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  • March 27, 2017

    A Vegan Ethiopian Feast at Bunna Café

    There are some New York restaurants that you can mention in any social setting and someone will invariably nod and intone, sagely, “Oh, yes, I go there all the time.” Somewhat remarkably for a vegan Ethiopian spot—in Bushwick, no less—Bunna Café is one of them. What’s more, Bunna is well, and rightly, loved. It’s one of those vegan restaurants where the absence of meat and dairy isn’t obvious while you’re there, but when you venture out the door your step has a new spring in it.... [full article]
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  • March 13, 2017

    How Ethiopia Came to Bushwick

    “I’m not Ethiopian; I’m a red-neck from Texas.” Sam Saverance said between bites of misir wot, a dark red mash of lentils wrapped in a folded injera, a squashy Ethiopian bread. We were sitting at Bunna Cafe, a vegan Ethiopian Bushwick restaurant that he and his friends, Liyuw Ayalew and Kedega Srage co-founded. Seated at the front of the restaurant near the windows, we overlooked the Cafe decorated in the same orange, greens and brown tones as the foods on our plate. Against the exposed brick wall was a large stage covered by a grass roof where employees prepare coffee over a "rekbot", a large wooden chest. .... [full article]
  • AT&T Logo
  • January 29, 2017

    Bunna Cafe: Using tech to share culture

    The word, “bunna,” is the Ethiopian Amharic word for “coffee,” which is an integral part of Ethiopia’s economy and daily life. Ethiopians drink coffee multiple times a day, and they congregate around coffee as part of their culture. Intimate coffee ceremonies are performed daily, and neighbors get together and unwind while roasting, grinding, and brewing the drink. The coffee ceremony is a time for sharing conversation and celebrating community.... [full article]
  • Gothamist Logo
  • April 15, 2016

    Coffee Culture Is All About Sharing in Ethiopia

    As the driving force behind Ethiopia’s economy as well as a pillar of its culture, coffee plays an integral role in Ethiopian identity. It's no surprise that immigrants to America from the East African nation turn to the drink — and the rituals that surround it — when in need of a taste of home. In today's episode of Cooking in America, host Pelin Keskin visits Bunna Cafe, an Ethiopian restaurant and coffee house in Bushwick, Brooklyn named for the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony... [full article]
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  • January 29, 2016

    Destination: Ethiopia in Bushwick

    For this first generation Ethiopian-American, walking into Bushwick’s Bunna Cafe immediately smelled like home. It wasn’t just the scent of the heavy, complex spices infused in long-simmering Ethiopian stew, or wot, that triggered my nostalgia, but the delicate fragrance of roasting coffee beans. Many Ethiopian restaurants in New York City serve traditional Ethiopian coffee, but Bunna Cafe is the only restaurant where diners can see a full coffee ceremony in action... [full article]
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  • January 11, 2016

    Bunna Cafe: An Interview with Sam Saverance

    If you’ve ever visited Bunna Cafe in Bushwick, you know it’s an impeccable blend of healthy cuisine and serious comfort food. It’s perfect for warming up during the cold winter months. The staff and customers are some of the friendliest in the neighborhood and their live events keep us dancing. Located on Flushing near Knickerbocker, it’s close to our Bushwick office and the Morgan L, so we’re always stopping in for some shiro, misir wot, cocktails and good times. This week, we spoke with Sam Saverance, one of the owners of Bunna Cafe, to get a peek into the restaurant’s history and pick his brain about how they keep their food and atmosphere so wonderful... [full article]
  • Gothamist Logo
  • October 22, 2015

    When Coffee Becomes the Show

    "All Ethiopians are proud of their coffee," Kedega Srage tells me while we sip on a batch she made just moments before. I don't mean she flipped the switch on a coffee machine; I mean she donned a traditional dress and head scarf, roasted green coffee beans over an open flame, ground them with warm cardamom and clove, and brewed an elixir so dark and rich and refreshingly bittersweet that the plain moniker "coffee" feels wholly inadequate... [full article]
  • L Mag Logo
  • June 5, 2015

    Neighborhood Eats: Ethiopian Food on the Menu in Brooklyn

    BUSHWICK -- There aren't even two dozen restaurants in New York City that feature Ethiopian food, but a year ago, a new spot joined the short list.
    And it's also got a vegan spin. Bunna Cafe is located at 1084 Flushing Avenue in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and bunna means coffee.
    Two Ethiopians and a Texan make up the group behind Bunna Cafe, and they started with secret dinner parties before moving to pop-up restaurants before eventually opening the restaurant. And they're glad they did..... [full article]
  • Gothamist Logo
  • December 18, 2014

