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Eating Street Food in Egypt

The street food in Egypt is some of the best food we have ever eaten. Check out our top five choices to try for your visit.

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Street Food in Egypt

Lunch in Egypt

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.

1) Falafel

Street food in Egypt Falafel

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!

2) Koshari

Koshari Street Food in Egypt

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.

3) Seafood

Seafood Street Food in Egypt

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.

What is your favourite street food in Egypt?

Adela is one half of the New Zealand Adventure Couple who have been travelling since 2009. She loves the outdoors and has a real passion for Snowboarding, Mountain Biking and Surfing (apart from being scared of sharks). She loves food and writes all our food posts. Consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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33 Comments

33 Comments

  1. Pete

    April 16, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Falafel and Kebap are probably 2 of my favorite foods on this planet. Looks delicious!!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 16, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      We can’t wait to get over to Turkey on Friday and dig into some more street food! Hope it is as good over there Pete?

  2. Laurence

    April 16, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Great photos of awesome looking food 🙂 I love me a bit of street food 😀

    • Cole Burmester

      April 16, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      We are off to Turkey this weekend so going to be digging in to some street food again soon hopefully 🙂

  3. Laura

    April 16, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    The Falafel looks a bit different from the one we can get in Spain. Hm… I wonder if it also tastes different.I guess we will just have to go to Egypt and try it ourselves.

    • Cole Burmester

      April 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      Will let you know after we visit Spain in July if it tastes any different Laura 🙂

  4. Waegook Tom

    April 16, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    This is total food porn right here. Fresh falafel sounds amazing. Beam me to Cairo!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 16, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      Take us with you if you manage to find us a transporter Tom!

  5. Christy @ Technosyncratic

    April 16, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Yum, I would eat ALL of this!! I wish Kali would agree to travel to Egypt with me already! =P

    • Cole Burmester

      April 16, 2012 at 7:32 PM

      Anything we can do to help convince him? Just show him all our Egypt photos and posts haha

  6. Ayngelina

    April 17, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    I LOVE mint tea. I drank it all the time in Jordan and I don’t even like tea!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 17, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      Since moving to the UK I have started to drink tea and the stuff in the Middle East/Africa region is so sweet. Pretty delicious 🙂

  7. Nate @yomadic

    April 17, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Hey, first time reader of your site. Big fan of street food, the world over, so, this article is right up my alley.

    But, I’m intrigued that you say the Egyptian seafood is better than New Zealand’s. The seafood in NZ is simply incredible, and given that I’m Australian, and making a public statement of how good something in NZ is, you know I must be telling the truth 😉

    • Cole Burmester

      April 17, 2012 at 6:33 PM

      Thanks Nate for joining us on the sit and glad you enjoy street food as much as us 🙂 We don’t quite say that Egyptian food is better, we just say is rivals NZ seafood! Trust us, nothing beats fresh NZ seafood haha.

  8. Angela

    April 17, 2012 at 5:43 PM

    I love Egyptian food, everything you mentioned! And mint tea is gorgeous!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 17, 2012 at 6:33 PM

      I wish we had brought some mint tea back home with us!

  9. Jarmo @ Arctic Nomad

    April 22, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    That has definitely made me hungry for some Egyptian food. I could use a falafel right now 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      April 23, 2012 at 7:06 AM

      We have just fell in love with Turkish food now too Jarmo! bit.ly/Ip9XNI

  10. Someday I'll Be There - Mina

    April 22, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    A less hygienic street food in Egypt is liver, but it tastes so good, it is addictive! I wouldn’t recommend it to first timers though, might have some side effects 😀 but it is always so addictive that everyone – usually – orders just 1 sandwich, then stand by the cooking guy re-ordering up to 5 or 6 sandwiches 😀

    Now I’m hungry

    • Cole Burmester

      April 23, 2012 at 7:07 AM

      Haha I haven’t had Egyptian liver and was really ill in Marrakech so maybe I will need to stay away from it 🙂

  11. Wanderplex

    April 24, 2012 at 11:13 PM

    Awesome roundup! I love street food (sometimes more than restaurant food) and have lots of fond memories of eating these things in Egypt!

    • Cole Burmester

      April 28, 2012 at 7:01 AM

      We definitely prefer street food over restaurant food! Plus it is so much cheaper for us when on a budget.

