Are you a hardcore vegetarian planning to travel to Egypt? Don’t know what to eat? Interested in discovering the best healthy Egyptian vegetarian food options & restaurants? Here’s a guide to help you answer these questions.
10 Best Vegetarian Foods To Try In Egypt
Also called Koshari or Koshary, this is the national dish of Egypt. It is a simple dish made from lentils, rice, macaroni, and chickpeas and topped with onions and vinegar tomato sauce. You can also get Koshary garnished with hot chili sauce if you like some spicy flavors. Once considered to be a poor man’s meal, now Koshari is the most popular item in Egypt.
2. Fiteer Baladi
Also known as Egyptian Pizza, fiteer is more like the combination of a pancake and a pizza. Fiteer Baladi is basically made from several layers of the filo dough and then cooked in a bricked oven. The pizza can be sweet, savory or just plain.
This is the Egyptian version of falafel that is made from deep frying chickpeas and served with salad and hummus. Ta’miyya sandwiches are very popular in Egypt.
This is a spinach-like sauce that is served as a soup or can be eaten with rice
This is a popular Middle Eastern dip made from tahini, garlic, salt, lemon, olive oil, and chickpeas and is also a part of traditional Egyptian cuisine. The Egyptian hummus is generally eaten with Egyptian Tamaya and flatbread.
6. Ful Medames
Also called fūl, this is yet another national dish of Egypt that is a creamy paste made from pepper, olive oil, fava beans, salt, cumin and dressed with garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and onions. This paste is a traditional Egyptian food, served at breakfast.
7. Shorbat Adas
This a hearty and smooth soup prepared from lentils. In Arabic, ‘shorbat’ means soup and ‘ads’ means lentils. It is a vegetarian dish with no fat and is packed with vegetables and fiber.
8. Baba Ganoush
No list of Egyptian delicacies is complete without Baba Ganoush. It is prepared with fried eggplants, tahini, parsley, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, pepper, and salt.
Kunafa is a sweet dish prepared during Ramadan. It is actually called ‘the queen of Egyptian sweets’ and is a true treat for those with a sweet tooth. Kunafa is made out of a layer of noodles and packed with nuts and cream cheese.
10. Umm Ali
This is yet another sweet dish that will leave you craving for more. It is a traditional dessert made with layers of milk, cream, buts and puff pastry. You must try this with a scoop of ice cream or custard.
Top 10 Vegetarian Restaurants in Egypt (2020)
There are plenty of local spots, from small eateries and outdoor kiosks to fancy restaurants and roadside stalls, to get great vegetarian food in Cairo. Here are a few you should visit
1. Abou Tarek
Abou Tarek is popular for serving Egyptian fast food with high quality. It is believed to serve the best Koshary in all of Egypt.
As the first fully vegetarian restaurant in Cairo, this one earned a place in our list of top 10 vegetarian restaurants. With a nice atmosphere and a huge menu, the place is popular with young Egyptians and travellers.
This is a Lebanese restaurant that offers high-quality Middle Eastern and Lebanese cuisine. Though you may not find it to be totally vegetarian, the restaurant is vegetarian-friendly and offers a huge variety of options for vegetarians.
This is a small takeaway restaurant. It is popular thanks to its Tamaya dish, the Middle Eastern variation of falafel made of green beans. The place is also known for traditional Egyptian items like ful medames.
Mahrous’ menu is pretty simple but tasty. Every dish they offer is freshly prepared and great in taste.
Left Bank restaurants have a wide variety of pasta and salads to choose from.
An authentic restaurant for the Indian Cuisine located in the Holiday Inn. It has a great menu for anyone looking to have vegetarian food.
The restaurant is famous for its vegan, organic, Egyptian and Mediterranean dishes. It offers healthy options such as veggie burgers, vegan nuggets and bowl meals to name a few.
The Eatery offers travelers a vegetarian menu, specializing in pasta, appetizers, and salads.
This being a Chinese restaurant, the menu plays around with a variety of vegetable options. They provide vegetarian dishes, rice and noodles, vegetarian spring rolls and much more.
Important Egyptian Words/Phrases every vegetarian must know
Here are a few phrases/words that you must know in order to avoid any confusion regarding your vegetarian food choices and orders:
Vegetarian – Nabati
No animal products – Bidun muntajat hiwania
I am a vegetarian – Ana nabatee
Do you have any vegetarian food/dishes? – Hal yougad Atbak nabatia?
Do you have any dishes without meat? – Hal yougad Atbak bedoon lalma?
Are there any vegetarian restaurants nearby? – Hal yougad mat’am nabatee kareeb men hona?
Keep this in mind, and you’re in for a wonderful time in Egypt, whether it’s exploring, shopping, or eating!