The Best Egyptian Restaurants in Cairo, Egypt

To really scratch beneath the surface in Cairo, youll need to try as much local food as possible
To really scratch beneath the surface in Cairo, you'll need to try as much local food as possible | © travelpixs / Alamy Stock Photo
Kathryn Beeson

Unlike the cuisines of some of its Middle Eastern cousins, Egyptian food isn’t particularly well known outside the country’s borders – so all the more reason to get stuck in. To get you started, we’ve asked our local insiders to share their top spots for Egyptian food in Cairo, taking in casual bistros, street food options and more traditional sit-down restaurants. There’s something for every occasion here, whether you’re looking for a quick lunch between sightseeing activities, a taste of what the locals eat or a long, romantic date night for two.

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Bebo

Bebo has been serving traditional Egyptian dishes for over 40 years now, and it’s still going strong. There’s nothing overly flashy about it, it just does the classics really well, and locals keep coming back for more. Expect a range of shawarma, grilled meats and stews that tick all your comfort-food boxes. It’s casual, welcoming and exceedingly tasty, and you’ll leave very satisfied indeed. Recommended by local insider Yasmin Dowedar

Tagen W Bram

In affluent Heliopolis, Tagen W Bram serves traditional Egyptian food to a stylish clientele. It’s tucked away from the most crowded areas, so provides a nice, quiet space to relax (quite the rarity in Cairo), with friendly service and a menu that’s difficult to narrow down – you’d eat all of it, if you could. Our top picks are the cutlets with vermicelli and the okra tagen, but you won’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Take the plunge and try something new. Recommended by local insider Yasmin Dowedar

Sobhy Kaber

The modern Egyptian dining experience is all about the vibrancy of the food, the music and your surroundings. Sobhy Kaber is an archetypal example of this. If you have the energy, a trip to this warm and raucous restaurant, with its pulsating mahraganat music, lively family atmosphere and selection of tantalising grills and stews is a fantastically uplifting evening out. Take your seat alongside local families for a big meal and embrace the chaos – it’s worth it. Recommended by local insider Virginia Ambrosio

Tajoury Oriental Restaurant

Tucked away in the less touristy district of El-Manial on Rhoda Island, Tajoury is a favourite casual dining spot for locals. The food is delicious, and you won’t be able to resist snapping a quick pic or two of the colourful decor and perfectly Instagrammable spreads served here. Menu-wise, the focus is on traditional Egyptian food, including okra, onion tagine and pigeon dishes – but you’ll find some Levantine dishes and dips here too, which set it apart from many of its competitors. Recommended by local insider Virginia Ambrosio

Andrea El Mariouteya New Giza

Do you fancy a relaxed brunch of traditional Egyptian food with views over the pyramids? Of course you do. Head to Andrea El Mariouteya to make it happen. Just as popular with locals as with tourists, it serves mouthwatering Egyptian classics for brunch, lunch and dinner with views to die for. Culture Trip’s top tip: the Feteer Meshaltet (traditional Egyptian pie) as a brunch option, which is so popular you’ll have to reserve one in advance when you book your table. The chargrilled chicken is widely regarded as the best in town, too. Recommended by local insider Monia Hamdy

Oldish


Picture-perfect Oldish is nestled between two old buildings in Cairo’s downtown area. Inside and outside seating is available, but try to sit outside if possible in its secluded, pleasant space that feels like the back of an artsy vintage house. Expect a menu of both Egyptian classics – shish taouk (chicken kebab) for example – and Egyptian takes on Western favourites such as cheeseburgers, fajitas and traditional sandwiches, plus a great dessert menu and extensive smoothie and coffee options. Recommended by local insider Engy Haggag Mohamed

Abou Haidar

If you’re out and about in Cairo’s chic, well-heeled Heliopolis district, street food spot Abou Haidar should be your go-to for a takeaway lunch. Rumour has it that its shawarma options are so perfectly spiced that people journey from all over Cairo for a taste. See for yourself and grab a shawarma sandwich, served in a beautifully soft, buttery kaiser bun, or opt for other traditional sandwich options such as sujuk sausage, kefteh or roumy cheese. Recommended by local insider Monia Hamdy

Koshary El Tahrir

Kushari – is an Egyptian dish of rice, macaroni and lentils mixed together, topped with a tomato-vinegar sauce; some add short p

No Egyptian culinary experience would be complete without sampling the country’s national dish. You won’t find anything like this elsewhere, so it really is a must-try. Koshary combines rice, macaroni and lentils with a spicy tomato sauce and a topping of chickpeas and crispy fried onions. You’ll find plenty of food vendors selling it around the city, but Koshary El Tahrir is an ever-popular choice among locals and tourists alike. There are several locations around the city — find your nearest and order a big, comforting bowl. Recommended by local insider Monia Hamdy

Tabali Bistro


Enjoy upgraded street food classics in a restaurant setting, handily located on Gezira Island. It’s a trendy spot, perfect for recuperating after a morning spent browsing Zamalek’s independent boutiques. Prices are a little higher than you’d pay for similar options elsewhere, but don’t worry, the quality is definitely taken up a notch, too. Expect all the usual snack options, plus a tempting selection of mains that includes kofta, kebda and some koshary dishes. No alcohol is served on the premises, but there is a large choice of juices and hot drinks – just what you need to recuperate after a few hours’ shopping, or to cool off from the midday sun. Recommended by local insider Virginia Ambrosio

Abdullah Bashandy

Sometimes, you just want something tasty, comforting and deep fried. In these instances, low-key street food outlet Abdulla Bashandy is your best friend. Abdullah Bashandy isn’t fancy and it doesn’t try to be. There’s a relaxed, understated shopfront, an open kitchen that smells heavenly and a pavement seating area. Come for a filling lunch of sandwich stuffed with traditional fillings including deep-fried tameya, kebda or vegetable moussaka, and sit back and watch the chefs prepare your order. Recommended by local insider Virginia Ambrosio

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