About Us

We are El Harissa (Arabic: الهريسة). Our name is derived from "Harissa," a spicy and incredibly flavorful chili pepper paste originated in Tunisia, that has injected its uniquely explosive flavor into dishes from all throughout the greater Mediterranean region. El Harissa is a cafe, market, and catering service that specializes in the foods of North Africa and Mediterranean Europe. Our Cafe features dishes inspired by the cuisines of North Africa (primarily Morocco and Tunisia), Spain, France, Italy, and Greece.  Our Market stocks ingredients and spices from this region. In addition, we serve 20 flavors of artisan, Michigan-made, Italian gelato ice cream.  

Before opening El Harissa in late 2013, Khaled was a research scientist at the University of Michigan, and Susan was an elementary school teacher. As lifelong foodies and expert cooks, Khaled and Susan had long harbored a desire to start a food business of their own, one that would introduce people to a whole new cuisine from North Africa and Mediterranean Europe, including delicious dishes from Khaled's native Tunisia. So they set about building El Harissa from the group up with the help of some dear friends and their children, Yusef and Yasmin, who are now recent graduates of the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford, respectively. Come by and experience the warm and inviting atmosphere, customer service, and flavors of El Harissa!