Whether you’re hungry or looking for something new to try, here are the top five places to pick up some scrumptious food from the Levant in Cairo.
1. Abu Haidar
Location: 3 Sekket Al Salama St., Roxy Square, Heliopolis.
Beef Shawarma served on a Kaiser roll (from 2 to 7 rolls according to one’s appetite). Complement the meal with a glass of mango juice.
Abu Haidar is one of the oldest Shami restaurants in Cairo. It is named after its Palestinian founder Abu Haider. It is one of the neighbourhood’s landmarks and many of the area’s residents have memories associated with this place. Today’s grandparents share those memories with their grandchildren, hoping the stories could live on from one generation to the other. Abu Haidar has succeeded at maintaining high quality food. Munching on their Shawarma is considered a Cairene classic.
2. Al Zein Al Shami
Location: close to Al-Sekka Al-Hadid club, Nasr City.
- Beef and cheese man’oushe
- Muhammara and cheese man’oushe
- Chicken Shawarma and mozzarella cheese sandwich
Syrian refugees are an embodiment of how one can carve success in the midst of hardships. The state of war and the grief associated with their home country has not prevented Syrians from bringing their scrumptious food to Cairo; a city which has failed to do their food any justice for a long time. It is a small restaurant but serves the best man’oushe in Cairo.
3. Dal Ein
Location: First district, Al Obour city – inside Lo’lo’a Centre.
- Fried Chicken Meal
- Chicken Shawarma Sandwich
“Dal Ein serves the best chicken in town, even better than KFC’s.”
A Syrian friend once shared this piece of advice with me, which encouraged me to drive all the way to Al Obour city and try out the restaurant’s fried chicken. The restaurant specialises in chicken dishes; including grilled, fried and Shawarma chicken. The food is definitely worth the time and effort.
4. Dar Halab
Location: Souk 29, Mohamed El Makrifi St., beside Argila Cafe, Nasr City.
- Chicken Shawarma Pizza (direct from heaven)
- Grilled Chicken (Messahab)
Thanks to my good luck, this restaurant opened a location close to the coffee shop which I frequent. The restaurant quickly garnered acclaim, which was also made possible by the heartwarming Syrian hospitality.
Dar Halab serves the best Messahab and Shawarma pizza in town.
5. Anas Al Dimashqy
- Nasr St., close to City Stars.
- 125 Al Nozha St., Saint Fatima Sq.,Heliopolis.
- Turkey with cheese Man’oushe
- Cream and honey Man’oushe
- Turkey pizza
- Hummus Dip
Anas Al Dimashqy is one of the most renowned Syrian restaurants in Cairo. While the Shawarma sandwiches are palatable, it is the pizza and hummus dip that are the restaurant’s real chef d’oeuvres. A delectable Hummus dip in a country that for so long could not perfect Shami Hummus!