53 Best Restaurants in Cairo, Egypt

139 Pavilion

$$$$ | Giza Fodor's choice

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 to a high-end Pyramids-view breakfast at this restaurant within it. Options in the expansive buffet spread, served from 6 am to 11 am, include international items, and there are both indoor and shaded outdoor seating areas.

Abou Haidar Shawarma

$ | Heliopolis Fodor's choice

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 aromatic marinade and served in a pita or on soft white fino bread or fluffy bread rolls. Although there’s a small top-floor seating area, this is more of a grab-and-go restaurant.

13 Ibrahim Al Lakani St., El-Montaza, Cairo, Egypt
Known For
  • Juicy, well-seasoned beef shawarma rolls
  • Mango juice made with a secret recipe
  • Homemade potato chips with the perfect crunch

Mandarine Koueider

$ | Heliopolis Fodor's choice

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 Middle Eastern desserts generously stuffed with nuts, and the other sells ice cream in flavors like pistachio, raspberry, or mandarin. The malban bil eshta (Turkish delight filled with cream custard that's flavored with mastic) is a must-try.

5 Baghdad St., El-Montaza, Cairo, Egypt
2-2418–6555
Known For
  • Fresh batches of ice cream prepared daily
  • Often crowded (but don't let this deter you)
  • Crisp kunafa (syrup-soaked pastry) with a creamy center

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Zeeyara

$$$$ | Islamic Cairo North Fodor's choice

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 soups and specialties such as boneless stuffed pigeon or lamb with rice, mixed nuts, peas, and cinnamon—a must-try even if you're not a fan of lamb. Desserts are also delicious, and the mocktails are worth a try.

Zööba

$$ | Heliopolis Fodor's choice

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. Be sure to try the ful (fava-bean stew) and ta’amiya (falafel) with pickled lemons, though the koshary (macaroni casserole) is also divine.

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 standard entrance ticket, drive past the pyramids, and be guided to the lounge's parking area. Forego the indoor seating, and head straight to the gazebo-covered outdoor dining area, where you can enjoy Egyptian staples such as ful, ta'amiya, and fiteer while gazing at the majestic pyramids.

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. Today, people from all walks of life come to enjoy its coffee and desserts.

7 Emad Eddin St., Cairo, Egypt
2-2591–9666
Known For
  • Coffee, tea, and sweet treats
  • Nostalgia-inducing vintage feel
  • Lively spot for people-watching

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 Egyptian grilled meats, and a typical order for two people consists of ½ kilo (1 pound) of kebab and kofta, which are always served with fresh local salad, tahini, pickles, and aish baladi (Egyptian flatbread).

4 Haret Housh Qadam, Cairo, Egypt
2-2510–4462
Known For
  • Sizzling meats served by weight
  • Historical atmosphere
  • Muyyet salata (salad water), a refreshing, palate-cleansing vinaigrette to sip on while you eat

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 is made fresh on the spot—you can even watch the dough being flipped, stuffed, and placed in a brick oven. It’s customary to take your fiteer to the café across the street and enjoy it with black tea served with fresh mint leaves.

64 Damascus St., Cairo, Egypt
10-2090–4554
Known For
  • Crispy, well-balanced sweet kunafa fiteer
  • Mixed-cheese fiteer oozing with melted goodness
  • Unparalleled dough-flipping skills

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 hot and cold mezze and dishes such as moussaka, okra-and-veal-shank stew, and muammar (savory rice with cream)—all of it impressive. Abou El Sid has branches across Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt, but the decor makes the Zamalek location unique.

157 26 of July Corridor, Mohammed Mazhar St., Cairo, 12151, Egypt
2-2735–9640
Known For
  • Branches throughout Cairo and beyond
  • Convenient location in the heart of Zamalek
  • Grilled meats, stuffed pigeon, and other Egyptian classics
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: Reservations recommended

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, but it's been around for more than 85 years and is well known to many locals. The specialty is sweet couscous, which you can get with toppings like fresh cream or honey, though nothing beats having it the old-fashioned way—with powdered sugar and nuts.

70 Mari Gerges St., Cairo, Egypt
10-0056–2055
Known For
  • Fluffy couscous with a variety of sweet toppings
  • A good assortment of Egyptian desserts
  • Sells local Egyptian honey and olive oil

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 hot or cold mezzes.

136 El-Orouba, El-Nozha, Cairo, Egypt
2-2267–7730
Known For
  • Plenty of vegetarian options
  • Exceptionally friendly service
  • Bread baked in an open oven

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 from farm to grill in fewer than four hours, which is why (despite the fast-food joint look) this place turns out juicy grilled chicken—and little else. The birds are small, so you might want two; and while you're at it, ask for an extra container of the garlicky tahini to use as a dip.

13–14 Sour Nadi el-Zamalek, Cairo, 12411, Egypt
19018-in Egypt only
Restaurant Details
Rate Includes: No credit cards, Reservations not accepted

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 for more than 60 years. Seated at a wooden table surrounded by stonework, you can feast on mezze, grilled chicken or quail, and the freshest of flatbread—you might even get a glimpse of the women who masterfully prepare it.

