Egyptian Street Food Guide: How to Eat like You’re the Pharaoh!

Egyptian Diet Bread

Egyptian Diet Bread

Luckily in Egypt, you don’t have to be the Pharaoh to EAT like one!

This list of 27 things to fulfill yourself with in Egypt is by no means extensive, feel free to share with me what your favorite Egyptian food is!

1 EGP (Egyptian Pound) = $0.17 USD

1. Diet Bread (above)

At the street store, the vendor told me it was “diet bread.”  I bought some and ate it, but my trip to Egypt could be described as an antonym of the word “diet.”

Price: Almost Free ($0.05)

Egptian Street Food - Arabic Bread

Egptian Street Food - Arabic Bread

2. Arabic Bread

Egyptian bread that is eaten with almost every possible meal combination

Price: Almost Free ($0.05)

Egyptian Bread

Egyptian thick load bread

3. Thick Loaf Bread

Solid and heavy Egyptian loaves

Price: 2-4 LE ($0.34 – $0.68)

Egyptian Street Food - Ful Beans

Egyptian Street Food - Ful Beans

4. Ful Medames – Mushed Fava Beans

An undisputed and nutritious champ in the repertoire of Egyptian street food! I think not a single day passed for me without devouring a few portions of ful!

Price: ful sandwich 1-2 LE ($0.17 – $0.34) , plastic bag full 2-5 LE ($0.34 – $0.84)

Egyptian Sandwiches

Egyptian Sandwiches

5. Egyptian Sandwich Selection

Egyptian sandwiches are served all over Egypt and include an assortment of fillings.

Price: 1-3 LE per sandwich ($0.17 – $0.50)

Egyptian Street Food - Kushari

Egyptian Street Food - Kushari

6. Kushari

Looking for a bowl full of filling (and tasty) carbs?  Look no further than Kushari, a true Egyptian manly meal!

Price: 5-10 LE ($0.84 – $1.68)

Egptian Falafel

Egptian Falafel

7. Falafel

Though falafel is enjoyed all over the Middle East, Egypt is recognized as the first to eat these flavorful deep fried treats. I ate quite a bit of falafel, but these little guys in Luxor were among my favorite.

Price: 1-3 LE ($0.17 – $0.50)

Tahini Egypt

Tahini Sauce

8. Tahini

Tahini makes an incredible dip or sauce for Arabic bread and on top of sandwiches.

Price: normally included in sandwiches, extra 1-3 LE ($0.17 – $0.50)

Stuffed Vegetables

Egyptian Mashi

9. Mahshi

Peppers stuffed with scrumptious spiced rice

Price: 5 LE ($0.84)

Egyptian Shawarma

Egyptian Shawarma

10. Egyptian Style Shawarma

Layers of meat, thicker than Elephant legs, slow roast before the cooked outer layer is shaved off and thrown into Arabic bread or rolls to make a fantastic sandwich!

Price: Big sandwich 7 LE ($1.18)

Roasted Chicken in Egypt

Roasted Chicken in Egypt

11. Roasted Chicken

Rotisserie chickens bathe in their own juices as they revolve in a cabinet of flame roasting heat.

Price: 20 LE ($3.36)

Kofta Kebabs, Egypt

Kofta Kebabs, Egypt

12. Kofta Kebabs

A favorite meat dish of mine in Egypt is the Kofta kebabs.  Minced lamb is mixed with spices and pressed onto metal skewers before hitting the coals.  It’s like an Egyptian style ambrosial sausage!

Price: 13.50 LE at Abeer Restaurant in Aswan ($2.27)

Lamb Parts in Egypt

Lamb Parts in Egypt

13. Form of Halaweyat – Lamb Parts

A pot full of lamb parts boiling in their own grease. Ordered this in a sandwich form, piled into a half of Arabic bread on the streets of Cairo.

Price: 4-5 LE ($0.68 – $0.84)



14. Molokhia

I enjoyed this bowl of Molokhia at the Siwa Oasis; it is a green slimy paste that is made from jute leaves. Though the substance is characterized by a gluey stickiness, the taste is fresh and herbaceous!

Price: from a restaurant at the Siwa Oasis – 5 LE ($0.84)

Egyptian Pizza

Egyptian Pizza, Cairo, Egypt

15. Egyptian Pizza

There’s no tomato sauce on this Egyptian pizza! Cheese, chicken, and peppers were stuffed between the layers of the perfectly golden browned pasty dough.

Price: 25 LE ($4.20)


Hawawshy - Egyptian Street Food

16. Hawawshy

Pronunciation: Ha-WOW-She!