    The 14 Best New Restaurants In NYC

    BUNNA CAFE: Bunna's been a standout source for Ethiopian food since founders Sam Saverance and Kedija Ali started hosting dinners and pop-up parties around town a few years back. But in February, Bushwick was blessed with a brick-and-mortar Bunna Cafe, where palate-appeasing vegan dishes are doled out by the platter. Come with a gang and splurge on the Feasts—they serve one ($15) two ($28) three ($39) or four ($48) people, and come stocked with vegan goods like keysir selata (sauteed beets, carrots and potatoes), misir wot (red lentils in a berbere sauce) and yatakilt alicha (cabbage, potatoes, carrots and turmeric). Swap out utensils for spongey injera bread and have at it until your insides ache..... [full article]
  • Time Out Logo
  • December 17, 2014

    The Best Things We Ate in NYC in 2014

    Combo plate at Bunna Cafe: Bunna Cafe started as a pop-up, but the all-vegan Ethiopian fare was so popular, it permanently took over its Bushwick space in February. The combo plate can be customized from a selection of nine options, but do yourself a favor and splurge for the "Feast," which includes them all. With kale, beets, yellow split-peas and red lentils, the plate has as many bright colors as a Keith Haring painting, and the fresh, fiery flavors are just as exciting. -Justin Hartung... [full article]
  • Time Out Logo
  • December 10, 2014

    The 100 best dishes in New York City 2014: Best vegetables

    Feast for two at Bunna Cafe: One peek at the menu of this vegan-Ethiopian haven and you’ll want to try everything—that’s where its jam-packed sample platter comes in handy. All nine entrees are accounted for, including roasted berbere-spiced pumpkin cubes, garlic-licked red and yellow lentils, cooling kale-and-avocado salad and tomatoes stewed with hot peppers and sunflower-seed milk. Rolled rounds of injera, a spongy, tangy teff-flour flatbread, acts as your utensils to soak up every hearty, exotic bite. $28... [full article]
  • Gothamist Logo
  • November 21, 2014

    How to Celebrate International Thanksgiving in Brooklyn

    Ethiopian; Sam Saverance of Bunna Café: After devising an Ethiopian-influenced Thanksgiving meal last year, some of the dishes proved so successful, they ended up on Bunna Café’s regular menu!
    Duba Wot: Mix sweet kabocha squash cubes with spicy berbere sauce, garlic, ginger, and onion.
    Butecha Selata: This festive salad incorporates kale, cranberries, onion, lime juice, olive oil and butecha; a vegan stuffing made with ground chickpeas... [full article]
  • Gothamist Logo
  • September 22, 2014

    The 10 Best Vegan-Friendly Restaurants in Brooklyn

    Bunna Cafe: This Bushwick Ethiopian spot serves some of the most flavorful food in the whole borough. We love the kedija salata, a kale-flecked avocado salad; the misir wot, a pungent, berbere-spiced lentil stew; and the shiro, a spicy, ground chickpea dish. Soak up all that goodness with spongy, addictive injera (also available in a gluten-free version) and wonder to yourself why anyone would think that vegan food isn’t as filling as meat-based cuisine... [full article]
  • Voice Logo
  • August 18, 2014

    Have a Taste of Bunna Cafe's Ethiopian Brunch

    We've been singing the praises of Bunna Cafe since it opened -- not only was the place a killer vegan entrant into the New York restaurant industry, it turns out one hell of an Ethiopian feast in a city that's short on representatives from that country. So despite the occasionally slow service and lack of a liquor license (that's been remedied now -- you can get beer, wine, and all manner of drinks), we found ourselves returning frequently. And this weekend, we were delighted to be given another reason to drop in: the cafe just debuted brunch.... [full article]
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  • July 24, 2014

    The 9 Best Vegan Dishes In NYC

    FEAST FOR TWO AT BUNNA CAFE: Bunna Cafe's been running secret dinners and pop-up fests for a while now, but last winter Bushwick residents were blessed with Bunna's first brick-and-mortar spot. Now, you can score fresh, delicious Ethiopian meals daily; the Bunna crew's finest offering, the Feast for Two, nets you all nine of the restaurant's main dishes, including spicy lentil stew misir wot, steamed kale-and-carrots dish gomen and a beet-heavy keysir salata. And it's a solid deal—the very-shareable dish runs $28, and comes with a heaping plate of spongey injera bread to sop up all the spicy, vegan goodness. Cash only.... [full article]
  • L Mag Logo
  • July 1, 2014

