The Nile and the Pyramids come to mind when you think of Egypt. But there is much more to the country than these, particularly its cuisine. If you are considering a trip to Cairo, you can look at our recommendations on what to eat there.
Cairo has a plethora of fantastic cuisine, whether on the tables in people’s homes or on the streets. If you are fortunate enough to receive an invitation to someone’s home for dinner, embrace the occasion and dive right in. Alternatively, you might want to think about signing up for a culture-rich trip to Egypt, including a home-cooked lunch in a local’s home and other immersive experiences.
You will find a wide range of delectable and filling delicacies, so be prepared to arrive hungrily. Here is our selection of the top dishes that set Egyptian cuisine apart from the rest.
- Must-Try Food In The Cairo That Will Leave You Drooling
Must-Try Food In The Cairo That Will Leave You Drooling
Before you declare your vacation a success, you should taste some of the delicious classic delicacies mentioned in this article. Here you go- foods in Cairo are fascinating and will improve your gastronomic experience.
Meals in Cairo include dishes like Ful Medames, Kushari, Molokhia, and chopped and fried bush okra with garlic and coriander sauce.
For many Egyptians, this soupy meal is nearly sacred and gets frequently served with rice and chicken. This simple broth consists of chopped lush greens and a dash of garlic. You can combine rice and meat with broth before consuming it. You can also have it with bread for additional comfort.
Bean stew is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of breakfast, but in Cairo, the working man’s favorite breakfast is spiced fava beans. It is a well-liked meal served with pita or French bread and flavored with cumin and olive oil at eateries and by street sellers.
If you are looking for a fancy feast, try the popular Hamam Mahshi. And, you might be astonished to know that Hamam Mahshi, a staple dish for special occasions, is a grilled pigeon. Mahshi means stuffed. They take a lot of work to prepare, but they taste amazing. Rice and sometimes meat are combined, neatly wrapped in the leaves, and cooked till soft. These delicious fingers are simple to pick up with your hands and are common on dinner tables in Cairo.
A hearty dish consisting of rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, garlic, and crispy fried onions in a tomato-vinegar sauce, this classic meal has become a cultural phenomenon. You have not experienced Koshary truly unless you have had it in Cairo. Koshary has become a very well-liked street meal. The Egyptian people serve them during the numerous vegan fasts.
An aubergine dish called Mesaka, or Moussaka, is piled and baked. The bitterness of the aubergines is traditionally eliminated with salt and sunshine before they are baked or fried. The eggplant layered with a fiery tomato sauce gets added with minced beef. The dish gets served with rice after being roasted until the aubergines are perfectly cooked and have absorbed all of the sauce’s flavor.
Kishk is a creamy, malty-tasting white soup prepared from fermented bulgur wheat. This soup is rich and warming, making it especially ideal for winter.
A smoked herring meal called Ringa consists of pickled onions, salads, and lemons. This meal is popular during Sham El Nessim. It is always a fan favorite and is offered at seafood restaurants. This meal packs a punch since it is so umami-fishy.
Brunch is also a favorite savory meal among Egyptians for breakfast. Large Egyptian brunches are communal meals that feature homemade baba ganoush (eggplant), hummus dips, roumy cheese, garlic tomatoes, pita, and falafels.
Macaroni bil Bechamel
This meal, commonly called “Egyptian lasagna,” consists of baked macaroni with béchamel sauce, ground beef, and seasonings. They get served with salad water and a sour vinegar shot with lettuce. Delicious!
Fseekh is a traditional Egyptian meal that consists of pickled mullet fish. Most frequently consumed during the Sham Ennessim holiday (celebrating Spring/Easter), the fish is dried before being brined in saltwater.
Torshi (pickled vegetables) merits special mention as a staple of Egyptian cuisine. But, of course, pickles are more than just cucumbers in Cairo. Torshi gets prepared with many vegetables, including cauliflower, carrots, peppers, and many more.
Cairo is a city blessed by the culinary gods. This mesmerizing city is well-known for being a must-visit refuge for food lovers.
Fava beans and herbs prepare the Egyptian falafel (also known as Tamiya), which has a crisp, deep-fried outside and a brilliant green interior. This delicious snack is consumed at any time of the day with bread, pickles, and tahini, a vinegar-based sauce prepared from tahini paste.
This delicious meal resembles a cross between a croissant and a millefeuille. It has a crisp, flaky pastry cooked with ghee and covered in layers of butter (or samna). Some people eat it both sweet and savory with cheese or sweet with honey or molasses. When paired with tea, it is a delicious treat.
