When I was first planning our trip to Egypt, I had researched traditional Egyptian food, and was looking forward to trying many of their dishes. As soon as I got into Cairo, the majority of the food that I ate was International Cuisine, especially in the hotels that we were staying at. I was not too disappointed because the food we ate at our hotels was phenomenal. Although I was hoping for a few traditional dishes on their menus.
Our saving grace were our gracious hosts and guides, who fed us local dishes like shawarma, fresh seafood with traditional sides, and kofta. All those special experiences are noted below with a special thanks to each of them, including their contact information if you ware wanting expert guides. SHUKRAN!
Athens to Cairo
I had spent several days in Athens prior to my flight into Cairo, in which I would spend almost three weeks exploring Egypt. Since my flight was only a couple of hours, I did not expect much when it came to food. To be quite honest, I do not recall if I had upgraded to business class, but I got a full meal anyhow.
I was in awe and felt that traveler’s exhilaration when I looked out the window, and saw Cairo from the sky. In all the places that I had flown into, never was there a site quite like this. I was overwhelmed with excitement, and I had a decent meal on my Egyptian Air flight- All was good.
Cheristo Restaurant and a Pyramid View – Giza
We were lucky during our Egyptian trip to meet many wonderful hosts and guides. Our Airbnb host Nader Soliman , who is also a guide, picked us up from Cairo and brought us to our flat that overlooked the pyramids. It was a beautiful apartment, and very spacious.
For our first dinner in Giza, Nader picked us up and brought us to Cheristo Restaurant that also overlooked the pyramids. We were set up at a rooftop table, with an exciting view where we ate a feast of fresh seafood, and Egyptian dishes.
Since my friends and I enjoy seafood, Cheristo became one of our favorite restaurants on the trip. We did not actually place an order by looking at our menus, Nader ordered for us and suggested that we try their special fish that was filleted and grilled, and it was delicious!
If you are looking for a memorable and palatable seafood restaurant in Giza, please check out Cheristo Restaurant. I am sure it will become one of your favorites as well.
Special thanks to Nader Soliman for being an excellent Airbnb host and dinner companion for us ladies in Giza!
For information and location, please visit Cheristo Restaurant
Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir – Cairo
When I first arrived in Cairo, before my friends flew in, I stayed at the Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir for several days. I enjoyed my stay here, especially since I was travelling solo for the first part of our trip. It was luxurious, comfortable, and safe. Plus the food was excellent and, I did not have to walk the Cairo streets to eat.
Surprise, I got apples! I had left my room for an hour or two, and when I came back there was a plate of apples with flatware in my room. Well certainly I was not expecting someone to enter my room, and I had not picked up. There were clothes and undergarments all on the floor, but I am sure they had seen worse and did not judge me.
Chicken with balsamic reduction | Giant prawns
Typically, I would walk around a city and find a local restaurant to dine in, but I did not feel comfortable doing that in Cairo. It was not that bad, but it was quite overwhelming as a solo female traveler. There were people trying to sell me things, men who bothered me, and just crossing the streets were insane. I was not fearful, I just like my privacy and a safe place to cross the street.
Steigenberger Hotel was a refuge from the chaos of Cairo’s city streets. I am grateful that I decided to change hotels from a smaller private hotel to this grand hotel with delicious dining. I may have been to overwhelmed to find food.
Bread Board with Dips | Creamed Mushroom Soup with Toasted Bread
At every meal I was given this extraordinary bread board and dip tray. I enjoyed the restaurant inside this German hotel very much, and the International Cuisine that they served. All my meals were high quality, plated nicely, and tasted wonderful.
For hotel information and reservations- Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir
Shawerma El Reem
My friends and I had just finished taking a private tour of Giza with Kh Mamdoh, who is an extraordinary Egyptologist. He was taking us shopping when we stopped to pick up a shawarma wrap for take-away. I was hoping to eat some shawarma while in Egypt, and here it was. Thank you Kh Mamdoh ☺
What I enjoyed about this shawarma take-away was that you could customize it, and they also offered chicken shawarma.
Special thanks to Kh Mamdoh , who was an extraordinary guide. He brought us on an educational tour of the Pyramids of Giza and beyond. My friends and felt safe especially within the chaotic tourist area. Thank you for taking care of us crazy ladies!
For locations and online ordering, please visit – Shawerma El Reem
Turkish Coffee and Shopping
It seemed that if you found yourself shopping in a specialty store in Egypt, you would be offered Turkish coffee or chilled hibiscus tea. I had also found this to be common in the country of Jordan, when I was shopped in larger souvenir craft stores. No matter, I am always down for a complimentary drink.
In this case, my friends and I were purchasing Egyptian essential oils, and were offered Turkish coffee with the sales pitch. Both the coffee and sales pitch were very good. We walked out with essential oils to bring home, that I am still using today.
Bedouin Tea with a Giza View
During our horse ride though the Sahara Dessert with guide, Ahmed, from Authentic Egypt Tours (see below), we had some rest time with Bedouin Tea, bumping music, and a view of Giza.
These girls and I have traveled to various places around the globe, and I have known them since childhood. What an awesome evening of chilling in far off country, in the middle of the dessert, and sipping Bedouin style tea.
Skyline views of Giza and just about to hit our night time ride back to basecamp.
