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Batates and Zalabya

Batates & Zalabya: Oriental Sweets & Treats in Zamalek

  • Corner of 26th of July St. and Shagaret El Dor St.
  • Bakeries & Patisseries
reviewed by
Tanya El Kashef
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Batates & Zalabya: Oriental Sweets & Treats in Zamalek
Anyone who is even at least a little bit familiar with 26th of July Street in Zamalek, will know that the busy road owes much of its traffic to the continual influx of cafes and restaurants, most of which spill out onto the street. Located on the corner of the intersection between the noisy road and Shagaret El Dor Street, Batates and Zalabya is just as guilty – but with one saving grace.

Batates and Zalabya is a simple, to the point, no nonsense venture. Serving precisely what its name implies, the self-sufficient, red carts are located in several places around Cairo, including one of its newest locations in Mall of Arabia. The Zamalek branch is very easy to spot and perched on a platform where a small seating area surrounds it for those wishing to people-watch as they munch.

Offering French fries and corn dogs, it’s their zalabya that truly offers something special. Also known as ‘lo’met el ady’ in Cairo – ‘zalabya’ is more associated with Alexandria – the small balls of fried dough, topped with either a honey syrup or powdered sugar, are absolutely divine. With a thick outer shell, the inside is soft and fluffy, without ever drowning in sweetness. We dare you to have just one.

A small container costs 9LE, while a large one will set you back 20LE. It’s nice to get half with the syrup and half topped with sugar for a bit of a variety – the sugar-topped ones are definitely the less sweet of the two. There are also other toppings available such as caramel, chocolate and strawberry sauces (2LE).

The French fries come in one size (7LE) and are crinkly cut, seasoned with herbs – though not overpowered – and you have the choice of topping them with ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and hot sauce. The small toothpicks/forks make them an easy on-the-go snack.

The staff at Batates and Zalabya were friendly and accommodating at the time of our visit. While you wait for your order, it is an enjoyable experience to watch the men at work, specifically preparing the zalabya. Plopping perfectly round, uniform sized balls of dough into the hot oil; watching them turn from a pale beige to a wonderful golden brown, and finally, watching them doused in either the honey or the sugar – yum, yum, yum!

Whether it be for an occasion or just on a night when you’re craving something sweet and wonderful, Batates and Zalabya sticks to basics and serves up a delicious snack that will surely have you going back for more.

360 Tip

Batates and Zalabya deliver!

Best Bit

Outstanding zalabya.

Worst Bit

Perhaps the fact that they're located under a bridge?

Map Data
Map data ©2016
Map DataMap data ©2016
Map data ©2016

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