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From Seafood to Quails: Must-Try Delicacies in Alexandria

July 1, 2023
Alexandria, Egypt. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

When meeting people from other Egyptian governorates, it is not uncommon for Alexandrians to hear the sentence: “I love to come to Alexandria for one day to eat seafood.”

However, to truly make the most of an Alexandria food trip, it is worth visiting the unique local restaurants and cafés that offer delicacies rarely found elsewhere with such quality. Consider this guide an invitation for visitors to extend their stay and try everything else the city has to offer.

Mohamed Ahmed
There is a unanimous agreement among Alexandrians that Mohamed Ahmed serves the best traditional Egyptian breakfast in Alexandria, and even in all of Egypt for some. Specialists in foul (fava beans) and falafel, Mohamed Ahmed never disappoints. The menu also includes other distinctive dishes like gebna ma’leya (fried cheese) and mesaa’a (fried eggplant in tomato sauce).

If deciding what to order from the extensive menu is challenging, the welcoming waiters are more than happy to assist. The walls of the iconic restaurant are filled with pictures of famous visitors from Egypt and around the world.

A mere three-minute walk from Mohamed Ahmed, Delices is a café located in a prime spot on the corniche in the historic Saad Zaghloul Square. It is an excellent choice for breakfast, desserts or coffee.

The place is characterized by a rich historical ambiance evident in its interior decor and the array of desserts it serves; Delices’ menu serves desserts from various cultures such as Greek, Italian, French, and Egyptian. Their menu serves as a reminder of Alexandria’s rich multicultural heritage.

They are also renowned for their exceptional coffee and the overall nostalgic atmosphere that, to a large extent, resembles Downtown Cairo’s Café Riche.

El Nezamy
For those seeking superb ice cream or gelaty, El Nezamy is the perfect destination. They offer the convenience of taking orders from cars and delivering the ice cream to them, a practice well-known and embraced by Alexandrians after any meal throughout the day. Make sure to try their signature milk and lemon flavors, which stand out from those offered by any other ice cream shop.

Additionally, there is the possibility to combine a Nezamy visit with some sightseeing, as it is conveniently located two-minutes’ walking distance from El Morsi Abu El Abbas Mosque, one of Alexandria’s historical landmarks and a favorite among tourists—and right in front of the picturesque Bahary Bay as well.

When it comes to lunch, Zephyrion is one of Alexandria’s numerous seafood havens. Yet it stands out not only for its exquisite seafood and fish dishes but also for its cozy atmosphere and beautiful interior. The restaurant, founded in 1929 by a Greek family, has a rich history, and has been visited by many famous Egyptian and international figures.

Unlike other busy fish restaurants in Alexandria, Zephyrion has a laid-back vibe, with the soothing sounds of Fayrouz or Umm Kulthum always playing in the background while enjoying a delicious seafood meal next to the beach. However, it is important to keep in mind that Zephyrion is located far from Downtown Alexandria, so visitors should plan accordingly and allow enough time for the drive.

Farag Abo Khaled
A kebda (liver) place that remains relatively unknown among non-Alexandrians even though it offers unparalleled quality and a more diverse range of beef plates compared to other famous kebda spots. Make sure to try their sausages and liver, prepared either grilled or in the Alexandrian style, as well as the grilled meat and tarb (kofta wrapped with lamb fat).

Malek El Manga
Situated right on the corniche and in close proximity to most of the restaurants on this list, Malek El Manga reigns as the ‘King of Mango.’ Little explanation is needed for this local gem. Despite mango being a seasonal fruit, Malek El Manga is one of the few places to be trusted with serving excellent mango juices and plates all year round.

Malek El Semman
Malek El Semman is a fascinating local spot that transforms from a morning market with various shops to a dinner destination when all the shops are closed. Starting at 8 p.m., they start preparing their delicious quails en masse—made using a unique seasoning only found at Malek El Semman. They also prepare grilled sausages, grilled pigeons and roz meamar (baked rice). However, this recommendation is more seasonal, as it is not always Seman (quails) season; the best time to enjoy it is in the fall.

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