• Local's Guide To Egypt

21 Classic 90s Restaurants in Cairo That Are Still Open Until Now

Updated: Sep 10, 2020

Ah, the 90s in Cairo. The good ol’ days of escalope pane in the club and when McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Chili’s were all sparkly and new. While some food icons of the 90s have since died out in Cairo (RIP Wimpy), you might be surprised to find out that a lot of our favorite restaurants from 20+ years ago are actually still alive and kicking. Are they still good? Well, that’s up for you to decide. But in case you feel like taking your stomach for a walk down memory lane, here are some of Cairo’s 90s classics that are still open until today.

Disclaimer: we only included the restaurants that are *homegrown*, before you start asking where KFC’s at.

1. Cortigiano

Founded: 1993

Everyone’s favorite restaurant to go to with their parents from back in the day is not only still operational, but also opening new branches. Right now they’re currently in Dokki (this branch is the real OG), City Stars, Maadi, Helio, Nasr City and New Cairo.

Cortigiano’s FB page is here.

2. La Casetta

Founded: 1985

Who doesn’t remember La Casetta’s pizza? Forget Chicago deep dish, La Casetta’s deep dish was a whole other heavy-as-hell-but-worth-it story. Their current branches are in Dokki, Heliopolis and Nasr City.

La Casetta’s FB page is here.

3. Felfela

Founded: 1959

Felfela might be a 90s favorite, but that doesn’t mean it opened in the 90s. It’s now over 50 years old and still going strong *knock on wood and all that*. While our 90s favorite Felfelas were the Haram branch (the Felfela Village) and the famous Downtown branch, today you can also find Felfela in Moqattam and there’s also Felfela Express.

Their website is here.

4. Andrea Mariouteya

Founded: 1958

The Andrea Mariouteya of the 90s should not at all be confused with the cheap knock-off Andreas of today, like the one on the Maadi Corniche. The original classic might be known for the ‘Mariouteya’ in its name, but its new home is now in New Giza.

Andrea Mariouteya’s FB page is here.

5. Swiss Restaurants (Le Chantilly, La Chesa, Le Chalet, Le Chateau)

Founded: 1976

Ah, the good ol’ Swiss Restaurant group, delivering happiness in steak and cheese form throughout the 90s. Le Chantilly was the darling of the Heliopolis crowd, La Chesa was a Downtown staple, and Le Chalet and Le Chateau were the go-tos for familial outings for those living on the west side of Cairo (and I say familial because we millennials couldn’t really afford going without our parents).

The Swiss Restaurants’ FB page is here.

6. Peking

Founded: 1962

Did you know that Peking was established in 1962? Sure, it seems like it’s been around forever, but not 50 years forever! Our favorite 90s Chinese restaurant is still going strong, albeit with a lot more competition than back in the day. Their vegetable spring rolls will always have an oily but fond place in our heart though, because those are ~memories~.

Peking’s FB page is here.

7. Didos Aldente

Founded: 1993

Do you guys remember when Didos opened in Zamalek and a large plate of Arrabbiata pasta was for 7 EGP? *Sob* the good old days indeed.

Didos’ FB page is here.

8. Pizza King

When you think of Pizza King, one thing and one thing only probably comes to mind: buy one get one free. While it definitely wasn’t the best pizza (Pizza Hut and Domino’s were our 90s heroes), their BOGO offer made it our number one choice when we were a lot of mouths to feed with little funds.

Pizza King’s FB page is here.

9. Maison Thomas

Founded: 1922

Wait hold up, did any of you know that Maison Thomas is almost 100 years old?! We sure didn’t, and were shocked to say the least when we read their founding date on their FB page. Listen, no matter how many new and shiny pizza spots open in Cairo, Thomas will always be one of our first loves.

Maison Thomas’ FB page is here.

10. Lucille’s

Founded: 1995

Back in the day before Road 9 in Maadi was the commercial sh*tshow it is now, it used to be a quiet, tree-lined street with only a few restaurants to its name. Lucille’s was one of them -- but actually, its original name was Lucille’s Mermaid Columbus, but they dropped the second part of its name partly due to confusion with the Italian restaurant Mermaid (below), also found on Road 9 in the 90s. And lo and behold, Lucille’s is no longer just a Maadi landmark -- they now have another branch in New Cairo.

Lucille’s FB page is here.

11. Mo’men

Founded: 1988

Before fast food sandwich places in Cairo were a dime a dozen, there was Mo’men. What started as just one Mo’men restaurant run by three brothers back in the late 80s now has over a dozen branches which serve over 9.5 million customers a year.

Mo’men’s FB page is here.

12. Semsema

Founded: 1980

Long live the shawerma in a “kaizer” roll. Most people now just order from Semsema, but back in the day you couldn’t find a spot to park in front of it from the moment it opened its doors up until 2 am.

Semsema’s FB page is here.

13. Bon Appetit

Founded: 1983

All hail the Champion (the sandwich, that is). It was the OG fried chicken sandwich.

Bon Appetit’s FB page is here.

14. Rossini

Founded: 1993

If you grew up in Heliopolis in the 90s, then you’ll probably remember Rossini as the fancy Italian/seafood restaurant and piano bar for older people dressed up and sipping wine. The good news is that Rossini has just revamped itself and stepped into the 21st century with an awesome new bar and contemporary interior design.

Rossini's FB page is here.

15. My Queen

Founded: 1984

What started off as almost a food truck of sorts in Gameat el Dawal with extremely sketchy hygiene but a pretty good chicken madghoot sandwich has now become an actual chain with numerous branches.

My Queen's FB page is here.

16. Cook Door

Founded: 1988

The Super Crunchy Chicken, Viagra sandwich and Friskies fries were good back then and they’re still good now.

Cook Door's FB page is here.

17. Mermaid

Founded: 1981

This little-known Italian restaurant has been on Road 9 in Maadi for over 35 years, and yet still most non-Maadites haven’t heard of it. Until today they serve old school pasta, pizza and Italian main dishes in their small original location.

Mermaid's FB page is here.

18. El Tabei El Domyati

Founded: 1926

Alongside Maison Thomas, El Tabei remains a generational Cairo food institution. It was founded almost 100 years ago, and started serving the falafel/taameya we love so much back in 1939.

El Tabei' FB page is here.

19. Chicken Tikka

Founded: 1972

Chicken Tikka might be an Americana restaurant, thus Kuwaiti owned, but Chicken Tikka’s very first branch in the world opened right here in Cairo in 1972, so we can’t help but consider it homegrown. Plus, the puri bread. Come on now. That stuff ran in the veins of Egyptians back in the 90s.

Chicken Tikka's FB page is here.

20. Abou Shakra

Founded: 1947

Another loooong time classic, Abou Shakra was a family destination back in the 90s for whenever we wanted something fresh off the grill (and wanted our parents pay for it).

Abou Shakra’s FB page is here.

21. Abou Haidar

Just like Semsema has the hearts and souls of shawerma lovers on the west side of Cairo, Abou Haidar was and still is a cult shawerma classic in Korba.

Abou Haidar’s FB page is here.

You might also like: 14 Egyptian Dessert Shops and Patisseries More Than 50 Years Old

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