We Egyptians are a hungry bunch. Aside from our incredible ability to 7awwar about directions and make sure people end up nowhere near where they were trying to go, our appetite is basically our biggest strength as a nation. We could probably just eat the rest of the world if given the chance. But we digress. Knowing our eternal love for food, restauranteurs are constantly striving to up the culinary game in the city, opening new and interesting spots for us to curb our cravings on an almost weekly basis. And yes, molokheya will always hold a special place in our hearts, right up there next to our undying love for Amr Diab, because that slimy green soup is just magical, but we always love to try a range of cuisines. So the next time you're trapped in a four hour argument with your friends about where you should eat, here are 13 spots which have opened up in the past year that you should try out.
This is a Latin love affair on a plate. Mexico meets Peru then they decide that the time to revolutionize our dining experience has arrived and they have a food baby together. The Mexican-Peruvian fusion restaurant mixes essential Latin ingredients with the best local produce, resulting in some of the city's most exotic dishes; think salmon and mango ceviche; think slow cooked wild duck confit with huancaina sauce. What's Spanish for "Take me there?"
20 Taha Hussein str. Zamalek
Located in New Cairo's point 90 Mall, Elna, the hipster cousin of Lebanese cuisine gurus Tamara Bistro, will give you a taste of Beirut's finest creations right here in Cairo. Known for having one of the best Lebanese chefs in Cairo, this is not the place to be watching your weight. Wear your fat pants.
Point 90 Mall, New Cairo
The fact that the Red Sea and the Nile never actually meet didn't scare away Giovanni Bolandrini, one of the creative geniuses behind Gouna's iconic Pier 88, from bringing everyone's favourite Gouna restaurant to the banks of the Nile. We still love Gouna but we love having a taste of its food and nightlife on our doorsteps even more. Their epic Nile view is only exceeded by their gastronomical brilliance - tuna tartar and black tiger prawns in a spinach emulsion sauce, anyone? This is definitely the city's foremost spot to get all fancypants.
Imperial Boat, Saray El Gezirah Street
The newly opened hot spot is probably the only place in the city to take on Peruvian-Japanese Nikkei cuisine and they do it with aplomb. The unique restaurant, all floor to ceiling windows and sleek decor, offers a world of exotic flavours and spices that will make you rethink every single time you ever ordered a boring dish on a menu. They've got killer ceviche, incredible tuna tiraditos, and their Plancha Octopus dish has become something of a signature. If you love seafood, this is definitely your spot. If you don't, just go to McDonald's.
Tel:+20109 326 5311
Sunset Boat, Corniche Giza, Giza
Being a vegan in Egypt is no easy feat - and not just because everyone thinks you're fucking weird and keeps telling you it's okay, you can just eat pizza instead of steak. Dietary options across the city are limited to say the least, but vegan catering service Earthly Delights makes it far easier, with an array of options including vegan burgers (yeah, apparently that's a thing). And making sure your sweet tooth is covered is their offshoot, Kaju - a cashew-based line of raw vegan alternatives to dairy products by Earthy Delights, who have everything from coconut ice cream to chocolate truffles. You can make your guilt-free order from Nature's gift store or Greenolic.
Tel:+20115 500 6688
Who said club sandwiches are all the same? Stacked, Cairo's first club sandwich deli, steers away from traditional club sandwich by creating a menu where you can find club sandwiches inspired by Moroccan, Indian or any cuisine you can think of. It's not just sliced bread and meat anymore at Stacked, open every day at 10am in Taha Hussein street, Zamalek.
Tel:+20100 019 0700
2 Taha Hussein Street, Zamalek
Ever heard of Mongolian cuisine? Neither have we. And boy were we missing out! This Mongolian restaurant will not only let you have your tastiest Asian food and eat it too, but you will also enjoy the excitement of live cooking in Cairo's first ever authentic Mongolian grill located at Citystars.
Fratelli La Bufala
If your idea of Italian food is greasy, overstuffed pizza, get ready to have your whole belief system crumble at Fratelli La Bufala, which offers cuisine, culture, tradition and love, straight from the oven. You better know how to pronounce grazie, because behind the stoves at this restaurant are actual Italian chefs.
Tel:+20102 312 2330
Cairo Festival City Mall, New Cairo
Back in the day, if you couldn't get a Schenegen visa, there was no other way you could have authentic Greek cuisine. Luckily, those days are long gone. Located in Sheikh Zayed, Santorini offers the tastiest cuisine Greece has to offer right here at home.
Americana Plaza, Sheikh Zayed, 6th October City
It's hard to come by a place where you can order black burgers and black lemonade and be taken seriously. In Baltazar, the city's go-to restaurant for eccentric and odd cuisine, you can do just that. But be warned, it's not for the faint of heart.
Tel:+20115 855 1555
Citystars, Phase 2, Nasr City
Chick Shack is hard to miss, not just for its prime location in Zamalek's busiest street, but also for its now-famous rotisserie chicken that has taken Cairo by storm. They also have really cheesy mashed potatoes.
26 of July street, Zamalek, Cairo
Combining elements from Japanese and French cuisine makes for an elegant, modern, and ultra quirky dining experience at Le Deck, the Sofitel El Gezirah's revamped floating Nile-top spot. The new culinary concept was created by renowned Michelin Star Chef, Jordan Prot, who was on a seemingly impossible mission of merging the Egyptian food culture with that of France and Japan.
Tel:+20109 326 5311
Sofitel Cairo, El Gezirah, Zamalek, Cairo
One Japanese chef combined efforts with two Peruvian chefs to offers us a wonderful chance to indulge the exquisite Japanese cuisine coupled with the rich ingredients of Peru, at Izakaya, the first restaurant of its kind in Cairo. Drop by Al Guizera Plaza, Sheikh Zayed and enjoy the exclusive - and highly unusual - dining experience at Izakaya.