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Egyptian restaurants

Cheshire, UK
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165 posts
27 reviews
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Egyptian restaurants

I notice that most of the top rated places in Luxor are English or European with the Lantern, Puddleduck etc.

Personally English food would be the very last thing on my agenda on an overseas trip but each to their own, I guess. Certain people like their home comforts I suppose.

However, Luxor's proliferation of English places does seem to have a whiff of the Costas about it which I hadn't expected in a city which surely attracts tourists for the history and culture.

And good Egyptian places do seem to be at a premium.

Can anyone explain this odd phenomenon (and recommend a godd Egyptian place) as our experience in Cairo has always been the opposite with visitors hungry (in every sense) to lap up the local culture. Even the Pavillon's restaurants appear to be western (one being Italian I believe?)

Many thanks guys.

I

Luxor, Egypt
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2,220 posts
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1. Re: Egyptian restaurants

Most of the "English" (or European) restaurants seem to be owned by European women with Egyptian husbands, and consequently have an Egyptian section in their menus. Other than that, there are always the smaller "real" Egyptian restaurants, where Egyptians also eat.

I'm thinking of Abu Haggar, which is not far from the famous "Sofra" (currently closed) or Chez Omar, and El Zaeem both near the Emilio Hotel. There are many on the West Bank also, which I'm certain other contributors will name, but being an East Bank boy I don't know them very well.

If you wander around the streets, I'm sure you'll find somewhere to suit both your taste and your pocket.

Good luck,

Edward.

Cheshire, UK
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165 posts
27 reviews
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2. Re: Egyptian restaurants

Thanks Edward. That's very useful.

Cheers. Richard.

The Scottish Borders
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2,549 posts
56 reviews
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3. Re: Egyptian restaurants

Hello there.

I like The Roof which is above snacktime just behind Luxor Temple, good food and stunning views over to the West Bank especially at sunset time.

Africa over on the West Bank, they have a set menu where you get to try lots of different dishes.

Sofra, Edward has mentioned it is currently closed for a re-vamp, it was supposed to open again 15th July, they must be working on Egyptian time :-)

El-Fayrouz on the West Bank, loved the open air setting and very good food.

I did hear that Salahadeen was re-opening, Edward may be able to confirm when. Although owned by an Irish lady the banquet (a set menu with lots of little dishes to try) served is Egyptian, expandable waistbands are needed as there is a real feast served up!!

Suzie

Bedfordshire
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2,527 posts
36 reviews
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4. Re: Egyptian restaurants

We tend to frequent the westernised locations, we can get local Egyptian food, if we want it plus beer or wine and sit in comfort in a nice air conditioned restaurant. Or in some cases warm restaurants when we go in the winter. As a lot of the local restaurants tend to be outside. But we do like to eat in different places most nights and have tried: The Roof, El Kababgy, The Nile Valley Hotel/Restaurant. Hamees, Sindads to name a few.

You could look at

www.luxor-westbank.com/restaurants_e.htm

luxortraveltips.com/eating/restaurantovervie…

I have been meaning to try the Nefertiti Hotel Restaurant which is in the lane off the souk. But as my wife likes a beer have never got round to it.

Phil

Luxor, Egypt
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82 posts
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5. Re: Egyptian restaurants

Ourluxorflats choices are all good and El Fayrous is always a favorite with our friends.Also the Jorfe restaurant which is fun to get to by boat.

One restaurant i have never seen mentioned is the Egyptian in the tent in the OWP gardens where i have been once and thought it was very good with atmosphere and lovely food.It is more expensive than most but with its position it is going to be.

london
Destination Expert
for Nile River Valley
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12,280 posts
248 reviews
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6. Re: Egyptian restaurants

I do think it is weird that the bigger hotels have Italian, India, Lebanese and Chinese etc restaurants and an international buffet but no actual Egyptian restaurant.

Leeds, UK
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626 posts
33 reviews
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7. Re: Egyptian restaurants

Just curious, Edward and others ... would a culturally-sympathetic but non-Arabic-speaking visitor be able to cope with the places you recommend unaided?

Would you need to know what you wanted and what all the dishes are called? The point of trying an authentic restaurant is to try stuff that isn't always offered in the crossover places.(After working in Bradford for 20 years I know there's a whole different level of Mirpuri/Kashmiri cooking available if you know what to order in the right places - but you don't know what you don't know).

Also -is there a menu or is one expected to haggle? Think I can guess the answer to that one, but ...

England, United...
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5,732 posts
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8. Re: Egyptian restaurants

I've not eaten at Chez Omar for a long time (sadly never been the same for me since they had to move from the garden area) but always very much enjoyed my meals there. As I recall the menu was easy to follow and clearly priced and from past experience I would go back there again.

There is another place close Chez Omar and the Emilio but I can never remember it's name - something like Omm Hasham (?). It is upstairs above the place where they roast chickens. The food there has always been tastey and again menues easy to follow and clearly priced - unbelievable value for money. Although it may not look too wonderful when you get upstairs - think UK roadside cafe circa 1960's - it has always appeared clean. I also know that it is frequented by Egyptian business men and families as well as tourists 'in the know'.

Luxor, Egypt
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2,220 posts
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9. Re: Egyptian restaurants

In answer to mediaskills very pertinent question about being able to cope: I think that most of the places which have been mentioned are not too difficult for Westerners to tackle. They mostly have menus in English (a sort of English at any rate) and their choices will not be all that different to each other.

I haven't yet come across a restaurant which serves "mish", but just about every other Egyptian dish or delicacy which I have been offered in peoples' homes; I have come across in these restaurants.

Mish, (or so I am assured) is a mixture of milk and butter which is matured over a matter of months, it has a taste similar to a good Stilton cheese, while being softer, sometimes quite coarse and loose, and damp. The loaf type of Baladi bread dips into it beautifully. It is usually served to me along with fuul and strong raw onion, it also comes with pickled things (peppers and the like) which I do not like.

Anyway, if the menu doesn't tell you what a particular dish consists of, the waiter will usually be able to guide the uninitiated. I've tried things here that I wouldn't even have in the house in England!

Just remember, once upon a time you didn't know what your favourite food tasted like.

Get stuck in!

Edward.

edinburgh
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87 posts
246 reviews
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10. Re: Egyptian restaurants

I quite understand what the OP is saying re food, we felt the same. Having not seen anywhere 'local' we felt we could deal with in Luxor we arrived hungry in Aswan, and looked for food in the vicinity of the station. There were pizza shops aplenty, and a couple of much more Egyptian looking places with Egyptian people eating there. We went into one, having seen people eating falafels and fancying one. Were given menus with translations(ish), but, not paying full attention to the situation, no prices. We said we'd like what the people down the bench were having, very nice too. Then comes the bill, something totally ludicrous like £7 each per falafel (it's a snack, not a meal). So beware going to places for locals, just make sure you see a priced menu. The egyptians next to us probably paid 50p each for theirs. It was a bad start to our visit, but we learned from it. Having said that the food was very nice, but being ripped off left a bad taste - pardon the pun. Later we got a very similar thing from ?Snacktime? behind the temple in Luxor, don't be put off by a 'british' name, remember there's been foreigners in Luxor for a very long time who don't speak arabic, just because the have an 'english' name doesn't mean you can't get decent egyptian food. Bon appetit!