You may need to scratch beneath the concrete surface of Mohandiseen to see the beauty of this Cairo neighbourhood. Having developed in the last 50 or so years, Mohandiseen is known more for its wide avenues than its historic tourist attractions. However, this neighbourhood has a lot more than state-of-the-art traffic lights; Mohandiseen has streets lined with shops, a great café culture and a number of quality restaurants.
Mohandiseen’s smaller side streets are packed with shops, so it’s worth exploring the neighbourhood for some unique boutiques or budget options, whereas the neighbourhood’s several main streets are lined with a vast number of popular Egyptian brands as well as international names.
Geziret El Arab Street is probably the best area to start a day of clothes shopping in Mohandiseen. where names such as Tommy Hilfiger, Massimo Dutti and Nautica join the list of Geziret El Arab’s high-end names. For anyone looking to spend a little less for fashion, check out Bershka, Pull and Bear and Mango, or head to Ahmed Orabi Street for Egyptian department store Omar Effendi. Sporting goods can be found on Shehab Street at one of Adidas several branches or the exceptionally well-priced Sports Mall.
Mohandiseen is a gadget geek’s sanctuary with shops such as Compu Me, Game Valley and Tradeline. Gamaat El Dowal Street even has a whole mall devoted entirely to computers and electronics, where the prices of laptops and sound systems are often negotiable.
Mohandiseen’s cafés include Cairo’s major chains such as Cilantro, Costa, Beano’s and Cinnabon. If you’re looking for more than a cup of coffee, we suggest giving one of the neighbourhood’s many unique coffee spots a try.
Fratelli is a great option if you’re looking for a light meal with your coffee. It’s a little pricey for a café, but it has a great atmosphere. Beau Jardin serves wonderful shisha, while Marsh is a great spot for football and juice in the summer. Caracas is one of our favourites in the area for its delicious food and great service and Eros is a popular café during game time.
Mohandiseen has some delicious juice stands as well, and we recommend the cocktail at Ganet El Fawakeh Awlad Hesham or Toot Express. You may be tempted to stick with what you know when it comes to coffee, but with names like Retro, Zinc, Cloud 9 and Rasberry, how could you resist Mohandiseen’s charming and funky café options?
This neighbourhood also has some of Cairo’s favourite dining options. Neighbourhood favourites include Steakout, where reservations aren’t accepted, but the large portions of comfort food are worth the wait. A number of seafood options are available in Mohandiseen such as Samakmak and Gandofli. For foreign flare, we recommend the newly opened Essence a Pakistani restaurant, Paxy’s for Korean barbeque, or Cedar’s mouth-watering Lebanese cuisine.
Splurging at a restaurant is not reserved to Cairo’s hotels: Mohandiseen has several upscale dining options. Charwood’s has delicious steaks and is a great spot for a special date. We love neighbouring restaurants Kandahar and Raoucha as well. The former excels at Indian curries– the palaak paneer is a must– while the latter gives Lebanese dining an elegant atmosphere. Cairo’s best-known sushi joint Mori also has a branch in Mohandiseen, while Makani has a tiny branch tucked around the corner from Syria Street.
Mohandiseen’s budget restaurants are just as popular. Chicken Tikka is always busy and Al Omda serves Egyptian fare at a great price. El Tabei El Domyati makes some of the best foul and taameya in Cairo. During Ramadan, this shop is especially busy late into the night.
Unlike Zamalek and Maadi, Mohandiseen isn’t known as a great area to go for a stroll; so you have to hit the gym if you need a workout. Samia Allouba’s very first branch is located just off of Syria Street, and recently a women’s only branch opened next door. There's also Curves if all you have is 30 minutes to spare.
When visiting Mohandiseen, we recommend taking a taxi. Parking is very limited in this part of town, so unless you want to spend a lot of time searching for a spot or a lot of money paying off parking attendants or policemen to unclamp your car; it’s best to avoid the hassle.
The neighbourhood sees a lot of foot traffic too, and be aware that Gamaat El Dowal has a reputation for street harassment.