While Cairo has its share of fabulous Ramadan tents and extravagant sohours, many of us prefer having our sohours in the comfort of our homes or at a street kiosk with our friends. There’s a certain charm about standing at a foul cart at 2AM, digging into a fresh plates of foul, salad and eggs, and then ordering some more; just to make sure that you don’t get hungry the following day. That meal alone will usually cost you no more than a measly 5LE.
Of course, a lot of foul carts have no name, but work in territories, so you should have no problem finding any particular one. The cart in Ramses Square behind El Fath Mosque begins trade at 10PM, and continues until the fagr prayer call. You can fill up on foul, boiled eggs and Egyptian-style aubergine for 5LE to 6LE.
Located on El Naam Square in Ain Shams, Abdo Dollar is almost always busy; thus more often than not, the pickled aubergine finishes pretty fast. It’s more expensive than most foul carts, but you’ll never pay more than 10LE. Why so expensive? Try the delicious foul with spicy oil to find out.
In the Sayeda Zeinab area, if you walk along Port Said Road you’ll eventually come to a small road on the right. Take the first left from there, and you’ll find Foul El Gahsh; one of the best foul carts in Cairo. Here you’ll find foul made with oil or butter, fried potato and fries as well fried aubergine. The prices are reasonable, but it can sometimes be crowded.
If you’re in Garden City, why not check out Foul Mahrous near the Canadian Embassy. Tthe owner has laid out more tables for the oncoming rush of customers that comes with Ramadan. The prices are higher than most places, but they offer falafel, omelettes, cheese and other options. Same goes for Saad El Haraamy on Kasr El Nil Street by After Eight in Downtown Cairo. The kiosk serves great shakshouka, foul with sausage and white cheese with tomato.
Moving away from foul carts, there are a number of restaurants that offer sohour that is equally as cheap and delicious. Gad, for example, is a popular Egyptian venue with branches all across Cairo. They offer pretty much the same menu as they do year-round, but there is a definite focus on sohour dishes.
Al Aa’elaat has a branch in El Basha Square in Manial, as well as in Helmeyet El Zaytoun Square, and El Hegaz Street in Heliopolis. They have erected a special Ramadan sohour tent opposite the shop, at which you can eat yourself full for no more than 15LE. The place in general has a family-friendly feel, and so is good for all ages.
You can find very decent liver and sausage in Alaa’, located in Saint Fatima Square in Heliopolis. Though they are small, a liver or sausage sandwich costs just 1.50LE, and the restaurant also serves up foul, falafel and burgers as well as shawerma. If you still have space in your stomach, we also recommend Alaa’s coleslaw.
You can also claim a fairly cheap sohour in the form of delicious sandwiches at Baba Abdo or Zizo, which are both located in Bab El Fetouh near El Muez Street. Both really step up their game for Ramadan with more tables and chairs, more food and an all-round great late-night atmosphere.
The great thing about these cheap sohour venues is that they are everywhere; you won’t have to travel too far to find the closest foul cart or sandwich joint. Don’t be put off by the low prices; the quality of food is a bit hit-and-miss, but there are a few gems out there that will have you addicted long after Ramadan is over.
If you know of any similarly obscure places that deserve Cairo’s attention, tell us!