There are so many restaurants in Egypt, but which one is the best for you? Do you want to find someplace with good food and a friendly atmosphere? Or maybe you’re looking for something specific on the menu. No matter what you’re looking for, these restaurants will make your taste buds happy. Discovering new places to eat is always fun, so take a look at our recommendations for the best restaurants in Egypt! You won’t regret it.
But first, let’s review quick tips you should know before ordering any food in Egypt.
Tips When Eating in Cairo (everyone will tell you)
When it comes to restaurants in Egypt, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, avoid any establishment that looks dirty or run-down. This look is a good indication that the food is not going to be up to par.
Second, ask around for recommendations. Local Egyptians will usually be happy to point you in the direction of a good place to eat. And it doesn’t apply to food only. Actually, they can guide you to the best places for shopping to get away from tourist traps, or the best places to hang out at night, and so on. Also, it’s a great way to make friends in Egypt who will help you a lot to spot what you shouldn’t miss out on, what you shouldn’t avoid and where you shouldn’t go alone!
Third, be aware of the local customs. For example, it is rude to use your left hand while eating, so be sure to use your right. Also, avoid eating in public places like streets and parks.
Fourth, know what you can and cannot eat. A lot of visitors are surprised to learn that some common foods like pork and alcohol are actually not allowed in Egypt. Be sure to check with your hotel or host before consuming anything that may be off-limits.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to try something new! Many tourists don’t tend to sample some traditional dishes because of the level of hygiene, which is totally understandable. But Egyptian cuisine can be pretty unfamiliar to Westerners, but that’s part of the fun. So, break out of your routine and enjoy some truly authentic food.
Insider Tips When Eating in Cairo (No One Will Tell You, obviously, except us)
If you’re willing to try street food in Egypt, the following tips are most important than you might think. Unlike the cuisines of some Middles East countries, Egyptian food has its own allure (I know you say, OF COURSE, your opinion is biased by your background! You’re Egyptian!) But I really find our culinary scene isn’t partially well known outside Egypt’s borders. But it deserves more attention.
But why it’s important to have a hand in the street and traditional food in Egypt? Is there not any fast food or other international dishes served around Egypt?
Give me a pause to discuss the first part of your question later!
Regarding the second, of course, all fast food restaurants are scattered around the country, KFC, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and all their cousins.
Also, you can find many other international cuisines, such as Italian, Asian, Indian, Chinese, Turkish, and so on!
But look at me, are you serious? Do you come this far to eat Mac or whatever? Is that what you really want to get stuck in? Man, Egypt is a paradise for foodies! You just need to take the right direction, and that’s why I am here to give you the right route to explore its gems!
Back to why you should try street and traditional food, definitely, all the more reason to enjoy the delights of flavours when blending with irresistible smells. What kind of experience will you thrive if you don’t try a pot of molokhia or a mixture of rice, macaroni, and lentils topped with sauteed onions? Or take a break from them to bite a kebda (liver) sandwich from street vendors.
If you still don’t convince, just watch Egyptians when they’re enjoying every bit of Tamiya multi-layer sandwich or when they are gathering in the morning around a foul cart to kick off their day with a good start.
Also, it’s good to know that Egyptian food is cheaper than any other cuisines around the country, and it’s quicker to savour if you pick one of the street food vendors. The food here is your way to explore the authentic Egyptian culture, especially if this country you know nothing about it.
Also, it’s a vessel to interact with locals, trace their daily routine, and immerse in a country stepped out of a magical novel about a mysterious history.
You will need to follow some tips to secure a free-hassle experience.
Honestly, growing up in Egypt is unlike any other else! I bet our body functions are different from any other nationalists, and that’s because we get exposed to many bacteria inhabiting street food. I don’t know if that’s something worth bragging about or not. But that’s our case. Our body is building upon these bacteria, and our immunity is fine with it!
On the bright side, we can eat anything anywhere without giving more attention to the level of hygiene (kidding! You do, but it doesn’t top our priority)! So instead, we’re concerned more about the taste.
On the flip side, you can not act like this! You should always be cautious. Even though I am a street food lover, I am not being left out of some digestive problems.
So what are you supposed to do?
- Please don’t give people who are enjoying their street food meals disgusted stares. If you’re not okay with the whole idea of eating from vendors, calm your bad attitude down, and leave them enjoying their meals without hurting their feelings. No one is interested in your opinion about their beloved foul or Tamiya (However, Egyptians are super friendly, and they might be interested to hear from your experience, but whatever!) Just get away and find something appealing to your taste.
- Don’t be over-analysing or paranoid when checking food before eating; if you’re curious about trying any traditional and street food, just give it a try after taking your caution (more on later)
- Don’t just depend on online recommendations of the best places to eat! No, wait, don’t get me wrong. There are brilliant sources you can lean on (just like our blog 🙂 But check out the place before you go and make sure it’s right for you. And another thing, In Egypt, you can’t find any piece of information on the internet; there is no comprehensive database; you have to explore it on your own.
