Fondly known as the Pearl of the Mediterranean, Alexandria is one of the oldest cities in the world. Sitting pretty on Egypt’s north coast, Alexandria has inspired artists, auteurs and historians for generations, but recently, it has emerged on Egypt’s culinary scene as one of the nation’s most exciting food destinations.
Recently dubbed food capital of Egypt, Alexandria holds the stellar distinction of having its own superior variation of most popular local and regional dishes—from Alexandrian liver, sujuk and makanek, all the way to its very own fava bean stew.
Famous for its world-class seafood creations, Alexandria is fast gaining recognition for its other culinary delights, namely its street food scene, which now rivals that of Cairo’s mean streets.
Mohamed Ahmed Restaurant
Internationally renowned as THE world’s best falafel restaurant by The Guardian in 2015, Alexandria’s Mohamed Ahmed restaurant’s fluffy falafel balls are conclusive evidence of Egyptian falafel’s superiority over its Levantine variation.
Teeming with hungry customers at all hours of the day and night, Mohamed Ahmed’s Alexandrian fava beans and fried cheese are also national treasures.
Alban Swissra is one of Egypt’s few delicatessen-restaurants. Located on a narrow street in Alexandria’s bustling Sidi Gaber district, Alban Swissra is well worth the traffic congestion and, possibly, parking ticket.
The eatery is famous for pioneering Egyptian fondue, with a 7 cheese recipe infused with seafood, chicken schnitzel, or the deli meat of your choice and served with Vienna bread. The sandwich versions are hearty enough, but the dine-in option comes with more cheese sauce.
This Egyptian institution has been satisfying the nation’s sugar cravings for generations. With a wide variety of frozen desserts on offer—from hearty ice cream and creamy gelato, to frothy sorbets, Gelati Azza has a lid for every pot.
Despite its massive popularity, Gelati Azza is one of the few consistent ice cream spots in the country, staying true to the culinary craft’s traditions and producing artisanal and authentic confections.
Kebda El Fallah
A storied restaurant famous for its trays of elaborately arranged liver sandwich bouquets, Kebda El Fallah serves everything with a distinctive flourish.
Located in Alexandria’s Borg Al Arab district, Kebda El Fallah specializes in Egyptian liver, traditionally thinly sliced, sautéed and seasoned to perfection with green peppers and drenched in tahini sauce in Vienna bread buns.
In addition to its superior liver sandwiches, Kebda El Fallah also offers other Egyptian street meats, like Alexandrian sausages and kofta.
Harissa Ahmed Hassanein
Located in Alexandria’s picturesque Mahatet El Raml neighborhood, this local gem is another purveyor of sweet delicacies, specializing in Alexandrian harissa, which unlike Tunisian harissa, is actually a dessert made of semolina wheat and drenched in a fragrant syrup.
Ahmed Hassanein offers both harissa and its more common variation, basboussa. Over the years, Ahmed Hassanein has cultivated a cult following of harissa devotees, but the shop is fast becoming a national sensation.