Food is not only a necessity to fuel the body, but it can also help to tell the story of a culture. As you explore the North African country, traveling town to town, sampling Egyptian foods along the journey is a must! You can learn a lot from the local cuisines and the way in which it is prepared. The food in Egypt is delicious and should be part of your travel journey!
As American tourist, we are often reminded to make sure we eat food abroad with caution and to drink bottled water only. This is indeed important when one ventures to new territory. It does mean that certain restaurants and vendors are safer for American/Western tourist and you’re less likely to get ill. But it does not mean that you can’t try something new.
Of course be adventurous! But also make sure to eat foods from another country with discernment. Unless you are from Egypt, your body is not accustomed to what locals eat daily. The last thing you want is your trip to be interrupted or cut short because you got sick or you’re dehydrated because you are having a bout of the runs. Getting sick while away from home is the worst feeling!
Egyptian Dishes, Drinks, and Restaurants to Try in Egypt!
During my time in Egypt, I was able to try a few famous Egyptian dishes as well as some popular Egyptian drinks. But, aside from the popular Egyptian street foods and traditional Egyptian meals than you can find all over the internet, I included some that you may not have thought of. Check it out!
If you’re new to my blog or interested in more information about Egypt and my experience, make sure you START HERE for the perfect guide to Egypt!
Al Khan Restaurant & Café
In Egypt, I stopped at this local Egyptian foods restaurant in Cairo, which is frequented by many tourist. Before arriving, we were given the option of chicken, beef, or fish. I opted for the chicken. In my mind, chicken is always safe.
The hot pickled carrots served with a tahini sauce is a staple Egyptian dish! Egyptians refer to it as Turshi. This derives from the word Torsh which means sour in Iranian languages. This is a common dish that is served with just about every meal.
The food was good and simple. Nothing spectacular but good. We were pretty hungry at this time so we ate well. This meal was covered under our tour package, so I do not have the local pricing and I did not see any pricing listed.
Kebab and Kofta
An absolute favorite Egyptian food meal and one you must try is Kebab! Grilled chunks of lamb (kebab) and spiced minced meat made into a sausage. This dish is then served on a skewer (kofta).
Aish Baladi (Egyptian Flat Bread)
This Egyptian flatbread may look like pita, but has a completely different taste. Bread plays an very important roll in the Egyptian culture and it is eaten at every meal. Aish Baladi is not only affordable but is is eaten by both rich and poor people. You cannot come all the way to Egypt and not try the traditional Egyptian breads!
Aish means Life. Baladi means traditional.
Why You Need to Drink Hibiscus Tea
This beverage is said to have been a preferred drink of the pharaohs! If you have never tried Hibiscus tea, then please, run out now and get some. It is a tasty, sweet tea served chilled. Everywhere I traveled in Egypt, I was offered the tea.
Not only is this a tasty traditional Egyptian drink but it is also said that drinking Hibiscus tea is good for your heart, loaded with antioxidants, and may even possibly lower your cholesterol!
Sugar Cane Juice
If you have traveled to Egypt or plan to, one thing you must try is the sugar cane juice! You will typically find this while passing by Egyptian street food vendors around the city. I sampled the drink during my stay in Luxor. Out of my group, I think I was the only one who didn’t care for it.
If you don’t know what this popular drink is, it is, as the name suggests, made from sugar cane. The sugar cane is pressed and the syrup substance that is extracted, is then made into the beverage.
In Flight Meal on Egyptian Nile Air
This may be an odd one but I actually found the in flight snack on Nile Air to be quite delicious! A simple snack with two sandwiches and a drink. A Beef sandwich and a vegetable sandwich served with a yummy Kol Youm, Guava fruit drink.
Should You Try McDonald’s or Other American Cuisines While in Egypt?
Yes. You should!
Don’t let anyone tell you differently. In my experience, fast food outside of the United States is so much better! It was our last night in Aswan, Egypt and in order to bring us back into the spirit of going home, we tried the McDonald’s in Egypt.
It was by far, the best McDonald’s I have ever had. Yes, I said it!
The Menu was similar, but they did have some items that our home restaurant chains are not privy to. Like a McFalafel and a blue McFizz passion drink. Mind blown. The McDonald’s Egyptian food menu tailored to a specific community makes it a bit more unique!
Also, if you’re someone that is not adventurous in trying local food, not to worry! There’s Pizza Hut, KFC, Hardees, and other familiar U.S. cuisines as well in most all major tourist areas.
Soda Drinks From Egypt
This is absolutely not one of the most authentic Egyptian drinks, at all. You’re probably already familiar with Sprite soda as Coke products are all over the world. As is the Mirinda green apple soda drink which is a Pepsi product. I included this as I found the taste to be slightly different from home.
Give it a try! Can you taste a difference?
If you are heading to Egypt soon, then you should make it a point to sample a variety of Egyptian foods and try some local Egyptian cuisines. Be open to trying something you may not have tried before!