- Don’t travel to Egypt during the holy month of Ramadan because almost all restaurants are not ready or at least don’t expect to receive customers in the morning because everyone fasts. Okay, I will go after the sunset! Mmm… please don’t. Everything will get crazy; restaurants will become packed with hungry tummies, and the food quality will not be the best. Even if you decide to go later, restaurants again don’t expect to welcome anyone because everyone has already eaten and the quality will not be the best, again! As you can see, taking a trip during Ramadan is not a good plan. However, eateries in the tourist hotspots serve the food all day.
- Restaurants are open all day, and you can order your food anytime. There are no certain meal times, but generally, restaurants become busier after 7:00 pm and during the weekends.
- Even if you’re super hungry, don’t just walk into the first place you see. Instead, follow our secret process to spot the finest restaurant, which always works out— observation and investigation. That means you can check out the restaurant that attracts more people. It’s a good indicator that it has something that appeals to many. So, join the club and let’s see what it is!
- When you visit a new country, you sometimes are tricked by the cleanest restaurant and think, “it’s clean and classy! Let’s check it!” No, wait. That didn’t make any sense. Not because it has a decent look, it will be good in areas where it matters the most, like the taste. Instead, get stuck with our previous advice, observation and investigation.
- You probably don’t speak Arabic. There is nothing to worry about. Menus are most likely to preview meals in English. However, don’t expect to find servers who can speak English unless you’re in a tourist attraction. So, try to find someone around who help you to order in Arabic; fortunately, you can find a lot. Or use Google translate app.
- Don’t forget to pack your medications before leaving your hometown, especially anti-diarrhoea and other painkillers. It’s just a precautionary measure. And if you plan on being gone all day, it’s a good idea to have your medication with you just in case.
- You’re already in Egypt and forgot your pills; fret not! You can trust our pharmacists; they can help you with your stomach cramps. (Indeed, we in Egypt do the same with our health problems 🙂
- Islamic rules prohibit alcoholic beverages, but there are not illegal. The thing is that it could be challenging to find a restaurant serving, but there are bars in almost all hotels, and there are a bunch of alcoholic shops around. Just do your search and reach the nearest one. And, of course, it’s not legal to drink it in the streets or while driving.
- Egyptian wine brands are not so good for many people, but the beer is okay. However, it varies based on your preference. Some people find it drinkable; others describe it as unpalatable. Well, the best way to enjoy your drink is to go to Heineken, where you can find many international and your favourite taste.
- However, coffee shops have become more accessible than any time before, but tea is more traditional and somehow associated with Egyptian culture. We have “asary tea”, which means enjoying our tea during the sunset. That’s why you look closely; you’ll see that the Egyptian elderly have more traditional tastes in hot beverages, yet they still appreciate a good cup of tea.
- Tipping is not obligatory in Egypt since a 12% service charge will automatically add to your bill. But if you leave something in cash to the staff, it would be an appreciation gesture since they receive nothing from this service charge. (If you will go to street food, the service charge is nothing — another reason to love this fantastic food!)
- Learn some words in Arabic if you get invited by a local. Like, as “Sahtain or Bel Hana w Shafa” is equivalent to “bon appetit.” It would mean a lot as you respect their culture.
- Is tap-water safe in Egypt? — another very common question is when people order food. In general, no, especially in the coastal cities like Alexandria, Sharm El Sheikh, etc. But in the classy hotels, it would be safer. However, we advise you to drink only mineral water to keep yourself distance from possible troubles.
- Egyptian breakfast often combines flatbread, Aish Baldi, foul, Tamiya, eggs, white cheese (mainly like yoghurt), and other side dishes, such as fries. Lunch is the main meal, usually includes meat, and it’s served in the afternoon, usually after work hours. And dinner comes at 9:00 pm— it’s light, usually contains yoghurt, foul (again) or some cookies with tea. These are the typical Egyptian meals, but since people probably leave their job after 5:00 pm and you will need at least half an hour to get home, lunch turns to dinner like in the West.
- People are most likely to eat with their right hand, but feel free to use what makes you comfortable.
- The main utensils in Egypt are forks and spoons, but feel free to ask the waiter to bring you what you want. However, don’t expect more than a spoon if you order your food from a local vendor. Also, asking for cutlery will make you feel arrogant.
- Keep your sanitiser close because you will not find a place to wash your hands if you stop at some local stalls to bring something to have a bite on.
- Don’t order your drink with ice if you’re suspicious about the restaurant’s hygiene. Actually, ice is just tap water frozen.
- Most street foods are eaten by hand, so make sure your hands are clean enough to immerse in the saucy delight.
- If you decide to shop for some fresh food, pick fruits that are not needed to be washed before eating, like bananas, oranges, watermelons over dates, grapes, and peaches. Some vegetables and fruits could be overloaded with fertilisers. Even the tastiest and healthiest fruits aren’t always found in the largest supermarkets. Against common conception, local markets will provide you with better taste and quality. (If there is any nearby local grocery market, ask your Egyptian friend to bring what you want! See, locals are your honest and friendliest guide in Egypt!)
- Marijuana and hashish are illegal in Egypt. Even if you are invited to try some, politely decline the offer to stay out of trouble.
- If you’re like me— your intestines can not digest fried food smoothly, go away from them. Or, for your sake, avoid any fried food in Egypt; you don’t know how often they use the oil. Sometimes, it turns black, as most street vendors believe in oil recycling! — which means they continue to reuse it as long as it can fry food.
