But never fear, just because Luxor isn’t the culinary capital of the world doesn’t mean there aren’t any good restaurants, you just need to know which ones are tourist traps and which ones are actually worth your time, money and appetite.
So here’s a list of our locally recommended restaurants in Luxor, ranging from rustic farm-to-table to 5 star luxury:
Sofra has been one of our personal local favorites for more than a decade now. It’s in an old 1930s house that’s been transformed into a restaurant, but they held on to a lot of its original traditional charm. The downstairs is the main dining area, and there’s an upstairs open terrace that we recommend (needs to be booked in advance though to guarantee a table!). The menu is Egyptian classics with lots of hot and cold mezzes. No alcohol.
For more info: Sofra’s FB page
2. El Kababgy
A great option if you want to sit outdoors right on the Nile with fantastic river views (they also have an indoor section with AC though if it’s too hot to be outside). El Kababgy technically is a meat restaurant (their name coming from ‘kebab’), but they also have tons of vegetarian options so don’t let the carnivorous name deter you. Their food is pretty tasty across the board. No alcohol.
For more info: El Kababgy’s FB page
3. Pizza Roma.It
If you’ve had your fill of Egyptian food, then we suggest you try out Pizza Roma.It, Luxor’s best Italian restaurant – loved by tourists and Egyptian locals alike. While the small restaurant itself is nothing fancy, they have a massive menu of pasta and pizza and they do it all well. The owner lived in Italy for over 12 years and tries to keep the food as authentically Italian as possible (or as much as you can in Egypt). No alcohol.
For more info: Pizza Roma.It’s FB page
This place is all about the luxury, fine dining experience. 1886 Restaurant is in the Sofitel Winter Palace Hotel, which is one of Egypt’s historic hotels and steeped in stories (both the hotel and the restaurant have been serving guests for over 130 years!). 1886 only allows formal dining, which means a strict dress code of jacket and tie for men and dresses for women. The service is impeccable but unfortunately sometimes their food (French cuisine) is hit and miss – this restaurant made our list mainly for its ambience, history and overall Old World feel. Alcohol is served.
For more info: Sofitel Winter Palace’s FB page
5. Nubian House
If you’re looking for something off the beaten track on the West Bank of Luxor, and a little adventure, then we recommend discovering Nubian House. While Nubia is usually more associated with Aswan, a Nubian couple opened a little authentic ‘restaurant’ on their farm on the Nile in Luxor – although it doesn’t feel like eating in a restaurant, it feels like eating in someone’s home, in the best way. The ingredients are the definition of farm-to-table, the wife is the chef and the husband will show you the utmost in hospitality. They don’t have a menu, but will ask you your likes & dislikes and cook up something homemade and just for you. This isn’t the place to eat if you’re looking for a quick meal between sightseeing; go if you want to spend some time actually getting to know a local family and experience something authentic.
For more info: Nubian House’s website
6. Main Court at Al Moudira Hotel
If you want to have dinner or drinks on the West Bank but somewhere more upscale than Nubian House, then the Main Court restaurant at the beautiful boutique hotel Al Moudira is the way to go. (Head here to read about more unique boutique hotels in Egypt). Al Moudira is away from the hustle and bustle of touristic Luxor, on the edge of the fields and surrounded by gardens. They have indoor and outdoor seating, Egyptian and international dishes (menu is limited though), and serve alcohol.
For more info: Al Moudira’s website
7. Al Sahaby Lane
This is where to go if you’re looking for that Instagram view along with your meal. Al Sahaby Lane is a restaurant with outdoor lane seating in the souk, and upstairs is its rooftop terrace with stunning views over the Nile, Luxor Temple and Avenue of the Sphinxes. They have a massive menu with something for everyone – Egyptian fare, international, vegetarian, you name it. They even have a camel burger or camel meat pot if you want to try something different. No alcohol served.
For more info: Al Sahaby Lane’s FB page