Street Food in Egypt
If you are an adventure traveller then hopefully you will be trying the local cuisines when you explore the world. Which means that if you ever end up in Egypt then you will love it. The street food in Egypt is definitely some of the best local cuisine we have ever. And one of the cheapest.
So if you stick to our top five street food options below (which we ate daily) then I promise you that your taste buds will leave Egypt very happy.
Short history lesson
As any fellow foodie will know there is an interesting story behind the Egyptian cuisine. To give you a short history lesson, Egyptian food was originally shaped by its neighbors including the Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Ottomans. Traces of these cultures are still seen in Egyptian cuisine today and this is why the street food in Egypt will really surprise you as the variety is endless.
Traditionally the Egyptians relied heavily on bread and veges and this is still the case today. Falafel is extremely popular in Egypt and for good reason! In fact it is not unusual to see it served during any time of the day and we had it at breakfast, lunch and dinner.
One of my favorite foodie moments was stopping at a street food stall in Egypt and watching the fresh falafel get fried to perfection in front of my eyes before being dumped into a pita pocket and handed over.
The combination of the piping hot crunchy outside along with the fresh and moist flavors on the inside made for one of the best lunches we had on our adventure travels in Egypt. And the best thing is that it only cost the equivalent of $1!
We quickly became addicted to another one of Egypt’s most popular dishes; Koshari. Consisting of pasta, rice, lentils, tomatoes and onions, one can be forgiven for thing it sounds like a bland meal with far to many carbs. But do not let this fool you. Served with a tasty chili sauce it will leave your taste buds singing for more.
You can also cook it really easily and since our return we have often cooked it at home.
If you are heading to try out any of the adventure travel activities like diving in the Red Sea then I would definitely recommend trying some of the local seafood. For about the equivalent of $15 you will get the biggest three course seafood meal you have ever seen. Seafood chowder, snapper, prawns, calamari, crayfish, you name it, you get it!
And the fish is straight out of the sea so it is so fresh that it falls apart as you dig in just using your fork. It even rivals New Zealand’s seafood.
4) Shish Kebab
The staple diet of a late night out for most people this can be an enjoyable meal when you are sober too. Although the Egyptian version is so much better.
Usually served with three different skewered kebabs consisting of pork, chicken, beef or falafel and a massive serving of rice and roast vegetables you will be unlikely to finish. And while the meal is huge the part that really makes this meal so memorable is the flavors. The shish kebab has a slight spice to it which tastes amazing with the local sauces (don’t know what they were sorry) and the meat falls right off the skewer. Plus the rice isn’t just plain either as it comes with a lovely combination of cinnamon and raisins.
5) Mint Tea
Okay so technically not street food but this is really more about the “street food experience” than the actual taste. There is nothing better than picking a local café nestled in the heart of the bazaars (markets) on the side of the bustling streets to rest you weary feet.
As the madness continues around you out comes a pair of engraved glasses containing a stem of mint leaves and piping hot pot of water. The first taste is surprisingly refreshing even in the stifling weather and you will feel the tension of the busy streets slowly seep out of your body. Pair this with a cheeky afternoon sheesha and you will be in heaven.
Stick to these five favorites and I guarantee you will have a great time experiencing something new. Just remember to check that if you are eating street food in Egypt then the place you are eating at is clean and hygienic.