- If you’re invited to an Egyptian home for lunch or dinner, don’t leave the first one. It’s a sign that the food doesn’t meet your expectations, but even if it did, pretend it’s not.
- We in Egypt like to have deserts after lunch, so don’t be surprised if you find your host offers a cake or something after just finishing your meal. And it’s okay to set it aside for seconds till your stomach is ready to welcome new stuff.
- It makes sense, but we need to emphasise that; don’t buy any food from any stalls that are exposed to sun and flies. Only pick what looks fresh. And if you have a hand on perishable snacks, make sure it was stored in a fridge.
- A few seating etiquettes you should consider when getting invited to an Egyptian home, like the head of the table is most likely to be served to the most important person in the family like the grandparents or the father. His wife, then anyone can sit. Otherwise, some homes in the countryside have their meals on the floor at very low tables, and men and women often eat in separate areas or at particular times— men first. Don’t pass judgment; instead, embrace and explore their culture.
- Egypt is famous for its spicy culinary landscape. If you’re not used to spicy cuisine, be sure to inquire how hot it is.
- You will always be invited to more food. In Egypt, we consider it rude to let our guests eat in peace. We have to check him occasionally to ensure he doesn’t want anything. Please give this a go and eat it. Oh, you should refill your plate from this! These are just kinds of things you get heard a lot if you come together with Egyptian families. It could be bothering, but we choose to name its hospitality. Anyway, if you don’t want to eat more and you mean it, leave a bit on your plate. It’s a sign that you’ve savoured enough that even these small bites have no room on your stomach.
- In case the first strategy doesn’t work, here is what you should do. The host will offer you more; you refuse— the host insists, you refuse again— the host insists, you refuse! Then, accept the offer with only a little more if you get tired of his pushy attempts. If you like the game, get stuck with your rejection till the host surrenders. And don’t forget to let some crumbs on your plate unless you want to start the offering process over again.
- As many tourists flock to Egypt to experience its ancient civilisation, they overlook food adventurous because of health issues. Okay, here is a good deal Typhoid, and a Hepatitis A vaccine can be an excellent idea for an authentic sense of place without feeling sorry later. However, they are not replacements for anti-diarrhoea. Always carry them whenever you go.
- If you’re out with some other Egyptian guys and you both order meals, wait to dig in until the other man does. Your appearance will be that of a pathetic fool.
- It seems hard to know the source of food you’re eating out. But at least know it’s supposed to be. Ask the vendor and try to trust him (at least until you enjoy your meal). Some cuisines could be weird to others; for example, Egyptians eat rabbits and squabs; if you’re not okay with that, go away and find something else.
- Say thanks more than often. As we mentioned afterwards, Egyptians are affable and expect to be in return. So, be generous with your thanking gestures.
- If you’re suspicious about the vendor’s hygiene, trust your gut and keep looking elsewhere.
- In the local or informal restaurants, you might be invited to share your table or sit with others. There is nothing wrong with it, and don’t force conversation. Just enjoy your meal as if you’re sitting alone.
- Avoid eye contact with women if you have dinner with a group of Egyptians. It’s impolite and disrespectful.
- Salads are a common reason to get sick or have food poisoning. They are probably stored in the fridge too long, or the vegetables weren’t washed. Just remember, no salads or homemade sauce from street stalls.
- Even during business dinners, the table is not the place to talk shop. Keep up the pleasant and amusing conversation around the table. But if somebody strick this conversion, feel free to interact and socialise with them.
- Usually, the person who invites you will take on the bill. You can make a gentle offer to pay yours, but once someone refrains you from doing, accept it. Talking so much about charges is not a classy way. Otherwise, if you invite others to your hotel, for example, make payment arrangements in advance to avoid any awkward situations.
We’ve finally reached the best part; Where to Eat in Egypt
A Guide to the 15 Best Restaurants in Egypt for All Tastes
- Tagen W Bram
Location: Cairo (52 Ibrahim Salem from Salah Salem St. Nasr City)
Price range: £3
View: No special view
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
Finding a classy restaurant serving traditional local cuisines is not easy, but as it turns out, this restaurant did it.
So, if you want to taste real Egyptian food, you need to go to Tagen W Bram. This restaurant is ideally located in the heart of Cairo, one of the most affluent districts, making it easier to get there without worrying too much about the road.
It serves up some of the most delicious and authentic food in an opulent setting. The staff are extremely friendly and will ensure you have an excellent dining setting. The prices are also very reasonable, so you can definitely eat here without breaking the bank.
The menu has a big deal of dishes to choose from, making you somewhat overwhelmed about which plate you should start with. For example, we ordered hawawshi (bread stuffed with meat), okra with veal meat, and knuckles Bram. But I see there is nothing wrong with all offerings.
What we like most about this restaurant; while some places always fail to maintain a consistency of quality, service, and the whole experience, this restaurant will deliver you the same treat every single time. So, go with a hungry tummy to be able to indulge yourself in this goodness.
And if you’re vegetarian, no worries at all. You can find many delicious dishes with mouthwatering tastes.
