Restaurants in Cairo
Frequented by locals as well as visitors, some of Cairo’s best restaurants are found in the international hotels. Food varies from Middle Eastern-style grilled meats and shawarma (a form of kebab), to more Mediterranean and European options. Prices tend to be low, at least by western standards.
The Cairo restaurants below have been hand-picked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over EGP300)
Moderate (EGP100 to 300)
Cheap (up to EGP100)
These Cairo restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for one, including half a bottle of house wine or equivalent, tax and service. Tipping at 10% is normal, unless a service charge has already been added to the bill.
Khan El-Khalili Restaurant & Naguib Mahfouz Coffee ShopCuisine: Egyptian
In the middle of the sprawling market streets, this traditional coffee shop is named after Egypt's Nobel prize-winning novelist, who set many of his works in this area. Traditional musicians play most evenings; try for a table in the front section. It serves traditional Egyptian cuisine but you could just come for a juice and fabulous Om Ali, the national’s beloved dessert - a rich pudding made from sweet bread, dried fruit, nuts and cream.Address: Khan El-Khalili, 5 El Baddistan Lane, Cairo,
Telephone: (02) 795 7377.
Revolving RestaurantCuisine: French
The view of the sunset from the Grand Hyatt’s 40th floor cocktail lounge is surpassed only by the restaurant a floor above, with Cairo spread out at your feet like a tapestry of light. Suitable for a romantic intimate dinner for two, with tables set around a central platform, the restaurant offers inspiring French haute cuisine.Address: Corniche el Nil, Grand Hyatt, Garden City, 11511
Telephone: (02) 365 1234.
The Moghul RoomCuisine: Indian
Thought to be Egypt’s finest Indian restaurant, and located in the Mena House Oberoi hotel overlooking the Pyramids, the cuisine is North Indian, with kebabs and rich, creamy curries a speciality. Décor is traditional Indian, with classical musicians playing nightly.Address: Giza, Pyramids Road, Cairo, 12556
Telephone: (02) 3377 3222.
If you're looking for delicious authentic Egyptian food and a spectacular view of the Nile, Zitouni is the place to go. Found within the Cairo Four Seasons Hotel, this traditional and elegantly decorated restaurant offers a range of local specialties from mezzes to grilled dishes, with an impressive seafood buffet on Thursdays and a spectacular Egyptian brunch on Fridays. And the best thing is, it's open 24-hours a day, so you can always satisfy your cravings for Egyptian cuisine.Address: Cairo Governorate, 1089 Corniche El Nil, Cairo, 11519
Telephone: 20 (2) 2791 6877
Café RicheCuisine: International
The legendary Café Riche traces its origins back to 1908. For years, it was favoured by literary stars and cultural movers, before falling into decline in later life. The café and restaurant was reopened in 2000 and thanks to a painstaking restoration it has successfully recovered its previous glory. The coffee is good, as are the platters of grilled meats. But most of all, Café Riche is worth a visit for its rich history.Address: Downtown Cairo, 17 Talaat Harb, Cairo, 11511
Telephone: +20 2 2392 9793
It’s not renowned for culinary excellence, but the location and chic décor can’t be beaten. Join Cairo’s young fashionable crowd, sink into white sofas, choose meze or even sushi, as the breeze from the Nile cools your brow. There’s even a menu of fruity sheesha pipes. Unbeatable on summer nights. Minimum charge at weekends; reservations essential.Address: Zamalek, 53 Abu El Feda, Cairo, 11211
Telephone: (02) 273 56050.
The Fish MarketCuisine: Fish and seafood
This busy, unpretentious restaurant is located on a huge boat on the Nile, spread over two floors, with fish delivered directly from the port of Alexandria. Choose from the catch of the day laid out on ice slabs, with prices per kilo clearly marked, from red mullet to sea bass and Alaskan King crab, which will then be grilled or fried. Good value set meals. Reservations recommended.Address: Giza, Sharia el Nil, Cairo,
Telephone: (02) 3570 9693.
Abou TarekCuisine: Egyptian
The best place to sample the traditional dish koshary – a mix of rice, lentils, pasta and fried onions – this is the place for an informal fill up where diners eat on tin plates. For those chasing the real Cairene experience, it’s filled with locals, too.Address: Downtown Cairo, 26 El-Shaikh Marouf, Cairo, 11511
Telephone: (02) 2577 5935.
Those looking for more down-to-earth dining without sinking to the poor quality of some of the city’s street food should try Felfela. Despite being in the heart of endlessly bustling downtown, the restaurant provides a tranquil respite from its surroundings. Make sure you try koshary, a traditional dish made up of rice, chickpeas, lentils, and tomatoes, which is fried in onion and garlic, and delicious.Address: Downtown Cairo, 15 Hoda Shaarawi Street, Cairo, 11511
Telephone: (02) 2395 5557
Maison ThomasCuisine: Italian
If you’re crying out for a slice of pizza or a thick sandwich of cold cuts, this Italian-style bistro chain is a real institution. Good for kids and party goers, it’s open 24 hours, and as good for a full evening meal as a coffee and slab of chocolate cake.Address: Zamalek, 157 26 July Street, Cairo, 11511
Telephone: (02) 2735 7057.