Situated in the heart of Egypt, the capital Cairo stunningly hugs the river, Nile. The city is famous for its rich ancient history, the pyramids, the Islamic city, the Coptic city, and many more. But if you visit Cairo do not get stuck in the mesmerizing past, you also have to enjoy the hip and happening present, including the rich dining scene in the ever-buzzing capital. Restaurants in the city are as varied as they are plentiful, so what are the best restaurants in Cairo?
Where would you dine in a city that offers thousands of amazing restaurants?
In a quest to feed the hungry and the travelling, we have tried to compile a list of the best restaurants in Cairo. With the main focus on brilliant Egyptian food, here is our list of the must-try restaurants in Cairo.
Abou El Sid, Zamalek
The first place that comes to mind when Egyptian food is mentioned is Abou El Sid; the restaurant has become a synonym for Egyptian fine dining. And even though the restaurant has several branches, the Zamalek branch with its authentic atmosphere remains a favourite.
There is a charming fictional story behind the restaurant’s name. The story says that Abou El Sid was a humble man in old Cairo who loved cooking. He was so generous and opened his door to all people. But the Sultan wanted him to be his private chef. Abou El Sid missed cooking for the people so much that he escaped from the palace and wrote all his recipes in a cooking book that he hid well. Years later people found his book, used his recipes to make people happy, and named the restaurant in his honor.
Pro tip: Order The Molokheya with rabbits and the Veal with Freek, they are not to be missed.
Naguib Mahfouz Cafe
In Khan el Khalili, the vast souk in old Cairo, you’ll find the Naguib Mahfouz Cafe. The late Egyptian novelist, who received the 1988 Nobel Prize in Literature, is honoured by having the restaurant, which is run by Oberoi, a prestigious hotel chain, bear his name.
Along with offering a comprehensive meal menu, it is also recognised as a cafe and a shisha lounge. It offers a pleasant break from the bazaar’s bustle. There is a limited selection of international cuisine as well as Egyptian favourites, including beef or chicken hawawshi, lamb or chicken kofta, koshari, falafel, dolma, and mezze spread.
Farahat, Al Azhar
If you go to Cairo you have to visit Al Azhar and Khan Al Khalili, and if you go to Al Azhar Street you have to eat at Farahat. It is as simple as that.
This Egyptian landmark is simple, unique, and all-over amazing. It is one of the best restaurants in Cairo, and one of the most famous as well.
An authentic Egyptian street food experience, the food options might be limited but they are certainly flavorful. Stuffed pigeons, grilled Kebab and Kofta, and Neefa (Goat meat). That’s it! As a side dish, Farahat serves green salad, Egyptian whole wheat bread, and pigeon soup.
Not only is Farahat one of the best authentic restaurants in Cairo, but it is also the best place to enjoy a hearty meal after you finish touring the Al Hussein area.
Pro tip: They claim to serve the best-stuffed pigeons in town, they are not kidding!
Andrea Mariouteya, New Giza
Offering one of the most limited menus, Andrea New Giza is a longtime favourite among the best restaurants in Cairo for a good reason.
It used to be in Mariouteya, hence the name, until the restaurant moved to the new location overlooking Cairo from atop a hill in New Giza. The simple open décor is outstanding, the view is beautiful and the food is absolutely delicious.
The place is renowned for serving a very simple menu of roasted chicken, fries, and rice with liver, in addition to some salads and appetizers. The menu has not changed at all over the years, neither has the tasty food.
Pro tip: You must try the fried kofta appetizer with their freshly baked whole wheat bread, and some Tahini.
Sea Gull, Agouza
Superbly prepared fresh seafood right in the heart of the river Nile, what else can a person ask for?
Sea Gull is without a doubt one of the best restaurants in Cairo, especially for seafood lovers. Choose your own fresh fish from the icy display, then order a feast of salads and appetizers to keep you company while the fish is being prepared.
Indoor and outdoor seating is available; both are nice and homey so choose according to the weather. The salads are all amazing and the fish is so fresh you can smell the sea scent once you enter the place.
Pro tip: You must try the grilled Singari, an Egyptian speciality, and the fried calamari.
Zitouni is one of the fancy restaurants in Cairo. It is located at The Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza, In an opulent dining area with views of the Nile and Persian-inspired decor, the restaurant serves Egyptian cuisine. Signature dishes include Egyptian lentil soup, stuffed pigeon, lamb and okra, and molokhia stew, the prized traditional dish made from jute leaves. For sides and starters, serve-yourself buffet service is available with dozens of hot and cold mezze, a variety of grilled dishes, and a huge selection of desserts.
Abu Shakra, Al Haram
Hatti Abu Shakra Restaurant was opened in 1974. The restaurants established good fame over the years and became the talk of the city on the banks of the Nile in the downtown area of Cairo, which is famous as the most prestigious area of Cairo for its tourist site, called Qasr al-Nil for its views of the Nile directly and the Nile Bridge And Cairo Tower.
The restaurant started serving Egyptian grills, and then it started serving many different dishes such as seafood, tagines, and others. Over time it became one of the most famous restaurants and became a tourist attraction such as the Nile, the pyramids, and others. Abu Shakra restaurant was the first restaurant to provide service Parties in Bedouin tents and Egyptian nights for foreigners at the foot of the pyramids and Nile boats, there are many branches of the Abu Shakra restaurant chain, the most famous of which is the Haram branch in front of the Sphinx, the entrance to sound and light, and the Mirghani branch in Heliopolis.
Pro tip: You absolutely have to try the okra tagine!