At this restaurant modeled after a 1940s supper club on Zamalek, one of two river islands in the
Nile, locals and expats sip sugarcane juice and smoke shishas (water pipes) while lounging
on couches. The specialty of the dining room is molokhia, a homey stew prepared with
chicken, rice and the spinachlike mallow plant.
We loved: Molokhia; skarasseya (chicken breast and rice with walnut sauce).
Kosharia flavorful mix of rice and lentils topped with fried onions and tomato
saucewas once a fast food beloved by Egyptian workers. Now it has become a Cairene foodie
favorite, and the three-story Abou Tarek in the heart of downtown has been serving the best for
We loved: Koshari.
The Sofitel El Gezirah Cairo helped the island of Zamalek reclaim its status as Cairo's
chicest quarter when it opened in 2007. The hotel has a standout restaurant: the traditional El
Kebabgy, which serves Middle Eastern classics like an exceptional mixed grill of lamb and
We loved: Kebabs; lamb kofta; slow-cooked tagine.
Nobody goes to Fishawi's for the foodit doesn't serve any. They go to check
out the crowd andas generations of Cairene have doneto smoke water pipes and sip
copious amounts of mint tea while watching the city go by. This 200 year-old institution in the
heart of the Khan el-Khalili Bazaar also serves a range of exotic juices, from carob to
We loved: Sahlab, a warm, thick, milky drink with rose water and pistachio.
Reservations here are some of Cairo's toughest to score, thanks to its prime location on
Zamalek island, its glamorous Euro-Arabian vibe and its expansive menu. Euro-Asian-Mediterranean
dishes range from tuna carpaccio to herb-marinated chicken brochettes.
We loved: Sweet-and-sour honey-glazed duck.
The beautiful Al Azhar Park in the city center, set on what once was a garbage dump, opened
under the auspices of the Aga Khan Trust in 2005. It now offers pristine views of the Saladin
Citadel and a great restaurant, Misr. The simple salads and grilled meats are among the best bets,
but traditional dishes like pigeon soup are also stellar.
We loved: Fattah, layers of meat, rice and bread in a yogurt sauce.
Cairo's restaurants facing the Nile are usually disappointing, but this spot set on the
northern tip of Zamalek is one of the few exceptions. Customers cluster on sofas under billowy
tents to eat mostly Lebanese- and Egyptian-styled mezes like hummus, falafel, stuffed grape leaves
We loved: Couscous with stewed lamb.