10 Best Restaurants in Cairo For Both Locals and Tourists Alike

If you’re like us, when you visit a new country, you sometimes check out online recommendations of the best places to eat. We’re usually great fans of TripAdvisor and use them pretty regularly, but what gave us pause recently though was when we checked Cairo’s “best” restaurants on TripAdvisor’s Cairo page.

No. Just… no.

Don’t get us twisted, TripAdvisor is a great resource. But sometimes you just need a local to steer you in the right direction, someone who’s eaten at practically every restaurant this city has to offer.

So that’s why this list includes places that we locals love going to, whether it’s fine dining or street food, over 50 years old or brand new, overlooking the Nile or the Pyramids or just a random Cairo street – we’re sure visitors to Cairo will enjoy these spots just as much as us.

(Also: check out the 10 best nightlife spots in Cairo right here.)

So without further ado, let’s get started with the best restaurants in Cairo because we’re getting hungry.

1. Khufu’s

Khufu's Restaurant

Location: Inside the Pyramids of Giza Plateau

Alcohol served: yes

Nile view: no

Vegan & vegetarian options available: yes

If you’re looking for incredible food with incredible Pyramid views (and who isn’t?), then you’re in luck — both are to be had at Khufu’s, serving contemporary elevated Egyptian cuisine.

Khufu’s is one of the only two restaurants actually inside the Pyramids of Giza plateau, and that comes with an upside and a downside. The upside is that no other restaurant outside the plateau has a view quite like it, but the downside is that you have to buy an entrance ticket to the Pyramids to access the restaurant, and they close at 5 pm daily when the Pyramids of Giza close. It’s also about 10-15 minutes away from the Grand Egyptian Museum.

At Khufu’s, you can either go for breakfast or lunch, and you have your choice from set menus (including a vegetarian menu), all featuring beloved Egyptian classics but with a contemporary twist.

Reservations are needed.

For reservations and the menu, you can check out Khufu’s website.

2. Le Pacha 1901

Le Pacha 1901, best restaurants in Cairo Egypt

Location: Zamalek

Dress code: smart casual

Alcohol served: yes

Nile view: yes

Vegan & vegetarian options available: yes

We’re actually killing several birds in this one listing with Le Pacha 1901, because it’s technically not one, not two, but a handful of great restaurants, all in one Nile-docked boat.

Le Pacha offers 6 different restaurants and two bar/lounge/nightspot-ish venues. Our absolute favorites are: Carlo’s, where the menu is a mix of all different cuisines (including local Egyptian favorites) and you can order shisha; L’Asiatique, their pan-Asian restaurant; and Piccolo Mondo, which is Italian overlooking the Nile.

Let us be the first to tell you — their food is good, always. And while that might seem like a given, in Egypt it really is not. Most restaurants fail to deliver consistency (it’s pretty sad when you can tell when there’s a different chef), but Le Pacha’s restaurants deliver Every. Single. Time.

The other restaurants they have: Le Steak (French), Maharani (Indian), Le Tarbouche (Egyptian), Le J.Z. (lounge) and Cloud 24 (panoramic lounge).

3. Abou El Sid

Abou El Sid Zamalek

Location: Zamalek, Heliopolis, 6th of October and New Cairo.

Dress code: casual

Alcohol served: yes

Nile view: no

Vegan & vegetarian options available: yes

Abou El Sid is the must-go-to restaurant if you want classic Egyptian dishes (check out our article 12 Local Egyptian Foods You Need To Try) in a super ambient atmosphere (the decor, music, and wall art is enough to make it worth it). They also offer shisha and Egyptian twists on alcoholic cocktails, like vodka with fresh sugarcane juice.

Dishes of theirs that are definitely worth trying: the sharqisseya, a chicken dish with walnut sauce; stuffed vine leaves; the Egyptian moussaka, which is an eggplant stew served with rice; and a mix and match of all their various Egyptian mezzes. Drool.

Abou El Sid menu.

4. Koshary Abou Tarek

Location: Downtown

Dress code: casual

Alcohol served: no

Nile view: no

Vegan & vegetarian options available: koshary itself is vegan, so a resounding yes

This restaurant is by no means fancy, no means ambient, and by no means a romantic dining destination (unless your idea of romance is very very quirky, and in that case, rock on).

Koshary Abou Tarek is a brightly-lit, fast-foodish or street food type of restaurant in Downtown, and it’s known for having some of the *best* koshary in town.

What is koshary, you may ask?

We’d be delighted to tell you. Koshary in one of Egypt’s proud national dishes, comprised of rice, macaroni, lentils, chickpeas and fried onions all topped with a garlicky, vinegary tomato sauce. While it might sound like a clusterf*ck of ingredients, trust us when we say it’s the clusterf*ck you never knew you both needed and wanted in your life.

It’s super cheap, it’s fast (try to watch the men who work the koshary line, it’s amazing), it’s 100% vegan, aaaand it’s filling, with the word ‘filling’ underlined seventeen times. Light, it is not. But it’s a great power dish that will carry you right through the day.

