Mella Cafe Chicago – Local spot for Eritrean food

restaurants
Restaurants

I recommend getting the traditional breakfast combo, a sampler with three dishes, that comes with complimentary warm, crispy bread!

The aroma of home-cooked food made with honey and cinnamon greets the senses upon entering Mella Café, a locally owned and run coffee house in Edgewater serving the flavors of East Africa. The vibrant red interior pays homage to the colors of Eritrea; its cuisine is heavily influenced by Italian and Ethiopian cuisine.

The owner, Yirgy Meles, known as Gigi by customers, opened Mella in June of 2023 with the help of her husband, Negus. Ever since coming to Chicago from Eritrea in 1995, she dreamed of having her own restaurant. 

After 5 years of working hard toward this dream, it finally came true. Mella Café delights customers with Eritrean specialities such as egg frittata (scrambled eggs with spices), fuul (mashed fava beans in a spicy tomato sauce), and kicha fitfit (French bread cubes in a special sauce). 

I recommend getting the traditional breakfast combo, a sampler with all three dishes, and it comes with complimentary warm, crispy bread! 

Mella also tempts with glass display cases featuring sweet pastries and assorted gelato flavors. “Just believe you can do it, and you will do it,” Meles says about going after your dreams. Despite the barriers along the journey, it was all worth it for Meles, whose favorite part of the job is interacting with her loyal customers and being her own boss.

Come to Mella Café for homemade African comfort foods, and stay a while for the loving atmosphere created by Gigi.

About this spot

5418 N Broadway

Tue - Fri 09:00 - 17:00, Sat - Sun 10:00 - 19:00

Breakfast combo:

USD

14

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