23+ Best Halal food in Egypt! (& Where to Get Them)

By Farihah
20 Min Read

23+ Best Halal Food in Egypt! (& Where to Get Them)

Whenever Egypt comes to mind, one would immediately picture the colorful souks, the pyramids, or the Islamic dynasties that reigned over the country.

One wouldn’t immediately think of going to Egypt to try their food — which is tasty and mostly Halal!

In this article, you’ll learn what are some of the Best Halal food in Egypt, from the underrated traditional cuisines to national food and yummy local deserts!

Let’s dig in, shall we?


Disclaimer: Some of the links here are affiliate links. I receive a small commission AT NO EXTRA cost to you if you use the links. Hope you find this guide helpful!


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Halal Food in Egypt

Being a country with about 90% Muslim population, there’s an abundance of Halal Food in Cairo, and the rest of the country!

If you’re wondering, Is all meat in Egypt halal? The Egyptian market has a strict shipping import rule, in which all the imported meat must be certified “Halal” by Islamic law to enter the market.

What kind of food do Egyptians eat?

To give a general overview, Egyptians use a lot of legumes, vegetables, and fruit harvested and grown from Nile Valley.

Hence, you’ll see these ingredients featured heavily in Egyptian cuisines, together with common spices.

Grilled lamb and beef are famous street food in major Egyptian cities. Seafood, on the other hand, is common in Egyptian coastal towns like Alexandria and Hurghada.

Best Halal Food in Egypt & Must Try Egyptian Cuisines

Here is a list of Egyptian Halal food you can try on your visit to the country!

Ful Medames

If you’re wondering, “What do Egyptian eat for breakfast?”, the answer is Ful Medames (or foul mudammas).

What is Ful Medames? A fava beans-based stew!

The history of this food goes way back to Ancient Egypt

A popular staple across the Middle East, Levant, and North Africa, Ful Medames is usually eaten with pita bread, served into pockets of the pita bread.

Ful Medames
Photo by Tarboosh, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

You’ll find this sold around street food carts.

Get Ful Medames from:

Ta’ameya (Egyptian Falafel)

Also made from fava beans is the ta’meya, which is considered an Egyptian version of falafel.

Unlike falafel which is made from chickpeas, ta’meya is from fava beans!

Tamiya (Egyptian Falafel)
Photo by Losttraveller, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ful wa Ta’meya (combination of Ful Medames and Ta’meya) is a favorite Egyptian street food as it is fulfilling for one to go about the rest of their day.

Get Ful wa Ta’meya from:

Dynamite Sandwich

One cannot not experience the Dynamite sandwich!

This Halal sandwich has a little bit of everything — Foul, Ta’meya, fries, eggplant, hard-boiled egg, and green salad mashed into a creamy texture!

Dynamite Sandwich Egypt

The struggle in eating this sandwich is to ensure the mashed-up fillings do not fall out from the sandwich bread!

Get Dynamite Sandwich from:

  • Gad Restaurant, Cairo (Pro-tip: Pay your meal at the cashier first, before getting your food at a different counter)

Kushari / Koshary (Mixture of Rice, Macaroni, and Lentils)

Wondering, “what is Egypt’s national food?” The answer is the Koshary.

Koshary National Food of Egypt

Koshary is a dish consisting of rice, macaroni, lentils, and chickpeas, mixed together, topped with a unique Egyptian red sauce and crunchy fried onions.

A dish that’s been around since the mid-19th century, this dish has complex beliefs about its origins. Some believe the Indians who accompanied the British soldiers in the early 1900s brought this dish to Egypt. Some say the Italians who lived in Egypt added the macaroni part of the dish later onwards.

While no one knows precisely where the koshary came from, what’s sure is that it is a beloved dish of the Egyptians that is sold in most restaurant chains and street vendors.

Get Koshary from:

Aish Baladi (Egyptian Flat Bread)

What is the famous food in Egypt? Aish Baladi!

Eish Baladi Egyptian Flatbread

This is an ancient Egyptian Flatbread, with traditional beginnings of being produced from Emmer Wheat (an ancient grain).

In Egyptian dialect, aish means “life”, and Baladi means “authentic” / “traditional”. — This food, in essence, is the reflection of what life is to the Egyptians.

Basically, it is a food that no Egyptians can live without!

The flatbread is named in such a way since it is a food that’s been on the table of every household, no matter the social class in Egypt.

Just pass by the markets in Egypt or walk by the sides of the streets, and you’ll see lots of agalati (bread carriers) who deliver a large tray of bread on their heads to the restaurants, passing by manic streets on a bicycle! They look as if they’re holding on to their dear life!

Mulukhiyah – Molokhiya (Jute Soup)

Molokhiya is a must-try Egyptian dish that will surprise your palate!