Koshary Abou Tarek menu.

Read more: 7 Best Places to Try Street Food in Cairo

5. Pier 88

Location: Zamalek

Dress code: Smart casual

Alcohol served: yes

Nile view: yes

Vegan & vegetarian options available: yes

Pier 88 started as a restaurant/bar in the seaside town of El Gouna on the Red Sea, and its food and overall vibe became so popular that the owners decided to take the plunge and open up shop in Cairo.

Pier 88 sits on the upper level of a docked boat in Zamalek overlooking the Nile, and during the day it’s one of those quietly sophisticated restaurants, complete with an open kitchen and drinks overlooking the water.

At night it gets more of a nightlife feel to it, and reservations are recommended. On weekend nights the music gets turned up and there’s occasionally dancing by the tables (we don’t recommend eating when the dancing gets started, because you won’t find much room to wield your knife and fork).

Pier 88 menu.

Read more: 7 Best Bars, Pubs & Restobars in Zamalek

6. Andrea Mariouteya

Location: New Giza

Dress code: casual

Alcohol served: yes

Nile view: no

Vegan & vegetarian options available: not really

Founded over 60 years ago, Andrea Mariouteya has been in the same family since the very beginning, specializing in traditional Egyptian homestyle grills. Great option if you’re a lover of charcoal-grilled chicken, fresh bread, beer and a view overlooking the city.

Andrea is also known for its breakfast and brunch (their feteer is a must-try!), but is equally pleasant later on in the afternoon and evening when the focus switches over to their nation-wide famous grills. Their menu is small and options are limited, but the grilled chicken and quail are famous citywide.

Read more: Vintage Cairo – 17 of the Oldest Restaurants, Bars and Cafes in Cairo

7. Zooba

Location: Zamalek, Maadi, Sheikh Zayed, Madinaty, Heliopolis, New Cairo

Dress code: casual

Alcohol served: no

Nile view: no

Vegan & vegetarian options available: yes

Zooba’s an excellent option for all newcomers to Egypt who want a ‘light’ introduction to Egyptian street food, ie. get a feel for different local fare but without running the risk of actually eating literal street food (aka: bougie street food).

Locals love Zooba for being the fancier, more gourmet version of our every day favorites like fuul, taameya and koshary (here’s our breakdown of all the local Egyptian foods you need to try).

Zooba has become so popular over the years that not only has it opened a bunch of branches throughout Cairo (including the Grand Egyptian Museum), it’s actually opened in NYC!

Zooba menu.

8. Naguib Mahfouz Restaurant & Cafe

Location: Khan el Khalili (Old Cairo)

Dress code: casual

Alcohol served: no

Nile view: no

Vegan & vegetarian options available: yes

Deep in the famous Khan el Khalili market (head here for our full guide), is a little restaurant & restaurant named after one of Egypt’s most beloved writers. Its official name is Khan el Khalili Restaurant and Naguib Mahfouz Cafe, but locals shorten it to Naguib Mahfouz just to make our lives easier.

The restaurant & cafe is a nod to Egypt’s modern history (one has to be specific when referring to Egypt’s history, lest they think we’re talking about pharaohs and pyramids all the time).

While you might be hesitant about eating in a restaurant in Khan el Khalili, rest assured that Naguib Mahfouz Cafe is run by Oberoi Hotels, and thus not only has AC but a kitchen you can trust.

Their restaurant section serves Egyptian and international classics, and their cafe offers shishas, myriad of fresh juices and desserts.

9. Crimson

Location: Zamalek

Dress code: smart casual

Alcohol served: yes

Nile view: yes

Vegan & vegetarian options available: yes

If you’re looking for an unbeatable Nile view from above, a river breeze, a drink and a great meal, look no further than Crimson.

Crimson is on the roof of a Zamalek building overlooking the Nile, with both indoor and outdoor terrace seating. The view is spectacular and the food is nothing to sneeze at either.

Their menu has a lot of great appetizers, pasta and grill dishes, and their cocktail list is one of Cairo’s more extensive.

They also serve breakfast and brunch (they’re one of the few restaurants in Cairo that open at 8 am), but their morning fare isn’t as good as their evening fare.

Crimson menu.

For more of the best rooftop bars in Cairo, head here.

10. 139 Pavilion

Location: Next to the Pyramids

Alcohol served: yes

Nile view: no

Vegan & vegetarian options available: yes

This open-air restaurant in the iconic Marriott Mena House hotel is a breath of fresh air from the crowds and bustle of Giza. Have breakfast, lunch or dinner fountain-side, surrounded by flowers and greenery and, you know, THE PYRAMIDS. What a view!

There’s an a la carte menu, but also the option of an all-you-can-eat buffet. At night you lose some of the Pyramids view because they’re not always lit up, but there’s something peaceful and serene in the darkness.

139 Pavilion menu.

Read more: 7 Best Restaurants with Pyramid Views

You might also like: Top 10 Things to Do in Cairo, Egypt

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