There several types of "Cheap eats" in Cairo.

They mainly consist of vegetarian food which is popular with Egyptians, some on a tight budget and with others as it is a traditional meal.

Koshari  (A great local dish)

"Koshari Hind" in Korba (end of Sawra Street) it is known to be the best Koshari in Heliopolis, clean and freshly cooked. This is a local Egyptian dish made up of rice, pasta, brown lentils, fried onion, and salsa (hot or normal). It is very low in price but really good. Any taxi driver will be able to get you there and the area of Korba is very nice and will make a very pleasant evening out for you. There are other Koshari places all over Cairo, but you have to be careful when selecting one, a busy place would suggest good fresh food.

Foul and Tarmeya (Falafel)

These are the main two items eaten by Egyptians as a good breakfast and for some - cheap meal at any time of the day. Foul is a type of bean which is cooked slowly, then it can be served in a number of ways, often with oil and cumin, or tomatoes and spices.  It is very filling and healthy and normally eaten with flat "Belady Bread" (Pitta bread). "Gad" is a well known chain who make these two items and branches are found all over Cairo, it is a name you can trust.  One of their branches is at Al-Azhar Street, 5 minutes walk from the Al Azhar mosque (going left towards down town). "El-Shabrawi" another well known chain - also have a branch in Korba - it is one of the famous places to eat in Heliopolis, wider variety here, pleasant seating upstairs. You can come here for a great breakfast or dinner. Yet again well cooked and reasonable in price, a fraction of the hotel prices and a much more of a "local experience". Another branch is close to the City Stars Mall (Cross the main road and walk right for about 6 minutes).

Some branch locations :

GAD - Dokki
97 El Tahrir St. (off El Dokki Sq.)

3762 26 67

GAD - Giza
8 Mourad St., El Giza Sq.

3569 02 50 / 72 52

GAD - Downtown
13, 26th of July St.

2576 35 83 / 33 53

GAD - Mohandeseen
47a Gameat El Dowal El Arabia St.
3335 72 37 / 3749 52 06

 

 

Fateer (filled hot pastries)

 A nice local dish, always freshly made and available in many areas.  You can select the fillings, sweet or savory, bannana, sugar, jam, sultans, honey, coconut, beef mince meat, tuna, olives, corned beef, cheese.  You will notice an oven with a marble top for the workers to through the pastry until it reaches the required size and width, then they add the fillings and bake it in the open oven.  The best place ifor Fateer is the "Egyptian Pancakes" at El Hussein Square (Khan Khalili), to the right side of the square (with your back to the ElHussein Mosque)  in a side street which links with Al-Azhar Street. They have menus in English and Arabic and are recommended in the Lonely Planet Guide to Egypt.