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Columbus’s Somali Culture Shines at Hoyo’s Kitchen

Somali cuisine at Hoyo’s Kitchen (Credit/Pixabay).

Columbus houses around 60,000 Somali people, the second largest concentration in the country. Yet this population didn’t have its cuisine properly represented in Columbus’s food scene until Hoyo’s Kitchen opened up in its first location in 2014. It didn’t catch fire until adding a location at North Market in 2019. Surprisingly, this stall is the first African cuisine purveyor to ever have a spot in the market.

Similar to the Indian flatbread paratha, Hoyo’s Kitchen sells wraps in Somali sabayad. As in Indian cuisines, Hoyo’s also uses basmati rice as a base for its bowls, and its sambusas are similar to Indian samosas. Both cuisines share a spice palate. When biting into a Hoyos’s chicken or beef sambusa, you can taste cilantro, cumin, and onion as you would with many Indian foods.

When ordering at the fast-casual restaurant, which has a Chipotle-esque ordering scheme, know that there is no way to go wrong. Any of the three rice options, basmati, spicy, or gluten-free injara, a salad, or a wrap on sabayad or injera will work perfectly as a vessel for the delicious hot toppings. But be warned: the portions are large!

At the North Market location, Hoyo’s recently started selling Mango Chicken, a sweet and spicy star among the other meat options of goat, beef suqaar, chicken suqaar, and safari chicken. Diners get their choice of two hot vegetables from stewed cabbage, lentils, spinach, or chickpeas, all of which are great. Cold toppings like peppers, red onion, and cucumber, are added to the mean along with your choice of sauces. 

Be sure to get a side of sambusas (the beef are the best) and injera-a chewy texture and buckwheat-sourdough taste, which is a must try.

Hoyo’s Kitchen’s North Market location at 59 Spruce Street is open Sunday through Monday from 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. and Tuesday through Saturday from 9 A.M to 7 P.M.

Hours at its North Columbus location, 5788 Columbus Square, are Monday through Tuesday and Thursday through Friday from 11 A.M. to 9 P.M and Saturday from 11 A.M  to 8 P.M., and closed on Wednesday.

Find out more about Hoyo’s Kitchen at  


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