As a vegetarian, I know how it can be sometimes difficult to find food without meat while traveling. And because I’ve been leaving for 15 years I thought about sharing what I know about Egyptian food, what you can find and eat.
The very good news is that vegetarians (and even vegans) don’t have to worry much in Egypt as the main and most popular dish is a vegetarian dish!!! You will find every where “Fool wa Ta3mia (egyptian name for Felafels)” . The “Fool” is not someone crazy that you’re going to eat! It is only the same Fava beans with which they prepare the Felafels but it’s boiled. They are both served in a pita bread sandwich or in a plate with oil over it for the Fool.
In the same sandwich shops you will find also Babaghanough Sandwichs (mashed eggplant with Tahina -Tahina is a sesame seeds paste which they put usually like every where and which is delicious!), French Fries (batates ma’lee) Sandwiches, Mashed potatoes (batates boore)Sandwiches, Boiled Eggs (beid masloo’) Sandwiches, Omelet (beid omlet) Sandwiches, Cauliflower (arnabeet) Sandwiches (but not everywhere). All the sandwiches are served with Salad (tomatoes, cucumber, oignon, carrots) sometimes with all these ingredients, sometimes with some of them, and Tahina.
Another very popular street food in Egypt is the Kooshary which is made with rice, pasta, lentils, cheek peas, fried oinon and you put on the top of it some tomato sauce some vinegar, and some very hot (optional) sauce.
You will find small kiosks where they sell Tuna sandwiches, Cheese sandwiches (2 kinds : Feta sandwiches/geebna beida, or a kind of hard cheese sandwiches/geebna roomee), Jam sandwiches/sandwich marabba. In a different kind of bread (other than the pita bread) which is called “feeno”.
In the restaurants where you can find Egyptian dishes vegetables are most of the time cooked with meat so it if you’re not a too strict vegetarian you will be able to taste the delicious “Molokhia soup” which is made with Molokhia plant (ha ha!). It’s a green soup and it looks…. viscous so usually you love it or you hate it! But it is a very healthy dish with a lots of vitamins in it and it is good for dealing with the hot temperatures, and it is delicious!
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