Because there are so many options to choose from when it comes to Zamalek bars, we focused on 7 of our favorite places to grab a drink on the island, from upscale restobars and vintage pubs to little outdoor pizza bars.
Local tip: at all of the below places you can bring your own bottle of hard liquor or wine for a corkage fee.
Pier 88 sits on the upper level of a docked boat in Zamalek overlooking the Nile, and during the day it’s one of those quietly sophisticated bar & restaurants, complete with an open kitchen and drinks overlooking the water. Honestly? It’s pricey but worth it.
At night it gets more of a nightlife feel to it, and reservations are recommended. On weekend nights the music gets turned up and there’s occasionally dancing by the tables (we don’t recommend eating when the dancing gets started, because you won’t find much room to wield your knife and fork).
To reserve: 01208111140
This chic rooftop restobar resides on top of the Riverside building on a quiet Nile-facing street with a great view. Its open terrace overlooks the Nile, with an impressive bar and beautiful interior design.
They have great food and creative cocktails, but we warn you -- this place is not cheap!
To reserve: 01275055555
Pub 28 is one of Zamalek’s oldest and most-loved pubs, and with good reason. It’s small, cozy, warm and offers the best sangria in the city.
Expect to see a lot of 50+ Egyptians sharing a laugh over their beers -- they’ve been regulars for decades.
They have a good menu of Egyptian mezze, but warning: it gets smokey and crowded sometimes which isn’t always pleasant while eating.
L’Aubergine is another long-time heavy hitter in the Cairo bar scene. What’s awesome about them is they also serve great food, so it’s a good option if you want to kick back with a beer but also want some food in your system. It’s two floors, the bottom being dedicated to more brightly-lit tables for dinner and drinks, and upstairs at the bar it’s darker, with high tables and louder music.
Another thing we love about L’Aubergine is the casual-ness of it -- you don’t need to worry about suffering the night away in heels or dressing to impress.
To reserve: 02 24174095
Another swanky spot, great for either dinner and drinks in their seated restaurant section or to socialize at their bar. We love their decor, with walls dedicated to vintage hardcover books and other antique-looking pieces, and their signature crystal globe chandeliers.
They have an extensive list of cocktails (several pages long) and they also do different cocktails and shots of the day, so make sure to ask the bartender for his personal recommendation.
To reserve: 01222132357
This little pizzeria has a small indoor area with high tables and a bar, and they've recently added an outdoor patio. Olivo is the perfect place to go if you want to grab pizza and a beer in a casual setting (make sure to try their sangria as well!).
Because it's small it fills up quickly, so a reservation is a good idea for evenings. They also open earlyish (1:30 pm), so it's a good spot if you're looking for a daytime drink.
To reserve: 0102 644 4475
On the top floor of the President Hotel is La Terrace, a restobar that's part full-on restaurant (they serve breakfast all the way to late night dinner) and part drinking destination, with a large menu of wines and imported liquor.
Although La Terrace is technically on the roof, it's not open air, which makes it a good choice on summer days because while you're surrounded by windows, they're closed and the AC is on, so you can enjoy the sun without roasting alive. During winter they also have comfy couches surrounding a (faux) fireplace.
You might also like: 7 Hidden Gem Restaurants in Zamalek