Affordable Restaurants in Cairo That Serve Delicious and Authentic Egyptian Cuisine

Affordable Restaurants in Cairo That Serve Delicious and Authentic Egyptian Cuisine

Egypt is a country with a rich and diverse culinary history, and Cairo is its culinary capital. From the humble ful medames to the iconic shawarma, there's something for everyone to enjoy in the Egyptian capital. If you're looking for an affordable way to experience authentic Egyptian cuisine, you're in luck. There are a number of great restaurants in Cairo that serve delicious and authentic food without breaking the bank.

Egyptian food is all about vibrant colors, aromatic spices, and rich flavors. From hearty stews and salads to stuffed vegetables and fresh seafood, Egyptian cuisine offers a delicious diversity of dishes. Typically featuring ingredients like chickpeas, lentils, rice, and lamb, traditional recipes reflect Egypt's cultural melting pot of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and African influences. While fine dining establishments can be pricey, Cairo has no shortage of hole-in-the-wall restaurants and street food stalls serving homestyle cooking on a budget.

As an avid restaurant reviewer and budget traveler, I know how difficult it can be to find authentic local food when you're watching your spending. That's why I compiled this list of the top 10 affordable Egyptian restaurants in Cairo, based on my own dining experiences across this bustling metropolis. Whether you have 5 or 50 Egyptian pounds to spend, you can enjoy a tasty, authentic Egyptian meal at these low-cost local favorites. From Nile views to hidden alley eateries, here are my picks for Cairo's best cheap eats!

affordable restaurants in Cairo

Here are my top picks for affordable restaurants in Cairo that serve delicious and authentic Egyptian cuisine:

Koshary Abou Tarek

Koshary Abou Tarek is one of the most famous restaurants in Cairo, and for good reason. They've been serving up delicious koshary since 1950, and they're still going strong today.

Koshary is a traditional Egyptian dish that's made with rice, macaroni, lentils, and a spicy tomato sauce. It's a hearty and filling meal, and it's very affordable. A plate of koshary at Koshary Abou Tarek costs just LE 15.


Zooba is a newer restaurant in Cairo, but it's quickly become one of the most popular. They serve up a variety of Egyptian street food, all of which is made with fresh, high-quality ingredients.

Some of the dishes you'll find at Zooba include falafel, shawarma, and ta'ameya. They also have a great selection of sides, such as hummus, baba ghanoush, and foul mudammas.

A meal at Zooba will set you back around LE 30, which is still very affordable.

El Fishawi

El Fishawi is a historic coffee shop in Cairo that's been around since 1773. They're famous for their ahwa (Arabic coffee), but they also serve a variety of other dishes, including ful medames, ta'ameya, and baklava.

A meal at El Fishawi is a bit more expensive than some of the other restaurants on this list, but it's worth it for the experience. The atmosphere is very traditional, and the food is delicious.

Gad Restaurants

Gad Restaurants is a chain of restaurants in Cairo that serves up a variety of Egyptian and international dishes. They have a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan options, and their prices are very reasonable.

A meal at Gad Restaurants will set you back around LE 25, which is a great deal for the quality of food you'll get.

Abou El Sid

This restaurant serves traditional Egyptian cuisine in a cozy atmosphere. Some of their popular dishes include stuffed pigeon, molokhia, and kofta. The prices are reasonable, and the portions are generous. 

Egypt does Mediterranean flavors beautifully, and Abou El Sid embodies this with its coastal Egyptian menu. Situated in the posh Zamalek district, this restaurant offers an upscale ambiance at budget prices. Sizzling mezzes like sardines, creamy hummus, and baba ghanoush cost 20-40 EGP ($1-2 USD). Hearty mains like molokhia or stuffed pigeon run 60-120 EGP ($3-6 USD). Add a view of the Nile River, and it's first-class dining on a coach fare budget!

Fasahet Somaya

This restaurant is known for its delicious and affordable Egyptian breakfast dishes, such as foul and taameya. They also serve other traditional Egyptian dishes like koshary and molokhia.


This restaurant is a great option for those on a budget. They serve Egyptian dishes like koshary, taameya, and grilled meats at very reasonable prices.


This fast-food chain is a great option for those looking for a quick and affordable meal. They serve shawarma, fajitas, and liver sandwiches, among other things.

Koshary El Tahrir

Koshary El Tahrir is a small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant that serves up some of the best koshari in Cairo. Koshari is a popular Egyptian dish made with rice, lentils, pasta, chickpeas, and a tomato sauce. It's a filling and delicious meal that's perfect for a budget-friendly lunch or dinner.

Serving Egypt's beloved national dish of koshary - a hearty mix of rice, lentils, chickpeas, and macaroni topped with a spiced tomato sauce - Koshary El Tahrir is a beloved budget eatery. Located near Tahrir Square, this casual spot dishes out huge, freshly made portions of koshary for less than 20 EGP ($1 USD). Grab a stool, dig into a warm, comforting bowl, and watch the world go by as locals and tourists alike flock to this famous food cart. It's carb-loading Egyptian style!

Egyptian Nights

Egyptian Nights is a fine-dining restaurant that offers a more upscale experience. The menu features a variety of classic Egyptian dishes, as well as some more creative dishes. The prices are a bit higher than the other restaurants on this list, but the food is worth it.

Cairo Kitchen

Cairo Kitchen is a great option for those looking for a more modern take on Egyptian cuisine. The menu features a variety of dishes, including falafel, hummus, and grilled meats. The restaurant also has a great selection of Egyptian desserts.

El Tabei El Domyati

El Tabei El Domyati is a popular spot for foul medames, a traditional Egyptian dish made with fava beans. The foul is served with a variety of toppings, including tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic sauce. It's a hearty and satisfying breakfast or lunch option, and it's very affordable.

