Santa Monica is known for its juice bars and health cafes serving avocado toast and acai bowls, so while there may be plenty of vegan options, there’s not a lot of diversity in choice. Berbere aims to change that when their new Ethiopian-inspired vegan restaurant opens in Santa Monica on September 7.
Vegan Ethiopian Food in LA
You may recognize the name T&T Lifestyle (Berbere’s former name) from their residency at Smorgasburg LA or their time in the pop-up circuit in LA and Long Beach. Owners and husband-and-wife team Tezeta “Tete” Alemayehu and Tsega-Ab “Bicko” Fenta have been serving up some of the most incredible Ethiopian food Los Angeles has to offer.
One of their staple dishes is a traditional Ethiopian plate filled with house-made teff injera, turmeric-soaked chickpeas, and sauteed greens. Another crowd favorite is the Ethiopian Twist Sliders, which taste like the best sloppy joes you’ve ever had. And don’t sleep on some of the best and most underrated tacos in the entire LA vegan food scene (trust us on this one!) filled with potatoes, lentils, mushrooms, and their mouthwatering house-made tangfaye sauce.
When Berbere opens its doors, it won’t just be the name that’s changed (berbere is a spice mixture used in Ethiopian cuisine). You can still expect all of these favorites on the menu, but there will also be reimagined American classics with an Ethiopian twist. Think avocado toast with an almond berbere spread, breakfast burritos filled with bulgar and firfir (an Ethiopian classic made of soaked injera and sauces), and veggie burgers packed with whole food, plant-based ingredients and slathered in homemade sauce.
Berbere will also have a juice and smoothie bar, and they’ll be serving up traditional Ethiopian coffee alongside organic sodas and hot tea. A kids’ menu will also be available.
Vegan Options in Santa Monica
Berbere’s new home at 510 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401 will be just around the corner from the Third Street Promenade and just five blocks from the beach. The cafe is two stories and will have dining areas as well as lounge space spread throughout both levels, giving beach-goers plenty of time and space to enjoy the new vegan options in Santa Monica.
Berbere opens for business on Tuesday, September 7 from 11am-6pm. 20% of all profits for the day will be going to Take Care of Home, a nonprofit organization that serves underprivileged public schools in Ethiopia.
Regular hours will be Monday-Thursday from 8am-8pm, Fridays from 8am-5pm, and Sundays from 9am-3pm. Berbere will be closed on Saturdays in observation of the Sabbath. Breakfast will be served until 12pm Monday-Friday, and brunch will be served all day on Sunday.
Photo credit: Danielle G. Adams