Cairo has over a thousand restaurants, and while sometimes you’re in the mood for something casual (read: 7 Best Places to Try Egyptian Street Food in Cairo), sometimes there’s a special occasion or you’re just looking for something ambient and elevated.
Cairo didn’t used to be known for its fine dining scene, but that’s really changed over the past few years. There’s a good handful of ‘fancy’ restaurants, but not all of them give you bang for your buck, so we filtered through the overpriced and underwhelming to bring you the very best of Cairo’s fine dining scene, in terms of both food and overall experience.
So get your appetite and wallet ready, and here we go:
1. Sachi Park St.
Located on a rooftop in Sheikh Zayed is Sachi Park St., sister restaurant of Sachi in Heliopolis but our personal favorite of the two. This expansive restaurant is divided into indoor and outdoor seating, each beautifully decorated with its own bar.
The menu is international fusion, so you’ll find everything from sushi to duck linguine to Chilean sea bass. The service is impeccable and they have a signature cocktail menu.
2. Pier 88
Pier 88 is a high-end Italian restaurant and bar that sits on the upper level of a docked boat in Zamalek overlooking the Nile, and is equally pleasant for both daytime and nighttime dining. During the day it’s one of those quietly sophisticated restaurants, complete with an open kitchen and drinks overlooking the water.
At night it gets more of a nightlife feel to it, with Tuesday nights being the ‘in nights’, when the music gets turned up and there’s occasionally dancing by the tables.
Local tip: there’s also another branch of Pier 88 in Pyramids Hills in 6th October, and its original branch in El Gouna on the Red Sea.
Cairo’s first Nikkei restaurant. What’s Nikkei, you ask? It’s Japanese-Peruvian fusion, born from the migrant Japanese community living in Peru and over decades adding their touch to traditional Peruvian dishes. It’s become so beloved and recognized that not only does this fusion have its own name -Nikkei- but it’s actually spread half a world away, all the way to Egypt, thanks to Izakaya, which is in Palm Hills in 6th October. There’s indoor and outdoor seating and it’s a beautiful place to chill, eat and have a cocktail.
4. Moghul Room
Found in the Marriott Mena House is one of Cairo’s best Indian restaurants, the Moghul Room. This restaurant has been a firm Cairo favorite for decades now, and it never falters when it comes to quality, taste and ambience. Oh and by the way – did we mention that it has Pyramid views through its windows?
Granted, eating Indian cuisine at the foot of Ancient Egyptian pyramids might seem incongruous, but if you’re in the mood for your favorite Indian classics, there’s no better place to enjoy it. They also have an extensive (albeit expensive) international wine list.
You may also like: 7 Best Pyramid View Restaurants
5. The Lemon Tree & Co
If you’re looking for really gorgeous aesthetics, then head to the Lemon Tree in One Ninety in New Cairo (local tip: this is different from the Lemon Tree Bistro in Katameya Heights, which is also a great restaurant and bar but not the same one we’re talking about now).
Lemon Tree serves upscale international fusion, and is by far one of the most beautiful restaurants and bars in Cairo, with indoor/outdoor vibes and overlooking the park at the One Ninety compound.
Thai restaurant Birdcage has been one of the Semiramis Intercontinental’s flagship restaurants for over a decade now.
On the second floor en route to Pane Vino, the Italian restaurant, you’ll find a quiet, wooden little oasis in the hotel -- that’s Birdcage.
The service and ambience is on par with what you’d expect from a 5 star hotel, as is the actual food presentation -- and luckily the food rises to the task as well, which isn’t always the case with Cairo restaurant hotels. But we’ve been going to Birdcage for about 15 years now, so that should be some indication regarding their food.
You may also like: 7 Best Thai Restaurants in Cairo
7. The Smokery
Overlooking the green expanse of the golf course in Katameya Heights, The Smokery is hard to beat when it comes to dinner and drinks with a view in New Cairo.
They have both indoor and outdoor seating, and serve a variety of upscale international dishes, with everything from sliders to seabass quinoa to sushi. The Smokery became so popular that it opened other branches in Palm Hills, Heliopolis, El Gouna and Marassi.