Egypt is not just known for its ancient civilization and breathtaking monuments. The country also boasts a rich culinary heritage, featuring a diverse array of flavors and techniques that have developed over thousands of years. From hearty breakfasts to savory stews, Egypt’s food scene is a true feast for the senses. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of Egypt’s most popular dishes and speak to local experts for their recommendations on where to try them.
Exploring Egypt’s Diverse and Delicious Cuisine
Egyptian cuisine is influenced by a variety of cultures, including those of the Middle East, Africa, and the Mediterranean. The result is a unique blend of flavors that are both familiar and exotic. One of the most popular dishes in Egypt is Ful Medames, a hearty breakfast dish made from fava beans, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil. Other breakfast favorites include Ta’meya (Egyptian falafel) and Shakshuka (eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce).
For lunch and dinner, Egyptians enjoy a variety of stews and casseroles, such as Koshari (a mix of rice, lentils, and macaroni topped with fried onions and spicy tomato sauce) and Mahshi (stuffed vegetables such as eggplant, peppers, and grape leaves). Meat lovers will also enjoy dishes like Shawarma and Kebab, which are marinated in a blend of spices before being grilled to perfection.
From Ful Medames to Mahshi: A Guide to Authentic Egyptian Food
To truly experience Egypt’s culinary delights, it’s important to seek out authentic and traditional eateries. One such place is Abu Tarek, a restaurant in Cairo that has been serving up Koshari since 1950. The dish is a favorite among locals and visitors alike, and the restaurant also offers a range of other Egyptian specialties. Another must-visit spot is Felfela, a popular chain of restaurants that serves up classic Egyptian dishes such as Ta’meya and Mahshi.
For a taste of Egyptian street food, head to El Tabei El Domyati, where you can try a variety of savory and sweet pastries known as Fatayer. And for those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on Om Ali, a traditional dessert made from layers of puff pastry, milk, sugar, and nuts.
Local Experts Share their Favorite Eateries in Egypt’s Culinary Scene
To get an insider’s perspective on where to eat in Egypt, we spoke to local experts. Ahmed El Esawy, a Cairo-based food blogger, recommends Al Shabrawy for its Shawarma, which he describes as "a masterpiece of spices and tenderness." Meanwhile, Mohamed Sharaf, a food writer and journalist, suggests heading to El Tahrir Lounge for an upscale take on Egyptian cuisine. "Their Mahshi is something else," he says.
For those looking for a more immersive experience, Cairo-based food tour company Bellies En-Route offers guided tours of the city’s culinary scene. "Our tours take you off the beaten track to discover the local food culture in a way that you wouldn’t be able to do on your own," says founder Marwa Azab.
With so much to see, do, and taste, Egypt is a must-visit destination for foodies and culture enthusiasts alike.
Whether you’re a fan of savory stews, fragrant spices, or sweet pastries, Egypt’s culinary scene has something for everyone. From traditional eateries to street food stalls, there’s no shortage of delicious dishes to try. So why not book a trip to Egypt and embark on a culinary adventure? Your taste buds will thank you.