World Travel Guide > Guides > Middle East > Syrian Arab Republic

Syrian Arab Republic Food and Drink

Clearly things have changed greatly in Syria with the on-going civil war, but traditionally there were numerous restaurants in Aleppo and Damascus that served a variety of Oriental and European dishes.

Syria has a rich and ancient food culture and was once considered the bread basket of the Middle East, but the years of conflict have all but destroyed farming and cut off food supplies to many areas.


Kibbeh bil sanieh: The national dish of minced meat and bulgur wheat baked with a filling of spiced meat and pine nuts.

Fatteh: Crumbs of fresh or stale breads toasted and served with meat or vegetables and sauce.
Yabrak: Vine leaves stuffed with rice and minced meat.

Ouzi: Pastry stuffed with rice and minced meat.
Mensaf: Pieces of lamb on rice and pine nuts.

Riz a'djaj: Poaxched chicken with rice.

Freekeh with chicken: Oached chicken with slow cooked freekeh wheat served with Syrian truffle, pine nuts and almonds.

Muhammara: A hot pepper dip, originally fron Aleppo.

Mahshi: Courgettes or aubergines stuffed with minced beef or lamb, nuts and rice.

Tabbouleh: Bulgur (or couscous) with parsley, mint, onion, seasoned with olive oil and lemon juice.

Fattoush: Salad with tomato, cucumber and radish in a dressing made with sumac spice.

Malukhiyya: Vegetable dish made with jute leaves chopped a cooked in meat stock with garlic and coriander.

Manoushi bread: A popular snack, like a pizza only softer and chewier.
Baklava: A favourite dessert made from flaky pastry filled with honey and nuts.

Cigar nut pastries: Chopped almonds, pistachios and walnuts rolled with brown sugar and filo pastry.

Ma'amoul: date, pistachio or walnut filled biscuits.

Things to know

Often expected, especially in more expensive establishments; traditionally 10% is generally acceptable.

Drinking age


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