Minced lamb and onions filled the interior of this Arabic bread wrapping before it was roasted in a wood oven. Though it was baked, I could have believed it was deep fried from the crunchiness of the outer bread.

I ate this hawawshy on my first day in Egypt, a grand welcome to Cairo!

Price: 6 LE ($1)

Milk Dessert in Egypt


17. Mihallabiya

Egyptian version of milk pudding

Price: 2-5 LE ($0.34 – $0.84)

Cairo Street Sausage

Mombar Mahshy

18. Mombar Mahshy

Despite their appearance, these Egyptian sausages were stuffed with spiced rice and were truly a divine treat on the streets of Cairo!

Price: 2-5 LE ($0.34 – $0.84)

Dates in Egypt

Dates in Egypt

19. Egyptian Dates

I couldn’t get over the quality and affordability of dates in Egypt. I bought a few kilos straight from Siwa Oasis, one of Egypt’s main sources.

Price: Cheapest price for dates I’ve ever seen anywhere

Egyptian Basbousa

Egyptian Basbousa

20. Basbousa

This overly sweet cake made from semolina flour, is found throughout the Arab world and is a great way to get an instant sugary burst of highness!

Price: 5-10 LE for an entire plate of mixed Egyptian street desserts ($0.84 – $1.68)

Egyptian Dessert

Egyptian Dessert

21. Crystallized Honey

Sweet dessert known as kunafa. It tasted like flakes of honey with a crunch.

Price: 5-10 LE for an entire plate of mixed Egyptian street desserts ($0.84 – $1.68)

Egyptian Tea

Egyptian Tea

22. Tea

Everywhere, anywhere.  Normally served in glasses with NO handle (unlike the photo), I just thought this photo was cool!

Price: 1 LE ($0.17)

Ahwa Egyptian Coffee

Ahwa Egyptian Coffee

23. Ahwa Egyptian Coffee

The Egyptian variation of spiced coffee

Price: 2-4 LE ($0.34 – $0.68)

Egptian Coctel

Coctel in Cairo

24. Coctel

Layers of strawberries, bananas, apples, mango pulp and yogurt make this Cairene coctel a magical street treat! There’s no way I could ever pass the stall in Cairo and resist an Egyptian coctel.

Price: 2-4 LE ($0.34 – $0.68)

Egyptian Oreo Shake

Egyptian Oreo Shake

25. Egyptian B-0reo Concoction

Milk and B-oreo (Egyptian Oreos) cookies, mashed up – Cairo style!

Price: 2-4 LE ($0.34 – $0.68)

Pomegranate Shake

Pomegranate Shake

26. Pomegranate Shake

A heavenly blend of fresh Egyptian pomegranate juice

Price: 4 LE ($0.68)

Egyptian Sheesha

Egyptian Sheesha

27. Sheesha Water Pipe

Egyptian style flavored tobacco smoked through a water pipe – a very popular past time in Egypt.

Price: 1-3 LE ($0.17 – $0.50)

Thanks for enjoying this Egyptian street food journey with me! What kind of Egyptian street food do you like?

Do you love food and travel too?

If so, I'd love to give you my FREE street food guide, "41 Irresistible Meals You'll Travel to Eat," plus you'll receive exclusive street food updates (it's free)!


  1. paulo says

    Yay, I can give you some handy info for a change. The honey flake desert is called kunafa or kanafeh. I have Jordanian friends that make it and I love it. It looks like shredded wheat with honey. It’s a big Ramadan treat they told me. All Arabic people make it.

  2. Enrico says

    I can confirm the above – quite big during Ramadan, it’s a shredded phyllo pastry and comes in different forms, including the rolls as you had it (I think Qatayif in that case?), or as a cake with cream or cheese (jibn) filling

    • Ragia says

      Actually, Enrico, Qatayef is totally different from Kunafa. Qatayef is kind of this mix of flour and semolina and stuff that’s made in a round shape then filled with nuts, sugar,cinnamon and raisins, and folded to be like a half-moon, because the sides are mushy they stick together; then it’s fried and dipped in a sweat liquid compound called Sharbat that’s made by boiling sugar, water and a hint of lemons until it’s deep brown and a little thick. [I watched my mom make it :)] I guess you’d confuse them cause they’re usually served together and are vary common here in Ramadan. I’m surprised, Mark, that you came to Egypt and had Kunafa WITHOUT Qatayef; you would’ve really loved them. Maybe next time, I hope…

      • says

        Thanks for sharing Ragia! Yes, I really hope I can make it back to Egypt sometime and try a lot of things that I didn’t get to try my first time. I’ll remember to try Qatayef!

