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Restaurant in Cairo

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joann.hill12 Mar 6, 2009 05:01 PM

My husband and I are traveling to Egypt in a few weeks and will be in Cairo for 2 nights. We are staying at a resort (please don't use this against us!) next to the Hilton. I know that we are a good cab ride away but will most likely be going into Cairo for both dinners or at least one. We are serious foodies and are not picky whatsoever...we basically eat everything. We are looking for non-touristy restaurants with good, regional food. We are not on a budget per se, but are not looking for high-end either. Thanks in advance for all of your help.
By the way, if you are ever in DC or Philly, I'd be glad to give you recommendations!

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    islam RE: joann.hill12 Mar 22, 2009 05:43 AM

    Dear joann,

    at first i'm happy to know that you search for places befor you come and that will make you no to lose time here.
    there are alot of restourant here you should to let me know what kind of resturant you need to know clasic or modern or oriental or fast .
    whating your answer
    happy to helpe you
    thanks islam yasser
    Mob: 0101574827
    Mail: islam.yabbas@yahoo.com

    1. c
      cresyd RE: joann.hill12 Mar 25, 2009 02:07 AM

      Have so much fun! I was in Egypt for about ten days in October, and one of my nicest eating experiences in Cairo was at a restaurant called Sequoia in Zamalek. It's right on the Nile river and while it's a bit upscale the prices are not gauged out tourist prices. Fantastic place to watch the sun set as well.

      One disappointing thing I will say about being a tourist in Cairo is that trying to get off the beaten track is pretty difficult. Even picking an apparently famous restaurant from a guide book - your cab driver will probably need directions. All that I got to do off the beaten track in Cairo was because I was traveling with a friend who had lived there and could give directions in Arabic. Even knowing what landmark will work for an average cab driver and what wouldn't wasn't straight forward.

      So definitely use where you're staying, or just saunter into the Hilton and pretend that you're staying there - and ask them for help getting a cab to places. You may pay more - but you'll get there.

      1. d
        dnadog RE: joann.hill12 Mar 27, 2009 07:08 AM

        Lucky you! We just got back for Cairo two weeks ago and had some great meals. We ate at a Lebanese/Egyptian restaurant called Taboulah and although there were tourists there were also locals. It was not overly expensive, but was really nice and the food was just amazing.

        A restaurant called Felfela was also highly recommended to us by two friends who are from Cairo, but we were unable to make it, although it sounded great.

        We also went to a restaurant in Zamelak, but I only have the name in Arabic, so can't tell you. Taboulah was our favourite though.

        Have an awesome time, take a nice walk along the Nile!

        1. roxlet RE: joann.hill12 Apr 6, 2009 04:01 PM

          I have spent a total of 2 months in Cairo and I regret to tell you that Cairo is not really a foodie town. The best meal I had there was in July 07 at a Lebanese restaurant in a hotel in Heliopolis. Last year, since we were there for so long, we ordered a lot from Otlob.com, which means "call me" in Arabic. Though I doubt you will be ordering in, it is interesting to go to the web site to see menus from a variety of restaurants to get an idea of what restaurants are in which area and what kind of food they serve. Our favorite was Le Pasha, which is a restaurant boat mored in Zamalek. The boat has about 4 restaurants and each one has a different cusine. I don't know the restaurant Sequoia that the poster below refers to but it is obviously another of these large boat restaurants that Cairo seems to specialize in. I watched a recent episode of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain's eating/travel show, and I made a note of the restaurants he ate at so that I can try them when we return in August:

          Farahat Restaurant: At Farahat, Anthony Bourdain enjoys a local delicacy of Cairo -- pigeon.
          Address: 126 Azhar Street, Al-Hussein


          Abu Tarek Koshary Restaurant:Koshary is most accurately described as Cairanese fast food -- a dish of rice, noodles, spices, and fried onions. Anthony Bourdain samples this local treat at Abu Tarek.
          Address: 16 Maarouf and Shamplion Street, Wust al Balad, Cairo


          Mohamed Moustafa Ashour Foul Stall: Foul is the Cairanese breakfast of champions.
          Address: Unnamed alley south of Opera Square, Ataba, Cairo

          He seemed to enjoy the restaurant that served the pigeon in particular.

          As far as going into Cairo for dinners, just be aware that the traffic in Cairo is nightmarish, and while taxis are cheap and usually very available, it would probably be a good idea for you to hire a car and driver from your hotel for the evening. Few taxi drivers speak English and many taxis are very, very old and decrepit. You will be more comfortable with a car and driver even though you will pay more.

          Also bear in mind, that retaurants generally get crowded very late. We had dinner at 8PM at Le Pasha and we were practically the only ones there. The restaurant was filling up as we were leaving!

          Cairo is an unique and special place, and Egyptians are, almost without exception, gentle and lovely people. Enjoy your trip and I'll check back to see if you have any other questions!

          2 Replies
          1. re: roxlet
            t
            thespiritualmidget RE: roxlet Apr 26, 2010 05:16 AM

            I emailed you about your guide recently and we are planning on using him for the itinerary you talked about that your niece experienced and probably more. Thanks for your help.
            Above you had talked about maybe going to the place Tony Bourdain went to get stuffed pigeon at 126 Azhar street. Have you ever made it there?
            I have made it something of a touristy thing to make at least one place from the Tony Bourdain show everywhere I travel. the stuffed pigeon sounded great to me and also to my wife.
            Also, I would like to go to a traditional coffee house. Is this something you have done?
            Would it be easy to combine the two in a short late afternoon /evening.
            I intend on calling your guide on Friday when we get in and do these two things late Friday afternoon and evening (if our flight is on time, we have a direct Egypt Air flight from JFK).
            Again, thanks for your help.

            1. re: thespiritualmidget
              roxlet RE: thespiritualmidget Apr 30, 2010 09:29 AM

              Have you actually contacted Wael? He works for a number of people, so if you have not, I suggest you arrange it in advance. Otherwise he will likely be booked. Obviously this post was some time ago, but I have never managed to make it to Farahat, even though there is a branch of the restaurant in Mohandeseen, which is where we are living. Maybe the longer you are away the more your crave home-style foods; we rarely go out for Egyptian foods. I'm not sure what you mean by a traditional coffee house. I have never been to one, but maybe you mean the kinds of places where you see men smoking sheeshas. Woman are not welcome in a lot of these places, so I have never been enthusiastic about going.

              Today we went somewhere we have never been before -- a compound called Palm Hills in 6th of October City, which is about a 30 minute drive from where we live. There were having a festival, and I have never seen anything like it. The only comparison I could make would be to Casa de Campo in the DR where we went for a vacation once. All the food was free, and we had really delicious shish tawook, which is charcoal grilled chicken. They also were serving schwerma, which is also something you should try while you are in Cairo.

              Good luck, and I hope you have a fantastic time!

          2. j
            joann.hill12 RE: joann.hill12 Apr 10, 2009 03:30 PM

            Thanks everyone for your suggestions! We just got back a few days ago so I missed some of your suggestions. :-(
            We had a WONDERFUL time and ate well!
            dnadog--we ate at Felfela and it was greally good. I had a great lentil soup and mixed grill kebab.
            Thanks again everyone!

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