Wondering what’s the best street food in Egypt? Here are all the dishes you need to try!
Even though Egypt may not be the first country that pops to mind when you think of street food, Egyptian street food is a celebration of local ingredients, spices, and cooking techniques that have been passed down through generations.
From savory snacks to sweet treats, the variety of street food in Egypt is endless.
In this blog post, we’ve rounded up the best must-try local delicacies that will leave your taste buds dancing with joy.
- Is Street Food in Egypt Safe to Eat?
- Tips for Eating Street Food in Egypt
- Popular Street Food in Egypt
- 1. Falafel
- 2. Shawarma
- 3. Foul Medames
- 4. Hawawshi
- 5. Mombar
- 6. Kebda Eskandarani
- 7. Aish Baladi
- 8. Kofta Kebabs
- 9. Molokhia
- 10. Fuul
- 11. Mahshy
- 12. Koshary
- Street Food in Egypt For Sweet Tooths
- Street Food in Egypt: Drinks
- FAQs About Street Food in Egypt
Is Street Food in Egypt Safe to Eat?
You might be wondering if the street food in Egypt is safe to eat.
Generally, the street food in Egypt is safe to consume, as long as you exercise some basic precautions.
Let’s go through some tips to help you enjoy delicious street food in Egypt worry-free:
Follow the crowd: It is always a good idea to eat where the locals eat.
If you see a street food vendor with a long queue, it’s a good sign that the food is both fresh and delicious.
Observe cleanliness: Keep an eye on the vendor’s hygiene practices. Check if they’re wearing gloves when handling food and if they have a clean workstation.
Trust your instincts – if it doesn’t look clean, move on to the next vendor.
Stick to cooked food: Opt for items that are cooked to order or maintained at a high temperature.
Avoid raw or cold dishes, as they are more likely to harbor harmful bacteria.
Watch the water: It’s wise to avoid consuming ice, salads washed with tap water, or fruit juices diluted with water. Stick to bottled water when you’re thirsty.
Tips for Eating Street Food in Egypt
When you’re exploring the vibrant streets of Egypt, you’ll definitely want to dive into their delicious street food options.
Here are a few tips to make your street food experience unforgettable and trouble-free.
2. Stick to popular spots: Popular stalls with a high turnover guarantee fresher ingredients and well-prepared food. Keep an eye out for queues or locals flocking to a particular place – that’s a good sign!
3. Be adventurous, but cautious: You’re in Egypt to try new and exciting flavors, right? While experimenting, stay mindful of your own dietary restrictions or allergies. If you’re unsure about an ingredient, don’t hesitate to ask the vendor.
4. Carry small change: Street food vendors may not have change for large bills, so carry smaller denominations to avoid awkward situations. Coins and small bills will make transactions smooth and quick.
5. Bring hand sanitizer: In a bustling street food environment, you may not have access to clean water and soap.
Carry hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean before and after eating, preventing any potential stomach issues.
6. Be weather-conscious: In the hotter months, avoid raw salads, fruits, or foods containing mayonnaise due to the higher risk of contamination.
Popular Street Food in Egypt
In Egypt, you’ll find Falafel (also known as Taameya) at almost every street corner.
Made from soaked and mashed fava beans, then deep-fried into tasty patties, it’s perfect as a snack or in a sandwich with some tahini sauce.
Shawarma is another must-try dish when it comes to street food in Egypt.
It’s tender slow-cooked meat (chicken or beef) wrapped in a thin flatbread or served as a plate.
Paired with fresh vegetables, garlic sauce, and sometimes tahini, it’s delightfully flavorful.
3. Foul Medames
If you’re looking for street food in Egypt to have for breakfast, look no further than Foul Medames.
This dish is made of slow-cooked fava beans topped with olive oil, lemon juice, and various spices.
It’s served with warm Aish Baladi bread for dipping.
Hawawshi is a flavorsome Egyptian sandwich made from minced meat (often spiced with onion, parsley, and peppers) and baked inside a couple of layers of Aish Baladi bread.
It’s found widely available in street food stalls all over Egypt.
If you’re a daring eater, you will love Mombar, a unique Egyptian specialty consisting of stuffed intestines.
The filling is a mix of rice, spices, and ground meat before being cooked. This dish is a testament to Egyptian cuisine’s resourcefulness.
6. Kebda Eskandarani
If you love all things meat, you won’t want to miss out on Kebda Eskandarani.
This popular street food in Egypt features diced liver cooked with aromatic spices, chili, and garlic.
You’ll often find it served as a sandwich in Alexandrian eateries.
7. Aish Baladi
Aish Baladi is the quintessential Egyptian bread.
Similar to pita, it’s a whole wheat flatbread that accompanies most dishes, often used for dipping or filling with various toppings.
