When I think of Egyptian cuisine, I kid you not, my heart swells. Because, you know, Falafel (or Ta’ameya, as it’s called in Egypt). I don’t think I’ve ever loved a food with such passion before. Highly reflective of Egypt’s rich history and culture, Egyptian cuisine has Greek, Middle Eastern, North African, and French culinary influences. Super friendly to vegetarians (reason #1 why I love Egyptian cuisine), food in Egypt is bursting with spices like coriander, cumin, chilli, mint, cinnamon and more (reason #2 – I am a spice junkie), and has great variety across the different regions. A typical Egyptian meal consists of lots of Lentils, Vegetables, Meat, Fish, Salads, Aish Bread, also a word for “life” in Egyptian Arabic (makes sense because bread is life), Cheese (reason #3 – I adore cheese; Cheese lovers, you’ve found your next cheese destination), Tea, and lots of Desserts! You’d better make some stomach space if you’re going to indulge in Egyptian food, you may find yourself reaching for second, third, fourth, or even fifth helpings and you’ll find your soul yearning for more.
Hadoota Masreya, Al Safa – Situated in Al Safa, when you set foot into Hadoota Masreya, you’ll be welcomed by warm wooden panelling, metallic accents, and bright, traditional Arabic lamps. Of course, food is the actual point. One of the best Egyptian fares in Dubai, lunch is where they truly shine. In the heat of the summer, be sure to start with a fresh fruit juice, fresh salads, Fried Eggplants, of course, spicy Ta’ameya, Molokhleya with Meat, Koshari, Mixed Grills, Hamam Mahshi, and round it all up with Konafa and Baqlawa! They offer generous portions, good service, delicious food, and there’s plenty of parking, what more do you need?
Masmat Baha, Al Barsha – The thing Masmat Baha does best is nail the street food vibe of Egypt. A quaint, colourful restaurant located in Al Barsha, Masmat Baha is the place to be for those who love their meat. The Alexandrian liver, Kofta, and Kabab go wonderfully with Stuffed Grape Leaves and Hawawshi, be sure to order Rice Milk and Tea with it. So if you’re out with family or friends and looking for some genuinely delicious Egyptian food at reasonable prices, Masmat Baha is going to leave you smiling and satisfied. If you’re not able to make it Al Barsha, no worries, they’ve got a branch in Abu Hail too!
Mr Fish, Al Nahda – Pescatarians rejoice! If you’re a sucker for Egyptian flavours and smooth, creamy seafood, Mr Fish is the place for you! The food here isn’t just delicious, it’s healthy too! For a lunch you’ll never forget, order the Herring Fish Salad, the Oven Grilled Crabs, Fajita Shrimps, and the Seafood Mixed Grill, and the fresh Fruit Juices. It’s a relatively small joint, but delectable flavours, great quality and quantity, and good service are their priority, so you won’t be disappointed.
Koshari Square, Umm Suqeim – A cute, cosy café located in Umm Suqeim, Koshari Square offers no-frills, no-fuss meals that hit the right spot. The Koshari is available in so many different flavours, with sides of Labneh, Cheese, Caramelized Onions, and sauces. Breakfast with Koshari Square is an affair that shouldn’t be missed, with Ful, Falafel, Shakshouka, Labneh, Cheese, Pies, and Bread. Super pocket friendly, with significant quantities, quality and service, Koshari Square is your best bet when you find yourself craving a midnight snack after a late night out with friends.
Cairo Gourmet, Al Safa – Located in Al Safa, Cairo Gourmet is at your service with delicious food 24/7! Whether you want Egyptian breakfast, lunch, tea, or dinner, Cairo Gourmet has it all. Stylish, comfy interiors welcome you to the restaurant, and the menu is rich and of great variety. Shisha is also available, perfect for those nights you want to indulge in long conversations with friends. Dishes that are absolute must-try are the Rocca Salad, Hawawshi, Mixed Grill, Tajin Pasta Bechamel, and Cranberry Tea. Don’t forget to finish off with the Fatayer with Basbousa and Konafa!
Al Amoor Express, Al Barsha – Al Amoor is one of those rare restaurants that are a perfect blend of the old and the new. Brown brick walls and black and white pictures of famous Egyptians hung on the wall lend the space a very old-timey charm (feel free to check in with the staff for a free history lesson). The Seafood Koshari, Orzo Pasta Tajin with Meat, Kibbeh, Falafel, and Pies are perfect for a business lunch with colleagues or dinner with friends. The superb service, good food, and excellent portions make Al Amoor a fabulous food destination!
Cairo 30, Palm Jumeirah – An excellent restaurant with alluring interiors and spectacular outdoor views, Cairo 30 is located at Palm Jumeirah. It overlooks the Atlantis hotel, and if you have great timing, you can catch the fountain show as well. Catering to a global audience, the menu has some of the world’s best-loved dishes as well as mouth-watering Egyptian dishes. Quality isn’t compromised under any condition here; the flavours are all authentically Egyptian! Pair the Lamb Shank Soup, Falafel, Fattoush, Molokheya and Rice with the breathtaking view on a cold, winter night, and it becomes a recipe for a fantastic night.
Akl Elhwanem Kitchen, Al Quoz – The only thing that’s wrong about Akl Elhwanem Kitchen is that it doesn’t offer a dining experience. A delivery service kitchen, authentic Egyptian food is their priority. So when you’ve had a not so great day, and the only thing that might lift your spirits is some good, carby comfort food (or fresh, healthy food that’s actually flavoured, your choice), Akl Elhwanem might be the solution. The Molokheya with Chicken, Cheese Pie, and Mahashi are dishes you’ll keep wanting to eat for the rest of your life. With neat packaging, timely delivery, and excellent service, Akl Elhwanem might be the best option to cater the next socially-distanced dinner you’re planning with friends.
Basboussa, Jumeirah 1 – One of Egypt’s open secrets is the serious sweet tooth the nation has. Basboussa isn’t a restaurant, but a dessert parlour that offers terrific, crunchy, gooey Egyptian desserts. The Cheesecake Basbousa, Lotus and Mango Konafas, Balah El Sham are super yummy and creamy, and they offer so many varieties during the holy month of Ramadan. If you’re looking for a dessert parlour that offers fresh, quality Egyptian desserts and fantastic service, Basboussa might just be the place for you.
Taking into account the vast variety of Egyptian cuisine, we’ve barely scratched the surface here. Carby goodness and packing a protein punch, Egyptian food deserves so much more appreciation than it gets. Let us know how you like these wonderful places and if we’ve missed out on any hidden gems! And as always, happy eating!