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Though Egyptian cuisine isn’t particularly well known around the world, since Sharm el-Sheikh is a city built for tourism dining options here are plentiful, running the gamut of local food stands teeming with grilled meats and fresh fish to upscale restaurants serving gourmet international cuisine. Here are our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the best food experiences in Sharm el-Sheikh:
1. Local Cafés. Sharm el-Sheikh has an abundance of cheerful cafés serving strong coffee and delicious desserts. For cafés of a different kind, head to Malek Al-Bahrain Street for prime people-watching and hookah-puffing at one of the area’s many hookah bars. The bars around here generally offer the best variety of shisha flavors — grape-, cherry- and apple-flavored shisha are the most popular types.
2. Abou El Sid. Located in Naama Bay and offering great views of the strip from the outdoor terrace, Abou El Sid is a popular dining spot for tourists and one of the only restaurants in town serving authentic Egyptian fare — try the grilled meats and a spread of meze (hot and cold appetizers) for the table to share.
3. Sharm el-Maya (Old Town). Many of the locals who work in Sharm el-Sheikh favor restaurants in this part of town because they’re often less expensive than those in the more touristy areas. You won’t find many foreigners here, but that’s of course part of the charm. Ask your hotel concierge for recommendations.
4. Fresh Fruit Juices. Freshly squeezed fruit juices are served at most every café in town. Fruits are seasonal in Egypt, so the ones that will be most abundantly available depends on when you visit, but juices made from pomegranates, guavas, oranges, strawberries and mangos are local favorites.
5. Naama Bay. At some point during your visit you’ll likely find yourself strolling the main strip from Peace Road in Naama Bay — and being serenaded by streetside restaurant employees beckoning you into their establishment. The menus at most of these places are pretty similar, but as a rule we recommend sticking to grilled meats and seafood. Yes, it’s a touristy experience, but it can also be a fun one. Of the many restaurants in this area, we think Layaly Kan Zaman is one of the best.