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Ethiopian cuisine found in the heart of Aurora

Photo Credit: Bobby Jones


There are few restaurant experiences that couple a legitimately inviting ambiance with delicious and interesting dishes. Nile Ethiopian Restaurant in the heart of Aurora exceeds these standards and then some by creating an environment that makes even the most cautious restaurant goer wanting more.

Nile is a staple in the vibrant Ethiopian restaurant community, rivaling dozens of similar eateries in the greater Denver area.

This might initially seem surprising while first walking up to the restaurant, located within a run-of-the-mill strip mall. However, any dubious thoughts immediately melt away as soon as the front door opens.

Full of people of all ages and cultural identities, the atmosphere is incomparably infectious. At first glance, Nile looks as appropriate for a sensuous first date as it does for family night, but, for some reason this eclectic blend of energies works. 

Perhaps it has something to do with the Ethiopian music videos playing on every wall or the ominous DJ booth and dancefloor huddled off to the side of the restaurant. A culmination of all these unexpected environmental features, Nile seems to seethe fun-loving, poetic energy that has become synonymous with Ethiopian culture.

The menu is full of items that seem to shine with the vibrancy that radiates from the restaurant itself. While the Ayib Bemitmita­—homemade cottage cheese mixed with hot red pepper—is a commonly suggested appetizer to begin the meal with, do not look any further than the Sambusa. This pastry shell is filled with beef, lentils, or spinach and perhaps, most importantly, they are only $0.99. The  Sambusa is unquestionably one of the finest appetizer experiences any guest could ask for. The sheer amount of food served and the quality of the dish versus the price makes it the quintessential appetizer for the college student on a budget.

The menu draws  the eye to even more impossibly delicious sounding meals. From Tire Siga ($12.99)—an extra lean beef dish served raw with awaze—to Yemisir Wat ($6.99)—lentils simmered in a spicy berbere sauce—these dishes  serve any guest a delightfully authentic Ethiopian experience. But there is perhaps no dish more succulent than the Kitfo Dulet ($12.99).

A twist on the East African classic, Kitfo Dulet adds jalapenos and onions to the steak tartare seasoned with herbed butter sauce. There are almost no words to describe the enormous flavor packed into this dish. Most interestingly, Kitfo Dulet is served on a traditional flatbread that is designed to allow the otherwise messy meal to be consumed cleanly. Instead of using Western cutlery, the flatbread is ripped into small pieces to be used as a means of picking up the rest of the meal.

The overall experience of Nile Ethiopian Restaurant is truly one-of-a-kind. There are plenty of reasons to make the haul out to Aurora, but Nile is a wonderful reason to stay. From cheap food to off-the-wall East African music videos, Nile is a delightful eatery.

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