New Giza Road, Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road, Cairo, Egypt
10-0353–2000
Known For
  • Superbly seasoned chicken, grilled to perfection
  • Exceptional bread, freshly baked in natural stone ovens
  • Expansive views

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: make your selection from the display, choose how you'd like it prepared (fried, baked, grilled, simmered in a clay tagine), head to a table, and wait for it to arrive. The butterfly shrimp and fish roe batarekh (tagine) with cream are both highly recommended. Prepare to get messy—most Egyptians eat their seafood by hand.

S. Teseen St., New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
10-0352–7777
Known For
  • Fresh fish brought in daily
  • Creamy fish roe tagine
  • Very busy at dinnertime

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 balls). Although the classic zalabya is served with powdered sugar or sugar syrup, possible toppings here include hazelnut, chocolate, and caramel.

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 portions of Egyptian and Middle Eastern food are generous. Thursday through Saturday, the live traditional music can be quite loud; opt for the indoor seating area or avoid weekends altogether if you want a peaceful meal. 

N Teseen St., New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
12-8008–0141
Known For
  • Live (and often loud) music on weekends
  • Friendly, helpful staff
  • Freshly baked fiteer with a variety of fillings

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 with fresh-from-the-garden ingredients. Consider trying one of the Fayyumi dishes; the pigeon is especially noteworthy.

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 for massaman or Penang curries. Start with a soup, perhaps tom kar gai (chicken in a coconut-milk broth), then move on to a delicious glass-noodle salad with shrimp, and end with a curry or two.

El Jockey

$ | Rodah Island

This 1930s neighborhood ice-cream shop is a great place to beat the heat, whether you opt for a scoop of chocolate or a fresh-fruit-flavored icy treat.

30 Roda St., Cairo, Egypt
2-2364–7233
Known For
  • Elaborate ice cream cakes
  • Unique Egyptian flavors like mastic
  • Evening people-watching spot

El Sheikh

$$ | Islamic Cairo South

Although you can order grilled kofta, stuffed pigeon, moussaka, or home-style stews served with rice, locals come to this family-run hotspot for Egyptian-style rotisserie chicken that's cooked to golden perfection. The waiters speak minimal English, but the chicken is in ovens on the sidewalk, and many dishes are on display inside, so you can point at what you want.

Elkbabgi

$$$$ | Mirage City

Popular with locals and busy on weekends, this family-style restaurant specializes in Egyptian barbecue with the country's traditional staple dishes served on the side. The decor is a little kitschy, but the food is delicious, portions are generous, and the staff is friendly.

N Teseen St., New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
Known For
  • Aromatic, charcoal-grilled beef or lamb
  • Perfectly baked okra tajine with beef cubes
  • Gaudy black, gold, and red-velvet decor

Fatatry El Hussein

$$ | Islamic Cairo North

Popular with locals and tourists alike, Fatatry El Hussein (also known as Egyptian Pancake House) specializes in fiteer, Egypt's flaky pastry served with your choice of sweet or savory fillings. For one heavenly bite after another, try the mixed-cheese version; dessert options such as custard or cream and honey will surely satisfy your sweet tooth.

Felfela

$$ | Downtown

This popular restaurant, built into an alleyway, is a good place to try such Egyptian staples as shorbat ‘ads (lentil soup), which is tasty with a squeeze of lemon in it; ta’amiya (the local version of felafel); and ful (stewed fava beans). You can also enjoy a cold beer or a glass of wine with your food.

Five Bells

$$$$ | Zamalek

Although it's not a fine-dining restaurant, the locally beloved Five Bells has been around for decades and blends a nostalgically proper feel with an easygoing, casual atmosphere. You can sit indoors, where there's a bar, but most people enjoy their Egyptian or international dishes outdoors, under a sizable tent with a central fountain that's surrounded by five bells. The doors open at noon, but it's busier at dinner, when reservations are a good idea.

13 Ismail Mohammed St., off Abu Al Feda St., Cairo, Egypt
10-0113–2181-reservations
Known For
  • Live piano music
  • Remarkable assortment of mezze served with delicious crispy bread
  • A great place to enjoy a glass of wine

Gad

$$ | Islamic Cairo South

Options at this local street-food favorite range from ful (fava bean stew) or ta'amiya (Egyptian-style felafel) sandwiches to beef or chicken shawarma wraps. Most customers order food to go, but seating is available if you need to take a break.

Garden Promenade Café

$$$ | Zamalek

Seek refuge from Cairo's crowded streets with bite to eat and a drink (alcoholic or not) at this café set in the gardens next to the restored Gezira Palace. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it serves everything from soups, salads, and sandwiches to pizzas and pastas.

Haty Abo Ashraf

$$$$ | Old Cairo

At this haty (grill room), you can order your tender, juicy meat selection with a chopped salad and a choice of dip (tahina, garlic paste, hummus, baba ganoush) for the side of fresh aish baladi (Egyptian flatbread). Abu Ashraf also serves muyyet salata (salad water), a vinegar shot that many Egyptians enjoy before a hearty meal to whet their appetites. You're sure to chuckle at the restaurant’s quirky and gaudy decor, with portraits of the owner on the wall and, most nights, the man himself behind the register.

Ibis Restaurant & Cooking School

$$$

With excellent food prepared by Swiss chef Markus Iten, a cozy indoor dining area with a fireplace, and an outdoor terrace with show-stopping views of Qarun Lake, this is the perfect place to fuel up before, during, or after a day of exploring Tunis Village's pottery workshops. The restaurant also offers both pottery and cooking classes.