New millennial dessert shops seem to be opening and competing with each other on a daily basis these days in Egypt. And while there’s something to be said for newfangled desserts like red velvet konafa and the ‘bakookie’ (baklawa cookie) and all the other bizarre desserts we see pop up regularly, that doesn’t mean we should let the old Egyptian patisseries of yonder years take the backseat.
It turns out we have a bunch of old-school dessert shops that not only have stood the test of time in Egypt, but come with fascinating stories and history. While some might now be run down and a shadow of their former selves (while some others are booming), it’s important to support these sugar-laden relics of our history, food and culture.
For 21 classic Cairo restaurants from the 90s that are still open until now, head here.
Founded: 1891 in Cairo
The oldest and probably most famous on this list, Maison Groppi opened in 1891 in Downtown Cairo by Swiss native Giacomo Groppi. It quickly became the most celebrated tearoom in the Middle East, to the extent that they would give Groppi chocolate as gifts to foreign royalty and other VIPs. The modern Groppi has been undergoing renovation for the past few years now.
Founded: 1898 in Cairo
This classic oriental-meets-western bakery and cafe has been open for more than 100 years, and is still active in several different branches in Zamalek, Downtown and Dokki.
Founded: 1905 in Alexandria
Trianon was originally a Greek-owned patisserie and chocolatier next to Raml Station in Alexandria, known back in the day for its fantastic desserts and Italian-painted interiors.
Founded: 1912 in Cairo
Another beloved Downtown Cairo patisserie back at the turn of the 20th century, Tseppas now has over 10 branches.
5. El Malky
Founded: 1917 in Cairo
Known for its dairy desserts and especially rice pudding, the very first El Malky opened over 100 years in the El Hussein area in Old Cairo.
Founded: 1922 in Alexandria
This Alexandrian patisserie and bakery is still owned by the same original Greek family who opened it. Besides the desserts and baked goods, Délices is now also home to a bistro and adjacent restaurant.
7. Mandarine Koueider
Founded: 1928 in Cairo
The Koueider family moved to Egypt from Damascus, Syria in 1926, and two years later opened their very first shop dedicated to oriental desserts.
Founded: 1930 in Alexandria
Opened by a Swiss pastry chef almost 90 years ago, Fluckiger used to be especially known for their ‘clo-clo’ cone-shaped ice cream back in the day, which would have people lining up in front of the patisserie for hours. They now have almost 20 branches spread out over Alexandria and the North Coast.
Founded: 1939 in Port Said
Gianola is Port Said's oldest patisserie and bakery, dating back 80 years to when the original owner, Swiss native Francois Gianola, opened his European pastry shop. Gianola remains until now a popular restaurant and patisserie in Port Said.
10. A L’Americaine
Founded: 1943 in Cairo
An offshoot of Maison Groppi, A L’Americaine was a coffee and pastry shop created by the same owners, but for people couldn’t quite afford Groppi at the time. Two of the branches still exist Downtown until today.
Founded: 1950 in Damietta
In the little Mediterranean city of Damietta (El Domyat), the El Husseiny family opened their first first pastry house. Over the decades, the number of ElDomiaty Patisseries grew and spread to Cairo, with their traditional recipes being passed down from generation to generation.
12. Patisserie Alexandra Hamos
Founded: 1957 in Alexandria
Alexandra Hamos was the wife of the Greek owner of the famous Alexandrian patisserie. It first opened in the Ramleh area, which had been the center of the Greek community in Alexandria, before opening other branches around Alex.
Founded: 1960 in Alexandria
What started as a food truck for rice pudding, belila, meshmesheya and ashoora back in 1960 soon turned into several small shops in Alexandria. They also claim to be the first dessert shop to offer ice cream during the winter in Alex.
Founded: 1969 in Alexandria
Manna is the nickname of the beloved woman who founded this patisserie 50 years ago, Amina El Deeb, and is still owned and run by her children and grandchildren until now. This dessert shop was once the favorite of the Alexandrian elite, and served Egyptian icons like Abdel Halim Hafez and Mohamed Abdel Wahab.