Foul El Shater

Foul El Shater is a popular Egyptian restaurant chain that specializes in ful medames, a stew of fava beans, garlic, and spices. The restaurant was founded in 1963 by Mohamed El Shater, and it has since become a Cairo institution. 

In addition to ful medames, Foul El Shater also serves a variety of other Egyptian dishes, such as koshari, taameya (falafel), and kebab. The restaurant also has a wide selection of Egyptian desserts, such as basbousa and kunafa. Foul El Shater is a great place to experience authentic Egyptian cuisine in a casual setting. The food is delicious, the prices are reasonable, and the service is friendly.

Koshary Lux

No budget guide to Cairo is complete without mentioning the local fast food chain Koshary Lux. With locations all over the city, this is the spot to get your koshary fix - Egypt's quintessential carb-and-sauce combo. A basic bowl will run you only 10 EGP (less than $1 USD). Opt for larger portions or add toppings, and you've got a complete meal for under 30 EGP ($2 USD). It's delicious, filling Egyptian comfort food, fast-food style.

Kebdet El Prince

Tucked away in the district of Imbaba, this local favorite specializes in seafood. Anthony Bourdain even featured it on his show No Reservations. Kebdet El Prince's fruit-stuffed grilled fish and shrimp tagine are Cairo cuisine at its finest. Meals hover around 100 EGP ($5 USD) - a bargain for this level of freshness and skill in cooking. Be sure to save room for the addictive honey-drenched creme caramel.

Sabaya Restaurant

Located on a historical houseboat on the Nile, Sabaya Restaurant serves a taste of Old Cairo. Sip mint tea and gaze at the water as you dine on classic dishes like stuffed pigeon, okra stew, and feteer. Rounding out the historic atmosphere are live Nubian music and whirling dervish performances at dinner time. With main courses averaging 50 EGP ($3 USD), it's a magical experience that won't break the bank.

Osmanly Restaurant

For a taste of Ottoman-inspired Egyptian cuisine, check out Osmanly in the neighborhoods of Zamalek or Maadi. Their koshary alone makes this a must-try eatery. But you'll also find great shakshouka, molokhia soup, kebabs, and other staples for around 50 EGP ($3 USD) per entree. The cozy, casual ambiance makes you feel like you're dining in someone's home. Be sure to leave room for Turkish coffee and baklava!

Abu Shakra

Craving schwarma? Stop into Abu Shakra for their legendary chicken and lamb shawarmas, starting at just 15 EGP ($0.80 USD) each. Located downtown near Talaat Harb Square, this street food stall fills fresh mini pitas with mouthwatering slices of spit-roasted meat. Top it with tahini, garlic sauce, and pickled veggies, then devour the heavenly flavors as you stroll through Cairo. Perfect for a grab-and-go meal on the run!

Kadoura Restaurant

In the mood for some ahwa - traditional herbal tea - and a sheesha pipe? Head to Kadoura Restaurant in the Islamic part of Cairo near Khan el-Khalili bazaar. For 60 years, this family-owned cafe has been serving Turkish coffee, mint tea, and sheesha with a side of light bites like bean salads, hummus, and Egyptian flatbreads. Belly dancers provide entertainment at night, while animated conversations flow between patrons young and old during the day. With most dishes under 10 EGP ($0.50 USD), it's a quintessential Egypt experience on a budget.

Abu Tarek

No list of Cairo's best cheap eats is complete without Abu Tarek in the center of Downtown. If you ask a local where to find the best koshary in town, Abu Tarek is often the answer. This unassuming spot doesn't look like much from the outside, but it dishes out incredible plates of Egypt's national dish for only 15 EGP (less than $1 USD). While there's usually a line, Abu Tarek's fast service ensures you'll be relishing those carbs in no time.

Fava Beanery

For a true farmers market-to-table experience, head to Fava Beanery near the Sayeda Zeinab neighborhood. Specializing in dishes made from fava beans, this rustic eatery serves incredible falafel, fuul (stewed fava beans), salads, and more. The ingredients come straight from their own organic farm, lending deep flavors to the peasant-style cooking. Despite the upscale-sounding name, a hearty bean-based meal here will only cost around 30 EGP ($2 USD).

Tips for Finding Affordable Food in Cairo

  • Avoid touristy areas. Touristy restaurants tend to be more expensive, as they are catering to tourists who are willing to pay a premium for convenience.
  • Don't eat in hotels or malls. These restaurants also tend to be more expensive, as they are catering to people who are staying in hotels or shopping in malls.
  • Ask your hotel or hostel staff for recommendations. They will be able to give you some insider tips on where to find the best affordable food in Cairo.
  • Check out online reviews before you go. This is a great way to get an idea of what other people have said about a particular restaurant before you go.
  • Be open to trying new things. Egyptian cuisine is a vast and varied, so there are all sorts of delicious dishes that you might not have tried before. Don't be afraid to experiment and try something new.

Here are some of the most popular Egyptian dishes to try

  • Ful medames: A stew of fava beans, garlic, and spices.
  • Koshari: A dish of rice, lentils, pasta, chickpeas, and a tomato sauce.
  • Shawarma: Grilled meat, typically lamb or chicken, served in a pita with vegetables and sauce.
  • Kebab: Grilled meat, typically lamb or beef, served on a skewer.
  • Kofta: Grilled meatballs made with ground beef, onions, and spices.
  • Basbousa: A sweet pastry made with semolina, sugar, and coconut.


These are just a few of the many great affordable restaurants in Cairo. If you're looking for a delicious and authentic Egyptian meal without breaking the bank, be sure to check out one of these places.

With a little bit of planning, you can find delicious and authentic Egyptian food in Cairo without spending a fortune. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring!

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