What are the food and drinks in Egypt? Do you want to know the best Egyptian food and drinks you should try while there? Or maybe you want to learn more about the different kinds of food that people in Egypt eat regularly. If you use the information on this page, you’ll be able to find some of the most exciting and delicious foods in Egypt, and you’ll also learn more about the country’s history.
Some of the best food in the world can be found in Egypt. Every year, millions and millions of people visit Egypt. People come to see the Great Sphinx, float down the Nile, relax on the beautiful beaches, dive in Egypt, Snorkel in the Red Sea, and check out the historical temples and museums throughout the country.
Egyptian typical food
Egypt is a well-known place to visit because of the country’s long history and many ancient sites. Mixing cooking methods from Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean has led to a rich and exciting culinary tradition.
If you go to Egypt on vacation to learn about the culture and see the ancient ruins, you should try the local and typical Egyptian food. Traditional foods use a wide range of natural ingredients and are easy to make but have a lot of them.
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What are traditional Egyptian foods?
Egyptian cuisine is known to be high in fat and based mostly on rice and other forms of carbohydrates. However, in this article, we will introduce you to some of the most famous dishes in this category. Even though Egyptian food is known for being simple, traditional, and not in the least bit fancy, this does not take away from the flavor that Egyptian food lovers love so much.
The most Egyptian national dish, Koshari is made with rice, lentils, onions, garlic, chickpeas, and tomato sauce. It is Egypt’s most popular lunch option because it has four different kinds of carbohydrates.
2- Mahshy (stuffed vegetables)
Mahshi is an essential part of Egyptian food and a popular dish in many countries worldwide, and this dish is made of stuffed vegetables. People often say that Egypt’s favorite food is a dish called mahshy. A minimal amount of fat (butter or oil) can make this dish healthy, and it works excellently as a vegan or vegetarian substitute. The filling for this meal is made with rice, herbs (parsley, coriander, and dill), tomato sauce that has been partially boiled, and a sprinkle of cinnamon and allspice. Now that the filling is done, you can use any vegetable. Most of the time, the seeds are taken out of vegetables like zucchini and eggplant before they are used in Egyptian cooking. Greens like cabbage or vine, as well as small peppers, are also often used. Mix the cooked ground beef into the rice dish to finish your meal. Because this meal takes a long time to make, the women in the house usually sit together and talk for a long time while eating. This happens while the meal is being consumed.
Torly is a traditional dish made by cooking meat and vegetables together. This traditional Egyptian dish can be made with either lamb or beef, as well as many different kinds of vegetables, such as green beans, squash, onions, tomatoes, carrots, and potatoes. Aside from tomato sauce and vegetable oil, this recipe also calls for salt, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, and chili pepper, among other things. Both the meat and the vegetables and seasonings are made in separate places. After that, both of them go on, and then the beef goes on last. After thirty minutes, everything should be done and ready to be taken out of the oven. This healthy dish can be made in a wide variety of tasty and exciting ways. Many Egyptians who live near seafood markets would put shrimp on their plates instead of beef or lamb.
4- Egyptian rice
Rice, a great source of carbs and energy, is used in many different kinds of food. Egyptian rice noodles are one of the most well-known examples of this.
In Middle Eastern cooking, “bamia” is a dish with lamb, okra, and tomatoes as its main ingredients. In addition to tomato sauce, this recipe calls for onion, garlic, coriander, vegetable oil, cardamom, salt, and pepper. Tomato sauce, onion, garlic, cardamom, and coriander are also used.
The word “bamia” comes from the Arabic language and is often used to talk about the vegetable okra. Lamb’s tendons have been an essential part of Egyptian food for a long time. These tendons can be used in various dishes, even ones that require them to be cooked for a long time. Bamia gets its taste from a garlicky sauce called ta’aleya.
Mulukhiya is made from jute and the leaves of plants. Before the leaves are put on rice or toast, they are finely chopped with garlic and then cooked in chicken, beef, or rabbit stock. After that, the dish can be served. It is a special treat for kings, queens, and other important people in Egypt.
Many people in the West would love to eat the traditional Arab dish of chickpeas cooked in tomato sauce more often. Even though it is one of Egypt’s oldest and most basic recipes, it is full of healthy ingredients. This meal is an absolute must if you want to live like an Egyptian.
Because Fattah is made in a lot of Egyptian homes, it is important to include it on our list of the most popular Egyptian foods. Fattah is typically made for special occasions, such as when a newborn baby or a woman attends her first wedding. Vast portions of beef stew are served with rice, fried bread, and a meat broth that tastes like garlic.
