Four Nights in Cairo - need update
We will be at the Semiramis Intercontinental (on the Nile near the Opera House) for four nights in
February - dinners are on our own, thank goodness. So we're looking for suggestions. Two of those
nights can be more upscale, but not pretentious and definitely worth the money. (A fun place is always welcome.) But we would
like to have some local flavor as well. After our trip on the Nile, we have one night at the
Intercontinental City Stars before flying out the next day.
I have spent a great deal of time in Cairo and, in fact, lived there last year. If you search these boards, you will see that I have posted extensively about restaurants and dining in Cairo. First off, know that Cairo is not a foodie town. You are not going to happen upon some fabulous little spot that blows you away. Most of the best food in Cairo is not Egyptian food, but that being said, there are a few dishes that you should definitely try to have while you are there. One is fatiir, which is a kind of pancake/pizza creation that is simply delicious in either the savory (cheese and tomatoes was my favorite) and sweet (I am partial to the honey or just powdered sugar version though my son loved the banana one. The best place is in the Khan a Khalili called The Egyptian Pancake house. We had one terrific meal at Taboula in Garden City, which I have written about previously. You should be sure to try koshary and fuul. Koshary is a mixture of different kinds of pasta, grain and beans and it is very Egyptian. Fuul is the national breakfast and is a kind of refriend beans sered in a pita. If you are ever near a place called Gad, which is an Egyptian chain, you can get fuul, tamaya (like felafel), schwarma, etc. For dining, you may want to consider Le Pasha, which is a restaurant boat moored in the Nile, not too far from your hotel. You are in an area called Zamalek, which is one of the nicest parts of Cairo. The best meal we had there was at an Italian restaurant called Trattoria, which is one of a group of restaurants in Cairo owned by Omar Sharif's son. Again, if you do a search on Cairo restaurants, you should come up with my posts on all of these restaurants. As you may or may not know, City Stars is a mall and it is the largest mall in the middle east. There are many restaurants in the mall, but few offer fine dining, if that is what you are looking for.
Abou El Sid is OK. It's not fabulous, but credible. I think it depends on which one you eat in since there are a bunch in Cairo. I think that what they do is done more authentically by a place called Gad, which is a chain in Cairo that caters to the locals. I never got to Sequoia since it is really a very late night kind of place (many Egyptian restaurants don't get going until after 9:30-10 PM) and I was there with my son who was doing squash training and up early every morning.