- Kebdet El Prince
Location: Giza (79 Talaat Harb, Madinet Al Ommal, Imbaba)
Price range: £5
View: No special view
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
Everyone knows that Cairo is steeped in history, but no one knows that it’s also stepped into burgeoning culinary masterpieces in the local areas that you shouldn’t overlook. And because many of us are aggressively foodies on the Amazing Food& Drink team, we’re always on the hunt to find the finest popular spots around our local areas, or even anytime we travel somewhere new.
So naturally, we made our way to go to one of the most beloved restaurants for Egyptians, Kebdet El Prince, which you can call the godfather of traditional and street food in Egypt.
Kebdet El Prince is a local favourite in Egypt for its delicious food and great atmosphere. The restaurant is known for its kebabs, but after a few years, it turned out to be one of the best spots to start digging into Cairo’s food scene.
You don’t even need to know what to eat. The menu is as cosy, smoothie, and saucy as its cuisines. Our favourite picks are molokhia, sujuk sausage and grilled liver. But everything is worth trying. So, take the plunge and enjoy your comfort plates.
Situated in the heart of one of the local areas in Cairo, Imbaba, Kebdet El Prince considers one of Egypt’s attractions. The road could be challenging as it’s located in a narrow, overcrowded district, but if you request an Uber ride, you have nothing to worry about.
And don’t fret; it’s perfectly safe here.
Every time I go, I meet people from all over the world, but they all have one thing in common, and it’s not hard to figure out what it is.
The restaurant is also known for its friendly staff and relaxed atmosphere, making it a perfect place to have a pleasant with friends or family.
The only advice is to avoid going there on weekends as many locals choose to end their week with a warm meal from El Prince, and you’d wait a lot to find an empty table.
And if you come across someone yelling into a microphone with a series of numbers, try not to worry. You’ll be given a number when you check-in, and then you’ll have to wait until your time comes around. Yes, it’s well-organised and creative; this place is ideal.
- Le Pacha 1901
Location: Giza (Saray El Gezirah Street، El-Khalig, Zamalek)
Price range: £6
View: Nile River
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
As the capital, Cairo stunningly hugs the river. Therefore, you must enjoy your meal while admiring a decent view, especially at night when you will absorb a lively nightlife unlike before.
So, if you’re going to Egypt and wondering what restaurants will offer you this experience, we highly recommend this place.
Why? Because not all restaurants in Egypt with a pleasant view will serve delicious dishes. So, when you find it, it will be like a dream come true.
Okay, let’s face it: Cairo’s streets are crowded, noisy, and sometimes unendurable. And if you come here on summer vacation, your journey will quickly ruin if you don’t have a detailed plan of what you should do and what you should avoid. Of course, many cafes offer a Nile view, but not all restaurants are a good treat after a long day exploring Cairo’s museums and Giza Pyramides. But trust us, Le Pacha 1901 is a must-visit.
Tucked away in one of the most high-end neighbourhoods in Cairo, Zamalek, by the Nile, Le Pacha 1901, will not let you even wonder what you should eat there. Le Pacha 1901 is a boat comprising several restaurants, all in one, that offer just about everything from an afternoon coffee to dining in one of the finest restaurants accompanied by a classic atmosphere and Arab music.
We chose to enjoy the best Egyptian dishes in Carlo’s, which has a rich menu with something for everyone, so come with an appetite because you will need it. And if you’re willing to stay here for a while, you can order shisha to have a typical Arabian night.
Luckily, we savoured our order while enjoying an excellent belly dance show, taking the ambience to the next level. And that’s why it’s easy to fall in love with this innovative city where ancient, Arabian and modern with a particular spin meet together, creating what gives Egypt a sense of a unique place.
And if you’ve missed Asian taste, we’ve you covered. Walk into the award-winning international L’Asiatique with various plates and an inviting setting.
Other restaurants include River Boat (Lebanese), Le Steak (French), Le Tarbouche (Egyptian), Maharani (Indian), and Le J.Z. (lounge).
Simply put, Le Pacha 1901 is a great place to eat, drink, and relax – and that’s why everyone loves it!
- Sobhy Kaber
Location: Cairo (Ebeid, El Sahel)
Price range: £4
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
If you’re ever in Cairo, one restaurant you absolutely have to visit is Sobhy Kaber. All admire this place for its delicious food and great atmosphere.
When you walk in, you’re greeted by the friendly staff and the tantalising smell of fresh food. The menu has a long list of options, so take your time to choose what you’re aspiring to immerse in. And the best part? The prices are very reasonable.
Absolutely nothing on the menu is a wrong choice, but some of the most popular dishes are the kofta, grilled chicken, and stuffed grape leaves “dolma or wreak anab” that you are prone to ask about recipes. But please don’t because even if you’re a seasoned chef, you will never be able to cook something similar. There is a secret seasoning for this lemon pepper grilled meat, and no one will blurt out anything.
And not to forget the molokhia show, when a young chief brings it directly to your table, pouring from the pot to your bowl.
The restaurant could be somewhat chaotic where everyone is trying to book a seat, waitpersons are meandering everywhere to take orders, and wild music resonates from every corner. You will hardly hear your fellows. But who cares! Sobhy is a raucous energetic spot in one of the most crowded locations in Cairo, Shubra. Choose any corner, devour your plates, and go— nothing more, nothing less.
You’ll surely enjoy your meal at Sobhy Kaber no matter what you order.
