Western Desert Oases Restaurants

You can expect to dine on wholesome fare—mostly grilled chicken, vegetable stews, rice, and shorbet lisan al-asfour (“bird-tongue” pasta soup). Dining is generally alfresco, because the few restaurants that do exist are street-side affairs. Alcohol isn't usually available except at hotel restaurants. Finish off with tea made the Bedouin way.

Fresh fruit and vegetables from the local stands are perfectly safe, though you should wash everything in bottled water. Don't miss out on oasis dates or Siwa's olive oil, which is rich and heady—gourmet without trying to be. Dates come in a number of varieties: sweet, firm, and yellow; sweet, mushy, and dark brown; or bitter, crunchy, and red. Try them all.

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  • 1. Abdou's

    $ | Middle Eastern

    The longest running of Siwa's restaurants offers tasty food, friendly service, and a central location that have made it a hub of activity. Just...Read More

  • 2. Abu Muhammed Restaurant

    $ | Middle Eastern

    The reputation of Abu Muhammed is as big as the portions. The food is simple and delicious—primarily rice, slow-cooked stews, and grilled meats...Read More

  • 3. Ahmed Hamdi Restaurant

    $ | Middle Eastern

    Restaurants run in Ahmed Hamdi's family. Originally, his father operated a restaurant. His brother—they're friendly rivals—runs a restaurant...Read More

  • 4. Albabenshal Restaurant

    $ | Middle Eastern

    The terrace of this roof-top hotel restaurant commands a view over Siwa's central square and catches the cool evening breeze beneath the floodlit...Read More

  • 5. Badawiya Restaurant

    $ | Middle Eastern

    Offering a welcome change from the usual grilled chicken, this large, air-conditioned dining hall prepares delicious and varied meals. There...Read More

  • 6. El Forsan Hotel

    $ | Middle Eastern

    If you're looking for a place to eat in the center of town, a former cruise-boat chef whips up decent, hearty meals here. Service can be slow. ...Read More

  • 7. Popular Restaurant

    $ | Middle Eastern

    Something of an institution, this street-side café has been serving traditional food to locals and foreigners for nearly 30 years. Its galabiyya...Read More

  • 8. Rashed Restaurant

    $ | Middle Eastern

    A popular lunch stop for safari groups by day, this restaurant is often transformed into a shisha (hookah) café packed with locals watching...Read More

  • 9. Tanta Waa

    $ | Middle Eastern

    Built of mud and palm trunks, this simple and cheery café nestled under lush palm trees beside Cleopatra's Pool is a popular lunch stop. Staff...Read More

  • 10. Wemby al-Basateen Restaurant

    $ | Middle Eastern

    With its polished granite walls and floors, and a small outdoor terrace, this restaurant is the best of a cluster of cheap eateries around the...Read More

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