    • says

      Yah, When I went to Egypt I honestly didn’t know what exactly to expect, but I ended up being extremely excited with the array and availability of food. There is truly fantastic food in Egypt.

  3. Keith says

    Roasted chicken. Classic! But I wouldn’t go to Egypt to eat chicken. I don’t know… I guess I’d choose Kushari. Or Mashi. Or…

  4. says

    17 cents per sandwich?! You can’t beat that! I visited Egypt in April for about 3 days but did not try the street food. It looks delicious. I did try the ful/foul dish in restaurants and loved it.

  5. Aslan says

    Another fact about The Egyptian Bread, it is made out of Bran and there is no sugar or addidives at all.
    The reason they call it Diet Bread is that Bran helps you discharge faster and more often (If you know what i mean)and that is very healthy for you.

  6. Aloexander Darmanin says

    I was born in Alexandria Egypt BUT I was Maltese British Subject by birth.
    Since then I have become an Australian Citizen and proud of it.

    I was forced to Emigrate to Australia in 1949 as there was no work for us British. I am used to these lovely dishes, and I am lucky that I can buy them here in Melbourne anytime I want to, and I often do.

    Keep up the good work.

  7. Mario says


    A part les foul et falafel avec le eish shami ou le eish baladi que j’adore, mes souvenirs des mets et des boissons sont plus nombreux. Le sanwich de foul médamés ou falafel (taameya) coûte aujourd’hui ½ livre (8 livre pour un euro) Avec le prix d’un sandwich en France (6 euro) j’achète 96 sandwichs en Egypte.

    Les falafel égyptiennes sont uniques car elles sont faites principalement avec du foul et beaucoup de persil).

    Voici quelques uns de mes souvenirs d’enfance:

    Bamiah (combos ou cornes grecques)
    Pasticio (Pâtes au four)
    Tehina, Babakhanoush, Khomosseiah
    Merguez Egyptienne et Maaneh (saucisse très parfumées)
    Molokheya avec du riz et citron vert
    Verdure shicoria, indibia, salade garguir
    Guebna (fromage) beda, guebna roumi, guebna Tourki, guebna halloumi, Cashcaval
    Shorbet Ads (soupe de lentilles jaunes)
    Waraq Inab Dolma (Feuilles de vignes farcies)
    Moussaka (Aubergines rôties avec la viande)
    Sabanekh Bel Lahma (Ragoût aux épinards avec viande)
    Dora (maïs grillé)
    Koulouriah et semit
    Soudani, leb et khomos grillés
    Eshtah (Crème fraîche)
    Fessih (poisson à l’odeur forte)
    Mahshi de courgettes, de poivrons, de tomates, d’aubergines etc.
    Kahwa torki (café turque)
    Roz bel laban et cannelle (riz au lait)
    Doha (mélange d’épices)
    Torshi memalah left et gazar, tourchi kheïar
    Kebab, Kofta kebab et Meshwi
    Mugadara (lentilles brunes au riz)
    Shakshouka (omelette aux tomates)
    Poissons grillés rouget, sardines crevettes sabrés (friture)
    Oum el Kholoul (petit fruits de mer)
    Abou galambo(Crabes rose d’Alexandrie)
    Rizza (les oursins)
    Bien que je n’aime pas les volailles, il y avait des coualiah (des cailles) au feu de bois et des bec à figue (des ortolans) en brochettes. Hamam Machwy (pigeon farci)

    Eish el saraya (le pain du palais) un pain macéré dans le miel avec au dessus un rouleau de crème de lait et sous poudré de pistaches.
    Dandourma (glace à la mastica grecque)
    Khoshaf (Salade de fruit sec dans un jus )
    Boukhadja (feuilleté au fromage arrosé de lait chaud et cannelle)
    Halawa avec et sans pistache ou avec noisette et halawa tahiniyeh
    Baklawa (gâteau au noix)
    Kounafa bel Kechta (à la crème fraîche)
    Basboussa (gâteau au yagourt)
    Kaak bel agwa (gâteau farci aux dattes dénoyeautés)
    Loukoumadis ou Lokmet el kadi ou Zalabia (Baignés de boulettes frites au sirop)
    Balah essoued (dates fraiches noirs)
    Manga hindi, manga abou sennara
    Tin ou teen shoki (flique de barbarie)
    Lamoun benzaher (citron vert) et asir lamoun
    Lamoun helw (citrons doux)
    Douma (fruit sec)
    Caca chinois (une douceur)
    Cloclo (cornet de glace)

