It was an experience that you shouldn't miss out on if you're traveling to Cairo, it's after you pass by the craziness of the super famous Khan el Khalili Bazaar and do some shopping. Stopping here to have coffee or a mint tea on the outskirts of big street where the well-known Cafe Fishawi where you can see the bustling and hectic life of Cairo turn more traditional.
If you leave Tahrir via Talaat Harb, take the second right. Keep an eye out in Talaat, just before turning, there is an infamous dive with the same name, where the food is just as bad as the staff. The real entrance is carefully decorated in wood instead of neon orange. It is advisable not to get confused.
You only have to visit the pyramid of Sakkara, we went to eat and we ended up in the Elezba Restaurant. It is not a place that I would have liked to go because it was too touristy. It´s the place where the guides take their tourists and it´s not cheap to eat there. But the truth is that you can eat well, a barbecue buffet and arab salads.
One of the oldest cafes in the capital of Egypt, located in the heart of the city. The facade maintains its old appearance, and it seems like the kind of place which just invites you to come and remember the North Africa that you've seen in movies about explorers and archaeologists.
The last part of my spectacular trip. It was an incredible hotel although what I enjoyed was the dinner in the Giratorio Restaurant that it has on one of the last floors, I don´t remember which. It was a lovely experience if you have the opportunity to go.
Founded in 1938, the Alfi Bey restaurant is in El Alfy Street, in the historic center of Cairo. It is a traditional restaurant, with an old decor to match. Some of the waiters have worked there all of their lives, and must surely be close to retirement age now! The menu is in English, but poorly translated, sometimes hard to understand, but this is common in the neighbourhood. Just open the door, and you'll take a journey through time, with wood furniture and copper accessories ... The service is pretty fast, you can eat all the traditional dishes, Fattah, kefta, babaganug, pigeon meat stuffed with herbs ... it costs 10 euros per person or so.
Lux is a restaurant on Ramses Avenue, near the station of the same name. It is very cheap, the kind of restaurant that you'll see all over Cairo. They specialise in Koshari, a mixture of lentils, rice, spaghetti, chickpeas, macaroni ... yes, all together! It's served with fried onions, and if you want, some meat - meatballs, liver or kebab. Prices range from 4-12 LE, ie 0.50 to 1.50 euro, and I promise you'll be more than full with that. If that's not the case, there are desserts, just fifty scents for pudding or rice pudding. Drinks cost 2-3 LE for a tea, Turkish coffee or a soft drink. You share the table with other patrons, mostly Egyptians, and they'll often strike up a conversation and ask you what you're doing there.
Le Bistro is a restaurant in the neighborhood of Bab el Loq near the market that shares the same name. It's a little below street level, but thanks to its colorful doors you know where you are quite easily. It's where expats meet, particularly the French, who live and work in Cairo. Having French food is a nice change from Egyptian, but they do not know European cuisine very well. The appetizer costs between 2 and 3 euros, main courses between 4 and 8 euros and desserts 2-3 euros. You cannot pay with card. There are meats, a good selection of salads, pasta with cheese, chicken in wine sauce ... And desserts also change among classics Egyptian desserts.
Goha is a classic snack bar in the Downtown neighborhood of Cairo. It is close to Mustafa Kamal square, when you take Emad el Din street. Koshari serve an Egyptian dish, perfect if you're starving. They serve you spaghetti, maraconi, lentils, chickpeas, with a little bit of meat on the top, sometimes with more rice, all in a bowl. You soak it up with a tomato sauce. It is delicious, althought not necessarily a great dining experience, but for half a euro you will not find better! It is a very popular dish and Goha is always full.