Traditionally, this dish used to be eaten only by the Royals in Ancient Egypt.

Molokhiya is a green broth made of shredded leafy greens (jute leaves), cooked with aromatic spices.

How Egyptians eat it is by serving it over rice, or aish baladi, and when paired with chicken.

Get Mulukhiyah from:

Mahshi (Warak Enab) – Grape leaves

Did you know – Mahshi means “stuffed” in direct translation?

One of the most popular food in Egypt for vegetarians especially is Mahshi.

Best Halal Food in Egypt
Warak Enab

Often referred to as the stuffed grapevine leaves (warak enab in Arabic), these are small bites of spiced rice stuffed in wrapped grapevine leaves.

Get Mahshi from:

Fiteer Baladi (Egyptian Pizza)

Another one of Egypt’s best Halal food is the Fiteer Baladi.

Commonly referred to as Egyptian Pizza, this is a stone-fired bread that can make you full!

The bread is multilayered, made from paper-thin dough that’s stretched and folded several times.

As it is a “pizza”, you can have this plain with icing sugar or Ghee or stuffed with minced meat or cheese!

Get Fiteer Baladi from:

Kebab & Kofta

One of the top 10 Halal foods from Egypt is the Kebab & Kofta!

A comfort food among the Egyptians, Kebabs are chunks of grilled meat (lamb or veal). As for Kofta, it is minced meat that’s made into a sausage over coal on skewer.

Best Halal Food in Egypt
Kofta & Kebab is a common part of an Egyptian meal, alongside Aish Baladi and rice

Usually, they are served as a mixed plate (half kebab & half kofta — more than enough serving for one person!).

The way to eat this is with salad dippings like tahini on the side, salad and aish baladi flatbread.

Get Kofta and Kebab from:

Keshk (Savory Pudding)

Keshk Egyptian Food
Photo by Cairocamels B. Simpson, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Keshk is an underrated meal that can be difficult to find in Egypt, as it has become less popular with the local youth of the country.

The caramelized onions topping this pudding (made of chicken broth, milk, flour, and yogurt) make it a fulfilling savory meal.

Belila (Egyptian Wheat Milk Cereal)

What’s the difference between Belila and Keshk, now that they’re both milk-based?

Belila Egyptian Cereat

The difference is that Keshk is savory as it is based on chicken and beef broth; meanwhile, the Belila is a sweet and nutty cereal-like porridge that is enjoyed warmly.

The best time to eat the Belila is at night during winter in Egypt, when the breeze is cooling!

Get Belila from:

Katayef (Mini Pancakes)

A top Egyptian Food for the sweet tooth is the Katayef (or Qatayef)! It is believed that katayef originated from the Fatimid Dynasty and is linked to the Abbasid Caliphate.

These are mini, folded Arabic pancakes filled with cheese and nuts like almonds, pistachios, and hazelnuts.

Qatayef
Photo by Hawana via Facebook

The different ways to eat this is either having it plain or with syrup.

You can find this street food pretty easily during Ramadhan.

Otherwise, get from:

Om Ali (Egyptian Bread Pudding)

Another Popular Egyptian Food is the Om Ali – highly regarded as the traditional dessert of the country!

You’ll find this creamy, soft, and crunchy bread pudding served as a common staple in any Egyptian hotel.

In literal translation, Om Ali means “mother of Ali”, but what’s even more interesting is the story of how this dessert got its name!

Om Ali

According to history, this dish was named after the first wife of Egypt’s Mamluk Sultan, Izz al-Din Aybak.

Get Om Ali from:

Fattah

Originally a Nubian dish, today, Fattah is a traditional Egyptian food used to celebrate many occasions like gatherings and weddings but is particularly famous for Eid ul Adha.

Ancient Egyptian food Fattah
Photo by Level C, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

It is a dish of spiced meat (beef/lamb/chicken) served with rice, toasted Eish Baladi, and tomato sauce.

A fulfilling meal for lunch!

Get Fattah from:

Konafa

While this is a representative iconic Palestinian dessert, Konafa can be found in many Levant countries, including Egypt!

Kunafa Best food in Egypt

Also famous in Egypt, this is a syrup-soaked dessert consisting of shredded phyllo pastry and milky sweet cheese topped with crushed pistachios.

How to buy Konafa in Egypt? You can buy in individual portions or smaller servings!

Get Konafa from:

Hawawshi

Not your average meat sandwich; this is the Egyptian version of a minced meat sandwich mixed with pickled vegetables.

Best Halal Food in Egypt
Photo by feteera on Facebook

The bread that is used for the sandwich is the real deal here! It is so crispy, as it was roasted in the oven.

