25 Best Bars in Cairo, Egypt

Carlton Roof Garden

Downtown Fodor's choice

Locals gather on this beautiful terrace, on the eighth floor of a 1930s family-run hotel, to escape the city’s chaotic streets and to take in the incredible skyline views. Staffers are quick on their feet and friendly, and there's a wide range of alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks. The indoor area, with hardwood floors and large windows, is the place to be when it's chilly.

Crimson Bar & Grill

Zamalek Fodor's choice

In terms of location, this rooftop bar won the lottery: it overlooks the Nile from one of Zamalek’s quietest streets. No surprise, then, that it's popular, so you need a reservation to get in. The red color scheme is softened a bit by plant walls, wood-and-marble tables, and other fixtures; the food is delicious; and the drinks menu is extensive. Be sure to ask about sizes before ordering, though: sangria is sometimes served in punch bowls—trendy punch bowls, but still.

Sachi

Heliopolis Fodor's choice

Sleek black tables and low-hanging lights create an intimate and luxurious atmosphere at this high-end establishment, where the service is stellar, the cocktails are sophisticated, and, if you're peckish, the food is Mediterranean-Asian fusion.

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1920s Boutique Hotel & Restaurants

Heliopolis

This beautiful, 100-year old villa has a selection of restaurants, all with bars, that make it a go-to place for a night out. Enjoy Latin dishes at El Barrio, pizza at Il Divino, Middle Eastern at Carlos, sushi at The Smokery, and meat dishes at OX. Reservations at any of them are a good idea.

Aperitivo

Zamalek

Aperitivo is a great place to dress up and enjoy a night on the town. The modern decor, dark wood, and warm but low-key lighting give it a luxurious, romantic feel; the service is excellent; and the food and drinks, though pricey, are exquisite.

157 26 July St., Cairo, Egypt
2-2735–0543

Café Riche

Downtown

Founded in 1908, Café Riche was once the social headquarters for members of Cairo's theater and literary communities. The historic ambience makes it a great place to enjoy a relaxed drink and, perhaps a French-influenced Egyptian grill dish from a menu that has changed very little in more than a century.

17 Talaat Harb St., Cairo, Egypt
2-2391–8873

Cairo Cellar

Zamalek

Though this lively bar is literally in the basement of the President Hotel, the descent into it is far nicer than that into the average cellar. Food (mainly tapas), drinks, and merriment are all on tap.

Cairo Jazz Club

Mohandiseen

This club, next to 15th of May Bridge, has a dark, scruffy interior that isn't much to look at, but this is far and away the best place to hear live music in the city—not that there is much competition. Regular bands play a fusion of Western and Arab styles that always has the twentysomething crowd on its feet. Reservations are highly recommended.

Carmen Pub Bar

Zamalek

Locals and tourists patronize this relaxed watering hole in the Flamenco Hotel for its draft beer, affordable drinks, and personalized service. The barmen, most of whom have been working here a long time, are exceptionally good at recognizing faces, even those of customers who have visited just once before.

2 El Gezira El Wosta St., Cairo, Egypt
2-2735–0815

Carol Tapas Bar

Downtown

This low-key Downtown bar, with an eye-catching display of backlit bottles, serves a wide range of cocktails, beer, spirits, and wine to accompany its selection of Middle Eastern mezzes. Nonsmokers take note, though: indoor smoking is allowed.

12 Kasr El Nil St., Cairo, Egypt
10-2911–1105

Char Bar

Giza

High ceilings, wooden chairs and floors, and the sweet smell of a burger sizzling are among the things that define the bar on the third floor of the Four Seasons. It's a casual place to unwind with a glass of wine or a cold beer in hand. The signature burgers are delicious but not for the fainthearted (think stacks of potato chips, fried eggs, and loads of cheese); other food offerings include a loaded hotdog and a gooey cookie pan.

El Horreya Café and Bar

Downtown

This quintessential local bar has been the go-to spot for leftist intellectuals, writers, artists, poets, and expats since the 1930s. You can sip coffee, tea, or a cold beer, all under one roof.

2 off Bab El Louq St., El Falaky Square, Cairo, Egypt
2-2392–0397

Esco-Bar

Garden City

Head for the 19th floor of the famous and trendy Cairo Capital Club to enjoy the excellent views while sipping on margaritas and indulging in some high-end Tex-Mex.

