Story by Hossam Heikel
Located on the edge of the island of Zamalek, this place offers some of the best views in Cairo. Sequoia is considered one of the best sites in Cairo due to their amazing Mediterranean food, smooth shisha, and great drinks.
Taboula is one of the best spots for Lebanese food in Cairo. The restaurant has 4 branches in Cairo with the best being the original location in Garden City. Go there to enjoy amazing Lebanese mezzah, an extensive cocktail and wine list, and countless shisha flavors.
3. Abou El Sid
This is the place to go if you want to try the best authentic Egyptian food without running the risk of food poisoning. All the branches are designed in a way to make it seem like you’re in 1950’s Egypt. All branches offer wine and beer along with an extensive shisha menu. Their ‘sharkaseya’ or ‘molokheya’ come highly recommended.
4. Ahwet El Fishawy
This historic café, located in the Khan El Khalili bazaar, is a must for every tourist in Cairo. The café offers seating outside where you can watch people go on with their busy lives and be hassled by vendors trying to sell you the latest fake Rolex. They have average shisha and non-alcoholic drinks; most come here for the experience, not necessarily what the café offers.
5. Cairo Marriott Gardens
The Cairo Marriott, located in Zamalek, occupies the space of a historic palace. The hotel has maintained the palace and its famous gardens. The hotel’s gardens are the perfect spot to grab a light lunch or enjoy shisha/drinks. The best time to visit is during the day when the sun is shining.
6. Arabiatta Shabrawy
This popular chain has branches all over Cairo serving many Egyptian dishes. However, the chain gets its fame from its delicious fuul (fava beans) and falafel sandwiches. Sandwiches are very cheap, at about 2 EGP per sandwich, and filling. Those with a large appetite should try the “Dynamite Sandwich”, which has fried eggplant, fuul, falafel, potato chips, and boiled eggs – definitely not for those with a sensitive stomach.
Located in the Kempinski Hotel in Garden City, this restaurant offers delicious Turkish cuisine. Most tables in the restaurant are semi-private, and the restaurant offers private rooms for big groups. As with all hotel restaurants, it offers an extensive wine list and has great service.
8. Kebabgy/Le Deck Sofitel
Both of these restaurants are located in the Sofitel Hotel in Zamalek. El Kebabgy offers the best grilled dishes in Cairo and some of the best bread, which is baked on the premises. Opt to sit in Le Deck where you have an almost unobstructed view of the Nile and Cairo’s skyline. The best time to visit is during the day in warmer months.
For a while, this bar and lounge was the best spot to go on weekends. The craze has died down, but it is still hard to get a reservation here. Order a few pitchers of their delicious sangrias or try their mojitos. On the weekends, the place has a more club-like vibe. Tip for when the drunken hunger kicks in: the bar has a menu with delicious offerings that will definitely satisfy your cravings.
10. Bar Do’
A newcomer to the Cairo scene, Bar D’o is modeled after New York’s meatpacking bars. All drinks are served in mason jars and come extra strong. Try their mojitos and Long Island Iced tea. They also offer delicious food.
This story appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of Baedeker.