Nile Ethiopian Restaurant has closed

  • 356

Nile Ethiopian Restaurant, 89 2nd St #2, Coralville. Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. — Emma McClatchey/Little Village

Nile Ethiopian Restaurant in Coralville has closed for business. For weeks, the doors have been locked on the two-year-old restaurant, and now its Facebook page lists Nile as “Permanently Closed.”

When Nile opened in 2017, Little Village reviewer Helania Thompson wrote, “ ‘Finally’ seems to be the most frequently expressed response to the recent opening of Nile, an Ethiopian restaurant just off the Coralville strip.” The Iowa City area had been lacking in Ethiopian food, and the new restaurant quickly became a favorite of those who know and love the cuisine.

Nile also introduced a lot of Iowa Citians to Ethiopian food, and even provided a helpful guide, “How to Eat Ethiopian Food,” for newcomers baffled by the lack of utensils. (Ethiopian-style dining traditionally uses injera, a fermented flatbread, torn off by hand, to scoop up food instead of a knife and fork.)

Thompson, like others who dined at Nile, praised both its food and service.

Nile Ethiopian Restaurant — Helaina Thompson/Little Village

Kiya Sultan, who grew up in Iowa City, opened Nile after spending several years working at his uncle’s Ethiopian restaurant in Minneapolis. The West High graduate was also inspired by the example of his mother, who he used to watch in the kitchen while growing up.

“I like just talking to customers, getting their feedback. All the love we’re getting from the neighborhood — it gives you motivation to work hard,” Sultan told the Gazette a month after the restaurant opened.

Little Village readers voted Nile “Best African Cuisine” in the 2019 Best of the CRANDIC competition.

  • 356


  1. Oh, this makes me so sad. This was our go to special occasion place. The place we took friends when they came to town. I talked up this place all the time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


A collaboration between The Englert Theatre and FilmScene


Help us build the greatest small city for the arts in America—right here in Iowa City. Learn more »

Donate Today

Strengthen • Grow • Evolve is a collaborative campaign led by two Iowa City-based arts nonprofits, The Englert Theatre and FilmScene that seeks a major reinvestment to strengthen the arts through modern and historic venues, innovative programming, and new models of collaboration.


Enjoy a tasting and drinks from the best chefs the area has to offer!

Presented by

Join us Saturday, February 15, 6 p.m.
@ Coralville Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

For 18 years...

Little Village has been telling the truth and changing our little corner of the world.

If you can, help us head into the next 18 years even stronger with a one-time or monthly contribution of $18, or any amount you choose.



America’s intimate festival experience featuring cutting-edge music, the Midwest’s premier indie book fair, and readings and community happenings across downtown Iowa City.