‘I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!’ Summertime is here and the seasonal cravings have morphed from homemade cookies to ice cream. And truthfully, who doesn’t love ice cream? It’s one of those treats that brings with it a childhood nostalgia and is so much better enjoyed in the company of others. Whether you prefer it one flavour at a time, from a freshly baked waffle cone or choose to devour it straight from the bowl, there are many ways to enjoy this quintessential summer-time delight.
Here are our choices for the best ice cream spots in Cairo. Some of the below selections have inspired some heated debate in the office, emphasizing that ice cream is most definitely a serious matter. We've done our fair share of taste testing in order to bring you our top five favourite picks.
Abdel Rahim Koueider Some firmly believe that Abdel Rahim serves up the meanest scoop of ice cream in town, and at the cheapest price. The shop is found on Talaat Harb street Downtown, where the ice cream stand is located at the store’s front; posing a problem with already melted ice cream when it’s blazing outside. The Syrian inspired ice cream ranges from 30-85LE per kilo. Traditional chocolate, pistachio, and date ice creams come with the highest recommendations.
Mandarin Koueider This legendary ice cream shop has been around since 1928 along with its ex-affiliate above. Although it’s a tough choice between the two, this reviewer is quite shameless about a deep love for their lemon sorbet. Their prices are a bit steeper than Abdel Rahim’s with a greater selection, from standard ice cream to sorbets and frozen yogurts. The lemon sorbet and real berry frozen yogurt are amazingly paired and a scoop will run you 4.5LE. For 11LE, get yourself two scoops atop a fresh waffle cone. The sweet shop has locations in Maadi, Zamalek and Heliopolis.
Baskin Robbins Head to Road Nine in Maadi or to Heliopolis for a little well known ice cream love. Unique flavours include pralines and cream as well as peppermint. If you’re looking for caloric decadence and a simple scoop of ice cream sounds a bit boring, create your own sundae with a slew of toppings to accompany your ice cream of choice. For around 20LE, a banana sundae is served piled high with two scoops, along with drizzly caramel or chocolate syrup, diced nuts, and the prerequisite banana slices.
Sultana It’s been awhile since we’ve checked out Sultana, thanks to our Koueider addiction, but their American-style-meets-gelato is pretty heavenly. With flavours ranging from mint chocolate to mango and hazelnut, there’s bound to be something for every ice cream lover. A scoop of the ice cream combo starts at around 6LE. Toppings are also available, ranging from dried fruits to cookie chunks and various syrups, so load it up. Sultana is located on the Corniche in Maadi; it's Heliopolis location is a few stores down from Mandarin Koueider.
Carvel The soft serve ice cream at this establishment definitely isn’t new to Cairo ’s dessert scene – but my is it delicious. With locations in City Stars, Rehab, and Mohandiseen, it’s a convenient citywide pick. We can vouch for the cookies n’ cream flavour that comes served with big chunks of cookie to set off the creamy vanilla ice cream. One scoop, served on a cake cone, costs around 10LE.
Wherever you choose to indulge, we’re sure you agree with us when we say ice cream is as essential a summer fixture as a functioning AC. We hope our diligent research helps you keep cool, calm and having fun in the middle of it all.