TaborWhat was once Baltimore’s Chinatown is now home to a flurry of Ethiopian businesses.

By Baynard Woods

The red chinese flag with its golden stars flutters in the wind on the 300 block of Park Avenue, the site of Baltimore’s historic Chinatown (Chinatown actually started a couple blocks away, on the 200 block of Marion Street). The flag hangs from the only Chinese restaurant left on the block, Zhongshan, which sits beside a lone Asian grocery, amidst what was until quite recently a rather desolate block.

Now, the red, yellow, and green of the Ethiopian flag dominate the newly burgeoning block as two restaurants, a cafe, and a market, all Ethiopian, have recently opened there. (Another establishment, Bouillabaisse Cafe, has also added to the block’s economy, and just a block further down is Adventures in Music, one of the best record stores in town.)

In Washington, D.C., there are enough Ethiopian restaurants to make it something of a dining scene. There are high-end places like DAS, and then clusters of them around U Street and Adams Morgan. But here in Baltimore, we’ve had few options. Eden’s Lounge serves some Ethiopian dishes, but food is not the clubby joint’s focus. For a while there was a place over in Pigtown, but the main option has been Dukem, which has led to uneven experiences. Read more