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Egyptian and Middle Eastern food in Cairo


Egyptian and Middle Eastern food in Cairo

Fatir is a pastry, shown here with honey.  It can be eaten as a meal or snack, with sweet ingredients like jam or honey, or salty toppings like cheese, meat, and vegetables which make it more like a pizza.
Fatir is a pastry, shown here with honey. It can be eaten as a meal or snack, with sweet ingredients like jam or honey, or salty toppings like cheese, meat, and vegetables which make it more like a pizza.
Traditional Egyptian staples are available almost everywhere. In stalls and street restaurants you will find traditional dishes like fuul (bean paste), taa'miya (falafel), muzagga (the Egyptian version of the Greek moussaka), kushari (rice, macaroni, lentils, chick peas, and sometimes a tomato sauce), fetyeer (pancakes with different fillings) and shawarma (a recent import from Lebanon and Syria ? pieces of roasted meat usually wrapped in bread). Cheaper places will only serve up vegetables and maybe beef hot dogs or corned beef. Eggs, fried potatoes and salads are also usually available. Hygiene varies wildly and the best advice is to go for the most visited places. Avoid empty restaurants as the food will be less fresh. Especially downtown you can find many good kushari shops, including many outlets of the excellent Kushari Tahrir chain. Delicious and cheap fuul , falafel, and shawarema sandwiches can be bought at the many outlets of popular GAD fast food chain dotted around Cairo. The average price for a tub of takeaway kushary is between 3 to 5 Egyptian pounds, fuul falafel sandwiches is between 1 to 1.5 Egyptian pounds, and shawerma sandwiches are between 4 and 8 Egyptian pounds. In the medium and upper price range your choice of traditional Egyptian food will be more limited. Although the situation is improving, traditionally Egyptian gastronomical experiences are still mostly restricted to private homes. Quality chain restaurants like Felfela (several outlets), Abou El Sid (Zamalek, Maadi and Dokki), and Abou Shakra offer authentic Egyptian food. Otherwise Arabic and oriental restaurants tend to mix styles or completely go for more Lebanese-style eating, considered more stylish by rich Cairenes. The good side of this is that Cairo is blessed with many quality Lebanese outfits, from chains like Dar Al-Qamar to stylish restaurant establishments. Additionally, Turkish food and restaurants catering to Gulf visitors can be found.

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Cairo Travel Guide from Wikitravel. Many thanks to all Wikitravel contributors. Text is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0, images are available under various licenses, see each image for details.

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