I heard from Five Loaves from a friend who wanted to meet here for coffee and I was impressed before even walking in the door. The cafe is located in a super cute and super inviting brick building, practically making it impossible to walk by without popping your head inside to see what it’s all about. You’ll be glad you stopped by because Five Loaves is, in my opinion, one of Addis’ nicest little cafes.
Five Loaves feels sort of like two places in one. The downstairs is reminiscent of a typical cafe or deli-/sandwich-style place while the upstairs is a bit more like a bar/restaurant combo. Downstairs you’ll find display cases where you can oogle all of the goodies from their salads, pre-made pies, and vegetables to their ample baked goods case. It’s not the hugest place and it gets busy down there but there’s a whole other space upstairs which has another atmosphere altogether with the piano in one corner, tables with place settings, and a bar in the other corner.
On my first visit to Five Loaves I had a tuna sandwich that came with my choice of a side salad (I opted for a pasta one) and the meal was super huge and probably could have fed two moderately hungry people. The sandwich was really delicious. The pasta side salad was pretty good but nothing mind-blowing. But, lets be honest, pasta salad rarely blows ones mind. But I was really happy overall with the meal. A good tuna sandwich can be a hard thing to find, in my experience.
On my second visit I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the choice in the case and I panicked and ordered the quiche. I’m not a huge lover of quiche. It’s a pain in the ass to make at home and there always seem to be more enticing items on the menu when I go out to a restaurant, so I almost never eat it. But as I stood at the Five Loaves counter feeling the impatience of those behind me in line, I decided abruptly to go for the spinach and cream quiche (102 birr) which happened to be the closest to me in the display case. Yes, apparently this is how I choose my food. Well I’m going to come out and say it – I’ve been a fool ignoring quiche all of these years. A damned fool! This little eggy, spinachy, creamy pie was one of the best things I’ve eaten in a long time. So simple yet so delicious. Flaky pastry, delicious filling. If this is what quiche is all about then I’m all about quiche.
As far as their super tempting baked goods and pastries go, I’ve sampled a few. For review purposes, of course. Eating pastries for the people! I’m a big fan of their eclair. It’s everything a good eclair should be with sugary icing on top, creamy filling, and that yummy eclair-like pastry. Their doughnuts (11 birr) are ok but I think they could have been a bit more generous with the icing or made it sweeter. Are they are certainly cheap! And as with all cupcakes everywhere, the bites with the icing are delicious but the rest of the icing-less experience seems like a bit of a chore. Again, their cupcakes (32 birr) are ok, but they wouldn’t be my first choice from their impressive bakery display. I’ve also heard good things about their strawberry tart.
The servers are friendly and hard working but it’s frustrating placing an order and then having him take someone else’s order straight after without writing anything down because I’m 90% certain that things will go wrong. However when this happens, I always tend to take my seat and just hope that it’s one of those 10% occasions. Well, it wasn’t and my order was wrong. Wrong type of salad, things forgotten. But I actually preferred the salad they gave me so all was not lost! But if nobody appears to be writing your order down, take a second to ask them to repeat it to you just to save annoyingness later.
I really love Five Loaves! There’s no wifi but it’s the kind of place that welcomes real life conversations with other humans, so that’s ok. It’s not the sort of place I’d want to hang around in for too long when they get busy, so the no wifi thing is probably good for everyone.
The food is good, it’s reasonably priced, and I really like the atmosphere. Give Five Loaves a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Hours: Daily, 8 am – 9 pm