Shopping for yameesh and nuts is a traditional Ramadan activity for us, where supermarkets and speciality shops devote large sections full of salted and smoked nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc.) as well as dry fruits (amar el din, shorn coconut meat, dates). Whether you’re looking for the cheapest deal, the biggest brand names or the shortest shopping trip, we have the best shops for all your yameesh needs.
Al Mouwafak is one of the most famous nut speciality shops in Egypt. The flagship store is located on Zamalek’s 26th of July street next to the Mobil petrol station. They also have several small stalls and kiosks to be found in malls as well as in chains of Carrefour and Metro Market. Though their prices are higher than the norm, they do stock a range of delicious delicacies that is not to be found anywhere else, such as caramelised hazelnuts and cashews, dried bananas and salted chickpeas.
Awlad Ragab has over ten shops in and around Cairo, and you won’t have to look far to find one. The yameesh is displayed outside of the shop in huge amounts. The nuts and fruit always look incredibly appetising and are very reasonably priced. This year, they have created a competition in which customers can be entered in if they spend 500LE or more. With the prices being so reasonable, though, you might find it hard to reach 500LE; so buddy up with some one for a chance to enter and win.
El Abd has two branches in Dowtown on Talaat Harb Street and Sherif Street. Though the shop is more famous for its oriental sweets and desserts, it also caters to all your yameesh needs. Those familiar with the shop will know of the loyal following they have for their decently priced and quality products.
Residents of Giza and Haram have a small treasure cave of yameesh in Ali Market on Faisal Street. The shop holds a huge range of yameesh at unbelievably low prices. Though the place is always packed with people and full of unruly queues, the staff works hard and fast. If you don't have the patience to negotiate through the disorderly crowds, Faisal Street is full of smaller yameesh places that you can stroll to.
All branches of Metro Market have stocked up on yameesh. They offer a customisable package of Ramadan goods at slightly lower prices than speciality shops. You can call ahead to specify the contents of your package, and collect it.
Sayeda Zeinab’s Monday Market will have you baffled as to where to begin! The market has everything and anything that you need for the month of Ramadan, and there’s a festive spirit to it that will make shopping for yameesh an enjoyable experience. The market is of course crowded, but there is no doubt that this is a one-of-a-kind shopping experience.
Left of the El Azhar Bridge in Attaba, you’ll find Ragab El Ataar. Though they specialise in herbs and spices, they stock up on yameesh for Ramadan. You’ll also find Tamimi in Downton Cairo on Bab El Louk Square; a popular yameesh merchant in the area.
Cairenes who are in and around Manial or Old Cairo should check out branches of El Domyateya, while supermarket El Mahmal has several branches in Heliopolis, Nasr City and Mokkattam, which regularly have special Ramadan offers. Let’s not forget Carrefour in Maadi and on the Cairo-Alex desert road in Dandy Mall, as well as Spinney’s in Citystars.
Prices of course depend on the quality of the nuts and fruits as well as the location of the shop. When it comes to it, though; the difference in said quality isn’t huge, and most shops are happy for you to sample yameesh before buying; so you can use your own judgement.
Dates will generally set you back between 9LE and 12LE per kilo, and up to 13LE if they are packaged or imported. Dried apricots cost between 34LE and 40LE per kilo, while prunes sell for 20LE and 25LE. Dried figs are sold in rolls, with one roll usually weighing just under the one kilo mark, and selling for between 22LE and 26LE. Also sold in rolls is amar el din (pressed apricot), which sells for between 10LE and 16LE each. We recommend that you don’t skimp when buying amar el din though; as some of the cheaper ranges are mixed with carrot or use artificial flavouring.
The prices of nuts are generally higher. A kilo of de-shelled hazelnuts will cost anything between 52LE and 60LE, and a kilo of almonds will cost around 48LE. Walnuts are a little expensive at between 76LE and 89LE per kilo, while the plethora of different raisins cost between 22LE and 30LE per kilo. Last but definitely not least; one kilo of grated coconut generally sells for around 22LE.
Remember that generally a quarter of a kilo would be more than enough for the month if you're making the occasional jug of amar el din, or the occasional konafa. If you love to snack on yameesh while indulging in Ramadan TV shows, you might want to prepare ahead of time and buy a little more.
Happy shopping, and Ramadan Karim!