Hawawshi is a cross between a pie and a sandwich. It is typically cooked with peppers, onions, and occasionally pine nuts and stuffed with minced beef. The pastry, which gets cooked till crisp on the outside, absorbs the fatty meat juices. If you can stand the heat, Hawawshi is a satisfying supper.
If traveling makes you crave a quick snack, look no further than the Simit. It has gained popularity as street food in Cairo. This sesame-covered bread has a delicate, fluffy inside and resembles a combination between a pretzel and a bagel. It is popular during Easter when the Egyptians celebrate Sham Ennessim and comes with a hard-boiled egg.
Shawarma, a traditional Middle Eastern delicacy, is a simple and well-liked comfort food for many. Shawarma is served with bread, salads, and sauces. It is prepared with slices of meat cut from a slowly rotating skewer.
Fiteer, often known as Egyptian pizza, is buttery and artery-clogging delicious. If you did not know, Cairo is known for its hearty cuisine. Filo dough constitutes Fiteer, which gets baked in a huge brick oven. In addition to being ordered savory (with meat, veggies, and cheese) or sweet (with honey, syrup, and powdered sugar), the original gets offered plain.
Kabab and Kofta
Spiced minced beef or lamb is rolled onto a skewer and cooked over coals as Kofta. Imagine spicy meatballs in the form of sausages. Even better are Kababs, which are tender pieces of spiced meat grilled over flames on a skewer. If it does not fill you up, the sides of rice, toast, dips, and vegetables will certainly do the trick!
Aish Baladi has been a staple of Egyptian cuisine since the beginning. Simply the name alone reveals how significant it is to Egyptian civilization. Aish signifies life, whereas Baladi means traditional or original. It frequently serves as a utensil or vessel for eating food. It is a daily necessity for Egyptians of all social groups.
In Egypt, Qatayef is frequently prepared at home or sold on the street. Throughout Ramadan, it is widely accessible and can be consumed either plain or drizzled with honey or simple syrup.
Ka’ak al-Eid, or Kahk, are tiny, round Egyptian cookies sprinkled with powdered sugar. They get filled with dates, pistachios, or agameya, a mixture of honey, nuts, and ghee.
Sweets from Egypt are excellent and hold a special place in our hearts. Popular Cairo desserts include Om Ali, Roz Bel Laban, and Baklava.
Om Ali is a dessert you must try if you love sweets. This delicate and soft bread pudding is made with dough and combined with milk, sugar, cinnamon, almonds, raisins, and coconut. It can be served cold or eaten hot right out of the oven.
Kunafa appears to be hay at first appearance but is a thin and fluffy filo pastry that has been packed with nuts (or cream) and covered in sharbat. In reality, it tastes a lot like baklava, but the texture difference is what sets it apart.
The general public, especially those with a sweet tooth, love this fluffy, light cake, cooked and topped with sharbat. Basboosa, a semolina-based dish, is best enjoyed with Turkish coffee or mint tea.
Many people are familiar with this delightfully sweet dish, which consists of crushed nuts baked between layers of filo bread and finished with sharbat (a sweet syrup). If you have not, be ready to discover a new dessert favorite.
Roz Bel Laban
Egyptian rice pudding known as Roz Bel Laban gets cooked using short-grain rice, milk, butter, vanilla, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. For garnish, the Egyptians add raisins and chopped nuts. It also has the flavor of orange or rose blossom water.
Egypt’s national beverage is tea, although traditional greetings include coffee. Traditional Karkade is created by boiling dried red hibiscus flowers and chilling the resulting liquid.
Hibiscus juice, also known as Karkade, is a revitalizing beverage and a favorite of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. It is the ideal beverage for a sweltering summer day. Karkade is a beverage produced from the petals of the hibiscus flower. Although it is not quite as acidic, it tastes like cranberry juice.
Anyone who wishes to experience the local culture in Cairo and try the famed coffee or Shai should visit an Ahwa (coffeehouse). Traditional coffee houses have the aroma of shishas (water pipes). Ahwas is the ideal setting for meeting new people. So do not get shocked if the people at the adjacent table start a discussion.
Although there are not many different types of hard liquor available in Egypt, every adventurous traveler must try Zibib. Its anise-based flavor is robust and lasting. Although it is frequently served on the rocks, many people prefer to hydrate it with water, and some even combine it with tea.
Egyptians generally drink Sahlab in the winter, as a breakfast beverage, or in the late afternoon. It has a thick texture compared to a milkshake or a thin pudding.
Cairo is a great destination to stop if you enjoy eating and exploring the world’s varied cuisines. This city’s cuisine provides a wide range of mouthwatering dishes that can satisfy your appetite.