And just like Kebdet El Prince, don’t come here during weekends because your mission to find a seat to have a hand on your stews would be even more complicated. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Sobhy Kaber and see what all the fuss is about!
- Koshary Abou Tarek
Location: Cairo (16 Maarouf St., the intersection of Champollion St., near the High Court)
Price range: £1
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
White rice in potent and flavourful lentils, crunchy crispy onions and chickpeas!
From the outside, they might easily be mistaken for their look, you might think they are very good leftovers mixed all together with a seasoned tomato paste, but if you look again, you will differentiate it; yes, it’s koshary. You’d want to eat it from a spoon.
If you ask everyone what the superstar of Egyptian food is, we would undoubtedly say koshary. And I am glad to be very famous for this vibrant combination. And Abou Tarek somehow makes it something magical.
Located in the heart of Cairo’s downtown, Koshary Abou Tarek is one of the oldest koshary restaurants in Egypt, dating back to 1950, featured with the most popular restaurant in the Middle East. However, many branches have been opened recently throughout the city, such as Hyper One in Sheikh Zayed—Giza, Al Rehab City, and New Cairo. Even you can have your Koshary Abou Tarek dish from Dubai.
For me, old is always gold, so every time I want to treat my appetite with something beautiful such as koshary, I go to the downtown brunch. Also, it takes me back to the early days when my family gathered every Friday to enjoy a fabulous traditional lunch.
The food is delicious, the atmosphere is festive and festive, and the staff are genuinely passionate about their work. That’s why Koshary Abou Tarek is a must-visit restaurant in Cairo. And before you go, order milky rice pudding to bring the revered taste down. The whole meal is so good, truly!
However, the cuisine isn’t the only thing that sets this place special – it’s also the atmosphere. The restaurant is always lively and dynamic, with pulsating music playing and people laughing.
All this is offered for £1; OH, what a fantastic bargain! 🙂
Location: Cairo (Concord Mall, S Teseen, New Cairo 1)
Price range: £9
Vegetarian offerings: No
The last time I was yearning for a super-rich fish cuisine, I asked my insiders to share their top spots. My foodie friends are surprisingly hitting every nook in Cairo to find the finest restaurants ever. However, they advised me not to look further than this eatery, Asmak.
Located in one of the most recently-developed neighbourhoods in Cairo, New Cairo, this restaurant, thankfully, surpassed my expectations. The one thing I am sure about it is that it was one of the best meals I have ever had.
The Egyptian way of preparing grilled fish seasoning with traditional tangy sauce can not be compared with anything else.
Our next stop should be right here at one of the best fish restaurants coming with multiple lip-smacking dishes ranging from watery pasta topped with delicious vegetables and a feast of salads to get started your typical meal. It’s something you can kill for!
There is a superior selection of seafood at this restaurant, all of which are perfectly cooked. The service is superb, and the ambience is perfect for a romantic evening out or group gathering. So if you are looking for a fantastic seafood meal, Asmak is the place to go.
With glittering in gold and black with upholstered seats and chic vibes, everything is placed to satisfy you with more than one option to choose which seating is the best for you. Coming in a three-floor building, the restaurant also offers an outdoor area for fresh air if you desire.
On weekends, expect to find long lines waiting for their return, and that’s when you should put your name on the waiting list. Otherwise, you can come here in the afternoon to beat the crowds.
My favourite picks here are garlic butterfly shrimps and sea bream. Uh oh, I’m becoming hungry now, and I am thinking of ditching this post soon to have a taste of this heavenly food. But let’s finish this now, and I’ll go directly to indulge in this experience again.
I’m sure you will get blown just like me!
- Ezz El Menoufy
Location: Cairo (More than 15 brunches around Cairo, including Maadi, New Cairo, Al Rehab City, and Al Mokatam)
Price range: £.65
Vegetarian offerings: No
Ezz El Menoufy is one of Cairo’s most famous street food places. That is because their stunning sandwiches offer something completely unexpected if it would be your first time to savour kebda. However, the thing that sets this eatery apart is that it’s not only the food that keeps people coming back but also the experience.
And don’t expect to find a long menu with a wide variety of foods. You have to choose between only three sandwiches fried sausage, smoked sausage, and liver sandwiches, all of which are prepared fresh and with love.
If you still need more to indulge in, I invite you to taste “Scalans,” one of our patented Egyptian inventions.
And don’t even try to understand what it means because it means nothing in Arabic and English. You can only feel it by swallowing this sweet combo of honey, butter, and halva! Yes, just piles of sugar and tahini, but it’s definitely worth it for at least one time!
The taste of the contrast in flavour between the quality of their ingredients will give you pause to order more! But please don’t forget your medication if you can’t manage the heat and sourness of these treats.
When you walk into Ezz El Menoufy, a good feeling will immediately go under your skin, not just because of their wonderful staff, who make sure you’re comfortable and take your order promptly— but also because the smell permeates everywhere.
The restaurant is always busy, but the staff ensures that everyone gets their food in a timely manner.
The show’s real star at Ezz El Menoufy is its inspiring story, dating back to 1976. This amazingly successful brand chain started with a humble cart selling kebda sandwiches on a busy street in Dokki, Cairo. And no one could imagine, even Ezz El Menoufy himself, that this massy food booth would hit almost every Cairo district for many years to come.