8. Kofta Kebabs
Kofta Kebabs are not to be missed when it comes to street food in Egypt.
Made from seasoned ground meat (usually beef or lamb), combined with onions and spices, then grilled to perfection, these flavorful kebabs pair well with any side or wrap.
Molokhia is a traditional Egyptian soup made from jute leaves.
It’s a nourishing and delicious dish often accompanied by rice, bread, or roasted chicken.
Fuul is another fava bean-based dish, often consumed at breakfast.
It’s a slow-cooked stew flavored with cumin, garlic, and olive oil, typically served with bread or rice.
Mahshy are stuffed vegetables, like bell peppers, cabbage leaves, or vine leaves, filled with a mixture of rice, ground meat, and herbs. The result is a flavorful and satisfying dish.
Last but not least when it comes to savory street food in Egypt, Koshary is the ultimate comfort food.
A mix of rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, fried onions, and spicy tomato sauce, it is a delicious carb lover’s dream dish.
Street Food in Egypt For Sweet Tooths
If you have a sweet tooth, street food in Egypt has you covered!
Here are some mouthwatering treats you can find on the streets of Egypt:
These yummy doughnut-like balls are deep-fried until golden brown and doused in sugar syrup.
Lokma are light and airy, making them perfect for a quick, sweet treat.
14. Feteer Meshaltet
Feteer Meshaltet is an Egyptian pastry that you’ll fall in love with right away.
This flaky and layered treat is filled with different sweet ingredients, such as honey, powdered sugar, Nutella, or even fruit.
The buttery crust and sweet fillings create a heavenly combo you just can’t resist.
15. Egyptian Dates
Egyptian dates aren’t just a common fruit; they’re a popular sweet treat, too!
Be sure to try some stuffed dates with almonds or walnuts, or smothered in honey for a delicious twist.
Kunafah is a Middle Eastern pastry that consists of shredded phyllo dough, a sweet cheese filling, and a rosewater-infused sugar syrup.
Topped with crushed pistachios and sometimes a sprinkle of cinnamon, this colorful dessert is a true delight for your taste buds.
Last but not least of sweet street food in Egypt, basbousa is a semolina cake soaked in sugar syrup and often garnished with almonds or coconut.
Its soft, moist texture makes it a favorite among Egyptian dessert lovers.
Street Food in Egypt: Drinks
When you find yourself craving a caffeine boost in Egypt, look for Egyptian coffee.
This local version of the classic beverage is usually served in small cups and packs a strong punch.
You’ll often see locals enjoying it at street-side cafes and food stalls. It’s typically brewed with cardamom, a popular spice in the region, giving the coffee a unique flavor.
19. Fresh Juice
A popular choice among street food vendors, the selection of fresh juices in Egypt is simply irresistible.
Egyptian streets are filled with countless juice carts and stands offering an array of colorful, tangy, and sweet delights.
You’ll find fresh-pressed options like mango, guava, and pomegranate, as well as sugarcane juice – a beloved national favorite.
Tea plays a huge role in Egyptian culture, and when you’re exploring the local street food in Egypt, you’ll undoubtedly come across many local flavors of this popular drink.
Mint tea is the most common variety, often served sweetened with sugar. It’s the perfect refreshing beverage for a warm day or a soothing treat on cooler evenings.
Another popular option is karkadeh, also known as hibiscus tea. Made from hibiscus flowers, it can be enjoyed either hot or cold and is known for its distinctive deep red color and tart flavor.
FAQs About Street Food in Egypt
What are some must-try street foods in Cairo?
While exploring Cairo, you should definitely try Koshary, a hearty dish of rice, pasta, lentils, and tomato sauce.
Other must-tries include Ta’ameya, the Egyptian falafel, and Shawarma, a grilled meat wrap.
Don’t forget to indulge in sweet treats like Feteer meshaltet, a flaky pastry filled with different ingredients such as cheese or chocolate.
How affordable is street food in Egypt?
Egypt is known for its delicious and affordable street food.
Most of the dishes are budget-friendly, with prices ranging from 5 to 25 Egyptian pounds.
In USD, that’s approximately between $0.3 and $1.5. This makes it an excellent destination for trying lots of dishes without breaking the bank.
Where can I find the best street food in Luxor?
To explore the street food scene in Luxor, visit the area around Luxor Temple and the bustling souk in the city center.
Here, you’ll find food carts selling Egyptian delicacies like Mahshi (stuffed vegetables), grilled corn, and Halawet El Jibn (sweet cheese dessert).
Are Egyptian street food restaurants popular with locals and tourists?
Yes, Egyptian street food restaurants and carts are popular among both locals and tourists.
They offer a unique, authentic, and affordable culinary experience that provides a taste of Egyptian culture.
Street food allows you to try various dishes and engage with the locals while enjoying a casual dining atmosphere.