For tour information, please visit Authentic Egyptian Tours
Egyptian Dinner After Horseback Riding
After our terrific ride through the desert with views of the Pyramids of Giza, we had a traditional Egyptian style dinner back at base camp. The evening ride was relaxing, and my friend said that it was one of the best experiences in her life.
Back at the stables and where we had our Egyptian dinner.
By the time we arrived back at the stables, we sat down inside the party tent and had a hearty dinner. We were famished, so all this delicious food was purely satisfying. We had tangy BBQ chicken, and flavorful kofta, which was my favorite. Plus an abundance of traditional sides, and a large plate of crisps.
Special thanks to Franco Äbø Hãdîdå of Authentic Egyptian Tours who as a gracious guide and coordinated our horse riding trip. Thank you making sure that us ladies were safe and well fed!
Red Tea on the Streets of Cairo
I enjoy little moments like these as they create big impacts in my life. I was on a private tour within the Old Islamic Quarters, with my knowledgeable and chill guide Ehab Mehana. It was during the middle of my tour that we stopped for a break with red tea. I had no idea where we were or what the name of the café was. I mentioned that I enjoyed doing what regular people do when I travel, so we did just that.
Ehab said we should stop for tea, and that is what we did. I was excited, if you can imagine that. We sat out on sidewalk chairs and the three of us -myself, Ehab and our driver chatted about life, cultures, and commonality. As for my tea, I drank mine plain red but watched the guys put spoonfuls of white sugar into their tea. Apparently, that is how you drink it but I kept mine as is. So much for trying to do what the locals do!
Special thanks to Ehab Mehana who answered all my questions, guided me through the Old Islamic Quarter and put up with all my selfie taking!
Watered Down Coffee on EgyptAir
I suppose this could be in Cairo, as we were flying back from an adventurous trip in Luxor. We had a morning flight, I needed coffee badly, and this was it. Watered down black coffee that was served in a plastic blue cup. Beggars cannot be choosers, I suppose.
I was very lucky that I did not spill it on my white shirt!
Last Dinner at the Revolving Restaurant
It was our last dinner together after a couple of weeks exploring Egypt, and my longtime friends and I wanted to celebrate with a fine dining experience. Fortunately we were staying at one of Cairo’s most luxurious hotels, the Grand Nile Tower. The hotel is located in the heart of Cairo, and it over looks the Nile River. Inside the Grand Nile Tower we found delicious places to eat, including the Revolving Restaurant.
For dinner, I decided to go all out and order the Five Course Tasting Menu. I like to go all out especially while traveling because Lord knows that I do not eat like this on a daily basis. The International – French style cuisine was exceptional. Every course served was beautifully presented and flavorsome. I am glad that I went all out, so I could taste many of the dishes that this popular Cairo restaurant served. Bon Appetit!
For my full food blog and descriptions, plus restaurant review -👩🏻💻➡ Grand Nile Tower Resort’s Revolving Restaurant – Cairo, Egypt
Grand Eating at the Grand Nile Tower
Many Trips to Delices
I do believe that this patisserie was one of our favorite place to eat while staying at the Grand Nile Hotel. We came here many times, and did a lot of caloric and carb damage. Oh, how we do love our desserts and pastries!
As I mentioned in my post about staying at the Steigenberger Hotel El Tahrir, it is essential to choose a hotel with nice restaurants while in Cairo. This might not be up everyone’s alley, but for us being female travelers, who enjoy good food this was essential. It saved us from taking a taxi or walking the crazy streets of Cairo in the search of a good meal.
The International Cuisine served at the Grand Nile Tower was top-notch. We enjoyed everything from the Indian food, the pastries, and I still dream about their rocca salad with shaved parmesan cheese.
For my complete food blog and review 👩🏻💻➡ Grand Eating at the Grand Nile Tower in Cairo, Egypt
Cairo Airport Croissant, Caffee & No Change
Since I was flying domestic to Sharm El-Sheikh, there was no private airport lounge available. Trust me I tried to find one, but was pointed to the main café in the corner of the domestic terminal. I know that sounds as if I am spoiled, but it was bothersome in instances like this that make me appreciate airport lounges.
Since it was an early flight, and the main café had just opened they did not have any change. I am serious! Many of us placed our order, and the man behind the counter wrote down how much we owed him until another worker came in with his change. It was stressing me out because my flight was an early flight. Luckily there was a nice family who gave me change to my larger bill, so I could pay the man. Good thing because by the time I was about to board, he still did not receive his change- It’s Egypt.
Cairo Airport Lounge
I finally got myself into the airport lounge at the Cairo Airport since I was flying internationally to Athens. I checked myself in using the Priority Pass card, found a quiet seat, and noshed on complimentary snacks and coffee. Far better than waiting for the cashier in the domestic terminal to get change.
I can be private person, and I enjoy quiet moments inside an airport lounge before I am crammed in an airplane with a lot of people. Plus having complimentary beverages and food is a terrific perk as well. I could have really used a drink though but since I was still in Egypt, no alcohol was served. That’s fine, I would be in Athens, Greece within a few hours anyways – OPA!
I think food, culture, people and landscape are absolutely inseparable …– Anthony Bourdain
Yours truly inside Mosque of Al Rafi in Old Cairo
🌎 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!
📸 All photos are taken by me and are my intellectual property – Trixie Navarre