Egypt — Food and Restaurants
Nightlife in Egypt is a mixture of Western clubbing and local entertainment. Whether you’re looking for the Billboard top 100 or more traditional Middle Eastern beats, there’s fun to be had once the sun goes down. Many restaurants serve delicious Egyptian fare, but plenty have international favorites if you prefer.
Egypt Bars and Pubbing
The larger cities in Egypt strike a balance between traditional cultures and Western delights. Those in search of home should frequent Centro de Portugal (42 Sharia Abd al-Kader, just off of Sharia Kafr Abdou, Alexandria). The most popular expat hang-out in Alexandria, the bar is unfortunately quite hard to find. Once there, though, enjoy everything from darts and foosball to billiards and a disco. This is definitely the best place in town to knock back a cold pint on a sweltering summer day.
One of the few places which plays exclusively Western beats, After Eight (6 Sharia Qasr el-Nil, Downtown Cairo) is the place for anyone wanting to dance the night away. Playing everything from 1970’s Egyptian pop to classic Motown and jazz, for the lucky few who make it here on the right night, there is even a resident Frank Sinatra impersonator to serenade the clientele.
For something a little more local, make it a point to see the Al-Tannoura Egyptian Heritage Dance Troupe (Midan al-Qala’a Citadel, Cairo). Performing at the Wikala of Al-Ghouri, this is the country’s only Sufi troupe. The medieval location is great and the acts mesmerizing. Get there early though as the shows are popular with both locals and visitors alike.
Egypt Dining and Cuisine
Egyptian cuisine is a wonderful amalgamation of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare. Staple ingredients include legumes such as beans and lentils and of course, roast beef served in falafel and kebabs. There are, however, many international options especially in the larger centers, but these are generally more expensive than the local food.
For the best regional fare in Luxor, try Sofra (90 Sharia Mohammed Farid, off Sharia al-Manshiya). Not only is the food sublime, but the setting is great in a traditional 1930’s Egyptian home, which feels like you’ve been invited to an intimate dinner party. The restaurant is very well-priced and there are a few international dishes for those who aren’t feeling too adventurous.
Another great option for Egyptian food is Salahadeen (Sharia Salahadin Ayyubi, off Sharia Salakhana Mara Hotel, Luxor) which has a set menu. There are a host of vegetable-based dishes and specifically vegetarian dishes are not cooked in meat broth.
For travelers looking for something a bit more familiar, Snobs (Off Sharia Khaled ibn al-Walid, East Bank, Luxor) is the perfect place. This Western-style restaurant serves the best pizzas, pastas, steaks and salads in Egypt and is not too expensive. Nirvana Indian Restaurant (Masbat, Dahab) has the best Asian in the city and is popular with both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Everything from dosas and curries to naan and chapattis are offered.