I finally made my first trip to a new continent.. AFRICA! Not only that but it was my first experience in an Arabic country. With all of the terrorist attacks that happened last year, Tunis has definitely been off that map. Plus, it’s pretty inaccessible for American tourists that, to be honest, I had never even heard of it until two of my friends invited me along on their trip there. But if you know me at all, none of that was going to stop me from exploring a new place.
AND WOW. It was an incredible, eye-opening experience. I will write a WHOLE other post on that later, but for now, let’s talk about the most important part of my trip.. the food.
If you don’t know yet, I’m a full-blown foodie. That, coupled with my extreme interest in health, creates quite the chaotic clash in my life but hey, I balance it out.. sort of. When my friends and I first started planning our Tunisian adventure, I’m not going to lie; I was most excited about the food.
Cue the couscous, fish, mint teas, and achingly full stomachs.
But first, let’s start out with the Breakfast.
La Chambre Bleu
My friends and I stayed at this wonderful guesthouse we found via Air BnB. It was a beautiful Tunisian apartment and old stable that was converted into a home with two rooms that the owner rented out. The name is La Chambre Bleu and it is located so conveniently in the heart of the Media (the old, traditional part of Tunis).
Every morning Sondos (the kind-hearted owner of La Chambre Bleu) would make us a huge traditional Tunisian style breakfast spread. Think deliciously crisp Tunisian bread with every sort of homemade jam you could possibly think of. My favorite combination? The fig jam MIXED with the ever-so-slightly-sour citron jam. HEAVEN I TELL YOU! Not to mention that along with the bread and jam, we were presented with a perfectly delectable main course that differed both mornings. One morning was something along the lines of if a doughnut and crepe has a perfectly fluffy child. Again, this was dipped in a mixture of the jams and fresh ricotta cheese. The next day was a non-sweet pancake type of thing (descriptive, I know) with melted butter, diced up tomatoes, and ricotta cheese perfectly combined to create a flavour explosion in your mouth. Do I seem a bit overly passionate about this breakfast? I’m telling you.. it was that. good.
Onwards.. Next we took a cab out to the beach to grab lunch along the ocean in Sidi Bou Said. We went to this lesser explored restaurant right along the ocean called l’Amphitrite. We enjoyed two crispy Tunisian salads and a Calamari dish with Provencal sauce. The calamari was AMAZING. Especially with the complimentary bread dipped inside the remaining sauce. Plus, the restaurant was convenient since afterwards, we walked right on to the beach and hung out there for a couple of hours in the sun.
As far as the Medina goes, we managed to enjoy two traditional restaurants that were simply amazing.
Restaurant Dar Slah
Restaurant Dar Slah, we were told, was as traditional as you would get. The owner was super nice and we enjoyed so much food that literally none of us could finish it. A little platter of olives, what I referred to as fish falafel balls, a fish soup, and some Tunisian red pepper dip presented itself as the starting course. Then,we enjoyed a delectable couscous dish with grilled fish, vegetables, a salty broth poured over it. Finally, we indulged in some fresh cantaloupe and strawberries with fresh mint tea.
Dar El Jeld
Around 5pm we were told that if we wanted to catch some authentic Tunisian live music, we should go to Dar El Jeld. It was a beautiful location in the Medina and they had a large selection of tea, coffee, and Tunisian desserts.
On our last day we ventured back to Sidi Bou Said but the part up in the hills. Basically, its the Santorini of Tunisia and looks absolutely breath-taking! We stopped for lunch at Le Chargui, where we again enjoyed couscous and grilled fish. This place not only had amazing food, but an amazing view to go with it. There are a lot of places to choose to sit and it is of course decorated in the iconic white and blue.
These kinds of posts always make me hungry. Now I am craving some good ole Tunisian food (but more specifically.. that breakfast)