Flavourful and seasoned lightly with herbs, Egyptian cuisine blends lighter Mediterranean flavours from near the coast and heartier bean and meat flavours further inland. As this is a Muslim country, local dishes do not include pork. Egypt holidays offer a mouth-watering array of international restaurants. But make sure you sample some local dishes too, from snacking on pitta-wrapped kebabs and falafel, to sipping sweet, black Arabic coffee and sharing plates of mezze.
This unassuming but delicious dish is made from fava beans slow-cooked with garlic, cumin, parsley, and lemon juice to produce a full, rich flavour. Fuul is often served with pitta or baladi, a type of Egyptian bread.
So popular it is considered Egypt’s national dish, fill up on this carb-heavy dish of rice, noodles, lentils, chickpeas, onions, and garlic, in a spicy tomato sauce.
To satisfy a sweet tooth, try omm ali, an Egyptian bread pudding, with crunchy pastry soaked in cream and milk, topped with nuts and raisins and baked in the oven. Nibble on pastries like baklava, stuffed with honey and nuts, or kunafa, filled with clotted cream. Sometimes though, a simple plate of juicy, fresh fruit makes the perfect ending to your meal.
Simple, cheap and quick to cook, traditional Egyptian cuisine is more about street food than fine dining. So when you’re out and about, you’ll find plenty of fresh, filling fast food to keep your energy levels up for sightseeing. Be careful to only order street food from vendors whose food is clean, fresh, and cooked right in front of you.
Otherwise known as falafel, this Egyptian dish is popular with the rest of the world too. Stop at the roadside for these moreish fried balls of mashed fava beans or chickpeas, herbs and spices.
Kofta, Kebab, and Shawarma
Far better than the greasy doner kebab you might scoff after a night out at home, these include spicy lamb or chicken served on skewers or in pitta bread to eat on the go.
Prices in Egypt vary just as they do at home, but on average, a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant might set you back 150 Egyptian Pounds, with a bottled beer around 17 Egyptian Pounds. If you need a drink (and you will) in the baking Egyptian heat, a 1.5 litre bottle of water should cost around three Egyptian Pounds.