Restuarant Carcassone: Dont miss the real Tunisien food!
I found this place because I was walking trough the main street in the center seeking for some good and moreover cheap place to eat. At that time came to me two young guys (the guys which paid me the cigarettes…) and they brought me in this restaurant.
I could not eat all they brought me!!!!
I had the entrance (was the spicy Tunisian salad), the main course (it was the cuscus with vegetables and chicken), the second plate, (it was a small piece of steak with pommes frittes) and the dessert, plus beer and coke…
Well, for all that, I spent 5 Dinars!!!
The restaurant is moreover full of backpackers and local people, very quiet, clean and the waitress are amazing! Nice and very cool!!!!
Chicken Kebab: Don't miss such a Kebab!
Just in front of the Arc of the Medina, there is the main street, where a lot of restaurant and bars has been open during last pasts years.
If you want to eat something quick and good, spending as less as possible, then I would suggest you to come here and eat a Chicken Kebab, such a nice food!
You will spend the ridiculous amount of 2 Dinar for a huge Kebab plus a Soda….something extremely cheap, good for the backpackers like me ):-
Carthage: Smart Tunis Restaurant
Carthage is a lovely restaurant on a quiet street near Avenue Bourguiba. From outside it didn't look like much. We peered in through the window and couldn't see anyone eating in the downstairs section so we assumed it was either closed or very quiet.
A guy sitting behind a desk downstairs beckoned us in and indicated that the restaurant was upstairs. So up we went, dressed like two backpackers only to be met by very well attired waiters. We felt very underdressed but no one seemed to mind. A TV blaring in the background made us feel a little more comfortable.
Carthage is more expensive than your average Tunisian restaurant. It also serves alcohol which you only find in touristy type places or more expensive local places. This was one of the latter. As it was Saturday night the restaurant was nearly full though we were the only non Tunisians. Most of the diners were youngish, affluent Tunisians.
We both went for the 12 Dinar set menu plus a bottle of red wine (Terrale - one of the famous names in Tunisian wines). The food was delicious and as it was our first night in Tunisia it was quiet a novelty to be brought our free appetizers of olives, harissa, tuna and bread. Little did I know you get this in practically every restaurant in the country. Among the dishes we had were Salade de Tomates, Salade Tunisien, Wiener Schnitzel and Tagine.
The service here was mostly excellent. I asked for a fruit salad as all the desserts were too sugary for a diabetic and they made up the nicest fruit salad I can remember. And they didn't charge anything extra. The wine waiter must still be learning the trade as he took ages to open the bottle then spilt it everywhere when he was pouring the first glass! Overall, we really enjoyed the night. The bill came to 38 Dinar which was excellent value for such a nice meal.
Noir et Blanc: Great Value Tunis Resturant
After visiting a posh restaurant on our first night in Tunis we tried the other end of the scale at Noir & Blanc, a good value place near our hotel on rue de Yougoslavie. The average main course cost about 5 Dinar though I decided to splash out and try the 8D steak. We were brought the usual appetizer of olives, harissa and bread while for starter we both had Salade Tunisienne. The food was very nice and overall it was good value at 20 Dinar for everything.
Abid: Sfaxian Restaurant
Twelve Dinars for an entire meal for two people! It does not get better than this.
By our last night in Tunisia we were well used to eating in the cheap, locals restaurants. Abid specialises in Sfaxian food. It's an extremely friendly place and even though we were the only non-locals there we were made very welcome.
We were brought a huge plate of olives, bread and harissa after we sat down. Abid didn't serve alcohol so we had bottles of cold mineral water to accompany our food. We both had Salade de Tomates for starters while for mains I had Merguez (spicy lamb sausages) and Ruth had couscous. This was the biggest couscous I've ever seen. I helped her eat it and even between us we didn't get through half of it.
We didn't have a dessert though we were brought complimentary mint teas by the owner which was a nice way to round of our meal and our trip to Tunisia.
Mahdoui: Cheap Medina Restaurant
On our first day in Tunis we went for a very late lunch while exploring the medina. Ruth wasn't hungry as she had eaten on the plane a few hours before but I was ravenous so we stopped at this restaurant, which was near the Great Mosque, on rue Jemaa Zitouna.
Here I learned my first lessons about Tunisian restaurants.
1) No matter what drink you order, even if it's not on the menu or served in the restaurant, you'll get it. Ruth ordered a coke and we saw our waiter walk down the street with an empty coke bottle. He came back about 10 minutes later with a full bottle. No idea where he went!
2) If you order the fish, there's a good chance it will be served with head attached. This kind of put me off eating it but not quite as I was so hungry. If you're the squeamish type order something else.
Mahdoui is open from 11-4 but if you want a good choice of main courses I'd advise getting there early. The menu looked nice but at 3pm all that was left was the fish. It cost about 6D for a main course and two drinks. Very good value but the food was only adequate.
il capricho: nice and clean
at isle de jerba near the shoppin area, it was one of the few restaurant or coffeshops that i liked, because it was clean, the food was nice and was full of people of the village, not just for tourist.
