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

    $

    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 about...Read More

  • 2. Abu Muhammed Restaurant

    $

    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—served indoors or...Read More

  • 3. Ahmed Hamdi Restaurant

    $

    Restaurants run in Ahmed Hamdi's family. Originally, his father operated a restaurant. His brother—they're friendly rivals—runs a restaurant on the same street; both are clean...Read More

  • 4. Albabenshal Restaurant

    $

    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 ruins of...Read More

  • 5. Badawiya Restaurant

    $

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

  • 6. El Forsan Hotel

    $

    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...Read More

  • 7. Kenooz

    $$

    One of the best restaurants in town allows you to go on the rooftop terrace, shaded by date palms that rise up through the floor,...Read More

  • 8. Popular Restaurant

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

  • 9. Rashed Restaurant

    $

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

  • 10. Tanta Waa

    $

    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

  • 11. Wemby al-Basateen Restaurant

    $

    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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