The Red Sea Cafe serves authentic Eritrean and Ethiopian food.
Went during the week and never had Ethiopian food before. Sampled a few vegetarian and meat dishes. Comes in a large platter with a crepe/thin bread covering the bottom of the platter. Lamb was very good as well as the chicken. No utensils so break crepe and use your hands. Veggie options were not as good as it was quite bland. Didn't really like the crepe/bread as it was too cake like and cold. Family style restaurant so don't expect nice ambiance (TV on in the back) and service was just average.
Had the opportunity to eat @ this great little spot recently and was very satisfied.
The owners have put time and energy into the concept and their low key charming approach is a winner.
Don't be put off by the 'down hood'-inside is clean quiet friendly and well run-quite unlike many east side restaurants.
As per the previous post we had the Veggie Platter-all kinds of well presented tasty vittles(!)
We shared a platter for three- which had a mix of lamb, chicken and other veggie dishes. The flavours are outstanding and if you have not already been here, you must give it a try. The dished here are unlike anything you can find in Vancouver. This family owned restaurant is fantastic and I find myself going here at least every two weeks now..
I've been taking the bus past this place for quite a while and decided to finally check it out yesterday. We went mid afternoon on a Sunday so the place was empty but we sat down anyways and were greeted by the owner who promptly brought us menus and water. The two of us shared the dinner for two which consists of two vegetarian and two meat dishes. The food came on a large platter accompanied by crepe-like bread that you tear off and use to pick up food. It's rare to find utensil free restaurants in town that aren't fast food so this was a unique experience. The chicken and beef dishes were quite spicy but very flavorful and balanced by the mild bread. The vegetarian fare was milder but still quite enjoyable. Great value and quality food. I highly recommend this for something different.
Red Sea is our favourite Ethiopian restaurant in town (we've tried them all). We always order a veggie combo and the food is consistently delicious. We have taken many friends and family there and they all love it, too. The owners are very friendly and service is prompt. There is no other place around where you can get such tasty, well-spiced food for the price. We go there every week--it's that good!
I'm surprised by the rest of the reviews here, because I ate at the Red Sea for the first time last night and was really disappointed.
The service was indeed friendly and prompt, the restaurant clean, comfortable, and well-maintained.
My friend and I ordered a vegetable platter of five dishes. We had the lentils, a split pea dish, green beans, cabbage/carrots, and another dish I can't recall. The food arrived very quickly, but it was really disappointing. Three of the five stews were lukewarm to almost completely cold - the carrots in the cabbage dish were actually chilly. I think the food arrived so fast because it had been prepared earlier and not heated through. The two dishes that were almost sauce-like in consistency (lentils and the one I can't remember) were warm but not hot, tasty and well-spiced. Some of the food seemed a bit over-processed, although it had been left a few spins too long in a Cuisinart. I didn't find the flavours remarkable - except for those two dishes the food seemed a little bland.
Had I been alone I would have sent the food back for heating. Had the food been warm it probably would have been OK - hard to tell because it's hard to evaluate a hot dish when it's served cold.
The injera was warm and plentiful - we needed more and it was provided. The prices were good.
I'll try the place again to see if I just caught them on an off night.
This is a hidden gem along the east Broadway strip. If you didn’t live in the neighbourhood or aren’t in the know you could easily bypass this one. The place is small, clean and comfortable. The service is prompt and friendly. There was plenty of food for the four of us even though we got the vegetarian platter for 3. The nice thing about our platter was that we were able to try most of the vegetarian dishes offered by the restaurant, all of which were good and all had their own very distinct flavour. They do offer meat dishes as well which I’m sure are good and would like to try another time. So it’s great for vegetarian and meat eaters alike. If you can I do recommend getting the platters so you can try a variety of items, plus it’s fun. We went Friday and it’s nice to see it busy with an eclectic group of customers. Oh, it’s affordable too.
My 1st review, I wouldn't have bothered if I didn't love this place so much and wanted to share this secret little hole in the wall with other enthusiasts. A simple little family owned and operated place where you feel welcome the moment you walk in. Food is Very tasty and affordable. Overall rating is excellent. I won't say more, go experience for yourself.
i don't know if this kind of cuisine is my thing. my other experience with african food was in france when i had an african friend from ghana (the OTHER side of the continent, i know)and her family often made delicious spicy chichen vegi stews and that kind of thing... this was definitely not asgood, but as someone esle pointed out its hard to comapre meat and veggies and i dont eat meat any more.
anyways, we had the veggie platter and it gives you five big scoops of the vegetarian dishes you choose: we chose kale okra cabbage peas and lentils. a lot of the dishes tasted very simiar to me. theay were all quite mushy, the only one i really liked was the okra with tomatoes. the soft flat bread is very sour, so our toddler was not intersted in munching on it while we ate. i might have enjoyed the meal much more if we had chosen rice, but the owner said it would take some time as many of their clients are not into eating gluten, so they only keep the bread ready, not the rice.when we went to pay, the cc/debit machine was out of paper, so my s.o. had to drive to the nearest bank machine. we got full very fast, probably from all the spices, and had lots left over after only paying about 17 plus tip. it is not fun to pack this to go home though! my s.o. is not a vegetarian but he found the meal fulfilling and appreciated the warm and prompt service.
the place has nice authentic (i think) artwork, which is on little furry hides! it seemed clean, was kind of warm which is fine, the only thing is the tables are have table cloths under glass, and so the sides of those are kind of dirty, they could change them every day for all i know, but as the food is soft and you eat with your hands, maybe table cloths are not the best option?
