Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cafe Lalibela II

Cheap Eats 2006, a decade on

January 11, 2016

Cindy's family wanted to meet us for dinner in Footscray and, with our enthusiasm for our new Cheap Eats 2006 project still high, we decided it was a good opportunity to revisit Cafe Lalibela. It's been more than seven years since we last visited, and not much seems to have changed. The staff are friendly, the service casual, the menu has a good range of vego options and there's a steady stream of people coming through the door.

We made the same move as last time and ordered the beyainetu (the platter below serves 3), a combination of different veggie dishes on an injera platter ($14 per head - up from $12 seven years ago, which is pretty good going).

The dishes are heavy on the protein: lentils and beans cooked in various sauces, along with a potato and carrot dish. The injera is the star of the show - the fermentation adds a citruss-y kick to the chewy, spongy bread, which soaks up the relatively mild flavours of all the stews. It's fun and messy to tear at the injera and scoop up the stews - it's a rare treat to eat with your hands. Added bonus: the delicious Ethiopian beers are a ridiculously affordable $5 a pop.

Cafe Lalibela feels timeless - almost nothing has changed since we visited nearly eight years ago - great, cheap food in a cheerful, casual setting. We really need to go back before 2023 rolls around.


Since our visit in 2008, Lalibela has been positively written up by vegos In the Mood for Noodles and omni-bloggers Footscray Food Blog, Howie's Melbourne Food Blog, Gosstronomy, Apples Under My Bed, Eurasian Sensation and Eat and Be Merry for Tomorrow We Die(t).


Cafe Lalibela
91 Irving Street, Footscray 
9687 0300
vegetarian menu

Accessibility: The entry is flat and there's a reasonably clear path up the middle of the restaurant, although the tables themselves are all wedged in pretty close together. We paid at a high counter and didn't visit the toilets. 


  1. yummmmmmmmmmmm (ps I am going to love this series so hard)

    1. Thaaanks, will be interesting to see if we can sustain it all year!