    The 101 Best (New) Cheap Eats, Ranked

    39. Bunna Cafe: The food at Bunna Cafe, a pop-up Ethiopian supper club turned brick-and-mortar restaurant, is only incidentally vegan. It is primarily bright, savory, adroitly seasoned, and revivifying—a colorful array of puréed and stewed pulses, steamed and sautéed vegetables, and an improvisatory guacamole called kedija selata, which combines chunks of avocado with tomato, onion, jalapeño, lime, and Brooklyn’s official leafy green, kale.... [full article]
  • Gothamist Logo
  • June 6, 2014

    Brooklyn’s 10 Most Kid-(and Adult-) Friendly Restaurants

    Bunna Cafe: Speaking of international cuisine, introducing children to Ethiopian food will be easier than you might think. Why? Well, what kids don’t want to eat with their hands? It’s fun to scoop up piles of delicately spiced beans and vegetables (Bunna is a vegan spot, perfect for animal-loving kids) with spongy, addictive injera, an Ethiopian flatbread. Plus, everyone—everyone—loves mango-avocado-papaya joice. And it’s hyper-affordable, which is nothing to scoff at when feeding a passel of hungry kids... [full article]
  • L Mag Logo
  • May 7, 2014

    Viva Las Vegans: Bunna Cafe

    How about some good old-fashioned vegan food? Vegetarian fare these days too often involves a newfangled version of nut-cheese or some innovative soy-based meat substitute, but Bunna Café serves wholesome plant-based recipes that have been savored for centuries. The Ethiopian vegan restaurant, which started out as a Smorgasburg stall, has grown into a big Bushwick storefront: table lamps bring a soft glow to the dim, expansive space and make it feel like a mellow college-town coffee shop.... [full article]
  • Tadias Logo
  • April 16, 2014

    Bunna Cafe: Restaurant review

    Bunna has been burning up the blogosphere since it graduated from a stall at the Smorgasburg market to a tidy Bushwick storefront. Believe the hype. Chef Kedija Srage’s precise, complex vegan cooking banished memories of meals at inferior joints where I couldn’t tell mushy entrées from the injera, the spongy bread used to scoop them up. You can order all nine entrées here à la carte, but the “Feast” platters provide the best grazing — and terrific value. They’re also great visuals.... [full article]
  • Tadias Logo
  • February 24, 2014

    An Early Taste of the Vegan Ethiopian Food at Bunna Cafe

    The New York City culinary landscape isn't exactly saturated with Ethiopian food, and until very recently, it was entirely lacking in restaurants devoted to the vegan dishes of that cuisine. So perhaps that explains why Bunna Cafe (1084 Flushing Avenue) was so packed on its opening weekend -- and why the kitchen had run out of injera, that spongy sour flatbread used to scoop up stews. To miss out on the injera would be to miss the real experience of the meal, so we returned instead a week later, when the kitchen had worked out that kink.... [full article]
  • Tadias Logo
  • February 14, 2014

    Vegan Bunna Cafe Finds a Home for Some of NYC's Best Ethiopian

    We have a long history, Bunna Café and I. Way back in November, when it was just a pop-up operating out of the bar it has now taken over, Mama Joy's, I trekked up one evening only to discover that Bunna only served lunch (I wrote about nearby Il Passatore instead). Then, one frigid day in early January, I gave it a second go, only to be met with the sight of a totally gutted, and shuttered, space (I wrote about Falansai, just down the street, instead). But at least I was on the right track: turns out Bunna was renovating its space on Flushing Avenue in East Williamsburg in preparation for becoming a full-service restaurant.... [full article]
  • Tadias Logo
  • February 12, 2014

    Bunna Cafe's Ethiopian Food Wizards Now Have Permanent Home In Bushwick

    We've made no secret of our enthusiasm for Bunna Cafe, the stellar vegan Ethiopian food operation that's been bouncing around Brooklyn for the past couple of years. Previously, if you were jonesing for a heaping plate of injera and kedija selata, you had to "settle" for one of their festive pop-up dinners, or sample dishes at various food markets. Now, finally, they have a brick-and-mortar home, having taken over erstwhile Bushwick whiskey bar Mama Joy's space at the end of last year. Someone hide my ATM card, please and thank you.... [full article]
  • Tadias Logo
  • February 10, 2014

