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Egyptian Food: Typical and Traditional Cuisine

Egyptian Bread

Bread store in Egypt

Slotted in between North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, throughout centuries, Egypt has developed as an exciting culinary culture.

Some dishes were borrowed from others, while plenty of tasty foods have been eaten in virtually the same manner since the Pharaonic age.

Egyptian food is often quite healthy, it can be very nutritious, and if you eat like a local, the food is extremely affordable.

If you are willing to eat mostly vegetarian, the cost of eating in Egypt can be $1 or less per meal, but if you get into some meat-filled dishes, you'll spend in the $2 – $5 range per meal.

Egyptian Staple

The ultimate staple of all Egyptian cuisine is their version of flatbread known as Arabic bread.

It's a cross between a tortilla and a pita bread, and it's nutritious, filling, and incredibly cheap!

Rice is another everyday staple in Egyptian food, and it is often steamed and mixed with short whole wheat noodles and a bit of oil.

Ful Medames

Ful Medames – Egyptian Beans

Ful Medames

There's no Egyptian street food that's more typical and widely available than ful medames (commonly just referred to as ful), or mashed fava beans.

The beans are traditionally cooked in a large clay pot over a fire and mushed into a bean paste that resembles Mexican refried beans.

Ful is usually eaten with a stack of Arabic bread and maybe a few Egyptian pickles or tomatoes. Ful was one of those dishes that I ate almost every day and couldn't get enough of in Egypt.

Egyptian Sandwiches

Egyptian Sandwiches

Egyptian Sandwiches

An Egyptian sandwich is a piece of Arabic bread filled with a dish of choice, a scoop of white yogurt sauce, some chili's, and a handful of pickled vegetables.

You get to choose from an array of fillings that may include eggplant, artichokes, beans, French fries, falafel, or whatever else you spot at the stall.

At 1 – 2 LE ($0.17 – $0.34) per sandwich, you can keep eating them all day long!

Kushari, Egypt

Bowl of Kushari


Kushari is one Egyptian street food meal that working-class men (and some women) will choose as an ultimate energy boost.

The dish consists of pasta, rice, lentils, and chickpeas all jumbled together with tomato sauce in a bowl of carbohydrate overdose.

When I was in Egypt, I would down the large size bowl of Kushari, and I'd have the energy to walk from one side of Cairo to the other!

Egyptian Meat Dishes

Egyptian Meat Dishes

Meat Dishes

Meat in Egypt is quite good, though it's a lot more expensive than vegetarian dishes. Lamb, beef, and chicken are all popular choices.

One of my favorite meat dishes in Egypt is grilled Kofta Kebabs, which are made from spiced minced beef or lamb that is roasted over coals on long skewers.

Another favorite is something called a Hawawshy (pictured above), which is an Arabic bread filled with minced lamb, brushed with oil, and scorched in a wood fire oven.

Egyptian Juices

Fresh Pomegranate Juice


There's nothing more refreshing on the streets of Cairo in the blazing heat than a cup of fresh-squeezed juice.

The most common quick energy juice that people drink on the go is sugar cane juice.

At local Cairo juice bars, vendors will line up cups of sugar cane juice as customers walk past, drop a 1 LE ($0.17) coin on the table and gulp down a glass of juice in just a few seconds.

I'd also sometimes dish out the extra money for an ice-cold cup of pure pomegranate juice (4 LE – $0.67) or an equally amazing Egyptian fruit cocktail (a combination of bananas, apples, mangoes, and yogurt all in a cup).

So when you are in Egypt, be sure to take full advantage and devour their lively selection of delicious food!

Last Updated on January 26, 2020 by Dave Lee