Shawarma is one of the most well-known foods from Egypt, and it can now be found in restaurants worldwide. Traditionally, different kinds of meat are used to fill shawarma. Other cuts of meat, like beef and chicken, are marinated and grilled before they are served. The main reason why shawarma tastes so good is that the marinade has a lot of herbs and spices in it. There are many kinds of meat and vegetables on flatbread, like tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. For the flatbread to be at its best, it needs a sauce with many flavors. In one part of Egypt, the exact ingredients might differ from those in another.
Sausage is a traditional Egyptian food street for tourists in Egypt. It might sound gross, but the only way to make authentic sausages is to stuff rice, vegetables, ground beef, and spices into the intestines of a cow or a lamb. The first step in making mombar is boiling the ingredients and grilling or frying them. The taste of sausage makes your mouth water, and it has a pleasant smell and a crisp texture. While in Egypt, you can try some of these dishes at many of the country’s hotels and restaurants.
Kamounia is a beef stew that is very popular in Egypt. It is a traditional dish from the area and is often served in restaurants because customers like it. Ground cumin, often used in Tunisian cooking, gives this stew its intense flavor. On the other hand, the Egyptian version uses a different mix of spices, including cumin and harissa. In a few ways to make this dish, lamb can be used instead of beef. This stew tastes its best when rice is added.
12- Dawood basha
Arab cultures depend on this dish of meatballs made from ground meat and topped with tomatoes and rice. In Egypt, a traditional way to finish a word is to toast pine nuts and sprinkle them on top, and things are done a little differently in other countries.
For the kofta dish, minced meat, onions, garlic, and parsley are on skewers and marinated in a spicy sauce. In the original recipe, lamb is the main ingredient, but beef is often used instead, and adding sauce is strongly recommended.
The kebab and the kofta are made with ground meat seasoned with different herbs and spices. Street food stands usually serve kebabs as sandwiches, which are then topped with salad and tahini sauce before being eaten. Most of the time, kofta, which is meatballs, are made by hand, while kebabs are usually made with skewers and a stick.
If you’re tired of the usual “Kofta,” try the rich and flavorful “Tarb.” Kofta is a traditional meal from the Middle East, and it is made by mixing minced meat, minced onions, a tiny bit of minced fat, and other spices. Tarb is a kofta traditionally wrapped in lamb fat after roasting it to a golden brown color. In any of Egypt’s major cities, finding a restaurant specializing in grilled meats shouldn’t be hard. Tarb lives in that area of the world. Grilled chicken, beef, Kofta, Tarb, kebab, and other grilled meats like kebab are mainstays on the menus of these restaurants.
The main ingredient in the Egyptian dish kawaree is boiled and cleaned cow feet. This ingredient is used in kawaree soup, which is why it has a gelatinous texture. Some restaurants call it “Kawaree Fettah” and serve it with rice and tomato sauce, while others do it wrapped in stuffed vine leaves. If you want to please all of your taste buds at once, try eating a minimal amount of Kawaree with one stuffed vine leaf.
To make hawawshi, minced meat is put in a sandwich made of buttered Balady pita bread, and then the sandwich is baked. Like they have done with many other traditional Egyptian recipes, Egyptians have added their own unique twists to these tasty treats. Hawawshi has been made with a wide range of meats, including but not limited to tuna, pastrami, and sausage. By wrapping the meat in the fresh dough instead of pita, Alexandria offers a unique take on the traditional way of making it.
To make akawi, a skinny slice of ox tail is cut, then cooked in a clay casserole with onions and tomatoes. When you eat at a grill restaurant, you might get white Egyptian rice or white pita bread on the side. Since you can’t eat akawi with a fork or spoon, you should be ready to have very greasy hands and faces.
19- Hamam Mahshi
In Egypt, where they are called Hammam, pigeons are raised in conical towers because their meat is considered a delicacy there. Before being cooked on the grill or in the oven, they are filled with seasoned rice or, even better, bulgur wheat (freek).
20- Alexandrian liver / kebda
The liver is one of the least expensive cuts of meat in Egypt, and it’s a popular dish in Alexandria, which is thought to be where the country’s most famous sandwich was first made. After the liver has been cut up and cooked with bell peppers, onions, garlic, chile, and parsley, it is put into a soft bread roll or baguette and served. The livers of chickens can also be used to make this dish. This sandwich combines the spicy flavors of Egyptian food with traditional Western sandwiches to make it one of Alexandria’s most popular lunchtime street foods and one of the meat dishes everyone visiting the country must try.
