Upon beginning my journey to Queen of Sheba, my GPS was insisting on directing me to the concept’s original South Tampa location. Thankfully, I was aware of the new location, stationed at 11001 N. 56th St. in Temple Terrace, or I would’ve missed out on the magic.
Let’s rewind to the very beginning. In 2007, Queen of Sheba owner Seble Gizaw, decided to move herself and her children from Orlando to Tampa. The economy was shaky at the time, so Gizaw decided to bet on herself and open a restaurant. Figuring out the type of cuisine was a breeze, considering there was a hole in the Tampa Bay food scene when it came to traditional Ethiopian dishes.
“Somebody asked me about Ethiopian food because the owner of the building was interested in adapting it. I saw the location and said I’d open it,” Gizaw told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
From head to toe, the restaurant pays homage to rugged, landlocked country on the Horn of Africa. Queen of Sheba reigned in the kingdom of Sheba, located in southwestern Arabia, during Biblical times. Gizaw’s menu consists of solely traditional Ethiopian eats like the Queen’s Eight Platter, loaded with four beef and chicken platters, alongside four veggie choices. Once the doors opened in 2007, Gizaw—who also caters to all dietary preferences by offering several gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options—said the word spread like wildfire.
You can find Queen of Sheba at 11001 N 56th St. in Temple Terrace. Read more about the move and what’s new at the restaurant here.