*disclaimer* i am a very picky eater!
Been to the Red Sea a couple of times. Each time we've ordered the shared dinner for 3 which is a shared plate with 5 different items (2 meat and 3 veg.) All of the items are consistently good, flavourful and filling. The cooked beef can be a bit on the tougher side, (don't know if this is the traditional way) but is very good. The flavours in each dish are outstanding. The beer is a steal at $4 a bottle.
Its a great little restaurant and the owner is always friendly and smiling :-)
I tried this restaurant for the first time the other day.
Got #4 on the menu. A lamb dish with tumeric, ginger, etc...
I was really pleased with the ambiance. It's so clean and peaceful.
The food was fun to eat. A bit on the tough side but still tasty.
My friend who had been there before said to avoid the beef.
I would go there again. Good prices for what you get.
Went to the red sea cafe again last night for dinner. The food is soo good. My boyfriend and I had the sharing platter for 2 and shared some foul, soo much food you need to go hungry and the best foul I've had! I just love this place it's run by this sweet husband wife team and the place is so tidy and clean, I really enjoy it there it's in a weird area of town but don't let that fool you it's worth going to.
I'm long overdue to write a review for this cute family owned restaurant. As it is my favorite ethnic restaurant in Vancouver I never miss the opportunity to take my family over whenever they're visiting.
My boyfriend and I have visited this friendly place on several occasions and are always happy to return. The owners are super friendly with a very gentle and pleasant way to make sure everything is to our liking.
My boyfriend and I are vegetarians and have tried most of their veggie options...every single one of them tasty..our favorite being Okra. Our family prefers their meat dishes which they have plentiful as well.
It's a welcoming place, kids friendly, with a wonderful pleasant ambience and friendly quick service. Once you visit you'll want to return. Highly recommended for anybody who would like to try something new and different or for anybody who is familiar with Ethiopian food and has been craving it for a while!
I've been enjoying Red Sea for over 3 years solid and have never had anything less than an amazing meal experience.
The service gets a 5 star rating because we are greeted by very warm smiles by all staff every time, the water is always refilled promptly, we never have to wait long for the food/cheque and they always ask us if everything is to our liking. I can't ask for more!
I'm vegan and Red Sea is my go-to place for a special shared meal; it's my favourite non-vegetarian restaurant in Vancouver. The shared veggie platter is what I get every time and it's always delicious and extremely filling. For $8.50 each, it's pretty outstanding value. Sometimes some dishes are fresher than others but that's to be expected and each dish always tastes great. The only dish I don't like of the 7 veggie dishes is the split pea because it's a bit bland, but there are so many other dishes to choose from that it doesn't matter.
Though I've never been to Africa, the ambiance seems authentic. The music (and sometimes tv) is always African, as is the art. I love when I can enter a restaurant and imagine that I am transported to another land.
Dinner at the Red Sea was a first for me. We chose it on recommendation and also because the group we were dining with had a variety of eating 'issues' (meat eaters, ovo-lacto-hotdog vegetarians, vegans, etc.), which the restaurant caters to.
It was delightful and incredibly tasty. The platters were large and depending on what you chose, the items had many different textures and flavours. (My favourites were the raw/nearly raw beef dishes!) The price tag for five people was shockingly reasonable!
We have been to this place many times and it never disappointed. The family run business stands out with warm and personal service, excellent food and very reasonable prices. We are big fans and recommend this place to anybody, even my picky parents. The portions are big and you get free extra bread if you need it. There are mild as well as very spicy options for both vegetarians and meet-eaters.
visited there last week- 3 adults shared the vegi. plate for 3 that was recommended on this web site. that gave us 6/7 of their vegi. dishes- they were all good- the ocra and the lentil ones were the best to my opinion. the kids had the mild chicken. it was good.
I would say that I liked the food in Harambe a bit more- but there I had meat... so it's a problem to compare.
I probably come here again- the atmosphere was relaxed. and the food in general was good
Red Sea Cafe is awesome...
I am a huge fan of the veggie platters, and some friends who can not live without meat at every meal fully endorsed the lamb dishes when we took them...the prices are really great for the amount and quality of food you get and the man who serves you is great - super nice guy who is always very helpful if you want to make special requests. Hopefully this is the first of many great places that will occupy Fraser/B-way...
Try it out!