Want to do some shopping in Addis Ababa? Looking for the best places to shop in town? We’ve got you covered!

Gollagul Tower

 

This is a leather shoe heaven. Go Addis co-founder, Xavi, cannot leave this shopping mall with less than two new pair of leather shoes. Every. Time. We. Visit.

There are four high quality leather shoe shops here selling handmade leather shoes at $35 USD or less. The shops cater mostly to men, but it is still worth a trip for female shoppers.

Two of these shops sell brands sold in the US and Europe at ridiculous discounts. Check out Anbessa on the first floor for Sawa Shoes (sold at J Crew for $120+ USD) and Peacock on the second floor for G Star Raw Shoes (sold for 120+ Euros). We also love Bama Shoes (first floor) and Sheba Shoes (second floor).

Some of these shops have decent leather purses from time to time.

Shops open Monday – Saturday

Ecopia

Ecopia stands for Ecological Products of Ethiopia. They make an impressive 25 varieties of soaps, creams, body scrubs and more using only organic raw materials grown and found in Ethiopia. The best part? Nothing is more than 35 birr, that’s less than $2 USD!

We love their calendula and lavender creams, all of their soaps and their black cumin body scrub. This is the perfect place to grab little gifts to bring home.

Open Monday – Saturday

Stadium

When people first told me to go to Stadium for leather, I thought they meant the general area. But they were referring the actual stadium, like where soccer matches are played. The shops on the ground floor of the stadium either sell leather or offer translation services – what a combo.

We love these leather shops for their super affordable prices, like weekender bags for $60 (compare that to these). But you have to look and you have to be willing to bargain.

Open Monday – Sunday (but some shops are closed Sunday)

Ariti

This is another excellent small, family-run shop selling a wide range of teas and oils at ridiculously affordable prices. Everything is organic and comes from the owner’s farm outside of Addis. They specialize in holistic medicines.

Our favorite things?

  • Rose water: pour on a cotton pad (you can buy unprocessed cotton rolls at most pharmacies) and use to clean your face at the end of the day – you won’t believe how much dirt comes off :/
  • Moringa oil: you can read about all of the benefits of Moringa here. This stuff is so good for you. We use it to clean and moisturize our faces.
  • Feminine Massage oil: sounds weirder than it is! This oil is infused with jasmine and rose.  It’s an excellent moisturizer for your body or poured into your bubble bath.
  • Mouthwash: their homemade mouthwash is heavy on the thyme and leaves you feeling clean and refreshed.
  • You can’t go wrong with any of their teas. We especially love the mixed herbal tea, which they keep hidden under the cabinet (you have to ask for it).

Open Monday – Saturday

 

Sara Ethiopia

This woman makes beautiful dresses and shirts from traditional Ethiopian fabrics. You can find her clothes at the Premiere shop at the Sheraton.

T&H Designs

This little shop, owned by twin sisters Tigist and Haimanot, sells unique jewelry that they hand make in their shop. The sisters opened the shop (then in another location) in 2005 when they were only 17. They’ve received lots of press, including CNN.

Coffee

Our favorite place to buy coffee is Alem Buna. Go to their Kazanchis location and have a macchiato while you’re at it. 1kg of their highland special blend (dark, chocolatey roast) is 150 birr ($7.50 USD).  They sell both whole bean and ground.

 

Honorable mentions:
Galani: This shop would be our #1 choice, but they’re only open 4 days a week (Thursday – Sunday from 8am to 7:30pm). They sell spectacular medium roast fruity (cherries and other bright red fruit) coffee for 170 birr ($8 USD) for a 1/2kg. The food here is also great – simple, fresh dishes and great coffee of course!

Eleanna Coffee: You can pick this up at most ‘ferenji grocery stores’ like Novis of Fantu. It’s a lighter roast than Alem Buna and not too fruity. This coffee is really well packaged so it travels well.

 

Le Domaine

This is a great spot to pick up some Ethiopian wine. Whether you bring it home or drink it in your hotel room is up to you, we won’t judge! Our favorite is the Rift Valley Cuvee Prestige Chardonnay, and it’s not easy to find elsewhere.

Open Monday – Saturday

 

And other not so off-the-beaten-path places that deserve a mention:

Salem’s

This place is a must for anyone visiting Addis. She sells a wide range of beautifully crafted products. Most of the textiles are made there and you can watch (or even try your hand at) weaving. Our favorite items are the blankets. And don’t forget to check out the doorstops (we have six of those), the jewelry and the room full of baskets.

Her goods are sold in places like Anthropologie and West Elm in the United States, but the prices are much better here (like 80% cheaper) so take advantage.

Credit cards accepted.

Open Monday – Saturday

 

Sabahar

This place should be on everyone’s list.

Sabahar makes and sells beautiful fair trade Ethiopian crafted textiles. You’ll see the process from start the finish: from the women who spin the cotton, to the men who weave, the silk worms that produce the silk and everything in between. This is fair trade at it’s best: in 7 years of operating, they’ve had two people quit. Two people!!

While the textiles here are certainly more expensive that most places in Addis, they’re still a STEAL for what you are getting: handspun, hand woven incredibly high quality scarves, blankets and more.

Credit cards accepted.

Open Monday – Saturday

 

Zaaf

Zaaf sells a collection of high-end leather bags ranging from briefcases to wallets, purses and more. Zaaf is awesome for the fact that they are one of the only brands making high-end leather goods in Ethiopia that actually has a shop here. And the prices at the Zaaf showroom in Addis are better than what you see online.

Happy shopping!

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