the collard greens and mushroom Tibsi as well! We'd like to visit often and hope to get some authentic Eritrean coffee next time. Leoul, who waited on us, was absolutely charming. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

8 October 2018

everything is great with wounderful cistomer service proud of you all

Reviewed on Facebook

6 October 2018

What a gem! This is the restaurant that Bethesda has been waiting for. Now we don't have to go Silver Spring or 9th Street. The food was delicious and varied; very authentic. They are a bit restrained on the spices, so if you want hotter, ask. However, every dish had rich, complex flavor. Service was friendly and prompt. The decor is simple but pleasant. Prices are very reasonable, especially given the high quality, and it's hard to imagine having a better sit-down meal in Bethesda for less. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

27 September 2018

This place is AMAZING. I just love it. The food is wonderful! Every dish I've had has been outstanding. Staff is friendly and make it feel like a personal experience.

Reviewed on Facebook

26 September 2018

Excellent food, very attentive but not overbearing service, outstanding value.  We've been there three times and every visit has been rewarded with a great experience.  Very highly recommend.

Reviewed on Yelp

26 September 2018

Had a great lunchtime feast here yesterday. My companion and I sampled 7 dishes and all were outstanding and well spiced, with the exception of the chopped fish, which was a little bland.

Reviewed on Yelp

30 August 2018

Decided to give the new place by my office a try for lunch, and thought it was great.  There are not enough places out there that offer small portions and lot of vegetarian choices!  I love the sampler-style nature of it.  My coworker and I each ordered two veggie dishes and shared a meat dish, and along with the injera that was plenty for a satisfying lunch.The Shiro was rich and creamy.  The A'ter was mild but flavorful.  And the Chicken Tibsi was smokey and delicious.Service was quick and friendly.  Will definitely be back to try other items! More...

Reviewed on Yelp

27 August 2018

Delina offers excellent, authentic Eritrean food and some of the most friendly service I have encountered. This restaurant really delivers on its promise to serve great Eritrean food with a slightly modern and nuanced twist. I definitely plan on becoming a regular at this establishment... More...

Reviewed on Yelp

24 August 2018

Wonderful new place right in downtown. Enjoy the food and service. It was a gorgeous night and I sat outside with table service. Highly recommend anybody who wants east African food in a casual but still enjoyable atmosphere. Food was delicious especially the Alicha. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

23 August 2018

Food was amazing. Not too spicy. Had all vegetarian dishes. We had takeout but will definitely go back and dine in.

Reviewed on Yelp

23 August 2018

Looking for a light dinner, we wandered into this Eritrean cafe, curious to see what was cooking. A friendly, welcoming young man provided us menus, and while the place distinctly lacked an Eritrean, or even vaguely African vibe, we decided to give it a try. With country music piping in from the speakers, we wondered how authentic the food could be, and nervously ordered, assured by the charming waiter/manager that we were in for a treat. Our six items came out a few minutes later, nicely presented on a bed of fresh and tart Injera bread. We were offered utensils, but rejected them, excited to dig in with our hands. The five vegetarian items were fantastic: rich, flavorful, and well seasoned. The chicken dish was really tasty as well, and was somehow reminiscent of well made Chinese food, a fact that didn't reduce our dining pleasure a bit. Plenty of Injera was provided, and all three bellies, including the little one, were perfectly satisfied. A few items to note: 1. the restaurant has a full bar with quite a selection of liquor for those with adult tastes.2. the identity doesn't seem totally figured out, so don't be surprised by country music and the ambiance of a new eatery trying to find itself3. the padded bench seats along the west wall are kinda sticky. Recommend enjoying other seating in the dining room or out on the patioThis is a worthwhile addition to the Bethesda dining scene, and while the food is excellent, there are still a few little tweaks to be made. More...

Reviewed on Yelp

19 August 2018

According to my father, Delina's Eritrean Urban Kitchen provides a delightfully new dining experience in Bethesda. He said the food is fresh and delicious, and the staff is courteous attentive. You can enjoy a variety of innovative cocktails, at the bar or your table. I can't wait to check out Delina's! More...

Reviewed on Facebook