Location: Cairo (Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza)
Price range: £15
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
After you have a tour around causal bistros, street food options and more local packed sit-down restaurants, it’s time to take in a different culinary adventure.
If you ask Google what the best restaurants in Cairo by the Nile are, I bet Zitouni will top the list. And as someone who regularly checks Cairo in search of the finest restaurants on your behalf, I can attest to the accuracy of Google’s appraisal.
Thus, if you want a taste of Cairo while treating your eyes to a tasteful Nile view and being surrounded by authentic mashrabiyya design, you must visit Zitouni. This restaurant serves traditional Egyptian cuisine that will tantalise your taste buds. Dishes are made using seasonal, fresh-sourced ingredients, and the flavours will leave you wanting more.
The atmosphere at Zitouni is perfect for a night out with friends or family. But also, it would be idyllic for a romantic night with your lover. The staff is friendly and welcoming, and they make sure everyone has a great time. The decor is elegant and inviting, and the food is simply outstanding.
What we like more about Zitouni is that it’s not limited to local Egyptian food; all traditional Arabian cuisines are served here. So, start with some bright Lebanese appetisers, such as tabbouleh and moussaka, and then you can order the freshest Egyptian lentil soup to warm your heart to no end.
You can choose between a dining menu or an extensive colourful buffet for more comfort food. But we’re usually great fans of the à la carte option to be able to savour the finest cuisine they serve.
This polished restaurant lies in one of the most respected and expensive hotels in Egypt, Four Seasons. So, it would be better to dress up classy and classic.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable dining experience in Cairo, be sure to check out Zitouni. You won’t be disappointed!
- Abou El Sid, Zamalek
Location: Cairo (157 26 July Corridor, Mohammed Mazhar, Zamalek)
Price range: £7
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
It was what came my way recently when I searched for the best eateries with a lush design on TripAdvisor’s Cairo page.
You probably wouldn’t think of it initially when traditional Egyptian food is mentioned, and that’s why you have to check it as soon as possible because you’re about to enjoy some distinctive dishes in a quiet setting.
Several locations of the eatery may be found throughout Cairo, but our favourite is still in Zalamek, where everything is ideally placed to impart charming vibes.
First, the food. Abou El Sid serves plenty of delicious Egyptian dishes, from koshary (a rice and pasta dish) to shawarma (marinated meat grilled on a spit), mombar (Arab stuffed rice sausage), and fetta (seasoned-garlic rice with bread). Undeniably, Abou El Sid caters to a wide variety of tastes.
But we’ve ordered molokhia with rabbits and veal mouza with Freek tagin, perfectly roasted with tons of flavours and a variety of textures through each bite.
The second is the atmosphere. When you walk into Abou El Sid, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to Egypt. The decor is traditional, and the staff are always happy to chat with guests about their culture and country.
And last, there’s the intangible but deeply felt sense of history. This feeling comes from the story of the restaurant’s name. No one is absolutely sure about this myth, but the restaurant owner always cherished sharing it with its customers.
The story says that during the Ottoman Empire’s era, there was a man owning nothing but a warm heart. However, he was extremely generous; everyone loved him because of his boundless hospitality. Also, this man was gifted with cooking skills. So, the emperor appointed him as his private chef, yet the man didn’t appear to find the offer to be very charitable. Instead, he wanted to cook for the public and interact with them. So, he escaped from the royal palace and wrote all his recipes in a book.
Later, when this seasoned chef passed away, people found this book and named the restaurant after him to honour his legacy. This man was Abou El Sid. even if the idea sounds absurd initially; the restaurant does a great job convincing you otherwise.
So if you’re looking for an unforgettable culinary adventure, gather your travel companions for a meal there or add it to your list of things to do in Egypt right now.
- Kababgy Farahat
Location: Cairo (128 Al Azhar, El-Darb El-Ahmar, El Gamaliya)
Price range: £6
Vegetarian offerings: No
If you’re craving authentic, flavorful Egyptian food, you must visit Kababgy Farahat. This restaurant is famed for its pigeons, considered a delicacy in Cairo. And trust us, these are not your ordinary pigeons! Instead, tender and juicy meats, together with the flavour, are unlike anything you’ve ever tasted before.
Kababgy Farahat is more than just a restaurant – it’s a feast of different food adventures. A warm smile awaits you as you enter this pleasant and cozy space. The staff is incredibly hospitable. You’ll feel like you’re part of the family by the time you leave! And, of course, no visit to Kababgy Farahat would be complete without trying their juicy kofta. It’s a perfect weekend dinner while exploring the exotic food in Egypt.
But please note that a bunch of restaurants carry the same name. They are fake. The authentic restaurant has two branches in Cair now: Al Azhar, one of the oldest districts in Egypt, and Nasr City. But we invite you to visit the first because you will come across many points of interest on your way, especially if you are planning to visit Khan Al Khalili.
And please don’t expect a fancy restaurant with many dishes. The menu is limited to three cuisines, roasted pigeons, kofta, kabab, and neefa (Goat meat). It’s as simple as that. But you actually will not need something else. But they are flavoured. Every one of these comfort food will have you come back for more; I am pretty sure of that.
