Alexandria Restaurants

Alexandria's culinary gift is extraordinary seafood, drawing on the best of the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The preparation tends to be simple: grilled or fried, perhaps laced with garlic, herbs, or butter, and typically served with tahini (sesame paste) and a couple of salads on the side. The ingredients are so fresh that anything more elaborate would obscure their flavors. Most places display their offerings of fish, shrimp, crab, calamari, and mussels on ice, and you pay by weight or per serving. The price includes preparation and everything else—there are no hidden costs. If you need help choosing, there will always be someone on hand to guide your selection.

Because the focus is on fresh seafood, restaurants in Alexandria (especially the good ones) tend to be informal and quite inexpensive for the quality of what they serve. Naturally, many are near the water, some of them appropriately weathered, while others consist of no more than a few tables in an alley. A few places will levy a service charge, but most will not. In all places a tip of 10% is appropriate. Do not expect alcohol to be served in most restaurants.

Off-season, Alexandrians eat meals at standard times: 1 to 3 for lunch and 8 to 11 for dinner. But in summer dinner often begins much later. There is nothing more Mediterranean about Alexandria than the pace of dinner in the summer: after an evening siesta, have a shisha (water pipe) around 11, arrive at a waterfront restaurant after midnight, then wrap up the meal with an early morning espresso at an outdoor café nearby. You don't have to eat so late, of course, but you might be surprised how seductive it is.

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  • 1. Baudrot

    $ | Mahatet El Raml | Middle Eastern

    Even if your body can't handle any more caffeine, it's worth stopping at Baudrot . A café of this name has been a major element in the social...Read More

  • 2. Byblos

    $$$$ | San Stefano | Mediterranean

    The signature restaurant of the Four Seasons, Byblos serves excellent Lebanese dishes and brasserie-style French cuisine—you can mix and match...Read More

  • 3. China House

    $$ | Raml Station | Asian

    There are Indian, Chinese, and Thai chefs working here, so although the menu seems a little wide-ranging, you do get pretty authentic cuisine...Read More

  • 4. El Qobaisy

    $ | Gomrouk | Middle Eastern

    A small palace of marble decorated with piles of colorful fresh fruit, El Qobaisy is one of the most incongruous places in Alexandria. Though...Read More

  • 5. Fish Market

    $$$ | Gomrouk | Seafood

    On the waterfront side of Alexandria Corniche, this is probably the biggest fish restaurant in the city and sees a regular crowd of locals who...Read More

  • 6. Grand Café

    $$ | Gomrouk | Middle Eastern

    Adjacent to the Tikka Grill and under the same management, this outdoor restaurant is one of the coziest, most romantic places in Alexandria...Read More

  • 7. Grand Trianon

    $ | Raml Station | European

    One of Alexandria's most stylish institutions is also the city's most gorgeous restaurant, with high ceilings, elaborate carved wooden chandeliers...Read More

  • 8. Kadoura

    $$ | Gomrouk | Seafood

    Granted, it looks unpromising: not shabby enough to feel authentic, not stylish enough to feel elegant. So close your eyes. Kadoura is famous...Read More

  • 9. Samakmak

    $$$ | El Anfushi | Seafood

    This seafood restaurant is located in a suitably run-down area near the port where the fishing boats dock, and it is so close to the landing...Read More

  • 10. Taverna

    $$ | Raml Station | Pizza

    This is more a pizzeria than a real Greek taverna, but the pizza is delicious, assembled in front of you and baked in an oven to the left of...Read More

  • 11. Tikka Grill

    $$ | Gomrouk | Middle Eastern

    Alexandrians swear by this place, and it's packed with families in the early evenings and an older crowd later on. It has surprisingly elegant...Read More

  • 12. Zephyrion

    $$ | Seafood

    Established in 1929 in the dusty village of Abu Qir east of Montazah, Zephyrion has been synonymous with good seafood for three generations...Read More

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