13 Delightful Tunisian Foods & Dishes You Need to Try!

Tunisia - Tunisian Food - The traditional Tunisian dinner includes vegetable salad and couscous with chicken, Sousse, Tunisia. - Image

Whether you’re heading to Tunisia or throwing a Tunisian-themed dinner party, be prepared to fall in love with Tunisian food! Here are the best Tunisian foods you need to try at home or in Tunisia!

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13 Delightful Tunisian Foods & Dishes You Need to Try!

The Best Tunisian Food

Our favorites, in no particular order…


Tunisia - Tunisian Food - couscous meal with green pepper and meat in a traditional Arabic plate

A staple of North African and Tunisian cuisine,  you simply can’t claim to be familiar with Tunisian food if you haven’t had one (or twenty) tagines filled to the brim with couscous! It is the country’s national dish after all.

A dish originated by the Berbers who still inhabit southern Tunisia, but you can easily find this popular dish available around the world now.

Couscous is made from semolina wheat that is rolled into the extremely tiny pieces. 

Traditional Tunisian couscous is typically served with chicken, fish, beef, or lamb, plus there are usually vegetables and peppers mixed in. 

Ojja (Shakshuka)

Tunisia - Tunisian Food - healthy breakfast shakshuka - fried eggs, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, chili and spices in iron pan with kitchen towel, parsley on white wooden planks, authentic recipe, view from above

This delicious tomato and egg dish is a popular Tunisian breakfast. While it’s eaten across North Africa, it’s believed to have been created in either Tunisia or Yemen. The name comes from the Tunisian Arabic slang for “mixture.”

The tomato sauce is flavored with garlic, chili peppers, and spices, and the eggs are poached. 

You will typically find it served in either a skillet or in a tagine. 


Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Brik, egg and tuna turnover. Tunisian food

A hand-me-down from Ottoman times, the Brik in Tunisia is a thin pastry wrapped around egg filling and fried. This dish has survived in other parts of the former Ottoman Empire in the form of bourek (in Algeria) and as burek (in the Balkans), though the egg version is the most specifically Tunisian variety.

Other potential fillings in Tunisia include tuna, chicken, anchovies, capers, and cheese.

This is a great breakfast, though it can be eaten at any time of day. It’s also a great Tunisian street food if you happen to be traveling in the country.


Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Grilled sausages, merguez in a frying pan, with olives, baguette and spices, top view

You might have been introduced to Merguez as French cuisine, but it’s actually Tunisian and was brought to France during the era when Tunisia was under French occupation.

Merguez is a spicy sausage that’s made from mutton or beef (or a mixture of both). You can eat it straight off the grill or in a sandwich or Ojja.

The reddish color comes from the Harissa spice, but the sausage also includes cumin, sumac, fennel, and garlic.

Chorba (Shorba)

Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Shrimp Chorba

Chorba is a staple of Tunisian Ramadan meals, though you can find this delicious soup available year-round. You will typically find it made with lamb or beef, but there are also popular fish varieties (especially on the coast).

Spiced with Harissa and made from Bulgar wheat, the base of the soup is stewed tomatos. In a word, yum!

While the dish is important to Tunisian culture, it’s popular all over the area formerly controlled by the Ottoman Empire, from Morocco all the way to Bulgaria and Croatia!

Poulet Meshi

Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Poulet Mehshi - Tunisian chicken roast

While many of the tagine dishes you’ll encounter in Tunisia use couscous, this delicious roast chicken is served, instead, on a bed of chickpeas and onions and seasoned with a healthy portion of lemon juice.

Maghrebi Mint Tea

Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Traditional Tunisian tea with pine nuts and mint. Selective focus.

Tea in Tunisia is made on a charcoal stove, called a kenoot. The mint helps keep the tea from tasting bitter, as does the copious amounts of sugar Tunisians love to add. The tea itself can be either green or red tea, either are traditional.

In the evenings, the tea is upgraded a notch or two with the addition of nuts. These can be pinenuts, almonds, or even peanuts, among other options.

Delget Nour Dates

Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Authentic Tunisian Deglet Nour dried dates with soft honey-like taste in copper buckets

First grown in Algeria, Delget Nour are considered the queen of dates. Popular throughout Northern Africa, you really can’t go without trying one while in Tunisia!

Though if you can’t make it to the country, you’ll find these delicious bites available globally since they are exported from Algeria and Tunisia (as well as being grown in the United State).

Lablabi (Lablebi)

Tunisa - Tunisian Food - Lablabi or Lablebi a traditional Tunisian dish based on chick peas. Typical arabic street food in Tunisia

This Tunisian chickpea soup is flavored with garlic and cumin and served with perfectly stale bread to make this dish both scrumptious and filling.

You’ll find it garnished with eggs, parsley, and even scallions.

This is a great dish for enjoying the Tunisian winters, which, while still warm compared to much of the northern hemisphere, can get chilly (especially out in the desert).

Tunisian Pastries

Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Traditional Tunisian pastries/ Tunisian pastries

Tunisian pastries have been influenced by the powers that controlled Tunisia over the centuries. You’ll find varieties of baklava from the Ottoman Empire. Make sure to try the Tunisian almond baklava. You’ll also find pastries with French influence.

Make sure to try bambalouni, yoyos, kaak warka, and zgougou. Tunisian cuisine is blessed with many amazing pastries to sample!

Tunisian Olives

Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Tunisian Olives

Like the rest of the Mediterranean, Tunisia is famous for its locally produced olives. You’ll find them in a variety of Tunisian dishes, pressed into luscious olive oil, and their trees made into beautiful wooden gifts and souvenirs.


Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Healthy spicy, creamy vegetarian appetizer or snack with roasted red pepper dip with harissa, pita and olives close-up on wooden background.Traditional homemade Tunisia and Arabic cuisine adjika harissa

Harissa is a North African spice blend that’s essential for making Tunisian food. You can find it as a premade spice blend, you can make your own, or you can use it as a Harissa paste.

Made from red chilies, make sure you know what you’re doing! It packs a ton of heat into every bite.

Masfouf (Mesfouf)

Tunisia - Tunisian Food - Traditional Tunisian sweet dish -Masfouf: sweet couscous with dried fruits and nuts

Another important dish served during Ramadan masfouf is a sweet dish made from couscous, butter, and sugar and then adorned with pomegranates, dates, or even dried grapes.

5 Things Every Tunisian Chef has in the Kitchen

Tunisia - Sidi Bou Said - Plates and Tangines for Sale

Traditional Harissa – If you can’t get it in Tunisia to bring home with you, you can pick it up at home! You can buy the Harissa Spice or pick up this Harissa paste version from Trader Joe’s is the next best thing.

A Tagine – to prepare the delicious couscous meals right in your own kitchen! This beautiful Le Creuset version is basically a dream.

Tunisian Olive Wood Dishes and Utensils – I particularly love this beautiful Tunisian serving spoon.

Traditional Tunisian Recipes – Okay, so if you’re not Tunisian you probably don’t have access to the mental Rolodex of recipes local chefs do. But you can still cook amazing Tunisian dishes with the right Tunisian cookbook

Tunisian Ceramics – If you’ve been to Tunisia, you’ve seen the sumptuous local ceramics for sale. If you want to enjoy these dishes but you’re already home, you can find dinnerware sets and individual serving dishes available online.

Pin this Guide to the Best Tunisian Food for Your Kitchen!

13 Delightful Tunisian Foods & Dishes You Need to Try!