Siwa Oasis is one of Egypt’s most isolated communities that is deep within the Western desert and approximately 30 miles from the Libyan border. This small community of 33,000 citizens has their own language called Siwi, own customs and significant dishes to their region. With that said, while I was in Siwa Oasis, I enjoyed memorable experiences of tasting the savory flavors of Siwa. Just like their small and modest community, everything I ate was simple but very flavorful.
My hotel, Albabenshal, was perfect for me as a solo traveler and someone who wanted to stay in authentic Siwan-style accomodations. It was a basic hotel but very cool and traditional in design. I was provided tasty Middle-Eastern breakfasts and it was here that I enjoyed a delicious Siwan dinner on their roof top restaurant.
Albabenshal hotel in Siwa Oasis
— Hotel Breakfasts —
Falafel | Olives |Pita Bread | Tomatoes | Cheese | Eggs |Fruit
— Traditional Siwan Dinner —
Chicken Leedam with Olives | Cucumber and Tomato Salad | Rice | Shorbit (Soup) | Pita| Siwan Reearin
— Abdu Restaurant —
The main town of Siwa is very small and there is one restaurant that many people go to, it is Abdu. While having my casual lunch here, I was seated at a larger community table with other Egyptians who were traveling to Siwa. There were other international tourist who were dining here but I loved where I was seated. I ended up having lovely conversations with an Egyptian family of a mother and her two daughters.
When I arrived, the restaurant was quite busy so I made eye contact with the host, who sat me down at a community table inside. I was handed an English menu that served Egyptian, Siwan and International dishes. The prices were very inexpensive and are in Egyptian Pounds. As of 2020, the currency exchange is approximately 50 EGP to $3.15 USD. My full meal cost less than $4.00 USD!
Main Course: ‘Chicken, Rice and Vegetables’, also served with hummus, pita and fresh cucumber-tomato salad.
My friendly table mates at Abdu Restaurant. The mother asked me if I was Filipino, which threw me for a loop because most people cannot guess that. We had great conversations on travels and what career choices, these young ladies were achieving. I told them how wonderful they were and that they were ‘strong women’; they giggled a little. Both her daughters reminded me of my own adult daughter, that I have traveled this world with as well.
For restaurant location, please visit ABDU Restaurant
— Apples —
While I was in Egypt, I am assuming I was there during apple season, because I was given many apples to eat. The sweetest apple I was given, was from a young man in Siwa Oasis. He worked in the hotel I was staying at and he handed me the apple, then said “This is for you.” I am sure he was curious considering the customs of the local women fully covering up in Siwa. It was very innocent and genuine.
I typically do not eat raw fruit and will do so on rare occasions. Eating apples in Egypt was one of those rare occasions!
Life is a great adventure or nothing…
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📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre