updated 6/11/2007 12:16:39 PM ET 2007-06-11T16:16:39

Ful or tamiyya for breakfast: To start your morning the Egyptian way, order a ful (fava beans) or ta'miyya (falafel) sandwich, grab some pickles and a hot cup of hot tea, and sink into one of the most satisfying breakfasts ever. After that meal, you'll be ready for a nap, which according to popular myth is the reason Egyptians never get anything done.

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Kebab: Chunks of lamb and juicy chops on the bone, marinated and charcoal grilled to perfection. Much more than meat, this traditional barbeque is served at specialized kebabgis with pita bread, salad, pickles, and a range of dips like tahini, hummus and babaganoush. Try the grilled chicken too, called shish tawook.

Fish in Alexandria: Befitting a city on the Mediterranean, Alexandria has excellent seafood restaurants. Varieties like snapper and halibut, either served grilled (blackened in a crust of spices to be removed), or fried in batter. The dishes also often come with french fries, seasoned rice or chips, and best eaten with your hands.

Fresh juice: Egyptians love fresh juice. Every neighborhood has at least a few fruit juice shops that squeeze oranges, strawberries, mangoes, bananas, guava or sugar cane for you on the spot. If you're wary of the stomach bugs that might follow, try fresh juices served at some of the fancier hotels or restaurants.

The Best Restaurants
Felfela (Cairo; tel. 02/392-2833 or 383-0234, multiple locations): A popular chain of homey restaurants, where you can feast on falafel, ful and koshari. Always crowded, always entertaining, it's a good place for an introduction to Egyptian food, even if it's a big touristy. Large vegetarian selection.

Abu Ramy (Cairo; off Midan Zein Al-Abdeen, Maadi): An open air restaurant that's hard to find and almost in the middle of nowhere, this is where you get the best kebab in Cairo. Order it by the kilo or a la karte, and make sure to sample all the trappings -- pita, hummus, tahini, pickles and babaganoush. Ask your concierge to direct your cab driver.

Abou El Sid (Cairo; tel. 02/735-9640, multiple locations): A more elegant option for Egyptian food, teeming with yuppies and slightly more expensive than the competition.

If you're ready for some authentic flavors, try specialties like stuffed pigeon or soupy molokhiyya. Order a hookah (shisha) and try their Abu Sid Asab cocktail made with cane juice and tequila.

La Bodega Lounge (Cairo; tel. 02/735-0543 or 735-6761): A hip and happening spot for delicious Asian fusion in a sleek setting. The meals are served on bamboo trays and include positively un-Egyptian dishes like fresh grouper fillet with coriander and pepper wrapped in bok choy. Stop by for a glass of wine or dessert at La Bodega Bistro next door.

TamTam. (Sharm El Sheikh; tel. 069/600-150): One of the most popular restaurants and a welcome break from the usual hotel fare in Sharm El Sheikh. Simple Bedouin furnishings, shisha water pipes, and a breezy terrace make for a pleasant experience. The food gets top grades for authenticity.

Visit our complete Egypt guide online at www.frommers.com/destinations/egypt/.

Frommer’s is America’s bestselling travel guide series. Visit Frommers.com to find great deals, get information on over 3,500 destinations, and book your trip. © 2006 Wiley Publishing, Inc. Republication or redistribution of Frommer's content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Wiley.


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