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11 Must-Visit Restaurants in Cairo

Cairo has a vibrant dining scene that celebrates Egypt’s cuisine and culture. Now more than ever, restaurants across the city have blossomed.
08.12.23 | Source: cntraveler

Great food may not be the main objective for a visit to Cairo, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be sought out. The good news is it's easy to do so, as Cairo has a vibrant dining scene that celebrates Egypt’s cuisine and culture. Now more than ever, restaurants across the city have blossomed in new directions, embracing everything from casual street food classics to fine dining, as well as elevated international flavors drawn from Japanese and Mediterranean cuisines (and beyond).

Here's where to dive in and dine out.

Abou Tarek

While nobody would mistake Abou Tarek for a "fancy" or formal restaurant, it's an absolute must-visit for first-timers to the city, as well as a beloved purveyor of comfort food for locals. The restaurant specializes in koshari, the modern Egyptian staple that takes rice, lentils, and chickpeas, adds in macaroni and vermicelli noodles, and douses the entire combination in piquant tomato juice seasoned with lemon, vinegar, and chili. Abou Terek has been serving up the dish since 1935, growing into a bustling, multi-story establishment with an assembly line-like crew of cooks churning out loaded bowls seemingly by the thousands.

Bab Al Qasr

Bab Al Qasr is found within the Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski hotel, a resort near Cairo International Airport. The restaurant serves a full range of Levantine dishes and the ambiance is part of the appeal here, with evocative decor in the vein of ancient Egypt or Arabia, and live musicians and performers in the evenings. Menu highlights include a line-up of different Egyptian fattah, as well as a wide selection of kebabs and grilled fare. Also recommended is the house-made grilled manakeesh (flatbread) with a choice of several different stuffings and seasonings. Large groups can order house specialties such as a whole lamb shoulder or kofta by the meter.

Andrea El Mariouteya

Andrea El Mariouteya opened in 1958 in New Giza and remains family-run several generations later. The restaurant specializes in grilled chicken in a number of formats: on the skewer; deboned; or in large, broken-down pieces, always with a flavorful, crisp skin and juicy meat. Slightly charred bread served with a full spread of traditional Egyptian mezze and dips is not to be missed, along with feteer meshaltet—a flaky, buttery, layered pastry. The restaurant is also a popular choice for breakfast and is well known for its open-air courtyard with expansive views of its sprawling surroundings.

Fasahet Somaya

Located near the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Fasahet Somaya is a homely restaurant where the proprietor and chef, Somaya Al Asyoty, welcomes her guests like family. The bright blue door allows passersby to find the restaurant with ease, while the white and blue interior is slightly reminiscent of the Greek Isles. The food, though, is all Egyptian, with its rendition of molokhiya, in particular, being revered. The quick, casual eatery features a focused, rotating daily menu of only a few signature items based upon the morning's market availability.


Kazoku serves contemporary Japanese fare, including a wide assortment of sushi. The indoor-outdoor space in Swan Lake specializes not only in Japanese flavors but also in the culture's approach to hospitality: the word “kazoku” translates to family. House classics include glazed short ribs and black cod, while the menu incorporates dishes from other parts of Asia as well, such as Thai curry and Chinese hot pot. The bar menu, which mixes up a selection of signature cocktails, is another highlight. Kazoku is operated by Baky Hospitality, the group behind a growing collection of Cairo's trendiest restaurants (including Sachi).

Le Tarbouche

Le Tarbouche is one of seven dining, drinking, and entertainment establishments housed within Le Pacha 1901, a moored river boat located on the western, Giza side of the Nile. The restaurant offers an impressive lineup of Egyptian fare in a stylized dining room, with live music and performers. Specialties include hamam mahshi, or grilled pigeon, as well as hawawshi, flat bread stuffed with ground beef, along with the typical array of mixed grill dishes and a wide assortment of mezze. Don't miss the extra large, disc-shaped falafel and the hummus prepared with preserved lemon.