Favorite Dish: pizzas and croassants, good expresso coffee
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Probably the best bargain around! The Capitole has a set menu for each day of the week, the price always 5.5TD (less than 3GBP) for two starters, a main course and desert with mint tea. All the food is Tunisian, all of it very tasty and obviously fairly authentic as most of the customers are Tunisians.
The restaurant is on the first floor of a building on Avenue Bourguiba, with many tables overlooking the street.
Favorite Dish: Starters include Brik al-azma (Brik a l'ouef, the odd parcel containing a fried egg and a bit of tuna, quite messy to eat), various salads and soup. For the main course, I ate couscous with fish which was tasty and filling. Service was great even though it was busy, the waiters friendly and the food good and cheap, so I can recommend this to any visitor to Tunis.
El Dar Restaurant at The Residence Hotel: Traditional Tunisian Food in Style
This is a real traditional style restaurant, even though it is in a luxury hotel.
When you walk inside out of the hotel corridor you imagine you are somewhere in the Casbah.
All the decor is traditional and simple with a flagged floor and local arts and crafts.
The staff are friendly and helpful and are very good at explaining the dishes on the menu.
Favorite Dish: The lamb cooked in a traditional clay pot is really good and so different to anything I have had before. It is best if you share as the portion is huge. The lamb is baked in herbs and spices in a large clay pot that is sealed so all the juices and taste stay in. The waiter breaks the pot at your table. It is served with couscous and vegetables.
You need to be very hungry as the portions are big and it is very difficult to resist the lovely fresh local bread they bring before the meal!
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Carcassone: A nice reasonably priced restaurant
Although this restaurant is named after a French city, it serves mostly Tunisian food. Excellent service and very reasonably priced. I dined here twice and had couscous the first time (enormous serving!) and Tunisan salad the second time. The couscous was only 3 TD ( about $2.10 US) But if you are a big eater, you can have your choice of an entire 4 course meal for only 4 TD( less than $3) After all meals you are served the traditional mint tea.
Favorite Dish: Couscous and Tunisian salad
Bayruth Café: A Great Lunch Treat
We ate at this restaurant for lunch twice during our week in Tunis. The restaurant and service was impeccable. Each dish was prepared and presented perfectly, from simple shwarma to delicious plats du jour. The restaurant has three levels. If you are looking for a quick sandwich, remain on the ground floor and order. If you would like a plate with salad and hummus, venture upstairs. I would recommend venturing upstairs…the hummus is amazing. And be sure to leave room for mint tea, a staple of Tunisian dining.
Favorite Dish: The hummus was amazing, but I rtuly loved my chicken shwarma the best.
Au Bon Vieux Temps: A Great Restaurant in Sidi Bou Said
Our first night in Tunis we were treated to a wonderful meal at this quaint restaurant. After a series of appetizers that was shared amongst the six diners (and great bread), we al chose different entrees. I had the stuffed lamb and it was awesome. None of my colleagues were disappointed in their meals which ranged from couscous to seafood to other lamb dishes. I apologize that I was so engrossed in my meal that I didn’t take note of other meals. I do know that everyone walked away impressed and the cleanliness and service was impeccable. It is easy to see why this restaurant was chosen as to kick off a great week of great food.
Favorite Dish: The stuffed lamb was very very good.
Mamma's: Touristy Touristy Touristy
What can I say about Mammas? Well, first of all, it broke all my normal rules for dining in Tunisia. It was in a touristy district and it catered to tourists. It offered fixed priced meals. It had a hawker on the street trying to draw patrons in. Could it get any worse? Well, luckily for us, no. It was a fair restaurant and the prices were fair as well. Nothing spectacular, but it wasn’t trying to be spectacular. It is what it is…a restaurant for Europeans and Americans that are looking for “comfort food.” It is not a place for the adventurous diner. I would hope that VT members are more sophisticated than that…live a little…go outside your comfort zone. The only meal I was disappointed in all week was when we “played it safe” at Mammas. Sorry, Mamma!
Le Capitole: Cheap & basic
This restaurant is well located along Ave Habib Bourguiba and, indeed, you get a good view of the road from its high vantage point. I settled on the set menu at just TD5.800 which had salads and Hors d'oeuvres for starters, cous-cous, chicken and other meat dishes for mains. I had a salad followed by steak Dinine (turkey) which was a slab of thinly cut meat with fries. The food and general atmosphere are cheap so don't expect anything fancy. This place is ideal if on a budget and so the food reflected this.
Other Cafes: Other Cafes
Ave Habib Bourguiba is Tunis' answer to Paris' Champs Elysees and like its more famous French cousin, is lined with several cafe where the locals sit out under unbrellas at all times of the day and people watch. A cafe aux lait varies in price rather dramatically depending on which cafe you plumb for. For example it costs TD1.200 at the Cafe de Paris and a rather expensive TD2.500 at the El Hana International whilst only costing 900 mills at a cafe opposite the 5-star Africa Hotel.
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