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Dokki, Cairo, Egypt.
City Drink: Egyptian Juices, Milkshakes & Smoothies in Dokki
Fresh juice stands are a dime-a-dozen in Cairo, and some are rightfully considered better than others. A few might even be bona-fide must-visit spots on a tour of the city. But more often than not, these local spots are tiny hole-in-the-wall establishments, recognizable by their single counters and dangling bags of pomegranates and oranges.
So it has been to the delight of all those who live and work around Dokki’s Tahrir Street that City Drink has opened up as a kind of celebration of all that is possible in the world of cold, mixed beverages. City Drink is open 24-hours-a-day, complete with a fleet of delivery boys and relentless fluorescent lighting, along with the jolt of caffeine found in many of the blended options, is guaranteed to wake you up in the morning or jump-start your evening.
The juices and shakes come in a glass or takeaway cup about the same size as other juice stands, and are promptly made to order by a team of four or five guys who are constantly churning out orders. For the basic juices – strawberry, guava, banana, etc. – a small cup is 3LE and a large is 4LE. Even the classic milkshake flavours like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, only cost 4LE for a small and 5LE for a large.
City Drink also carries a significant amount of specialty drinks. There is an entire section devoted to cocktails made with mango, ranging from City Drink Mango juice, at 3.50LE/5LE, to a mix of juice and freshly cut mango slices for 7LE/10LE. The avocado milkshake is particularly refreshing. Not too intense, the avocado actually just tastes like a better, more natural version of the vanilla milkshake.
Other favourites of City Drink veterans include the Specter; a mix of dates, apple, kiwi, and milk (5LE6LE), as well as the Viagra, which is a combination of dates, honey, ice cream, and yogurt (5LE/6LE). For something really original, try the Phone Max; a mix of watercress, kiwi, avocado, and honey (5LE/6LE).
If health is not an important factor in your choice, by all means try the Borio milkshake (10LE)..
Finally, if you want the flavour of some lib (pumpkin seeds) or pistachio nuts without the trouble of having to shell them one at a time, simply grab a Toaster or milkshake made with your choice of lib, peanut, cashew, or pistachio. The Lib Shake (4LE/5LE) tastes very similar to the milk at the bottom of a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios. The Pistachio (7.50LE/8.50LE) is definitely a lot heavier, but packs that unmistakable flavour that hits the spot.
Whether you are looking for a serving of guava juice a cut above the standard glass, or a creative blend of distinctly Egyptian flavours, stop by City Drink for a cool swig.
As a result of the hectic city life, health-conscious restaurants and cafés in Cairo are often overlooked in favour of filling up on more gratifying, and often unwholesome, meals and drinks.
Recently opened in Zamalek, international chain, Froots, strives to provide citizens with delicious, healthy alternatives. The small venue on 26th of July Street offers clean, vitamin-rich blends of juices and smoothies. A table is placed outside for customers wanting to drink on the spot, and inside there are two stools for patrons waiting on their orders.
Amongst others, the menu includes a wide of variety of tropical smoothies, fresh fruit juices, organic teas, coffee and even lip-smacking chocolate and ice cream milkshakes. Though in the past they were known for providing food, the current reworking of the menu means that meals are temporarily unavailable.
We ordered a Tidal Wave (22LE) cocktail – a blend of strawberries, peaches and kiwi juice – and a Berry Sunrise (33LE) – made with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, vanilla soy milk and fat free yoghurt. For the latter, our waiter willingly adapted the ingredients to replace the soy milk with regular dairy.
Served in large plastic cups, the Tidal Wave was refreshingly sweet, with a charming tinge of bitterness provided by the kiwi juice. On the other hand the Berry Sunrise, served icy cold, was thick, foamy, smooth and delicious. Although they were both scrumptious and filling, the drinks were unfortunately prepared with frozen, as opposed to fresh, produce.
Perfect to silence a rumbling stomach, Froots provide tasty, liquid alternatives to heavy meals and unhealthy snacks.