    Bunna Café Premieres their Gorgeous New Space; Still Awaits Liquor License

    Six short weeks after Mama Joy’s gave up the ghost, Bunna Café has set up permanent shop at 1084 Flushing Ave. They’ll be slingin’ their usual scrumptious, vegan, Ethiopian fare from 11AM to 10PM every goshdarn day. The menu offers a wide selection of weird little finger goods, and for $8 you can try four of them, plus injera (the traditional Ethiopian flatbread that serves as your utensil). Or have a feast and try seven dishes for only $12..... [full article]
  • Tadias Logo
  • January 31, 2014

    Bunna Cafe In Bushwick Celebrates The Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

    For the last two and a half years, Bunna Cafe has operated as a pop-up restaurant, bringing vegan Ethiopian food, music, and a modern take on the traditional Ethiopian coffee experience to dozens of locations throughout North Brooklyn. Bunna are now working on opening their first permanent location, at 1084 Flushing Avenue in Bushwick, and they’ve launched a $15,000 IndieGoGo campaign to help fund some necessary renovations... [full article]
  • Tadias Logo
  • January 26th, 2014

    Pop-up Bunna Cafe Finds Permanent Spot In Brooklyn

    Ethiopian lunch and dinner at Bunna Cafe: It's not just the food at this Brooklyn-based vegan pop-up that keeps me coming back—though the heaping portions of fiery, fresh-tasting vegetables and legumes they serve will hook you right off the bat. For a few years, Bunna did pop-up dinners and feasts all over town; I had the pleasure of attending one such feast at Bushwick coffee shop Little Skips this spring, and it was a festive neighborhood affair, complete with communal tables and communal metal platters and a whole lot of Ethiopian honey wine... [full article]
  • Gothamist Logo
  • December 18, 2013

    The 25 Best Things We Ate and Drank In NYC In 2013

    Ethiopian lunch and dinner at Bunna Cafe: It's not just the food at this Brooklyn-based vegan pop-up that keeps me coming back—though the heaping portions of fiery, fresh-tasting vegetables and legumes they serve will hook you right off the bat. For a few years, Bunna did pop-up dinners and feasts all over town; I had the pleasure of attending one such feast at Bushwick coffee shop Little Skips this spring, and it was a festive neighborhood affair, complete with communal tables and communal metal platters and a whole lot of Ethiopian honey wine... [full article]
  • NY Times Logo
  • November 7, 2013

    Hungry City: Ethiopian Lunch Box in Bushwick

    “Is something burning?” someone at my table whispered. We were at Mama Joy’s in Bushwick, Brooklyn, a hush-puppies-and-fried-chicken joint whose décor suggested a pause in demolition. One wall was half-scraped-down drywall, half-excavated studs and brick. Holes gaped ... Behind us, a space had been cleared among the tables, and a woman was holding a flat pan filled with coffee beans over a small stove on the floor. When she flicked her wrist, the beans rustled... [full article]
  • Food Republic Logo
  • October 29, 2013

    The World’s 11 Best Super Secret Supper Clubs

    New York: Bunna Café. Based in Bushwick, New York’s newest pop-up dishes out Ethiopian vegan fare at parties and festivals like the BK Night Bazaar. The recently launched dinner series, Habesha Nights, is held at clandestine venues throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan. Prices, locations and times vary, but all include Chef Kedija Ali’s crowd-pleasing cooking, like slow-simmered sweet vegetable keysir and spicy red lentils in berbere sauce... [full article]
  • Gothamist Logo
  • August 21, 2013

    The 9 Best Vegan Dishes In NYC

    LUNCH FOR TWO AT BUNNA CAFE: This Bushwick-based Ethiopian eatery's been doing pop-up dinners around the city for the past few years, but recently they've set up temporary shop on the weekdays at Flushing Ave joint Mama Joy's, serving up affordable, spicy vegan food to a midday lunch crowd. They offer a selection of ethnic dishes to try and you can pick-and-choose at will, but we're fans of the all-encompassing Lunch for 2, a $13 shared platter of all six dishes... [full article]
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  • July 13, 2013

