Eating in a country with such different habits can be a challenge. However, it is always worth risking and being surprised by different flavors. In the capital of Egypt, there is everything. Here you will find everything from international fast food chains to many typical food options and great restaurants to dine in Cairo.
It is true that reading the menu in some restaurants will be the hardest time to choose your food in Egypt. So choose more touristy places where the menu is translated into the British language. And also, the waiters can understand your English. The Zööba is one of those places, where you will be well attended, eat very well and without stress.
Delights of Egypt
Here, I tasted a delicious koshary. This is a dish that mixes pasta, rice, lentils, chickpeas, onions and garlic, with a slightly spicy tomato sauce. It seems strange, but I assure you that your opinion will not be the same after eating one of the most famous dishes of Egyptian cuisine. Halal is very similar but carries meat.
Your gastronomic tour can continue for the street foods. They are everywhere in the capital: there are several street vendors with trolleys and all kinds of food.
Open your mind and venture out with these new flavors. Eating Arab bread stuffed with beans and eggs, for example, was one of those delicious surprises I had.
Be sure to pay attention to the breads when you eat in Cairo. The famous Arabian bread is also sold in street stalls. The accompaniment of baladi bread, or peasant bread, is irresistible.
The ful medames is another typical dish of the region and, as you advance, does not have the best of aspects, but surprises in the taste. The dish is a boiled potato of beans, with sprouts, roots and diverse seasonings. Most come accompanied with aish baladi, whole wheat bread, and complemented with tomatoes, boiled eggs and many spices.
In fact, this is where the Egyptian cuisine shines: in the spices. For those who are not accustomed to it, I advise you to take it lightly in the first few days, avoiding going bad and losing good moments of the trip.
Kofta is another highlight of the street food you need to try when you are eating in Cairo. It is a mixture of ground beef, seasonings, zaatar, onion, garlic and parsley. This all turns into a delicious grilled skewer.
Arabic coffee and juices are not exactly typical dishes, but you can not leave without trying. You find small establishments selling juices made from fresh fruit and usually with a queue.
Where to eat in Cairo
In addition to the Zööba, a great restaurant for you to sample traditional Egyptian food is the Felfera, which, with fame, has increased prices and become a chain that you find throughout the city.
The Sequoia is suitable for those who want to have a more upscale dinner. It is on the island of Zamalak, the most prized area of the city. There are Arab and international cuisine dishes, and all are highly praised by customers on the internet.
Koshary Abou Tarek, as the name says, specializes in koshary and has more inviting prices: it has EGP 5 dishes. The restaurant has a very interesting history: its owner started selling the dish on the streets of Cairo and today his business is a must stop.
If you want a memorable experience, have a coffee or dine in the revolving restaurant that sits high in the Cairo Tower. There you have a 360 ° view of the whole region. The ideal is to arrive before nightfall, to catch the sunset and see the lights of the city light up. It’s a nice way to say goodbye to the city.