From the first bite, you will see why this eatery, despite its humble look, is an Egyptian landmark for locals and tourists.
And don’t miss out on your appetisers. But because we are experiencing something unique. Farahart will welcome you with some side dishes, pigeon soup, green salad, and Egyptian flatbread. The last two are not as important and delicious as the soup. It’s warm, flavoured, and refreshing. So don’t be afraid to taste it as it’s served in a cup!- Which is weird but surprising!
Also, the restaurant could not meet some cleanliness standards. You would take a seat behind someone you don’t even know. Or you’d meet many hangry cats circle around you, and you don’t get it, whether they want your attention to feed them or just a feline greeting.
So what are you waiting for? Book your table today!
- Pier 88
Location: Cairo (19 Saray El Gezira)
Price range: £10
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
There is something for every occasion here in Egypt, especially regarding food.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic date for two or a quick lunch between exploring sightseeing and experiencing some thrilling activities, this restaurant is to go.
But we want to offer you something special with a breathtaking view to admire this city again and over again like we do and taste what locals eat or long to eat all the time.
So, let’s head out to Pier 88…
The best classy restaurants are always a hit with tourists visiting Egypt. And this restaurant offers exquisite cuisine in an elegant yet casual atmosphere where many visitors choose to dine at this sleek eatery. The restaurant is perched on a docked boat overlooking the river. The food and drinks are excellent, but the prices are high compared to other restaurants in Cairo.
Traditional Egyptian food? No… this restaurant is exclusive for someone looking for a sophisticated high-end eatery with complete sights. It’s renowned for Italian cuisine and refreshing drinks. Our favourite picks are always Insalata Di Filetto Di Tonno Al Sesamo and Risotto con Porcini E Pecorino. However, we encourage you to order what you desire as the restaurant has set a new standard of high quality that will blow your mind.
The vibe around this place is the best ever if you want to appreciate the beauty of Cairo from a vantage point. And your pleasure will be completed with the open kitchen centred in the hall to get your drink at sunset and capture unbelievably memorable shots.
Planning to come here at night is highly recommended, too, when soothing music flows through its corners and everyone’s in the mood to party and get their groove on. It’s the perfect way to taste the nightlife in Egypt.
In order to guarantee a comfortable spot behind the glass façade, weekend visitors should call ahead of time to reserve a table.
Eating at Pier 88 is an unforgettable experience whether you dine inside or outside this high-end eatery with a breathtaking view of Cairo’s landmarks. As far as classy restaurants by the Nile go, Pier 88 is worth a visit.
- Hawawshi El Rabea
Location: Giza (Mohammed Al Embabi, El-Tahrir City, Imbaba)
Price range: £2
Vegetarian offerings: No
Are you serious about leaving Egypt without sampling hawawshi?
No. Just… no.
Take it from me, when it comes to on-the-go street food in Egypt, nothing gets more delicious, authentic, and loaded with flours than hawawshi.
So, tell me, what the heck does hawawshi mean?
Hawawshi is considered a twist on American burgers or other grilled meat. This flatbread stuffed with seasoned ground meat and rich ingredients will take you to another world. Don’t assume a pleasant digestion process in your intestines because this weighty indulgence may put you in a bad position. Hawawshi, however, is more than justified.
And yes, thousands of dining establishments within the city limits serve this old traditional overstuffed bread; even this recipe has made its way across the Middle East and spanned the globe. It’s common to be in Italy and find an Arab restaurant with hawawshi on its menu. But, honestly, nothing can compare with what is about to taste right here.
Hawawshi El Rabea is a must-try when you’re in Egypt. Here’s why:
1. The food is terrific. Hawawshi El Rabea is known for its delicious hawawshi, a type of Egyptian sandwich made with grilled meat and veggies. But, on the other hand, it is not all they deliver! You’ll also find traditional Egyptian dishes like kofta, kabab, and molokhia.
2. The prices are unbeatable. You can get a filling meal at Hawawshi El Rabea for just a few pounds. That means you can save money for other things, like souvenirs or entrance fees to the pyramids!
3. The location is home to the real spirit of Egypt, which will help you give a glimpse of this genuine culture of an overcrowded part of Cairo.
You might get struggle to find the restaurant as it’s situated on a narrow lane, so it’s better to come here with an Egyptian guide or by Uber and don’t even think of driving to this place. However, if you decide to go here, park your car somewhere else and walk to the restaurant.
The Egyptian friend will also help you communicate with the guy to order your food, as you could barely find someone who can speak English in such locations.
Once you arrive here, you will find more than one kind of hawawshi. So which one should you order?
The only difference between them is the filling ranging from cheese, sausage with meat, and plain beef. If this is your first time attempting authentic Egyptian cuisine, go for the milder options, the plain ones.
- Maison Thomas
Location: Cairo (157 26 July St, Mohammed Mazhar, Zamalek)
Price range: £7
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
Besides its vibrant local cuisines, Cairo is home to many international culinary pleasures fetching the best of the world, ranging from Italian, French, Indian and Lebanese cuisines.
And yes, Cairo is famous for its glorious history, the Islamic treasures, the Coptic area, the Pyramids, and more. However, there is no shame in sampling something special away from local dishes while spending your vacation here.
