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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Ethiopian restaurant Queen of Sheba brings authentic taste of Ethiopia to Spokane

By Nwannediya Kalu The Spokesman-Review

Almaz Ainuu moved to Spokane in 2004 from Ethiopia after her husband accepted a new job. She brought with her authentic Ethiopian dishes that would feed Spokane for years to come.

The Queen of Sheba is a authentic Ethiopian restaurant located in downtown Spokane. Ainuu opened her family establishment in 2010 in the Flour Mill and since has become well known in the community for her welcoming spirit.

When you step into the establishment there are delicious smells, polite employees and hungry diners ready to enjoy the cuisine.

As her business begin there was a lot of curiosity from the community when they heard the Queen of Sheba was the first Ethiopian restaurant in Spokane.

“People were excited cause a new restaurant was opening, so I was very busy,” Ainuu said.

Bringing a new sense of style and culture to an area is important, Ainuu said, adding she feels “honored,” that she gets to introduce her culture to Spokane and “share different spices.”

Looking at the menu, there are different options to choose from such as lunch specials and several meats to pair with the dishes.

“I recommend the combos because they have a lot of variety,” Ainuu said

Over the past two years with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Queen of Sheba didn’t experience drastic downfalls like other businesses, but received tremendous care instead.

“During COVID I first closed for a month then opened back up, and people were super supportive,” Ainuu said.

The meals range from $6 to $40, depending on what you’re feeling.

If you’re in the mood for Veggie Sambussa, you’re looking in the cheaper direction. If you have a larger family trying the combination plates may seem more reasonable.

The Queen of Sheba is closed Mondays and open from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday and until 9:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant is located at 621 W. Mallon Ave., Suite 426. For information, visit or call (509) 328-3958.