Image by Karima Hassan Ragab Lonely Planet
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.
The kitchen is right in front of you so you can watch the chefs at work, and service is friendly and efficient. The menu is nearly all pasta, with a few salads thrown in for good measure and with a rather delectable sweet-potato soup as a starter. There's no alcohol so sup on a tart lemon-and-mint juice instead.
It's just off Sharia 26th July, on the alleyway between Diwan bookshop and Maison Thomas; look for the blue door.