So, if you’re looking for the most delicious pizza in Cairo, you’ll want to head to Maison Thomas. This historic pizzeria has been serving delicious pies for over 110 years, and they show no signs of slowing down for an inexplicable reason.
When you walk in, you’re immediately transported back in time. The decor is classic and cosy, with black-and-white checkered tablecloths and photos of celebrities who have visited the restaurant.
The menu features all your favourite Italian dishes, but the real star is the pizza. The thin crust is perfectly crispy, and the toppings are fresh and flavorful. Maison Thomas will not let you down if you like your pizza simple or loaded with toppings. Its thin crust qualified it to be the tastiest Italian-quality pizza in Egypt.
However, Thomas chefs don’t spare any efforts to add their particular spin, making it neither American nor Italian; it’s an updated Egyptian version packed with different textures and flavours.
You’d be on the right hand with favourites like Margherita Pizza, Funghi Pizza, Marinara Pizza, and more. Also, don’t miss out on smoked salmon salad till your pizza is prepared and after finishing all slices, have your share from a delightful eclair or sweet yummy chocolate mousse!
Thomas has more than one shop around the city; Sheikh Zayed, New Cairo, Heliopolis, and Al Rehab City— however, the Zamalek branch is crème de la crème, ornated in brass and mirror.
So get ready to experience the best-flavoured pizza around Cairo Head to Maison Thomas.
- Foul Mahrous
Location: Cairo (Qasr El Nil, Garden City)
Price range: £.6
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
Here is one of our favourite places to enjoy Egyptian breakfast or dinner; if you don’t mind eating a meal saturated with fats and fried stuff without getting sick.
This restaurant has been serving Cairo’s favourite dishes for generations and will surely please you after a long tour of Cairo’s old locations. But wait, it’s not an actual restaurant; it’s just a food cart bedecked with all ingredients required to prepare your excellent dishes.
Despite its undistinguished design or look, or maybe shabby, a sense of warmth and comfort penetrated my flesh once I took my seat. First, the companionable chef will offer everything he has just to make you satisfied. Second, the plastic tables and chairs are set out under a tree, and the street lamp creates a quint atmosphere you will never find anywhere but in Egypt.
The restaurant is open 24h. So come here at any time, and you will be pleased with the same level of food quality. Indeed, the first time I visited Foul Mahrous was at 2:00 am, and I was surprised by the fresh taste of every single component. And that’s what makes this place beloved by locals and tourists alike.
From the hearty foul (a fava bean stew) to delicious falafel, this place should be included in your stay around Egypt— not just for its yummy food. Still, it was the desired spot for Egyptian celebrities throughout history.
And to complete your meal, sip a hot minted cup of tea to help your digestive system to tackle this surprising component. So come to Foul Mahrous and enjoy a delicious, original Egyptian meal.
So, what if you stayed in Cairo away from Foul Mahrous’s location? Is it worth it?
Yes, of course! No matter how far you should take to get in there, you need to taste the best foul you’ve laid your stomach on. And don’t be fried to come here late, even after midnight. The area is safe, just right next to the Canadian embassy.
- Khan El Khalili Restaurant et Naguib Mahfouz Coffee Shop
Location: Cairo (5 St. Sekat Al Badstan, El Gamaliya)
Price range: £.11
Vegetarian offerings: Yes
All the previous restaurants in this article are splendid, great spots to have dinner, and brimming with history, but this one makes a lot of sense.
Khan El Khalili Restaurant et Naguib Mahfouz Coffee Shop is one of the iconic cafes in Cairo.
And because Egypt is a country nested in different outstanding historic ers, you should be specific about which history the place belongs to. So, the cafe has an exciting legacy, dating back to the early 20th century. The cafe is named after Naguib Mahfouz, a Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian author who was a regular customer, making the spot beloved by all Arab writers. It is located deeply in the famous Khan El Khalili district, one of the oldest districts in Cairo, hidden away in one of the narrow mazes of Old Cairo.
So, it could be challenging to get in (even for me, I stumbled upon this place by chance), but once you check in here, you will be welcomed with hospitality and only smiling faces.
You will enjoy a tasteful view of the mosque of Sultan Hassan and the Citadel from your seat. The food at Khan El Khalili Restaurant is excellent, and the prices are somehow reasonable for tourists because you know you’re paying for the name and history.
The cafe has been serving traditional Egyptian dishes for over 30 years, ranging from falafel, foul, koshary, and other Egyptian-flavoured salads, and it’s still going strong. So, don’t be hesitant to order your local cuisines because reputable Oberoi Hotels run the restaurant.
Moreover, the place is just epic for capturing instagrammable shots, surrounded by arabesque and perfectly crafted wooden chairs if you’re willing to share some awesome photos with your fans.
You have to check this place out! The food and drinks here are irresistible and worth it. You won’t regret it!
Maybe you’re simply wondering what Egyptian food is. Or what are cultural restaurants to be visited in Cairo? And what should you expect from this exotic experience you are about to discover? We hope you find this insider guide about the best hotspots and gems of Cairo helpful while you’re enjoying yourself here. If you have spotted a fantastic restaurant in Cairo, be sure to recommend it to us so that we may make a beeline for it right away.