Posted by: nancycurteman | January 23, 2012

Egyptian Fast Food: Cairo Cart Vendors

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Egyptians in Cairo have their own style of fast food restaurants—street carts. Not too far from Tahrir Square near a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant we discovered an Egyptian street vendor selling hot ready-to-eat grilled sweet potatoes from a wooden cart. The cart held what looked like an old oil drum. He had turned the drum into a charcoal oven. We used hand signs to question the vendor about what he might be grilling. He opened the oven door and showed us a stack of sweet potatoes still in their skins. The aroma that wafted from the open oven was truly tantalizing. We ordered two steaming hot potatoes. The vendor pulled them out of the “oven,” slit them down the middle and handed them to us. They were hot and delicious.

We saw other fast-food vendors selling things like Corn on the cob, popcorn, and chewy pita breads. Since their overhead is not too high, their prices were very moderate.

If you can set aside stringent sanitation standards, I recommend you try some Egyptian “fast food.” At least try the sweet potatoes. Few bacteria can survive in a hot charcoal oven.

More Trip Tips:

Abu Simbel: One of the Most Famous Monuments in the World


  1. Ah, I remember fast food. Sigh.
    In Thailand they barbeque corn on the cob basted in brine until it just begins to brown. Mighty tasty. They also have something called “Khao Niuo” and “Nua Dang” (Sticky rice and red meat) that is sold in train and bus stations. You’ve got me thinking about food, now. Grumble. ))


    • I love trying novel foods in foreign countries. Thank Heavens I have an iron stomach and can eat most anything.


  2. Food . . . glorious food. Always one of the best parts of travel for us. 😀

    We had sweet potatoes tonight. Delish!


    • Sweet potatoes are nutrition kings just like carrots. Stay healthy.


    • yup i went there and they were so delicious


  3. I love eating street food. When you eat street food you’re eating authentic cuisine that is part of that particular country’s culture.


    • I couldn’t agree more. I do lean towards well-heated foods rather than cold ones. I also learned to peel fruit like apples and peaches before eating them if I couldn’t wash them. A little caution can prevent an illness that could ruin a vacation.


  4. Egypt, a Great place to visit to visit and see those majestic monuments to the ancient past, such as tombs, pyramids and monuments at Abu Simbel. And then there is Cairo and Alexandria, with it’s hum of humanity and street vendors. Those street vendors and there carts of wood fired sweet potato cookers taking their spot on the streets. Curiosity got me and I tried one. Their sweet potatoes are no larger then an inch in diameter and under 6 inches long. It had a sweet potato taste of course but with an added smoke flavor. I thought they were delicious.


    • I see you’re quite a connoisseur of Egypt, and of sweet potatoes.


  5. is thre anny other food cart i nned this info for a competition we have at school


    • We saw food carts in Mexico and in South Africa as well.


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