    An Ethiopian Pop-Up Restaurant Brings New Energy to the Bushwick Food Scene

    Bunna Cafe has been hosting dinners around New York City for the past year and their vegan Ethiopian fare has gained a following if their last event at The Drink on Manhattan Avenue in Brooklyn is any indication.
    A small, three-person operation, Sam Saverance, along with his two Ethiopian partners, hope to continue offering their version of Ethiopian vegan food to city dwellers in a permanent home by 2014... [full article]
  • Bedford and Bowery Logo
  • April 29, 2013

    Chasing Bunna Cafe, Ethiopian Pop Up Restaurant

    Bunna Cafe has become a staple in Brooklyn’s pop-up food shop trend, bringing their mouth-watering Ethiopian food to bars and fairs in Bushwick and beyond. You may have seen them dolling out the Injera (Ethipian spongy sourdough bread) at the Bushwick Block Party last summer, rocking it at the BK Night Bazaar this winter, or as the busiest booth at Pine Box’s Vegan Pop Up shops every second Saturday of the month. If you haven’t been able to catch up with this ambitious on-the-go restaurant yet, your opportunities are becoming more numerous... [full article]
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  • Aptil 9, 2013

    The coolest secret New York parties, clubs and dinners

    Bunna Cafe: This Ethiopian eatery’s founders—Sam Saverance, Kedija Ali and a third silent partner—got their start last May, hosting private suppers in a friend’s Bushwick loft. They’re working on opening a brick-and-mortar space, but for now, the duo hosts Habesha Nights, a secret dinner series, at venues in Brooklyn and Manhattan.... [full article]
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  • December 6, 2012

    Bunna Cafe pops up at the BK Night Bazaar

    When life gives you Ethiopian lemons, make lemonade!
    Sam Saverance moved to Africa with a background in design and development, and hoped to start a business incubator there — but failing that, he started an Ethiopian food pop-up in Brooklyn. “The business didn’t play out, but I got immersed in the culture and food,” said Saverence, who can be found at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar in Williamsburg, his most recent pop-up location... [full article]
  • LMag Logo
  • October 18, 2012

    The Best Pop-Up Restaurants in Brooklyn

    While there are only a handful of respectable Ethiopian options in the city (and even fewer great vegan joints), this Bushwick-based, travelling vegan/Ethiopian café and restaurant is a real find. Be sure to check their website for the skinny on upcoming venues... [full article]
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  • September 4, 2012

    An Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony in Brooklyn

    Thanks to a bit of creative grassroots fundraising from a startup called Bunna Café, Brooklynites have the chance to experience a genuine Ethiopian coffee ceremony. (Close your eyes and you might believe you're in Addis Ababa...)
    Like beans in a roaster, Bunna Café has literally been popping up all over Brooklyn this summer: Just about every weekend its small team of collaborators ... has been taking over bars' backyards and at other events, offering not only pretty top-notch vegan Ethiopian grub, but also a traditional coffee ceremony. [full article]
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  • August 24, 2012

    Bunna Café Bringing New Life to Vegan-Friendly Ethiopian Food, Popping Up All Over North Brooklyn

    Ethiopian food is awesome, and it's one of the more inherently vegan-friendly traditional cuisines out there. But it's very rare to find a place specifically focussed on the v*gan side of Ethiopian food. Bunna Café does that and much more, with their pop-up events showcasing music, dancing, coffee ceremonies, and booze, as well as good eats. They've mostly focussed on North Brooklyn to date, but events elsewhere are certainly a possibility.... [full article]
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  • August 14, 2012

    Revamped Brooklyn Farm and Flea to Become Giant Arts Fest

    BUSHWICK — The seeds of dandelion coffee maker Courtney Novak's dreams to open a Bushwick flea have shifted shapes, locations and leaders since their conception in May — and this weekend the revamped Brooklyn Farm and Flea will be bigger than ever before.... After Novak moved out of the city to work on a farm, Sam Saverance, founder of the Ethiopian vegan pop-up Bunna Cafe and the flea's new organizer, is unleashing the market Saturday... [full article]
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  • August 3, 2012

    Williamsburg Pop-Up Bunna Cafe is a New Way to Get Your Ethiopian Fix

    If you want Ethiopian food in this city, you're pretty much limited to one style of restaurant: the dark, warm, clove-scented places with more or less the same menu, prices, and general dining experience. Awash in the East Village is probably my favorite of the bunch, particularly for its tartare, but I'm always on the hunt for more in other parts of the city. A new entry to the mix is Bunna Cafe, a series of pop-ups around North Brooklyn bars, cafes, and outdoor events.... [full article]
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