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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.

Expensive

Khan El-Khalili Restaurant & Naguib Mahfouz Coffee Shop

Cuisine: 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 Restaurant

Cuisine: 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.
Website: http://www.cairo.grand.hyatt.com

The Moghul Room

Cuisine: 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.
Website: http://www.menahousehotel.com/dining.html

Zitouni

Cuisine: Egyptian

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
Website: https://www.fourseasons.com/content/fourseasons/en/properties/caironp/dining/restaurants/zitouni/

Moderate

Café Riche

Cuisine: 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

Sequoia

Cuisine: International

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.
Website: http://www.sequoiaonline.net

The Fish Market

Cuisine: 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.

Cheap

Abou Tarek

Cuisine: 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.

Felfela

Cuisine: Egyptian

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
Website: http://www.felfelaegypt.com/

Maison Thomas

Cuisine: 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.

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If you want to be in the thick of Khan el Khalili, this is the place. Overlooking the mosque Al Hussein, rooms are basic, but large. Water is usually hot, and there is a ceiling fan but the air-conditioning – when working – is noisy, and bathroom might be a little grubby. However the real draw is the huge balconies overlooking the square, a fantastic spot for watching the world go by. Service can be surly, especially for the (very basic) breakfast, but overall it’s great value.

Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza

This Cairo hotel offers 366 luxury rooms, including 101 suites, all with wonderful views of the Nile, the city and citadel, and many with private terrace. Facilities include a rooftop pool deck with adult and children's pools, and an excellent beauty and wellness spa. The hotel has six restaurants, headed by the seafood restaurant Aqua.

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Mena House

Originally the palace of the Khedives Ismail, with fabulous views of the pyramids, this is one of the most glamorous and romantic hotels in Cairo. Since opening in 1887, it has hosted kings, emperors and movie stars, with four luxury suites enhanced by antiques, murals and tapestries. Try and book a pyramid-view room.

Hotel Longchamps

Very popular small family-run hotel in a relatively peaceful area, this Cairo hotel has been going strong since 1953. Comfortable rooms are bright and clean, with a hint of a colonial flavour, and the real gem are the two leafy terraces. Always busy, so advance booking is essential.

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The hotel's twin towers are a distinctive landmark rising 20 stories high and providing magnificent views of the Nile and six acres of gardens. This former palace offers 977 updated rooms, 111 elegant suites, 15 restaurants and a world-class casino - it's got all the bases covered.