Best Restaurants in Cairo
Dining in Cairo should take advantage of unique, plentiful, and
very cheap quality restaurants serving Egyptian favourites. By
sitting down in the neighbourhood café and enjoying some light eats
and sweet drinks travellers can easily immerse themselves into
local dining and social culture. Yet, any one cuisine can get tired
and the new best restaurants in Cairo have an eclectic
international focus. Previously restricted to hotel restaurants,
sashimi to cheeseburgers are now prepared by top chefs in trendy
venues. Even local food is now getting a facelift. To peruse the
trendiest restaurants in Cairo, Zamalek is the dining hotspot.
Inversely, the areas about downtown and near Khan al-Khalili are
great for cheap and local haunts. In Cairo it is considered unclean
to eat with the left hand, and remember that alcohol is often not
served unless at a hotel restaurant. It is considered good manners
to leave food on your plate, as it shows taht the host has been
generous. It is considered impolite to stare at another person''s
food in a restaurant. During Ramadan, when Muslims fast during the
day, many restaurants are closed and, again, travellers should head
to a hotel restaurant.
Sleek and sophisticated, the modern lounge of Sequoia would be
right at home in Manhattan or Los Angeles, but it's located in the
Zamalek district of Cairo instead. Serving a blend of Asian,
Italian, and Egyptian cuisine, the eclectic menu includes both
adventurous dishes and safer options for tourists wanting something
familiar. Lebanese and Egyptian meze platters are some of the most
popular dishes. Located on the banks of the river, the lounge has
stunning views of the Nile, and morphs into a posh nightclub at
midnight. Open from 1pm to 2pm.
Address: 53 Abou El Feda Street, Zamalek
Koshary Abou Tarek
Consistently ranked as one of the most popular restaurants in
Cairo, Koshary Abou Tarek serves up a uniquely Egyptian dish,
koshary (sometimes spelled koshari), best described as an
Egyptian-style chilli, in large portions for prices even the most
budget-conscious travellers will love. As ubiquitous in Egypt as
curry is in India, Koshary is available at nearly any street vendor
in Cairo, but Abou Tarek's koshary is among the best in the
Address: 16 Maarouf, Shamplion Street
Marble lines the floors, alabaster lamps adorn the walls and a
piano tinkles in the background inviting diners to twirl across the
marble dance floor. Couple that with an amazing panoramic view over
the city and an inspired menu and you've got a winner. The mushroom
and potato pyramids topped with tomato-mango chutney are delicious,
but the classic meat and seafood grills take the cake. Desserts are
mind blowing and it is advisable to leave a little room for
something sweet. Reservations essential.
Address: Nile Hilton, Maydan Tahrir
Overlooking Maydan Sphinx and complete with exquisite woodwork
detailing, the lavish dining area in Kandahar features authentic
Indian furnishings. The food tastes as good as the restaurant looks
- amazing! The
(creamy smoked eggplant baked in a clay oven
and perfect for dipping fluffy Naan bread in) is an absolute must
(spiced chicken kebabs marinated in yoghurt) is a
firm favourite. Service is excellent. Open daily for lunch and
dinner. Reservations advisable.
Address: 3 Shara Gameat al-Dowal al-Arabiya, Mohandiseen
The Fish Market
Gone are the days of travelling to Alexandria for good fresh
fish. Nowadays, those looking for decent sea fare can book a table
at the Fish Market, situated on the upper deck of a boat
permanently moored on the west bank of the Nile. With no menu and
just a display of some of the freshest fish Cairo has to offer,
diners pay by weight and choose their own fish, shrimp, calamari,
crabs and shellfish which is beautifully prepared by the kitchen as
you like. Couple that with a slew of Middle Eastern salads and
deliciously home baked bread and you have a recipe for success!
Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations advisable.
Address: 26 Shara al-Nil, Giza (on the American Boat)
The Revolving Restaurant Grand Hyatt
Towering above the city 41 floors high, diners can enjoy truly
panoramic views of the city below as the scenery circles by.
Besides taking in the Nile, the city and the pyramids an open
kitchen in the centre of the restaurant puts on a show serving up
an eclectic range of multi-national menu choices. A slightly formal
setting is perfect for romantic evenings and a reprieve from the
congestion 41 floors below. Reservations are advised.
Address: Corniche El Nile
With authentic ingredients flown in from Bangkok and a highly
skilled Thai woman at the helm, it's no wonder the food at Bua Khao
keeps guests coming back for more. Renowned for serving the best
Thai food in Egypt, the
curries are to-die-for and the
(chicken and coconut milk soup) is a great way to
start things off. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations
Address: 9 Road 151, Ma'adi
Colourful mosaic and carvings adorn the almost every inch of
this Moroccan restaurant where Middle-Eastern pigeon meat,
colloquially known as the
makes a name for itself in the pie
, a semi-sweet Egyptian dish laced with spices and
dusted with cinnamon and sugar. The chicken
, a stew made with dates served in a colonial ceramic
dish comes highly recommended, though adventurous palates may try
, which is fried pigeon. Alcohol is not served.
Address: Riyadh Tower, 5 Shara Wissa Wassef
Delicious food and an inviting, cosy atmosphere have made this
restaurant one of Cairo's favourite eateries. Soft lighting and
tasteful décor create the perfect atmosphere to dine on such dishes
as creamy onion soup, veal cordon bleu stuffed with mushrooms and
topped with cheese and tomatoes or thick crust pizzas loaded with
toppings of your choice. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: 44 Michel Bakhoum Street
This tent restaurant has become a popular relaxation spot with
trendy locals and expats and for good reason. On the high banks of
the Nile the restaurant has a commanding spot atop the city.
Perfect to relax with flavoured tobaccos and traditional Egyptian
and Lebanese mezze food although there are other options for light
western dining. More of a lounge during the day, the place becomes
a club when the sun sets.
Address: 3 Abou Feda Street
This unusual restaurant is a mix of heavy ottoman ornaments in a
richly decorated haunt. The food too is a mix and the more unusual
sounding dishes are most likely to be the best. Traditional home
cooking like molokhiyya stew are favourites although the restaurant
blends dishes from several backgrounds with a Lebanese flair.
Rersvations are advisable.
Address: 157 26th of July Street
This popular tourist haunt may be a bit pricey, yet the Oriental
décor is stunning. A bubbling fountain, contemporary art exhibits
and tapestries adorning the walls create a wonderful dining
environment. The Egyptian-Middle Eastern food focuses mainly on
grilled meats so stick to local dishes like
(stewed okra). Arabesque is popular for business
lunches. Alcohol is served. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: 6 Qasr el-Nil Street, Cairo
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