9 El-Moustashar Mohammed Fahmy El-Sayed St., Cairo, Egypt
12-7133–3388

Estoril Bar

Downtown

Like many other Downtown spots, this bar is a favorite of political activists and artists. It was established in the 1970s by a Greek couple, and it sits in a passageway between two buildings. The food is hit-or-miss, but the service is excellent, and the bar is lively—often filled with a mix of locals and visitors lingering over bottles of red wine or beer.

12 Talaat Harb St., Cairo, Egypt
2-2574–3102

Gingko

Downtown

The modern, stylish rooftop bar at the Fairmont Nile City hotel serves delicious food to accompany its drinks. You also can't beat the view of the Nile backed by Cairo’s skyline.

2005 Corniche al-Nil, Cairo, Egypt
2-2461–9595

Il Giardino Restaurant

Giza

At this lounge and restaurant in the Steigenberger Hotel, you can kick back, relax, and reward yourself with some Italian food and a glass of wine or a cocktail after a day of sightseeing.

Cairo–Alexandria Desert Road, Kafr Nassar, Cairo, Egypt
2-3377–2555

L'Aubergine

Zamalek

Head to the candlelit top floor for a cocktail and the ground floor if you want dinner and drinks. The atmosphere is casual, the drinks menu is extensive, and the food menu features innovative dishes. Though it can be a bit dark and a bit loud, and reservations are required, L'Aubergine is open and late and is centrally located.

5 Sayed El-Bakry St., Cairo, Egypt
2-2738–0080
Nightlife Details
Rate Includes: Reservations required

Le Bistro

Downtown

On one of Downtown’s hippest streets, this cozy pub and restaurant offers an international menu, a decent selection of drinks, and terrific service. You can't miss the place: just look for its Art Deco–style facade; inside, though, the decor is less flamboyant.

Monkey Bar & Grill

Zamalek

Chic decor that mixes rustic with modern, fantastic drinks, and delicious food (the desserts are especially decadent) make for a great experience at this loud, trendy bar and grill. Just remember to make reservations.

22 Taha Hussein St., Cairo, Egypt
10-3349–3330
Nightlife Details
Rate Includes: Reservations required

Omar Khayyam Casino

Zamalek

The crowd at this upscale casino in the Cairo Marriott Hotel consists only of tourists and expats (by law, Egyptians aren’t allowed to gamble). It's open 24/7 and has all the usual games, including roulette, blackjack, and slot machines. All you need to enter is your passport—and perhaps, your lucky charm.

Pier 88

Zamalek

Occupying a docked boat, rather than, as its name suggest, a pier, this upscale restaurant-bar is quiet on most weeknights but comes alive on weekends. Try for a seat in the small outdoor area, where you can enjoy the river breeze. The food is predominately Italian, and the service is generally good—unless it's busy.

Shinkō

Mirage City

This sleek, modern trendsetter has garnered a loyal following thanks to the memorable cocktails created by its talented mixologists. There's also a short bar-food menu.

1 Al Zohwer, Second New Cairo, Cairo, 11865, Egypt
12-8277–5177
Nightlife Details
Rate Includes: Reservations required

The Bar

Garden City

In addition to beer, wine, and cocktails, a relaxed atmosphere and great views of the Corniche are on tap at this bar on the third floor of the luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Cairo at Nile Plaza. If you want something to eat, the hotel's Zaytouni and Bella right nearby.

The Greek Club in Cairo

Downtown

Although founded as a Greeks-only establishment in 1906, it became a go-to spot for liberal Egyptians and expats in need of a beer when it opened its doors to the general public in the 1950s. The decor still nods to Greece: tables are topped with blue-and-white checkered cloths, and the outdoor terrace is lined with blue wooden pillars. Although the food isn’t anything to write home about, this is still a great place for a casual night out.

1 Karim Al Dawla St., Cairo, Egypt
12-2396–6836

The Kempinski Nile Roof

Garden City

The Nile Kempinski’s 11th floor is restful: the nicely lit roof-top pool area offers a 360° view of the Nile and the Corniche, and the sounds of the city can barely be heard. Enjoy a drink (or several), a shisha (water pipe), and mezze or sandwiches. Don’t plan on using the pool, however—that’s a guests-only privilege.