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Restaurants in Cairo

Downtown is best for local restaurants, especially Egypt's famous koshary, made with macaroni, black lentils and garlic sauce, at Abou Tarek. Along the Nile around Zamalek and Gezira are huge houseboats with plush restaurants like El Morocco. Upmarket restaurants are open until after midnight. Smart dress and reservations are recommended. Service charge is usually included, but add an extra 10% cash for waiters.

The exterior of Abou Tarek, Cairo. Courtesy of Abou Tarek

Top-end

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  1. 1. Revolving Restaurant - Top-end: (More than E£250 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Revolving Restaurant, Cairo. Courtesy of Hyatt

    The floor-to-ceiling windows on the Grand Hyatt's 41st floor take in views of pyramids and the old city, revolving fully in 75 minutes. Not that it detracts from the food. French cuisine includes pan-fried rib-eye steak or lobster, followed by creme brulee or roasted peach. Smart dress and reservations are essential. Ask for a window table.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 7pm-1am

    Address

    Corniche El Nile, Garden City, Roda Island, Cairo

    Telephone

    +20 (0) 2 2365 1234

    Transport

    Taxi

  2. 2. Abou Shakra - Top-end

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    This is the place for meat-lovers looking to sample real Egyptian fare. If you're hungry, go for the charcoal-grilled kebab and kofta plate, which features a full kilo (2.25lbs) of meat. If you're not quite in full caveman mode, though, go for the grilled pigeon or ouzi (grilled lamb). None of the main dishes comes with much on the side, so ask for some grilled vegetables or a rice tagine. Since this isn't really a tourist-oriented restaurant, Western stomachs should avoid the salad.

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    Cost

    Appetizers LE3-LE8 (90¢-$1.45/45p-75p); main courses LE20-LE60 ($3.60-$11/£1.80-£5.40)

    Opening hours

    Daily noon-1am

    Address

    17 Gamat el Dawal al Arabeya, Cairo, Egypt

    Telephone

    02/33444767

  3. 3. Abu el-Sid - Top-end: (More than E£250 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Abu el-Sid, Cairo. Courtesy of www.deyafa.net

    With Oriental decor of mosaic floors, upholstered ornate chairs and stone walls, Abu el-Sid in Zamalek is loved by fashionable locals. Sophisticated Egyptian dishes include chicken in walnut sauce, meatballs with molokheya (green herb) and stuffed pigeon with rice. Save room for the om aly (traditional pudding) with mixed nuts.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 1pm-1am

    Address

    157, Sharia 26 July, Zamalek, Cairo

    Telephone

    +20 (0) 2 2735 9640

    Transport

    Metro to Nasser

    Website

    Abu el-Sid Website

Mid-range

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  1. 4. Maison Thomas - Mid-range: (E£100-E£250 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Clean and sleekly decorated with high ceilings and solid wooden floors, Maison Thomas is a popular bistro in Cairo's Zamalek area. On the menu are Italy's most famous dishes, including pizza, lasagne, cannelloni and generously filled panini. Take a seat at a table or call for delivery, day or night.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily all day

    Address

    157, 26th of July Street , Zamalek, Cairo

    Telephone

    +20 (0) 2 27357057

    Transport

    Metro to Nasser

  2. 5. Fish Market - Mid-range: (E£100-E£250 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    On board the Americana Boat, moored at Giza, Fish Market is an unpretentious and very popular seafood restaurant with no menu, just freshly-caught fish and shellfish. Everything is simply steamed, grilled or fried, accompanied by fresh salads. The Nile views are unbeatable, especially at night. It's a good late-night dining spot. Reservations are recommended.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 12pm-3am

    Address

    26, Shariah el-Nil, Giza, Cairo

    Telephone

    +20 (0) 2 3570 9693

    Transport

    Taxi to Midan al-Gamaa

Budget

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  1. 6. Abou Tarek - Budget: (Less than E£100 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    The exterior of Abou Tarek, Cairo. Courtesy of Abou Tarek

    Locals crowd through the doors of Abou Tarek Downtown to sample Egypt's national dish koushary. Although sold throughout the city, the much-loved dish combining macaroni, rice, black lentils, chick peas, garlic sauce and fried onions, has made this a landmark restaurant. Informal, busy and noisy, this is a local culinary experience worth queuing for.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 8am-12am

    Address

    16, Shariah al Shamplion, Cairo

    Telephone

    +20 (0) 2 2577 5935

    Transport

    Metro to Sadat

    Website

    Abou Tarek WEbsite

  2. 7. Andrea Mariotteya - Budget: (Less than E£100 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Popular after a visit to the nearby pyamids at Giza (and filled with families in the evenings), Andrea Mariotteya is famed for its spit-roast chicken. Its real gem is the tree-filled garden, a peaceful retreat from the city's noise. Start with traditional mezzes and tuck into roasted or char-grilled tender meat, eaten with your fingers.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 11am-11pm

    Address

    59-60, Qanaat Maryoteyya, Saqqara, Cairo

    Telephone

    +20 (0) 2 3383 1133

    Transport

    Taxi

  3. 8. Gad - Budget

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    This inexpensive chain has outlets all over the city, with the Mohandiseen branch conveniently located on Gamat al Dawal al Arabeya, just past Midan Mustafa Mahmoud. The food and decor are simple, but this place will give you a great feel for the friendly hubbub of Cairo. Sample a typical Egyptian take-away sandwich of pita bread stuffed with fuul or deep-fried tamaya (chickpea paste).

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    Cost

    Sandwiches LE5-LE10 (90¢-$1.80/45p-90p)

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-midnight

    Address

    47A Gamat el Dawal al Arabeya, Cairo, Egypt

    Telephone

    +20 (0) 2 37495206

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