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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