In Cairo, you can spend LE5 or LE500 on dinner.

Many midrange and top-end restaurants double as bars.

Too tired to leave the hotel? You can get just about anything delivered, and even order online through www.otlob.com, with service from more than 120 of the city’s most popular restaurants.

Types of Restaurants

At the budget end of the spectrum are the street carts, kushari (mix of noodles, rice, black lentils, fried onions and tomato sauce) canteens, and fruit-and-veg markets where the majority of Cairenes feed themselves. One step up are the Egyptian fast-food operations – forget KFC and Pizza Hut – that serve some of the most delicious and cheapest meals you’ll have. As with the hotel scene, reliable midrange options are in short supply, but the few good ones offer great value, especially for traditional food.

At the upper end, Cairo dining can be quite cosmopolitan, with the chefs usually imported straight from the relevant country, along with all the ingredients. Dinner reservations are generally recommended.

Downtown

This is predominantly cheap-and-cheerful territory, plus a few nostalgic favourites. It’s by far the best place to get good authentic Egyptian street food.

Garden City

This is the place to come for a formal feast. The luxury hotels lining the banks of the Nile here have some truly excellent restaurants.

Islamic Cairo

There are plenty of fast-food joints around Midan Al Hussein, but the restaurants in this part of town are limited – you really have to like grilled meat, and not be too squeamish about hygiene.

Zamalek

Zamalek has some of Cairo’s best and most stylish restaurants. Cheap dining is not one of the island’s fortes, but there are a few possibilities, such as the Baraka shawarma stand on Sharia Brazil.

Several shops on 26th of July sell very good quality fresh produce.

Mohandiseen & Doqqi

These concrete suburbs look bland and flavourless, but it’s possible to find some excellent restaurants.