Organic coffee

Try your hand at home-roasting your own coffee! All coffee beans start out green-ish and are later roasted to an internal temperature sufficient to kill organic matter. Green beans stay fresh for typically 6 months. They should be kept away from heat, moisture and sunlight to extend shelf life.

Beans are at their most flavourful only within a week of their roasting. For the best coffee, check out how to roast your own fresh beans. Forget about past its prime coffee shop or grocery store stuff.

Ethiopian coffee beans from Yirgacheffe and other regions are available across the street.

We’re an Eritrean/Ethiopian restaurant at 812 Bloor St. That’s a 4 min walk east of Ossington Subway/Green P.

Organic spices

Coriander seeds in hand

Korerima (ኮሮሪማ), otherwise known as black cardamom, is an adored, sweet, lively, and very expensive spice.

We use it with love in our sweat potato, lentils, stews and awaze sauce.

It grows wild under the shade of coffee trees in southern Ethiopia and is sun-dried. It can be a base spice for most spice blends and used to add flavor to cream and tomato based sauces, stews, sautes, and soups.

Many of Eritrean and Ethiopia’s spices have a touch of mystery about them as they are not commonly found around the planet. Great dedication and skill is taken to prepare our spices from the best available produce. The agriculture system for spices 🍃in Ethiopia and Eritrea are all rain fed and almost all are cultivated organically from the wild. Farmers also observe Global Good Agricultural requirements. The final evidence is in the taste.

Selam is an Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant. Join us at 812 Bloor St W in Toronto. We’re a 4 min walk east of Ossington Subway/Green P. 416-915-7225


Frankincense and coffee

🌳Frankincense is a tree sap that gives a sweet pine-like aroma when heated. It’s been used since ancient times to heighten spirituality✨, to cleanse a room🧹, and to ward off bad spirits.👻

Frankincense helps mental clarity🙋, relaxation🧘🏾 and is anti-fungal🌞. The special smell comes from special molecules⚛. Research has shown that it may help with pain relief, depression and anxiety.

Frankincense is often part of a coffee ceremony. An invitation to attend one considered a mark of friendship or respect and is an excellent example of Ethiopian hospitality.

Woman in traditional dress pouring coffee

Selam is an Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant. Join us at 812 Bloor St W in Toronto. We’re a 4 min walk east of Ossington Subway/Green P. 416-915-7225


Mit-mita is sprinkled on delicacies, spooned onto injera or flava beans, or is lightly dipped into.

Ingredients can include: Ground African bird’s eye chili peppers, cardamom seed and salt.

Berbere spice

It’s been said that berbere is to Eritreans and Ethiopians as garam masala is to Indians, as vegeta is to Eastern Europeans, as thyme is to Jamaicans, as phố is to Viets, as… you get the idea. Berbere is at the heart of our cuisine.

Ingredients can include: chili peppers, garlic, ginger, basil, korarima (Ethiopian cardamom), rue, ajwain or radhuni, nigella, and fenugreek.

Awaze Sauce

Awaze is dipped into so as to make food more flavourful with its berbere, red wine and mustard elements. It’s a perfect one-of-a-kind dip to have with non-spicy raw, cooked, or BBQed veggies. Despite its popularity back home you’d be hard pressed to find this here.

Ingredients can include: Un-spiced cayenne pepper, mustard, ginger, red wine, extra virgin olive oil, rue seed, sage, sea salt.

Earth Hour

Candles in dark

We’re a candle-lit only for Earth Hour.

We’d love to host you this evening. Please RSVP by phone 416-915-7225 or email.

Earth Hour, is a world-wide celebration where millions of people around the world turn off their lights for one hour to tackle the dual challenges facing the planet – climate change and loss of nature.

If you can’t make it there are some other fun things to do for Earth Hour in Toronto including nature ones with the family.


Photo: @waferboard

Eating with injera

Injera used in dish

Injera is both a flatbread, an eating utensil, and a plate. Pieces of injera are used to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes. When the entire “tablecloth” of injera is gone, the meal is over. Utensils are optional.

Injera is a sourdough-risen gluten-free flatbread with a slightly spongy texture. It’s traditionally made out of tiny, iron-rich teff seeds, which are ground into flour. It’s the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea and central to any meal in the region.

Teff production is limited to certain middle elevations with adequate rainfall, and, as it is a low-yield crop, and is it is relatively expensive for the average household. To make injera, teff flour is mixed with water. The fermentation process is triggered by adding ersho, obtained from previous fermentations. The mixture is then allowed to ferment for an average of two to three days, giving it a mildly sour taste. The injera is baked into large, flat pancakes. The production of teff dates back a few thousands years.

Selam is an Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant. Join us at 812 Bloor St W in Toronto. We’re a 4 min walk east of Ossington Subway/Green P. 416-915-7225

Enjoy a coffee ceremony at Selam

Two woman with frankincense

A coffee ceremony brings relatives, neighbours and visitors together in Eritrea and Ethiopia. It’s a mark of great respect to be invited.

Green coffee beans are first roasted over an open flame in a pan then ground, boiled in a clay jebena jug, put through a sieve, and then served. Popcorn is offered as a snack. Traditionally loose grass is spread on the area where the coffee ceremony is held but we use a round grass plate.

We usually serve coffee from yirgacheffe. It’s not like other coffees. It has a distinctively fruity flavour profile and a bright, floral aroma. It is consistently ranks among the best coffee in the world, and certainly the among the best in Ethiopia itself. It’s widely considered to be from the birthplace of coffee. Ethiopia is the motherland of all Arabica coffee. When coffee was taken to other countries, people had to find ways to adapt it to the local climate. That’s Arabica coffee grows best in places that have climates similar to that of Ethiopia: mountainous, tropical, with moderate wet and dry seasons.

Selam is an Ethiopian and Eritrean restaurant. Join us at 812 Bloor St W in Toronto. We’re a 4 min walk east of Ossington Subway/Green P. 416-915-7225

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