Cairo Restaurants

Cairo's restaurant scene has really developed over the last decade, breaking out of the five-star hotels and onto the streets. Eating out is now a regular form of entertainment, affordable to the growing upper and middle classes in Egypt. Naturally, Egyptian food remains the local favorite, and Cairo is the place to find the best of the country's specialties. Restaurants compete mainly on quality of ingredients rather than refinement of preparations. However, the range of cuisine options has expanded dramatically to include Indian, Thai, French, Italian, and even Japanese.

Local beers (including Stella Premium, Luxor, and Sakara) are common, and you can usually find a range of drinkable, if unremarkable, local wines (the top-rate Grand Marquis label, then the passable Omar Khayyam, Sheherazade, and Obelisque, and a much less wonderful Rubis).

Egyptians eat late: lunch from 1 to 3 and dinner often starting at 9 or 10. Most restaurants are open daily for both lunch and dinner. Dress is generally smart casual. Local beers and wines are served in many restaurants, but expensive imported alcohol is limited to top-end establishments. Although fancier places levy a 12% service charge, it is customary to leave a tip in inverse relation to the size of the bill, ranging from, say, 8% at expensive places to 12% to 14% at cheaper places.

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  • 1. 139 Pavilion

    $$$$ | Giza

    If you’re not already spending a night or two at the Marriott Mena House, start your Giza day trip an hour earlier, and treat yourself...Read More

  • 2. Abou Haidar Shawarma

    $ | Heliopolis

    This Heliopolis landmark, in business for over five decades, often has a line of people waiting to order Egyptian-style beef shawarma, made with a deliciously...Read More

  • 3. Mandarine Koueider

    $ | Heliopolis

    Known for the blue-mosaic niche wall on its facade, this small but beloved branch of Mandarine Koueider is divided into two sections: one side sells...Read More

  • 4. Zeeyara

    $$$$ | Islamic Cairo North

    On the rooftop terrace of Le Riad Hotel de Charme, Zeeyara serves modernized Egyptian dishes, including a remarkable assortment of hot and cold mezzes and...Read More

  • 5. Zööba

    $$ | Heliopolis

    Known for its relaxed vibe, Zööba offers Egyptian street food featuring modern twists (and slightly higher prices), all of it made with locally sourced ingredients....Read More

  • 6. 9 Pyramids Lounge

    $$$ | Giza

    The Giza Plateau really needed a place like 9 Pyramids Lounge, which is accessed via the Mena House Giza Plateau entrance, where you'll purchase the...Read More

  • 7. À L'Americaine

    $$ | Downtown

    Founded in the 1930s, this quaint coffee shop has witnessed most of Downtown’s history and was once a favorite spot for its elites and celebrities....Read More

  • 8. Abo Hashem

    $$$ | Islamic Cairo South

    Although it's been around for more than 120 years, this restaurant remains a hidden gem, nestled amid Islamic Cairo's narrow alleyways. The menu focuses on...Read More

  • 9. Abo Sherif

    $$ | Heliopolis

    Flakey layers of fiteer pastry generously stuffed with your choice of sweet or savory fillings is what Abo Sherif is known for, and every order...Read More

  • 10. Abou El Sid

    $$$ | Zamalek

    You'll feel as if you've entered an Arabian palace when you pass through the portal of this restaurant. The food perfectly complements the decor, with...Read More

  • 11. Abu Ahmed Couscous

    $ | Old Cairo

    Unless you happen to walk in the opposite direction from the sites of Coptic Cairo, you’re not likely to stumble upon this little hole-in-the-wall kiosk,...Read More

  • 12. Al Dabke

    $$$$ | Heliopolis

    Although the decor is pure Arabian, the cuisine is authentic Lebanese. Fresh bread makes a nice accompaniment to the delicious soups, stews, grilled meats, and...Read More

  • 13. Al-Tazaj

    $ | Mohandiseen

    When it comes to speedy service, McDonald's could learn a thing or two from the Saudis who own Al-Tazaj. They claim to get their produce...Read More

  • 14. Al-Tazaj

    $ | Downtown | Middle Eastern

    ...Read More

  • 15. Andrea El Mariouteya New Giza

    $$$ | Giza

    The setting, atop a hill overlooking suburbia and a 20-minute drive from the pyramids, is new, but this Egyptian barbecue restaurant has been in business...Read More

  • 16. Asmak

    $$$$ | Mirage City

    Here, you can feast on Egyptian-style seafood, priced by weight and cooked to perfection, without having to visit the coast. The ordering process is streamlined:...Read More

  • 17. Batates & Zalabya

    $ | Zamalek

    Batates & Zalabya is a major chain of street stalls that specializes in two snacks: batates (French fries), and, more notably, zalabya (Egyptian deep-fried dough...Read More

  • 18. Beit Aziz

    $$$ | Mirage City

    The decor here pays homage to designs used for the mashrabiya (a balcony with an elaborate screen-like enclosure), the service reflects Egyptian hospitality, and the...Read More

  • 19. Blue Donkey Restaurant

    $$$$

    Overlooking Qarun Lake, this restaurant in the Lazib Inn Resort & Spa has a cozy, eclectic lounge and serves Egyptian and international cuisine, all prepared...Read More

  • 20. Bua Khao

    $$ | Ma'adi

    Run by a Thai woman who uses ingredients flown in from Bangkok, this restaurant manages mouthwateringly authentic food that has saved many an expatriate longing...Read More

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