    Assir assab (jus de cane à sucre)
    Karkadeh (infusion de fleur d’ibiscus) en guise de bien venue
    Tamarhindi (jus de tamarin))
    Arghessous (jus)
    Assir Manga (jus de Mangue)
    Jus de noix de coco, de fraises au lait etc.
    Café frappé et chocolat frappé
    Coca Cola
    Pepsi Cola

    Et tant d’autres choses que j’oubli


    • Vic says

      nous avons probablement vécu la meme expérience. La lecture de ton article m’a ramené 55 ans en arriere, une enfance et une adolescence inoubliables. Merci pour le petit “voyage” ….

    • Mario Tito says

      (AHLAN YA MARIO! ESAYAK?)I was born in Alexandra Egypt 1941 Saint Vincent & Don Bosco School, left in 1965 to come to Australia, I never look back, that is why we left in the 1st place to make a better life for ourselves and our kids, When I remember the past, I remember my youth, my friends that are scattered all over the world, & the food of course. ANY FOOD THAT I FEEL LIKE I CAN FIND IT ON YOU TUBE, STEP BY STEP RECIPES. AND I MANAGE TO PREPARE IT. PROBLEM IS AT MY AGE I NEED TO AVOID FATTY FOOD AND SUGAR.


      • says

        Hey Mario, I’m not sure of any recipes for Egyptian food, but keep searching around and I know you’ll be able to find some good ones. Good thing there is some nice healthy Egyptian food!

      • Arto says

        Salamat Tito.I was born in Alexandria 1933 and graduated from Don Bosco 1952.In 1962 I immigrate to Canada and few yeays later I opened a machine shop and we had a comfortable living I owe it to Salesiani.I always remember the good time and the good fool and falafel sandwiches of Benjamin.Ya khesara beyekhrebou Masr.

    • Adel says

      Ciao Mario ! I would like to make the old recipe of CACA Chinois. I have tried several internet resources but with no success. Do you remember how to make it?
      Best wishes


    • Yorghos d'Alex says

      Merci Mario.
      Une liste presque complète. Que de souvenirs ……!!!

      Ciao bello, où que tu sois

      Yorghos d’Alex

  8. Margot Barzilai Feinstein says

    Moi aussi je suis nee en Egypte. And I do recall everything I used to eat while living there. But now that I live in Israel, I can get almost anything I want here.

      • says

        Come any day, give me a call and I’ll take you wherever you want for food. As delicious as in Egypt, but some vegetales are missing here and the one I miss particularly if OL’AS. I won’t be able to visit Egypt because I’m turning 84 next month.and my travels outside the country will only be Sao Paulo, Brazil where I just attended my granddaughter’s wedding last June and expecting one last trip if the newly weds will speed it up to give me a greatgrand whaterver!!!! I cook Bamia, spinach with houmous, etc., etc. and HARISSA (called basboussa) with semoul and ground coco.

  9. says

    Hi gys ! …. Seeing all these pictures , and you people talking of the BEAUTIFUL ,UNFORGETABLE days we lived in Egypt …made me go back to old memories ,…, I myself lived in Alexandria ,…and left at the age of 13 , to São Paulo , Brasil ,…
    all this gorgeous food ,…the friends ,the fun and speacially the “Wahash “of eveything ! ,… you call it “Saudades ” in portuguese ,(no real translation of the word ,…)
    it would be the “missing “of something ,…
    … I really miss everything we had at the time ,…we Egyptian origin are real
    different people : gentlemen education , fun ,simple ,yet happy people ,loyable,generous ,etc. etc,…
    …and I would write loads of qualities ,…that none of other nationalities
    could possibly ever think of getting closer ,… nor understand …,…
    …As for the food ,… we make a real good MOLOHEYA ,…sometimes ,…lots of hugs to all ,…

  10. says

    Mois aussi je suis nee en Egypte. A Port-Said mais nous vivions au Caire.
    Seems like eons now. In Los Angeles one can find some decent Arabic food, and Armenian markets have most ingredients needed. Now I am retired and live in Hawaii and on the Big Island one can at time find tahini and philo dough.
    Now with an American passport and at my age I would be afraid to go back, though I have a French name and I am fluent in French and Italian.

