Well, that’s not entirely true… Many locals can’t afford the prices at places where tourists eat and many tourists stay in their hotels for most of their trip. But I wanted to share some of my favorite places to eat and drink at when we are in Safaga.
Most of the big hotels are located in Kilo Thamaniya. We usually stay in a little apartment in Maglis, a part of Safaga that is closer to downtown. So, that’s also where we eat most of the time.
Breakfast depends on what we have planned for the day. If we go scuba diving, you have to be there so early that we just have a quick coffee in the apartment and something from the bakery downstairs. Since scuba diving is an all day activity, lunch is served on the boat prepared by the crew and always delicious. If we stay at the beach the whole day, we usually alternate between breakfast on the rooftop of the Nemo hotel and lunch at the Nemo beach. While the lunch is pretty good (sandwiches, fries/rice, salads, pasta, etc. – anywhere between 10-30 Egyptian pounds), I prefer the breakfast which is really more of a brunch (25-30 Egyptian Pounds if I remember correctly). They serve eggs made to order, pancakes, bread, cold cuts, yogurt, fruit, cornflakes, etc. But the best part is the view. You can overlook the beach and gorgeous sea from up there and I never get tired of it.
There are two restaurants in Maglis that we kind of alternate between for dinner: Ali Baba and Filfila. Both have very similar menus. My favorite dish at Ali Baba is the so-called “chicken steak” which is really pieces of chicken breast barbequed on a stick (that’s where the “steak” in the name comes from :)) and served with rice or French fries. I prefer the brown rice – really tasty! I also like their fried fish and I am told their fried calamari are great. At Filfila, I love the pasta dishes. They have an amazing pesto sauce made with fresh basil. And, whenever I eat out in Egypt, no matter which restaurant, I have to order Tahina as an appetizer. It is this great dip made of ground sesame seeds that I can never resist. Dinner will run you about 30-40 Egyptian pounds ($6-7) per person at either of those two places.
Another option for dinner is the Toubia hotel. They have a weekly BBQ at the beach where they serve salads, chicken, kofta (little barbequed meatrolls), and fruit. What makes it special is that you are sitting right at the beach with your feet in the sand looking at the sea. It’s a little more expensive than Ali Baba or Filfila, but I don’t remember the exact price.
Sometimes we head over to the local fast food stand up the road (by Karim’s shop for those of you who know) and get a whole bunch of sandwiches with either Falafel or fried veggies or fried potatoes (about 30-40 Egyptian pounds for 6-7 people which boils down to about a dollar per person). A little bit further is a place that sells Egyptian pizza which is made with puff pastry and filled with whatever you like – I like cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell pepper. Yummy! You can’t really eat at either of those places, so we usually get it to go and head over to Diver House, the bar we hang out at almost every night. This has the added benefit that you can have a drink with your food 🙂 Since Egypt is a Muslim country, most restaurants do not serve alcohol. There are a few other bars in Safaga, but somehow we always end up at Diver House. There are for example the Dive Under and a new bar, the Oasis. Both are located in Kilo Thamaniya. The Oasis is a pretty neat place with a pool and a whole bunch of bean bags to sit on that are surprisingly comfortable. But as I said, the Diver House in Maglis is our place of choice 🙂
What is your favorite place and dish in Safaga? Please share in the comment section.
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