Founded by the Arabs around 670, Kairouan became a dominant trading hub and centre of Islamic scholarship in the 9th century, when Aghlabid emirs ruled Kairouan and built many of its monuments.
The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is regarded by many Muslims as the fourth holiest site in Islam.
We walked within the walls of the Medina (old town) exploring its beautiful small allies and many mosques.
Other than its monuments, Kairouan is also known for its fantastic food. If you’re ever visiting, make sure to taste the following:
Kafteji is something of a Tunisian poor man’s food: various vegetables are fried separately and then with an oozy fried egg, chopped up together with a large knife. It’s made with potatoes, pepper and tomatoes. One eats it with bread or as a sandwich.
It’s now one of the country’s most popular and delicious street foods. It also originated in Kairouan.
All food stalls on the side of the roads offer kafteji sandwiches. One shop was highly praised so we tried it.
كفتاجي خيري -Kafteji Khayri is a must-visit in Kairouan. It offers the best kaftejis cooked in a traditional oven. Price wise, a Kafteji plate costs less than one pound Sterling!
They are very generous with quantities. The price includes a side of fries and traditional bread.
Kafteji Khayri is not touristy in any way, and it’s where the locals eat. We highly recommend it if you’re looking for a cheap, delicious plate of food surrounded by the locals.
Makroudh is a North-African sweet pastry filled with dates and nuts or almond paste, that has a diamond shape – the name derives from this characteristic shape. The dough is made with a combination of semolina and flour, which gives the pastry a very specific texture and flavour. It is said that it originates from Kairouan, thus, in every corner of the Madina, you’ll see a Makroudh shop. Every seller will brag how their Makroudh is the best Makroudh in Kairouan. We think they are all equally good.
The people of Kairouan are proud of their Makroudh. They will make sure that you buy enough of it to take home to taste with family and friends. It’s true, Makroudh is yummy with a cuppa.
Kairouan is one of Tunisia’s best-kept secrets. It kept its authenticity and style. It’s bursting with history, culture and delicious food.
You should definitely consider visiting Kairouan next time you are in Tunisia.