An innovative city where ancient meets modern, Cairo’s crowded streets offer just about everything, from an afternoon coffee in one of the many cafés, where you can enjoy the best of Egyptian atmosphere accompanied by Arab music, to dining in one of the finest restaurants by the Nile. Here is an updated version of our previous article on the 10 best cultural restaurants to be discovered in Cairo.
Courtesy Tabla Luna
Rated as one of the best Latin American restaurants in the heart of Cairo, Tabla Luna offers both contemporary and classic dishes, such as the aji de gallina, ceviche de camaron and the mouthwatering torta de tres leches dessert. Dishes come from countries such as Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia and Ecuador, and use organic traditional ingredients. With its festive but casual setting and Latin American flavours, this is the place to savour the diversity of Latin American cuisine in Cairo.
Andrea Mariouteya, where guests feel as if in a dream, casts a spell on its guests, and keeps them coming back for more, with its classic Spanish hacienda architecture and décor, creating an exotic atmosphere and bringing the charm of Spain to Cairo. With its location on one of the most popular beaches in Egypt, it’s no wonder it captures the heart of any visitor. Guests savour the flavours of Spanish dishes such as the chicken marinades, tortilla Espanola served with an exquisite salad, or the grilled octopus salad crafted with Andrea Mariouteya’s secret herbs. Dishes are accompanied by traditional oven-baked Egyptian bread, making a guest’s visit to Andrea Mariouteya a once-in-a-lifetime memory.
Located in the prestigious Boehel building, La Bodega is both a French and Mediterranean aperitivo spot and bistro, offering an elegant environment for guests to enjoy its lounge or bar, surrounded by 1930s décor. When it comes to the menu, guests have a variety of options, with lunch dishes such as the aubergine haloumi combination; the duck filo in orange sauce; the classic club sandwich; and the beef burger, or the dinner menu, which consists of classic haute cuisine dishes like the beef carpaccio or the spicy calamari. La Bodega also offers its own delivery service, which can appeal to the traveller looking to stay in after a long day spent exploring the city.
Le Pacha is considered one of the best restaurants in the area. Originally built as a paddle boat in 1901 on the edge of the Nile alongside Gezira Island, it’s now a landmark dining and entertainment venue. In 1992 it became the headquarters of the best international restaurants in Cairo, with three signature restaurants opening there – the Italian Piccolo Mondo, the French Le Steak, and Johnny’s Pub. Offering a variety of global dishes, Le Pacha 1901 has continued to expand its global restaurant selection at the site, including L’Asiatique, specialising in authentic Asian cuisine, Egyptian Le Tarbouche-Akl Zaman, with its lavish red and gold décor, and the outdoor terrace of Carlo’s café where guests can enjoy shisha while feeling the breeze off of the Nile. With its combination of international restaurants, Le Pacha is a unique headquarters that has room to accommodate everyone’s palate.
Named after the Egyptian writer and Nobel Prize Laureate Naguib Mahfouz, Naguib Mahfouz Café is a lively place for the guest in search of an authentic North African experience. With its traditional magical Arab décor, guests are able to come for a light meal, the finest coffee, or the best shisha, served by the friendly staff dressed in Egyptian vests decorated in gold designs and the classic fez hat. At Naguib Mahfouz everything is presented on classic Arab golden plates, representing the elegance and richness of tradition in Egyptian culture.
Having established itself as one of the friendliest and best-quality food spots in the heart of Cairo, the atmosphere at Quay Lounge is such that family and friends go there to relax and enjoy a creative meal, in the company of the best of Egyptian coffee. Whether sitting in modern chairs and tables or on comfortable couches, guests can enjoy a menu that offers a mixed cuisine of anything from Middle Eastern to Italian dishes. On sunny days guests also have the option to dine on the outdoor terrace while looking out at the magic waters of the Nile.
Featuring a casual and warm local atmosphere, Taboula offers traditional Arab hospitality and the best of diverse delicacies from the Middle East. One of the most popular is taboula (Lebanese salad), along with other side dishes and garnish. Another popular choice is the Egyptian mezzas, which are small, tapas-like bites, perfect accompanied by a bottle from the vast global selection of wine. You can then wrap up the evening by delighting in traditional Middle Eastern desserts and listening to classic Arab melodies, with songs by Umm Kulthum and Fairuz played in the venue.
Its creative interior design of natural plaster and recycled wood and its philosophy and commitment to a green ethos has made The Vegan Kitchen one of Cairo’s foodie hotspots. Operated by an Egyptian couple, The Vegan Kitchen’s passion is to serve international and original vegetarian recipes. The restaurant offers a wide array of unusual dishes, like the spicy rainbow salad, raw tomato tart or the quinoa tabbouleh, but also offers a variety of vegetarian pizzas and homemade desserts and ice cream. The Vegan Kitchen has certainly established a presence and name for itself on the streets of Cairo.
Bringing the best of Italian cuisine to Cairo, Tutti Matti entertains with a cosy indoor setting and outdoor terrace, making it an easy to please to stop at. At Tutti Matti guests can enjoy the finest of Italian cuisine, while experiencing the friendly Cairo atmosphere in the company of family and friends, either for a morning breakfast or brunch, accompanied by quality Italian coffee. Alternatively, stop by for the lunch buffet or dinner menu, while being entertained by live performances by local music bands.
By turning popular Egyptian street food into delicious gourmet dishes all the while using the freshest local ingredients, at Zooba, whether you are a regular guest or first-time visitor, a variety of delectable flavours await you. Offerings include Zooba’s own whole-grain koshari, the chicken liver hawashi, or the sakalans sandwiches, with Zooba’s own fresh oven-made bread to accompany them. With its multi-coloured décor and casual outdoor setting, along with its dedication to providing healthy cuisine and a lively environment, Zooba is a gem to discover in Cairo.