The best Bedouin dining experiences
Referring to the tribes that live nomadic lifestyles in Egypt‘s deserts, enjoying Bedouin dining can either involve accepting their hospitality or staying at one of the traditional restaurants dotted around the resorts. The food is delicious – usually a generous combination of pitta breads, seasoned rice and meats cooked over open flames, plus lots of fresh fruit, nuts and dates.
Whether you hop on a camel or head to the beach, Bedouin dinner is served alfresco or in an open sided tent, typically on low seating or cushions. After dinner, you can expect Bedouin shows and stargazing, as well as shisha pipes and lots of tea.
Traditional desert journeys
Book a Bedouin dinner excursion from your base at places like Sharm el Sheikh or Nabq Bayand share a meal with a local Bedouin tribe, enjoying their renowned hospitality.
The experienced guides will get you saddled up on a camel ready to journey into the desert as the sun sets peacefully on the horizon.
Once there, you’ll sit on rugs and cushions and enjoy the spread of Bedouin food, starting with bread freshly baked on the open fire. Entertainment is also provided in the form of belly-dancing and fire-breathing, but none if this will compare to the prospect of spotting the Milky Way through a telescope.
Best restaurants for the Bedouin experience
Of course, you don’t have to head off into the desert to taste some delicious Bedouin food. Across Egypt you’ll find Bedouin-style restaurants where you can dine alfresco, but don’t worry, sitting on the floor is optional.
Sharks Bay has a couple of Bedouin treats, the first in the form of Umbi down on the beach. Here you can go the whole hog and dine in a Bedouin tent with a full menu of local specialities served on ample platters. Otherwise, sit at tables on the terrace and choose something smaller, or you can always take a look at the international menu, which includes a great selection of burgers.
Shish Bish is a more modern affair, based between Sharks Bay and the Soho Square dining and entertainment complex. Sitting at low tables, this is a romantic venue overlooking the sea that serves Bedouin-style barbecue food against a sunset backdrop.
All out Bedouin or just sampling the flavours
For the full Bedouin experience, Farsha Cafe in Sharm el Sheikh pulls out all the stops. Adorned with lanterns and cushions, the views over the Red Sea are stunning from this hillside restaurant. They serve Egyptian delicacies like freshly fried dumplings with delicious fillings, while fried chicken, fresh fruit and nut platters are also available. Open until 3am, relax late into the night with a shisha pipe and some tea.
Over in Luxor, you can try the tastes of Egypt and Bedouin in the comfort of the tasteful Al-Sahaby Lane Restaurant. From its rooftop dining area and Bedouin terrace, the views stretch across the Nile, Luxor Temple and the West Bank. On the menu are tagines, roasted vegetables, couscous and even camel meat if you’re feeling adventurous. The more western Oreo Milkshake always goes down a treat too.
DIY Bedouin meals are also possible if you’re on the go, due the abundance of markets across Egypt selling snacks and bigger indulgences. At markets like the one in Maya Bay, you can mix shopping for traditional gifts with grabbing a delicious lunch – think barbecued meat and fresh fruit. Now find a spot on the floor and enjoy a true Bedouin experience.