Defining yourself as a vegan in Egypt can be a bit challenging as the vegan culture is not well known and people may not understand in which way exactly it is be different from being a vegetarian. Coptic Christians in Egypt lay off meat for almost 3 months a year (it is called
“fasting”) and essentially follow a vegetarian diet, so restaurants from that community are a good find.
Whether among Muslims or Christians, it is totally acceptable to be vegan since both religions understand the principle of dietary restrictions. On the other hand, expect people to encourage you to stop depriving yourself and to enjoy life to the fullest by eating at least “some” meat.
Egypt offers abundant vegan options in its traditional food that are all more delicious than the other. Whether it’s the mezze (small and varied salads brought to your table before the meal) the falafels, the hummus served almost everywhere you go, there is always something vegan on the menu. See our Local Food page. The variety of dishes available should satisfy you and be easy to locate.
If you are cooking for yourself, you will definitely want to taste the sun-dried tomatoes, the small tender cucumbers, the crunchy red onions, the small aromatic lemons and delicious dates, among other delicacies. Do not hesitate to buy produce from street vendors. Often their goods come from local farms which use less pesticide, if any, than the ones you will get from supermarkets. If you leave the city do not forget to take with you some Local Vegan Snacks for the car or train ride and for those times when you may be stuck in a place with few vegan options.
English and/or French are often spoken in Egypt but, on the street, you may have somewhat of a hard time to make yourself understood so use our Vegan Words page. Print it, screen-shoot it and take it with you everywhere.
Still have questions? Ask them on our Egypt Forum tab to get all the answers.
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