The Muhamad Farid bakery is on the street of the same name, next to St Joseph's Cathedral. The cakes are shown outside on the pavement, so you'll be enticed inside! They are very cheap, and you can take them away to a nearby cafe and sit on the terrace while you order a coffee as an accompaniment. My favourites were the little dried cakes, with sesame or almonds. I didn't really care so much for the honey-filled ones. You can eat one, and you'll be full all day! They also make cream cakes for special occasions. A bag of little cakes for two costs one euro more or less, depending on weight
Nour Al Salam is a small snack area behind Midan Tahrir. There are many like this, where they hang the food out the windows, something not normal for the hygienic standards of Europe, but at least you can see what they offer if you look. I never got sick eating like this in the streets of Cairo. They make good small pizzas that cost 1 Euro, with a lot of pastrami and cheese. Well, the pastrami is chicken, but it looked good. Later there are filled bread with meat that cost 50 cents, very greasy but delicious. They don´t service drinks but you can go to look for one and there is only one table!
Abou Tarek is a chain of restaurants which make Koshary, an Egyptian specialty. It is a plastic bowl where you put rice, lentils, various kinds of pasta, meat, and onions. Then you slather it in ketchup. It's better than it sounds and makes for a complete meal for less than a dollar. Abou Tarek has 4 or 5 branches in Cairo and is a popular place where people go. Compared to McDonald's or KFC, it comes out 4 times cheaper and also gives you the chance to try a real Egyptian dish. They have everything already cooked, you just prepare it to your taste, and get it in less than 5 minutes.
This is an Egyptian pastry shop that is located in the city centere (close to the Egyptian Museum), which offers a wide range of butter cookies that have different fillings, in addition to many other cakes and sweets. The cookies are nothing short of sublime, and the price is low. Be prepared to queue, as it's always full. The biscuits are sold on trays, and you can mix and match.
The Excelsior is a cafe restaurant in Talaat Harb Street, the busiest street in Downtown Cairo. It is a charming little place, the perfect spot to hang out after taking a walk around the area. You can really soak up the atmosphere, as the shops stay open until at least midnight. The Excelsior has several assortments of coffees and teas, and sahlab which is a hot milk with dried fruit inside, almonds, raisins, dates ... I liked it, but I couldn't have it every day! They also offer simple snacks like sandwiches. All very cheap, 50c drinks, meals between 2 and 3 euros. The clientele is mostly male.
This is a cafe in the Mustafa Kamal area, which is set in a beautiful old building. Once you enter, there is a lot of smoke, and you'll quickly realise that there are only men here: well, maybe there are some women on the terrace, but only accompanied by their husband or brother. Inside, you can smoke shisha and have an Egyptian coffee. People come here to eat breakfast from 11am, and it's still open until 2 or 3 in the morning. There's a small terrace outside.
The restaurant Sphinx Sun 2 is at the side of the secondary entrance to the Giza pyramids, alongside the Sphinx. It is a buffet restaurant, and for 5 euro a head, you can enjoy a selection of Egyptian dishes. For vegetarians there are many options, lentils, chickpeas, pasta ... and falafel, of course. There aren't so many meat dishes, generally chunks of meat in sauce. Good fruit and pastries for dessert. Nothing fancy, but a place that is not very expensive and is right next to the pyramids.
The Snack Sahas is on Saleh Salem Street, the main street that circles the historic district of Cairo. It's close to the 7th-century Ibn El As Mosque. It is a popular place where you can eat shawarmas, various kinds of sandwiches, and a large selection of vegetarian dishes like falafel, hummus, potato and tomato salad, and roasted eggplant. There's a wide variety of dishes and they serve them almost like tapas. You can also go eat in the room upstairs where there is a good view of the neighborhood. A full lunch with drinks is very cheap and goes for around 3 or 4 euros per person. If you do not know what to order, ask them to bring you a selection of dishes with pita bread. They do not speak English well understand gestures well enough.
In the Nile, under the Four Seasons Hotel, a small pier with themed tourist boats in ancient Egypt is what you will find. You can embark on a trip and eat a delicious buffet with entertainment while you sail down the river. The food is adapted to Western tastes, a variety of delicious breads, salads, vegetables, meat and fish that were delicious!. You can eat while you watch a a belly dancer. Coffee is best taken on the deck looking towards the modern buildings spread along the banks of the river.