In a city where enjoying tea and a shisha is practiced to an art, this low-key sidewalk café on Zamalek’s Abol Feda Corniche enjoys a legacy of leisure; as it serves a somewhat motley crew of tourists and locals. Throughout the afternoon and evenings, most of the outdoor tables are occupied; spilling out onto the sidewalk of scenic Abou El Feda street and filling the air with conversation.

Goal café is a cult favourite, where people-watching along the tree-lined street becomes a true spectator’s sport. Some call the slightly gritty café charming, and many call it a home away from home. The most popular pastime here is shisha and tawla, and you can usually spot a table or two of regulars who look like they have been frequenting this spot for decades, hunkered over tea and some rowdy conversation. The café requires a 30LE minimum, and as its name insinuates, is the perfect place to catch a match on one of their indoor TV screens, if you arrive early enough to beat the crowds. Shisha includes the standard flavours of mint, apple, grape, cantaloupe and a few specials, and for 10LE to 13LE, and meals costing only slightly higher, an hour or so spent with friends is well worth it.

Since Goal has its set crowd of regulars and steady influx of newcomers here on holiday, the staff don't have to work too hard to please the customers, and service can be shoddy if you're not recognized. Still, in such a laid-back atmosphere, it should inspire few complaints.

Late summer evenings are busiest, when people come out from daytime hiding to enjoy the somewhat cooler night air. Order an assortment of sandwiches, French fries and anything you dare from the very handled-looking menus, which may not have been updated for as long as some people have been coming here. The fajita sandwich is pretty standard and satisfying fast food fare, and the club sandwich is a sizeable snack, neither which should put you much over the required 30LE-minimum charge.