  12. properties in Dubai

    April 26, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    I am loving to eat spicy food and during visit this blog my mouth is full of water and feeling comes that the things call me to come and eat me 🙂
    Very delicious post. 😉

  13. Ali

    April 30, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    I haven’t been to Egypt yet but I love kebabs!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 6, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      They are SO delicious! Although having just been in Turkey we think we have found a new favourite place for food 🙂

  14. The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)

    May 5, 2012 at 3:38 AM

    ALL street food in Egypt is amazing! I’ve gotta say falafel — and my husband likes Kosheri.

    • Cole Burmester

      May 6, 2012 at 9:19 PM

      We tried to make homemade Koshary and it worked out pretty well! Not sure that I could master falafel though.

  15. Turtle

    May 25, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    I’d never heard of koshari before. It sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to get over there and try it myself (perhaps with not too much chilli…)

    • Cole Burmester

      May 26, 2012 at 7:57 AM

      Chilli is probably the wrong word for it. Let’s just call it spice because it wasn’t that hot to be honest!

  16. sameh

    July 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Food, a key component of our Egyptian culture over the years is associated with many religious and social occasions. With globalization and the invasion of fast food for our world. Traditional meals are struggling to find her a place on the dining table the Egyptian citizen.
    Best Regards

  17. Lucy | gapyeardotcom

    June 7, 2013 at 10:05 AM

    Great guide. I think everyone who visits Egypt should be sure to try the street food.

    Falafel was part of one of my favourite lunches out there! The Falafel in the UK just does not compare.

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.

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Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Adventure Travel

Hammock vs Tent Camping

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Camping with a hammock is slowly but surely becoming more popular in recent years with new and improved hammock designs being preferred by some campers, compared to the traditional tent.

In this article we will discuss some of the key benefits and drawbacks of sleeping without a tent, and analyze key criteria so that you can choose your preferred shelter choice!

Weatherproof

Most tents work well in the rain; however, you’ll need to bring a tarp if you’re using a hammock. Traditional hammocks are not waterproof, and are generally open at the top, allowing water to find itself inside if you don’t have an adequate tarp. Moreover, a decent under quilt is also a good idea so that you can stay warm and cozy during cold and stormy nights.

Packing up your hammock after a long night of rain isn’t too bad, whereas packing up a soaking wet tent is always annoying. You almost always get wet in the process.

Setup

For first time campers, pop-up tents are the simplest to setup. All you need to do is find flat ground, and bam, your setup is complete! The beauty of pop-up tents is that you don’t need to worry about figuring out where to insert the poles and erect the tent. Although, traditional tents are usually more robust, and have a longer life span.

Essentially, a tent is simple, but a hammock can become a little more complicated for first timers. You’ll need to find 2 trees facing a good direction and tie each end of the hammock to them. If your hammock setup is too tight, you will generally wake up with sore ancles, but if it’s too loose, you run the risk of the hammock touching the floor, and insects crawling in with you.

If your campground doesn’t have many trees, or if the trees are dead (they could break and injure you), hammock stands come to the rescue! Basically, hammock stands allow you to pitch a hammock if there are no trees nearby. They are portable, adjustable, and are easy to setup. The only drawback is that the ground should be relatively flat, whereas if you were to hang a hammock between 2 trees, there won’t be any stands touching the ground, so a rocky floor wouldn’t be a problem.

Comfort

One of the main reasons for choosing a hammock is the comfort that it provides you! It has a basically has in-built seat which is arguably more comfortable than a standard blow up mattress. You need to pick your tree’s wisely though! You don’t want a pinecone falling on your face mid-sleep.

If you have constant back pain and find it hard to sleep inside tents, you should give hammocks a try as they cause you to sleep sideways, similar to a banana shape, which a lot people find much more comfortable.

Price

Hammocks are usually lighter and don’t include a wealth of poles and gear that tents do. Depending on the type of hammock that you purchase, they are usually quite similar to tents. You can however, find very cheap tents <$60, but they most likely won’t last long.

A good tent or hammock can cost between $200-500 without accessories. If you need a hammock stand, that will add to your cost, just like a mattress and other tent necessities will to its cost.

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

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Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.
  • www.middleearthtravel.com

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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