Best restaurants in Cairo

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    8

    Cairo may not be synonymous with luxury, but travellers with a chunk of dough can head to Africa’s top-rated Cantonese restaurant. The crispy crab claw alone makes for a unforgettable culinary experience, but the dumpling list is full of delicious inventions, such as crispy shrimp and goose liver.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Cairo

    Abu Tarek

    ‘We have no other branches!’ proclaims this temple of kushari (mix of noodles, rice, black lentils, fried onions and tomato sauce). No, the place has just expanded, decade by decade, into the upper storeys of its building, and continues to hold on to Cairo's unofficial 'best kushari ' title. Eat in, rather than takeaway, to check out the elaborate decor upstairs.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    U Bistro & Bar

    For one of the smartest European kitchen menus outside of Cairo’s grand hotels, head to U Bistro & Bar, the long-awaited replacement to the street’s famous former watering hole, La Bodega. The stylish restaurant is always packed for dinner, and the bar is livelier and less smoky than neighbourhood alternatives like Pub 28. Have an expertly mixed cocktail after a sirloin steak or seared scallops.

  • Top ChoiceRestaurants in Cairo

    O's Pasta

    A few years ago, Cairo was a-tizz with new sushi joints; now all the newbie restaurants are Italian and O's Pasta is our pick of the bunch. Squeeze – and we mean squeeze, there are only five tables – into the blue-and-green room to munch on Red Sea calamari pasta doused in spinach and cream sauce, or pecan-basil-pesto chicken pasta.

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    Zööba

    Egyptian street food gets a modern makeover. Zööba has taken the country's classic cheap eats and given them contemporary twists. Whole-grain kushari (mix of noodles, rice, black lentils, fried onions and tomato sauce), beetroot baladi bread, pickled lemon and spicy pepper ta'amiyya sandwiches, and some seriously good salads and shawarma. Eat in at the zinc-clad table amid the most eclectic of decors, or take out – this is ideal picnic fodder.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Abou El Sid

    Cairo’s first hipster Egyptian restaurant (and now a national franchise), Abou El Sid is as popular with tourists as it is with upper-class natives. You can get better molokhiyya (garlicky leaf soup, speciality of Egypt) elsewhere, but here you wash it down with a wine or beer and lounge on kitschy gilt ‘Louis Farouk’ furniture.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Cairo Kitchen

    Dig into contemporary versions of traditional wholesome Egyptian home cooking. Order from the counter – brown-rice kushari, molokhiyya (garlicky leaf soup, speciality of Egypt) or a typical Egyptian stew. The salad bar here provides one of the tastiest vegetarian meals in town. Grab a four-salad mix and pair it with a side of spicy potatoes.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Maison Thomas

    A little slice of the Continent, with loads of brass and mirrors, and friendly waiters in long white aprons, Maison Thomas has been serving up Cairo's best thin-crust pizza for decades. Puritans should opt for the authentic Neapolitan, but we're rather partial to the Leonardo (with artichokes and marinated peppers) as well.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Mezcal

    A Peruvian-Mexican fusion restaurant should be enough to keep a cook busy, but Mezcal also throws sushi in the mix, with something to suit all tastes. The buzzing bar is well stocked and attentive bartenders keep the pitchers of margaritas coming. Don’t show up before 10pm, or you’ll be sitting in an empty restaurant – this place is for the late-night crowd.

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    Khan Al Khalili

    This casual restaurant at Mena House has huge windows opening on to the Pyramids – a great place to rest up for lunch after a morning of Pyramids sightseeing. The menu offers plenty of mezze plus traditional mains of stuffed pigeon, molokhiyya (garlicky leaf soup, a speciality of Egypt) and pan-fried Nile perch.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Crave

    Most definitely not a place for vegetarians; Crave specialises in meaty comfort dishes that the clientele of Egyptian families and big groups of friends lap up. There are sandwiches, pizza and salads too but what people come here for are big-portioned dishes, such as pepper steak and chicken breast in lemon-dill sauce, all served with veggies and mash.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Olivo

    The self-proclaimed proprietors of the best pizza in town is by no means an overstatement. The crispy thin-crust pizzas from its wood-fired oven, combined with the fact that this small eatery also serves alcohol, are the main reasons it has a loyal customer base. The ambience is friendly, the Egyptian beer is cold, and the pizza is delicious.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Felfela Restaurant

    Attracting tourists, coach parties and locals since 1959, Felfela is an institution that can deliver a reliable, if not wildly delicious, meal with good service. A bizarre jungle theme rules the decor, but the food is straight-down-the-line Egyptian and consistently decent, especially the mezze and grilled chicken.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Mori Sushi

    Egypt's favourite sushi haunt (with several branches across the country) is always buzzing thanks to its reasonable prices and vast menu selection. From temaki and gunkan rolls to nigiri and simple maki rolls, it's sure to solve all your Japanese-cuisine cravings.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Four Fat Ladies

    Not the place for maintaining your diet. This coffee and cake joint is sugar-rush heaven with brownies, always at least six different cakes – including our favourite carrot cake in town – and a good selection of muffins and biscuits.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Gelato Mio

    On a sweltering summer's day, we make a beeline here to cool off with a mixed scoop of watermelon and prickly pear. For chocoholics, the Twix and chilli-chocolate flavours are bliss.

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Mandarine Koueider

    This ice cream parlour is a hit with local families taking the kids out for a treat. For a fruity kick, get stuck into the zabadi bi tut (yoghurt with blackberry).

  • Restaurants in Cairo

    Baraka

    Cheap and cheerful shawarma, plus a range of other sandwiches such as oriental sausage and kofta – are served up here.

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    At Tabei Ad Dumyati

    The takeaway section out front does a roaring trade in shawarma (meat sliced off a spit and stuffed in a bread roll with chopped tomatoes and garnish) and ta'amiyya (Egyptian variant of falafel), while out back is a sit-down canteen that bustles with families and offers some of Cairo's cheapest meals with a popular salad bar and friendly waiters.

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    Sabaya

    Delicious Lebanese food in a sumptuous but relaxed atmosphere. There's plenty of grilled meat mains, but the mezze here is the real star of the show. Order old favourites hummus and sambousek (stuffed pastry triangles), some salads, chicken livers in pomegranate molasses, and bel kawarma (mashed potato doused in lamb's fat), and you've got yourself a real Levantine feast.