Halabesa (Chickpea Soup / Drink)

Halabesa is chickpea soup that is sold in cups together with straw.

Halabesa Egyptian Street Food
Photo by Gamal Abu EL-ezz, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The soup is also boiled with lots of spices, tomato, garlic, and onion. Perfect for the wintertime!

You can find the Halabesa sold in mini carts and kiosks decorated with Arabic calligraphy and colorful lights. You can find them easily by the Nile River or the seaside in Egypt!

Shawerma

While shawarma is not originally from Egypt, it has become so synonymous with the street food scene throughout the country because of its history as part of the Ottoman Empire once.

A street food that kept people coming back for more for sure!

Shawarma is a “pita bread” sandwich with fillings of spiced meat (lamb, mutton, beef, or chicken) that were sliced from the rotating grillers, vegetables, and sauces.

Lots of restaurants and carts in Egypt sell shawarma, but one good spot for authentic Egyptian Shawarma is at

  • Abou Haider Shawerma, Heliopolis, Cairo. (be prepared for long queues & try out their mango juice too!)

Meshabek (Egyptian Funnel Cake)

This tube-like dessert is a sweet, crunchy delicacy with roots from the Damietta governate.

Think of it as the Oriental version of the pretzel, which is more circular in shape.

Meshabek
Photo by Nani’s Kitchen via Facebook

Try it by dipping it with honey, or you can just eat it like that and feel how chewy it is!

Depending on your luck, you can also see street vendors make this dessert from scratch!

Get Meshabek from :

Baba Ghanoush

Those unfamiliar with the different dips would think Baba Ghanoush is hummus.

But it is not!

As one of the Best Halal food dippings in Egypt, Baba Ghanoush is made of olive oil, mashed roasted eggplant blended with garlic, sesame paste (tahini), herbs, spices, and lemon.

Baba Ghanoush
Photo by Miansari66, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Usually, you’ll find Baba Ghanoush served as part of a mezze platter with pita bread.

Get Baba Ghaoush from:

Shakshouka

Shakshouka is one of the popular dishes in Egypt that’s best eaten for breakfast!

Originally a Maghrebi dish from Tunisia, this dish consists of poached eggs and spicy tomato sauce.

Get Shakshouka from:

Macaroni Bechamel (Egyptian Baked Pasta)

One of the best Halal food in Egypt that you must try is the Macaroni Bechamel!

Also known as Egyptian baked pasta, you would think this doesn’t fit into the “Egyptian cuisine menu”. But it is essentially Egyptian, as it is not any ordinary macaroni!

Get Macaroni Bechamel from:

Basbousa

Basbousa is sweet vanilla semolina cake soaked in a sweet syrup that is also common in other Middle Eastern countries and is sold in almost every bakery corner in Egypt.

Rumor has it that each of them has its own secret recipe!

Basbousa
Photo (cropped) by Bedtimepiano, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Did you know? Basbousa means sweet kiss in Arabic?

As cheesy as it sounds, that’s how it feels after eating the Basbousa dessert!

Get Basbousa from:

Tarb (Grilled Kofta Wrapped in Lamb Fat)

If you love eating the fatty parts of meat, you’ll love Tarb!

If kofta is the meat version of a grilled skewer, this is precisely that, in addition to wrapping the grilled lamb fat layer around the kofta.

You can find this easily in most restaurants in Egypt!

Food Tours in Cairo, Egypt

Finding authentic food in Egypt can be challenging with some menu and shop signages fully in Arabic.

If you want the local take on the best of Egypt’s halal food, these food tours (3-5 hours) may be just what you need! Some of them have mixed reviews, some don’t include hotel pickup, and some include hookah as optional activity.

Muslim Solo Travel

Do check what you’re okay with, and not okay with, and clarify your preferences with the tour guide earlier on so you can have the best experience.

— Farihah

Regardless, joining a food tour is great for you to learn about Egypt’s culinary history, eating habits and sample tasty cuisines at their best local eateries!

Muslim Solo Travel Takeaway

By now, you’ll know that Egypt has a variety of delicious Halal cuisines.

Muslim Solo Travel

“But if you’re pressed for time, I recommend sticking to the basics like Koshary (Egypt’s national dish of rice & pasta), Ful & Ta’meya, Kebab & Kofta (quintessentially Egyptian meat dish), or join a food tour for stress-free Foodie Experience.

With that said, I hope this Best Halal Food in Egypt list was beneficial!”

— Farihah

Do share this with another Muslim Solo Traveler who’s going to Egypt soon!

Still thinking about Egypt? These are some #MuslimSoloTravel ideas and inspiration for your next excursion to Hurghada, Cairo Citadel or the Pyramids of Giza!

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