21- Macaroni Béchamel
Is one of the best Egyptian dishes, Egypt has a traditional macaroni and cheese dish with a smooth bechamel sauce. This meal will keep you full for a long time. This dish could be considered Egypt’s version of mac and cheese or lasagna. A traditional béchamel sauce is put on top of a base of rigatoni noodles and a meat sauce made with ground beef, onions, and tomato paste.
22- Muammar Rice
The Muammar method of cooking rice is a staple in Egyptian cooking. It can be served as a side dish or, if you add meat, as the main course. Also, it is customary to give guests something sweet when there is a big event.
Chicken keshk, which is white. Pudding is made with four main ingredients: milk or yogurt, flour, and chicken. Caramelized onions are used as a garnish on the finished dish to give it a richer taste. People in modern Egypt don’t like this food very much, and they don’t know where it came from or how it came to be. Because it is hard to find the ingredients for this dish, fewer restaurants serve it.
Peas or chickpeas can be used as the main ingredient in bessarah. The traditional Egyptian salad called bessarah is made with various herbs and greens, like parsley, mint, dill, spinach, and molokhiya. The spread, like a dip, is usually eaten with bread.
A spread called bessarah is viral in Egypt. It is often eaten for breakfast, as an appetizer, and sometimes for lunch and dinner. bessarah is a main Egyptian dish made with various herbs, leafy greens, hot peppers, lemon juice, and sometimes onions. It is a traditional country dish that everyone loves.
Since eggplant is the main ingredient, you shouldn’t expect a dish that tastes much like Greek moussaka. Even though it looks like a tiered eggplant dish, this traditional Egyptian dish is more like curry than a tiered dish. This dish is excellent when made with eggplants, potatoes, bell peppers, chickpeas, and a wide range of spices and seasonings like garlic and pepper. It is also delicious when served with pita bread, and animal parts are no longer used to make anything.
Some ingredients in the traditional Egyptian dish sayadeya are white fish like bluefish, mullet, and perch; yellow rice; onions; and different spices. Some tomato sauce is added right before the dish is served. The best results come from baking the mix in these traditional clay pots. Cities like Alexandria, Port Said, and Suez, near the coast, have the most restaurants serving these kinds of specialties. It is baked in a clay pot, which gives it a natural and earthy taste.
People in Egypt have been eating feseekh, a traditional dish that has been around for hundreds of years. The fish is fermented mullet that has been salted before being eaten. During the spring holiday of Sham Al Nessim in Egypt, people traditionally share a meal of feseekh, green onions, pita bread, and herring.
28- Shorbet ads
“Shorbet Ads” is what most English speakers call “Egyptian lentil soup.” As the name suggests, the main ingredient is lentils, specifically red lentils. The remaining ingredients are chicken broth, garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, olive oil, and lemon juice, and they are all essential.
29- Lesan asfour
We loved this Orzo soup. It is a simple vegetable and/or chicken soup with orzo, a rice-shaped pasta also known as “fake risotto”.
Traditional Egyptian breakfast
30- Aish baladi
Aish Baladi is an Egyptian flatbread that is similar to a pita, and it is made with a specific type of whole wheat flour and baked. Because it gets more extensive as it bakes, it works excellently with filler materials like Tamiya.
31- Ful medames
One of Egypt’s “national foods” is mainly made of broad beans, a big part of the dish. As part of the traditional method, the beans are roughly chopped and then given a slow boil in a copper kettle. There are also parsley, onion, lemon, and a sauce made of garlic and olive oil.
Falafel is a typical breakfast food in Egypt. It is eaten with ful, eggs, cheese, and pita bread. On the other hand, traditional falafel is usually made with chickpeas, but Egyptian ta’meya is made with fava beans. This is because there is more protein in fava beans. The fact that Ta’meya is so popular among Egyptians shouldn’t come as a surprise, given how many different and high-quality flavors it has.
Shakshuka is an essential part of breakfast and lunch in Egypt. Neither meal would be complete without it. Some eggs have been cooked in a tangy tomato sauce. This dish would go well with other vegetables, like spinach, peppers, or eggplant. Shakshuka is also flavored with a wide range of different herbs and spices. Shakshuka is usually served with a piece of flatbread to dip in it.
Eggah is a traditional Egyptian dish similar to a frittata and can be enjoyed by anyone who wants to try some Egyptian food. Egyptian food is a good choice for people who like hearty meals with many different flavors. Pancakes are an essential food, often filled with vegetables like onions, tomatoes, and others. This traditional dish has been updated by adding zucchini ribbons and a lot of Gouda cheese for a more modern feel. Most of the time, it is huge, takes a long time to cook, and has a lot of meat or vegetables.
