Recent tax hikes and price increases have made eating out in Cairo a rather costly affair. Thankfully there are still some culinary bargains to be had on the streets on the capital to suit all tastes.
Here are five of the best places in Cairo to fill your belly without emptying your wallet.
Felfela (15 Hoda Shaarawy Street, Downtown Cairo)
A traditional favourite, Felfela started life bringing high quality vegetarian food to hungry Cairenes at affordable prices. These days the spacious restuarant located on Hoda Shaarawy Street in Downtown offers both vegetarian and meat dishes at prices to suit all budgets. The restaurant offers ample seating while the nearby takeaway offers tasty grub on the move. Popular dishes include Stuffed Pigeon (65LE),Vegetable Casserole (22LE) and Fried Calamari (58LE). Whatever you choose, Felfela guarantees a delicious meal with an easy-to-digest price tag.
Eish & Malh (20 Adly Street, Downtown Cairo)
As a relative newcomer to the Cairo culinary market, Eish & Malh has quickly developed a reputation as one of the capital’s top spots for excellent Italian cuisine. The bistro – sister venue to Sherif Street’s Kafein cafe – serves up delicious homemade pasta and pizza to a growing flock of Downtown food devotees. The ambience is inviting, the crowd varied and the prices are budget friendly with a pizza available from 30LE. Meanwhile, pasta dishes start at 23LE and a serving of the restaurant’s homemade tiramisu will set you back just 25LE.
El Shebani (49 Dokki Street, Dokki)
An open secret among Dokki dwellers, El Shebani on Dokki Street serves up a range of delicious Yemeni food to locals and foreigners alike. Recommended dishes include the delicious Chicken Mandy (44LE) which is served piping hot on a bed of delicious Yemani rice. Meanwhile, meat fans should check out the uber tasty Meat Kabsa meal (35LE), while a number of vegetarian dishes on offer. El Shebani provides a no-frills dining experience with a difference at a very reasonable cost.
Kazaz (38 Sabry Abou Alam Street, Downtown Cairo)
For the ultimate no frills cheap eat in Cairo check out Downtown favourite Kazaz. The balady street eatery serves up Egyptian family favourites such as Grilled Kofta (31LE) and a 1/2 chicken meal (29.5LE) at very reasonable prices. The venue itself is not exactly chic, but Kazaz serves up delicious homecooked at a price we can all afford.
Joy Luck (13 Road 233, Maadi)
A favourite among Maadites, this Chinese restaurant serves up a delicious array of Asian cuisine along the suburb’s Road 233. Popular dishes include Sweet Sour Beef With Carrot Green Chili (38LE), Fried Dry Bean Curd With Chili (24LE) and Fried Eggplant With Beef (32LE) while diners with a sweet tooth can enjoy Sweet Bananas (24LE) or Sweetened eggs (24LE). The scruffy but tasty dishes are an excellent example of a restaurant offering delicious grub at rock bottom prices.
By Conor Sheils
(Photos courtesy of respective owners)