Anyone who’s had a meal overlooking the Nile in Cairo will tell you it’s something you have to do, and as often as possible. Leaving the crowded streets far behind and just looking out at the serene Nile water with its feluccas, windsurfers and twinkling lights at night -- well, it's practically therapy for your eyes as well as your mood. It’s as highly recommended as having the Pyramids of Giza as your dining view. As in - REALLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Read more: 7 Best Restaurants with Pyramids Views
So if you’re looking to have lunch, dinner or just a drink while overlooking the Nile, the world’s longest river, then this is the list for you.
Local note: we chose the best restaurants in terms of not only view, but food and ambience as well. You can find good Nile views in places like Biota (Zamalek), Platform (Maadi) and the Revolving Restaurant (Grand Hotel), but we personally don’t like those places because of their subpar food and/or atmosphere and we always want to be 100% honest with our readers when it comes to our recommendations.
So here are our personal local Nile view restaurant favorites:
Location: First Nile Boat, Giza
The First Nile Boat in Giza is run by the Four Seasons First Residence (right across the street) and is home to five different restaurants, each serving up a different cuisine and spectacular Nile views.
Zoe is a Greek taverna on the upper deck of the boat, with a retractable roof to let in the sunlight and river breezes when the weather is nice. Breakfast is available on weekends from 10:00 am.
Location: Sofitel Gezirah, Zamalek
The Sofitel Gezirah is one of our favorite hotels in Cairo mainly for its inimitable location: smack on the tip of the Nile island of Zamalek. Most of their restaurants have an outdoor area right on the water, and a great place to enjoy it is their Bar Promenade. The water is so close you can touch it, and you can order drinks and shisha. If you’re hungry, you can order off nearby La Madeleine’s menu (the hotel’s international cafe which has all your basic staples: salads, appetizers, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, main dishes, etc).
Alternatively, if you want more of a proper sit-down dinner, you can sit at Kebabgy, the grills restaurant (which also made our list of our favorite open air restaurants) or La Palmeraie, Sofitel’s Moroccan restaurant. Both have fantastic Nile views as well.
Crimson is an open-air rooftop restaurant and bar in Zamalek and has some of the best Nile views in the city. It's a great spot to go get dinner and drinks, or just a beer or cocktail at the bar. Their cocktail list is impressive as well, but expensive! Although to be fair, almost all of the entries on this list are on the pricey side - we woke up one day and Cairo was expensive, but that’s a story for a different day lol.
Crimson’s food is good as well, landing them also on our list of best Cairo restaurants for locals and tourists alike.
Location: St. Regis, Nile Corniche
The St. Regis is one of Cairo’s newer hotels and it’s right on the Nile Corniche, allowing great views for most of its restaurants. Our personal favorite there is La Zisa, an airy and light Italian restaurant which has ‘Mamma Mia Brunch’ every Friday, and a la carte dining the rest of the time.
Their menu has all the Italian classics you’d expect, and they offer something called ‘Tavolozze’, which is where you can order smaller dishes to be shared family style, instead of being just stuck with one main course.
La Zisa’s menu.
Cuisine: Egyptian & International
Location: Novotel Cairo El Borg, Zamalek
On top of the Novotel right next to the Cairo Tower in Zamalek is their rooftop restaurant Cafe Frais. You can also see clear across the Nile and Qasr el Nil Bridge to the Cairo Museum and Tahrir Square.
The restaurant serves a wide selection of Egyptian dishes as well as your usual international fare.
Local tip: Novotel is a dry hotel though, so Cafe Frais doesn’t serve alcohol.
Cafe Frais’ menu.
Location: Semiramis Intercontinental, Garden City
This Italian restaurant in the Semiramis actually has a little-known outdoor terrace that overlooks the Nile, complete with shisha, on the 2nd floor of the hotel so you’re above the cacophony of the Corniche but still close to the water.
The menu is full of Italian classics by their resident Italian chef, and they have an extensive wine list from all over the world. They also have TV screens for matches and offer shisha.
The indoor section of the restaurant is a bit more upscale-looking, but without shisha.
Pane Vino’s menu.
Location: Fairmont Nile City, Nile Corniche
If you’re looking for dinner in an upscale indoor venue but without compromising your Nile view, then look no further than Saigon. Open from 5 pm daily, this restaurant offers a fusion of different Asian dishes, from pho to dim sum to sushi to wok curries. They also have a full bar and an extensive drinks menu.
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