      • Sylvana Turrini Maakad says

        I was born in Alexandria many, many years ago and part of my heart is atill there. Those were the days. The smell of the sea at the corniche, the swimming at Sidi Bishr, the fantastic humor of the Egyptians. As far as the food was concerned I loved it all and miss it all.

        • says

          Thanks for the comment Sylvana,
          I can image back then (with the images you depicted) it was an amazing place, and I’m sure the food was so good then! Do you cook a lot of Egyptian food?

          • Sylvana Turrini Maakad says

            Unfortunately no. What I would give to be able to have the same life and same food I had in Egypt, a country that I love very much. Nowhere have I smelled the sea as in Alexandria strolling along the Corniche then going to dinner at the Mayfair. So many memories, the only things we have left now.

  11. Mohamed Elbadry says

    The site has agitated my apetite, but the right name of Arabic bread is: 3esh Balady. I love 3esh Balady with Gebna Barmeel or Gebna Istambuli (two types of Egyptian white chees). Thank your for your Oral meal invitation :)

  12. says


    I was born in Alexandria in 1945 and lived in “Cléopatra-les-bains” (kilubatra al hammamat)!

    MARIO L., MARIO TITO, HENRI G. are my friends and I am in touch with them!

    I remember Guy (Guido) Dessman and every day I receive the e-mail sent by Sylvana Turrini Maakad to Stenio who is always forwarding them to me!


  13. Gerard says

    Great to read all this.

    I too was born in Egypt. I am currently visiting Alexandria and I am yet to find a place that serves Khoushaf. I went to a number of cafes in the Ramleh station area where I used to eat Khoushaf and no success.The young people often have no idea what it is.

    Does anyone know where I can finally get to eat a khohshaf, the weather is just right for it.

    Thank you, nice to brouse through your site.

  14. says

    Wow, this is great. I lived in Egypt for a year and a half and this brings back memories. I was trying to look for a food we ate there and I found it here! (Hawawshy) -Thanks!

      • says

        We live in Luxor Egypt, and often have hawawshy, but from all the local shops it isn’t as good as a cafe and take-away in Karnak, which is about 2 kilometres away. We are currently paying 3le for it, and we’ve been able to introduce quite a few tourist friends to this delicacy.

        I do think that you’re slightly misleading in describing it as ‘minced lamb’, though. It’s actually minced offal; the same as the Scotch ‘haggis’! We thoroughly enjoy them both, depending whether we’re at home in England or at home in Egypt!

        Keep up the good work.

        • says

          Hey Edward, thank you very much for the comment and great to hear you have introduced some other visitors to hawawshy. Is it normally just minced offal? Or can it be mixed with lamb meat, because I could be wrong, but I think the one I had had real like minced meat within it? Do you think that was correct? I’m not sure, but I do know it was tasty!

  15. melati says

    WOW what youre doing was amazing. I mean you travel and eat. Btw your pic is with durian isnt it? Somewhere around Malaysia Indonesia I guess. Anyway Awesome! Really inspiring to travel over the world and savour their food. Hope that i can do that too..

    • says

      Hey Melati, thanks a lot for checking out my website, I really enjoy traveling and eating. Yes, you’re right, that’s a durian, in Thailand at a fruit farm. Where are you from? I hope you get to travel as well in the future!

  16. Amy says

    Just found your blog and have to say you covered a bunch of the good food in Egypt. I noticed a lot of people looking for recipes and there are tons on youtube, if you search for Matbakh Daisy. Most of her recipes are in Arabic but gives the ingredients in English and you can see how she makes them by watching the video. She’s pretty easy to follow. Hope this helps all of you looking for recipes. We have tried many of her recipes and they are all so good.

  17. Eve says

    I was in Cairo for 6 months in 1981 and one of my favourite Egyptian street food was shawarma and moosh belaban (banana goats milk shake) from a ‘hole in the wall’ shop somewhere in Cairo. Does anyone know if they still make and sell moosh belaban in Cairo and if its available in Sydney Australia where I now live? I miss Egyptian food.

  18. says

    Wow, this is too cool! Travelling and eating in Eygpt!
    I can’t imagine myself do that, but now I can, thanks to your sharing!

    Jason |

  19. Sara Shaker says

    What a wonderful trip, Mark
    Next time in Egypt, I recommend you to try various types of Mahshi ( Grape leaves, Cabbage, Eggplant, Green Pepper, Tomato, and Onions) they are all great. Also, try the cane sugar juice … its a refreshing powerful drink :)
    and if that happens and you are on the beach, don’t miss a warm grilled corn on the cob… such a peaceful feeling, you won’t regret :)


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