Cairo and Luxor - need advice
I was on a tight budget when I was in Egypt, and I quickly learned I could scrimp on food while spending on sights. Food's just not good. I love the staples of falafel and shwarma and kebabs of all types, but Egyptian versions are pretty bad. On the plus side, a falafel costs 10 cents. You can get really stuffed on two (they're small) but sometimes, one 10 cent falafel was enough for me.
Maybe you'll get lucky and be invited into a local home! It happened to me in Luxor, and later my host (through hospitalityclub.org) told me it happens more often than you'd think. I met a taxi driver when I got off the ferry on the West Bank, who gave me an incredible bargain price for taking me around to various tombs and temples, then took me home to meet his family. That was the best meal I had in mainland Egypt. The family did not join us but gathered around to stare and grin at me--they hadn't seen many Asians before, especially solo and female. After lunch we smoked shisha for hours, no exaggeration!
I also met a camel guide in Giza who took me home, and while that was an enjoyable communal meal as well (family and friends joined), it wasn't anything cooked--fresh (yet stinky cheese), fantastic watermelon and fresh bread.
With 2 weeks you could go to Dahab for a few days and escape the craziness of Cairo! In addition the absolutely spectacular snorkeling and diving (and if you only snorkel, you can get by on $10/day there including lodging!) it has the best food in Egypt. If you go, be sure to visit Sea Bride, off the main street. Very local place. You pick your own fish (or other sea creature) from a window, then sit inside...they bring bread, apps, very fresh fish-broth soup, then your sea creature cooked as you requested. A cheap meal there (grouper filets for 4) was about 4 dollars each. A pricier meal (3 whole fishes, sold by the kilo, for 6), was less than $7 each. What a respite!
Please allow me to give you some place you can go enjoy the food but it's not fancy ok!!
Abou El Seed 8 Amman Sq. 7497326
El Tekkia 12 Ibn EL Waleed Sq. 7496673
Mawardy by the Nile Sheraton Cairo Hotel 3369700
Abou Shakra 69 El Kasr El Aini St. 19090
Farahat 126a El Azhar st. 5926595
El Mashrabia 4 Ahmed Nessim St. 7482801
Albayet – Baytek 3 Ibn Kathyr St. Corniche El Nil 3389992
Abou Shakra 17 Gameat El Dowal El Arabia St. 19090
Ataturk 20 El Riyadh St. 3475135
El Omda 6 El Gazayer St (From Gameat El Dowal El Arabia St) 3454320
El Tekkia 104 Gameat El Dowal El Arabia St. 7492615
Farahat 7 El Nil El Abyad St. Lebnon Sq. 3451711