Dining in Egypt

Overview by Globlatrade.net:
Categories of Restaurant
  • Basic restaurants
Simple dishes: kebabs, chicken, mouloukhya, good value for money. Sometimes it is self-service.
  • Medium restaurants
With proper service and a more varied menu of good Egyptian cuisine.
  • High-end restaurants
Impeccable service and good quality cuisine, often international, the decoration and the profile of the place are distinguished.
Rules For Eating Out
Restaurants are generally open from noon to the end of the evening.  Payment is after the meal except in the fast food restaurants.  For medium and high-end restaurants, a 25% tax is generally added to the final bill.  If satisfied, the tip should be between 10 and 15%.

Price Indications

Economy Meal Up to EGP 15
Medium Price Meal EGP 15 - 75
Good Quality Meal Over EGP 75
Food Specialties
The main specialties are:
The fuul: a beans puree usually served in a piece of shami (bread similar to the pita).
The ta'amiya or falafel
The koshari: a platter of noodles, rice, black lentils, fried onions and tomato sauce.
The molokhia: stew of minced molokhia (Jew's mallow) leaves served in sauce with rice or bread.
Black tea is the national drink par excellence. It is easy to buy alcohol in various local stalls or in hotels. During the month of Ramadan, it is more difficult to find alcohol. You have to be careful with the locally brewed alcohol since it could be adulterated. Egypt has several labels of local beer such as Stella or Saqqara and several wines like Omar Khayyam or Obelisque.
Dietary Restrictions
Pork is forbidden for Muslims. However, because of the presence of a strong Christian community, it is possible to buy pork in some grocery stores or even get it served in some restaurants.
Table Manners
Meals are taken at the table in restaurants.  At home, and especially in rural areas, meals are taken seated on the floor.  Eating with hands is not impolite and is common outside medium and high-end restaurants.  Looking at the neighbor's plate is impolite. Leaving food on the plate and on the table is a sign of politeness and communicates to the host that he/she has been sufficiently generous.

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