Egyptian cuisine is famous for its spicy dishes and strong flavors, part of a tradition of Arabic cuisine that is popular around the world. Enjoying the food during your trip to Egypt is another experience that will make your vacation unforgettable.


In this guide we give you all the tips you need to know what to eat in Egypt and all the ranges of options and prices they have, so you have the essential information and you can feast every day.

Typical dishes

Egyptian gastronomy abounds in Falafel, Ful mudammas, Kushari, grape leaves stuffed with rice, roasted meat and chicken, Shish Kebab, Cofta, Torshi and Baba Ganoush. Discover in our
gallery the most typical Egyptian recipes
to try on your next trip.

As you can imagine, the typical dishes are characterized by a strong presence of legumes, which are cooked in different ways and eaten throughout the day, whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner. They can be cooked stewed, fried (as if they were pasta, for the traditional Egyptian ta’amiyya or falafel) or in soups.

And as in the vast majority of Arab countries, kebabs are an important part of Egypt’s typical dishes. The most common are those of lamb or roast chicken, although pigeon and kofta kebab, spicy minced meat grilled on skewers, are also widely eaten.

In the Alexandria area and along the Red Sea coast, fish from the Mediterranean Sea is widely eaten. Fish from the Nile River is also quite common throughout the country. And, of course, being a Muslim country, there are no typical dishes with pork.

Breads and sweets are another fundamental part of Egyptian cuisine and are prepared using ancient recipes, originating from the ancient Egyptians. Bread is the food base of the country, everything is eaten and served with a ‘aish baladi, the traditional bread baked with white and whole wheat flour and with a good crust. And the sweets always come with spices and large quantities of syrup or honey.

Meals in restaurants

If you want to go to restaurants in Egypt, you have many options and in different price ranges. For example, you can get for 60 Egyptian pounds a menu of the day in a cheap restaurant or if you want to up the quality, a menu for two people a la carte and with two dishes included for each for 300 Egyptian pounds.

And with respect to the food you can find in restaurants, the dishes from street stalls are also cooked in these establishments, in many cases with more gourmet details. And you also have these gastronomic options among the most recommended:

  • Mezze. It is a selection of appetizers whose origin is in Turkey but which the Egyptians have also taken as one of their typical dishes. They are usually served as starters and can include many things, depending on the restaurant, but the most common are: hummus, Baba Ganoush (eggplant cream), Mijalel Vinaigrette or Torshi white cheese, tomatoes Salads.
    There is a huge variety and they are served in different ways: as an accompaniment to meat or fish, in mezze or as a single dish. The most common are tabouleh (bulgur, tomato, parsley, sesame, garlic and lemon) and salata baladi (cucumber, onion, tomato, bell pepper and arugula). But be careful not to eat too much because the food in Egypt usually takes a long time to be served and when the food arrives you are already full.
    Soups. There is also a wide variety that you can order in a restaurant, but the most popular are lentil soup with lemon wedges and cumin and fava bean soup.
    – Meat. Lamb and chicken are the most commonly consumed meats in Egypt and are prepared in all restaurants in the form of kofta, kebab or grilled pieces. Another popular dish is daood basha, beef meatballs with pine nuts and tomato sauce cooked in clay pots.
    Fish and seafood. Very typical, fresh and well prepared in the Red Sea area, Sinai and Alexandria. The most common are grilled squid and two fish typical of the region that are cooked in multiple ways: balti and bouri. The lobsters of the Red Sea or the tilapia of Lake Nasser in Aswan deserve a special mention.

The best restaurants in Cairo

Here is a selection of the best restaurants in Cairo, which you can easily reach by Taxi or Uber.

  • Restaurant et Naguib Mahfouz
    (Sekat Al Badstan, Khan El Khalili, Cairo. Phone: +20 2 25903788). In the Khan el Khalili market.

  • Restaurant et Naguib Mahfouz
    (157 26th of July , Mohammed Mazhar, Zamalek, Cairo. Phone: +20 2 2735 9640). One of the best to enjoy the gastronomy of Cairo, with a spectacular decoration. 300 meters from the Marriott Zamalek hotel.
  • Zitouni Restaurant (located in the Four Seasons Cairo Nile Hotel, Phone: + 20 22791 7000). It is of high quality and luxury.
  • Koshary Abou Tarek (Champollion, Downtown Cairo, Phone: +20 2257 75935). No reservations are required and they only serve Koshary, a very popular restaurant among Egyptians.

  • Taboula Restaurant
    (1 Latin American Street Garden City, Cairo. Phone: +20 2792 5261). Cairo Center.

  • Felfela Restaurant
    (15 Hoda Sharaawy, Downtown Cairo. Phone: +20 2239 55557).

Please note that, in all these restaurants, the tip will be between 10% and 15% of the bill.

Street food

The best street food stalls in Egypt are usually those set up on the outskirts or, in some cases inside, bazaars, markets and flea markets. That is, where many people circulate and where you will not be able to resist the temptation of smelling different delicacies that are being cooked while you walk.

The most popular and best cooked street food dishes in Egypt are vegetables and stews, especially what is considered the national dish: kushari, a potent combination of legumes (lentils and chickpeas, usually) with rice, pasta, tomato sauce and fried onions. Other typical specialties are hamam or pigeon, mahshi or stuffed vegetables and molokhiyya (jute leaf soup).

And it is inevitable that you will order dessert, an ever-present part of the Egyptian gastronomic tradition. The most popular are mahallabiye or custard with almonds and pine nuts, and ruz bi laban (rice pudding), but of course there are also baklavas of different types, delicious cakes made with dried fruit paste, mainly pistachios or walnuts.

Depending on what you order, you can eat at a street food stall in Egypt for a price range of 50 to 80 Egyptian pounds, including main course, dessert and drink.


Tea and coffee are usually drunk without milk and there are many typical bars in different cities and in exquisite varieties, as well as freshly squeezed juices of seasonal fruits. Being a Muslim country, many Egyptians do not drink alcohol, so it is difficult to find beer unless inside hotels or tourist restaurants. Drinks such as gin, rum, whiskey and vodka are more expensive than beer and can reach up to 35 euros per glass.

Prices of beverages in Egypt, based on the Egyptian pound:

  • 33 cl bottle of water: 3.60 LE.
  • 33cl bottle of Coca-Cola: 5.30 LE.
  • Regular black coffee: 18 LE.
  • Plain black tea: 15 LE.
  • Cappuccino: 28 LE.
  • Bottle of imported beer of 33cl: 49 LE.
  • Half liter bottle of domestic beer: 29 LE.

Vegetarian/Vegan options

Being a cuisine dominated by legumes and vegetables, vegans and vegetarians have many food options in Egypt, as mentioned above. For them, eating vegetables and legumes is very common and they do not take it as a vegan or vegetarian option, but assume it as part of their gastronomic culture. So, if you don’t eat meat or fish, you will have no problem in Egypt finding very tasty options in stews, salads, creams and other animal-free dishes.

Precautions with food

Be careful with spicy and very spicy dishes, as these are two things that Egyptians love. If you don’t like sweets too much or they make you sick, also keep in mind that Egyptians have a sweet tooth and all desserts and sweets come with quite a bit of sugar overload, so pay attention to that. And watch out for carbohydrates, as you may have noticed by now, they are abundant in Egyptian cuisine.

Photos of typical dishes of Egypt

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