Selected picks of the culinary delights of the popular coastal city
ALEXANDRIA: The summer time means more sun and sand. For Egyptians, the summertime also means more food. Since Alexandria is the main attraction in the summer, its array of foods has people enjoying their meals from morning to night.
Alexandria, being a coastal city, is known for its seafood. For diversity, there are various bird and poultry restaurants, known for their pigeons and quail delicacies. To keep everyone happy there are also restaurants specialized in meat, many of which are also offering seafood. And there are other seafood restaurants that offer meat as well. Even for breakfast, there is an array of famous fool (beans) and falafel restaurants. Alexandria has also brought to its visitors the traditional Egyptian pies: the Feteer. A Mediterranean city affected by the Italians and Greeks, Alexandria is also well-known for its ice cream stores.
People of all walks of life arrive in Alexandria to visit the old Mohamed Ahmed fuul and falafel shop, from the average worker to Princess Sophia of Spain. The busy restaurant serves its specialty typical Egyptian breakfast with exquisite taste: The Egyptian beans served with eggs, boiled, scrambled or fired; chips sandwich, potato sandwich and falafel balls.
Mohamed Ahmed is located at the Raml Tram Station and is not limited to breakfast – in fact, it is just as busy early in the morning as it is at late night.
For lunch, all usually opt for the city s seafood restaurants. Shops of different standards serve a wonderful variety of delicacies from the sea. One of my favorite seafood restaurants is Farag. Located at the entrance of the Bahary district, in Souq El Tabbakheen Street, Farag serves all kinds of fish. The place also offers clams, crabs, shrimp, calamari and eel.
While Farag is not one of the most luxurious seafood restaurants in Alexandria, it serves tasty food in a clean environment. The two-storey shop has a clean bathroom and an air-conditioned top floor. You get to choose the seafood you want to eat from the display area outside the shop. As you wait for your food as it is cooked on the spot, Farag s excellent variety of mezza will keep you occupied.
But, if you are in Alexandria and you don’t like fish you don’t have to worry. There are many restaurants that serve both meat and seafood. Balbaa, located in the Downtown Mall right across from City Center, is known for its Kebab and Kofta, traditional Egyptian meat cooked on charcoal. Although Balbaa is known for its meat it has an admirable variety of oriental food. Also, the restaurant has recently added seafood to its menu to please all.
No lunch is complete without dessert and the best summer dessert is ice cream. Ice Cream Azza is the best place to go and luckily you won’t have to go far; there are four branches throughout Alexandria. If you are around Bahary, near the Qayet Bay Fort, there are two. In Smouha there is a branch and down near Miami there is another.
Ice cream Azza serves delicious lemon ice cream as well as milk ice cream along with the other conventional flavors. It is a favorite for all generations.
Dinner in Alexandria holds many possibilities. In a street called El A’attareen, a morning souq (market) turns into a night restaurant known for its quail and pigeons. Known as Al Beyasa, originally this favored spot was called Piazza and with the common use of the word it has become El Beyasa, the place uses a wonderful blend of herbs and spices that got me hooked on quail.
If you had enough of poultry and meat, end your day with the traditional Egyptian pie from Dahab. Located behind the Alexandria Sporting Club along the tram, Dahab serves Feteer with cheese, vegetables, meat, sausages and even sugar. They also have excellent pizza.
If you feel like having a drink, you will find many juice vendors. Next to Dahab there is Makkah, where any fruit you have ever heard of is turned into a delight for all to enjoy. There is another branch of Makkah right behind the Sedi Gaber Train Station in Smouha.