Mish is a fermented cheese whose name means “left out cheese” in English. It tastes like salt and is often made in people’s homes in more rural parts of the world. The dinner has a variety of salads and Baladi bread as some of its features.
36- Domaiti cheese
From a historical point of view, Domiati cheese has been made for a long time. The name “Damietta” comes from the city of the same name. People often eat this white cheese with Baladi bread. It can be made from either cow or buffalo milk. Another tasty food that goes well with this cheese dates.
37- Areesh Cheese
The curdled milk that goes into making Areesh White Cheese is called “Laban Rayeb.” Areesh cheese is very popular in Egypt because it tastes great and can be used in many ways.
El Feter can be filled with sweet and savory things. In Egypt, a flatbread called feteer is sometimes called “Egyptian pizza” because it is similar to pizza in many ways. Feteer Meshaltet is an Egyptian dish that tastes a lot like pizza. You can put hundreds of different sweet or savory toppings on its many layers of dough, like coconut, Nutella, chocolate, syrup, honey, or sugar, or minced meat, cheese, or vegetables.
39- Baba ghanoush
People usually say that baba ganoush comes from Lebanon, but you can now find it on the menus of many restaurants in Egypt. This spread has the same consistency as hummus and is made with roasted eggplant, olive oil, garlic, tahini, lemon, and sesame paste. Usually, it is eaten with pita bread.
In the Arab world, this chickpea cream or paste flavored with different spices is often used. In addition to the other things on the list, hummus is made with chickpeas, cumin, tahini, oil, garlic, lemon, paprika, and salt. The best way to eat this snack is to use pita bread to “shovel” it into your mouth instead of spreading it on the bread first.
Tahini is a paste made entirely of sesame seeds that have been toasted and ground into a powder (ajonjol). It is used to make a lot of different dishes, like hummus, baba ganoush, and falafel. It can also be eaten with bread, just like hummus. A very oily dough that looks like sand and has a hearty flavor that goes well with bread.
A spread made by mixing ground nuts, herbs, and spices. It would be best to look in the nearby spice shops for duqqa blends.
Halawa has many forms, like bars, spreads, and even ice cube trays. The main ingredient is sesame paste, which can be found in many places, and there are many different kinds of Halawa.
44- Roz bel laban
Roz Bel Laban, an Egyptian dessert often called “baklava,” is very popular. Egyptian rice pudding is served here, which is the place to get it. Most of the time, this meal is made with milk, sugar, cream, and almonds. Roz Bel Laban goes well with coffee, tea, or other sweet drink.
This is another dish that you have to try while you’re in Egypt. Kanefeh is a cake made by rolling and flattening semolina noodles, which look like angel hair and then frying them at a low temperature with butter and creamy cheese. After it is cooked, it is soaked in syrup and sprinkled with groundnuts before being served.
Basbousa, a Middle Eastern dessert usually made with walnuts, syrup, and cream, has become one of Egypt’s most popular and in-demand sweet treats in recent years. First, semolina or flour is soaked in syrup. Then, the mixture is pressed into a mold, and the cake is baked in the oven. Rose or flower water is often used to flavor vegan syrup; sometimes, dried coconut is added.
Most of the time, a paste made from ground pistachios, almonds, and walnuts fills the flaky pastry layers in baklava. The syrup soaks into the dough, creating a lovely dessert and high in calories but impossible to turn down.
Malban, also called Rahat lokum or Turkish delight, is a popular dessert in Turkey, Libya, and Egypt, where people like to eat it. It is a dessert that is easy to make and that people of all ages enjoy, and it doesn’t take much work in the kitchen to create.
49- Umm Ali
Egyptian bread pudding is a hearty dish mixing puff pastry, bread, milk, sugar, raisins, almonds, and bits of coconut can make a tasty topping. At the same time, the heat was still very high.
Meshabek is a kind of candy that comes in the shape of a tube and is very tasty. It’s easy to find in Egypt, and you can find it anywhere you look. After flour, cornstarch, sugar, and oil are mixed to make a dough; the dough is rolled into a spiral by hand and then deep-fried. This mouthwatering treat can be traced back to Damietta and Tanta, where it was first made. In the United States, it is a snack that doesn’t cost too much.
Pancake-style Qatayef, also known as Katayef, is the Egyptian version of a popular dish in the United States. Qatayef is another traditional dessert that will be served during the whole month of Ramadan. This meal comprises small pancakes made from semolina yeast, filled with cream and almonds, and deep-fried.
In the Middle East, it is often a tradition to make cookies dusted with powdered sugar for Eid. Their history can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, but more than that, they have a special meaning in this part of the world because they are traditionally eaten on this day.
Ghorayeba is usually made with wheat, ghee, and sugar powder. It can also be written as Ghraybeh or Ghoraybeh, but you can spell it either way. When the Ghorayeba cookies are done baking, the chef puts some chopped nuts on top of each one. Most people eat pistachios, cashews, and almonds. During essential holidays in Egypt, like Christmas and Easter, people often eat traditional sweets like shortbread biscuits.
54- Sweet potato
After the sweet potatoes are baked, the tops are cut off, and sugar is sprinkled on them before they are served. The most expensive versions of this street food are the ones that come with ice cream and a variety of toppings, and this is because they are the most luxurious versions.
Traditional Egyptian Beverages
55- Egyptian tea
The Egyptians have had a good reputation for a long time for making high-quality tea, which has helped them keep that reputation. Soccer games that people watch in bars and restaurants. As time passed, it became a ceremony showing their unique identity. They could add some mint leaves or a squeeze of lemon juice to give it more flavor. Koshari tea is one of the country’s most popular drinks, and it has a strong flavor and must be drunk hot.
In Egypt, karkade, also called hibiscus tea, is a popular drink. Herbal tea is dark red and tastes very good. Flowers in the white desert are picked by hand and dried in the sun. Once it has been chilled, it is called einab.
Even though halabessa is more of a soup than anything else, it is often sipped through straws and eaten from cups. Chickpeas are the main ingredient in this dish, and they are cooked in a pot with tomato, onion, garlic, and spices. This comes in a cup with a spoon for eating the chickpeas and a straw for drinking the soup. It is a vegan dinner option that is filling and healthy, keeping you warm all night. You can buy halabessa at cute little shops along the Nile or by the sea. Usually, the kiosks will be decorated with flashing lights and Arabic text and play traditional music in Egypt.
This Egyptian meal combines a drink and a dessert. It is made with powdered orchid root and milk, and cinnamon, coconut, and pistachios are used to decorate them. You can’t choose to do it on days below freezing. If you’re fortunate, you can find a vegan version of this drink made with coconut or soy milk.
In Egypt, a popular drink is made by pressing sugarcane.
Sobia is made with coconut milk, rice, water, vanilla extract, and sugar; these are the same ingredients in all different kinds. You can make your own Sobia by buying the powder at an Egyptian store. Then, all you have to do is mix the powder with water. Sobia is often served with mango juice, strawberry juice, or a mix. Egypt is a popular place to visit at any time of the year. During the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims in Egypt have to fast during the day, this is their favorite drink because it lets them break their fast.
Tips to know before eating traditional food and drink in Egypt
- Be careful when picking up and eating things, even fresh produce. Before you eat any fruits or vegetables, you should wash them well to get rid of any bacteria that could make you sick.
- Only the cleanest and healthiest food is served in the dining rooms of hotels and cruise ships, so you won’t have to worry about getting an upset stomach if you eat there.
- Eating at well-known places like restaurants, hotels, food courts in malls, and cruise ships is better than at cheaper local areas where the food might not be safe. It’s best to stick to restaurants, hotels, mall food courts, cruise ships, and other well-known places to eat.
- Find a way to eat something sweet without giving away your secret. Everything tastes so good that if you overate, it wouldn’t take much to give you a stomachache.
- Before serving the meat, ensure it has been roasted, grilled, or cooked the right way.
- Eat at some of the restaurants and markets that the locals like, and do your shopping at some of the markets they want. Because the menu is made with Westerners in mind, you will be able to learn more about Egyptian food here than at your hotel. Talk to a friend over a cup of tea about how the different tastes and smells caught your attention and how they did so.
If you take the time to follow these tips, you will be better prepared for your trip to Egypt and will worry less about the foreign country you will be visiting. It would be a shame to miss out on the fantastic chance a trip to Egypt presents.
During your time in Egypt, you should prioritize trying as many different kinds of traditional Egyptian food as possible. The recipes on my list are an excellent place to start. Once you leave Egypt, finding Egyptian restaurants at home or in other areas might be tricky. Even if you never go back to Egypt, you can say that you’ve tried some of the country’s food at least once.
People who aren’t afraid to try new and different foods from all over the world will have a lot of options when they visit Egypt. Check out our vacation packages if you’ve always wanted to see Egypt’s unique historical sites.
If you planning your trip to Egypt, don’t miss checking our Egypt vacation packages to choose your favorite travel package.