It’s those final few hours before sunrise when the venturing out for sohour starts. Though Cairo is full of restaurants, cafés, street kiosks and lavish tents offering sohour, not all of them offer the same quality of food. Located in Dokki, Safo is a basic restaurant that provides good food and extremely fast service. This place understands that your sohour must be filling enough to take you through the next day until fetar.

Located on the street corner of Mosaddak Street with Mohie Eldin Aboul Ezz, Safo can’t be missed in Ramadan. Normally, this is a small restaurant but it expands during Ramadan to take over all the nearby pavements. Commonly, Safo is very busy and you may have to wait a while before you can get a table. The inside looks like your typical no-frills foul restaurant; wooden and plastic tables and chairs are lined up and the food-making process takes place behind a big counter. Tables are always cleaned before you take a seat and that is about as hygienic as it gets.

As soon as you take your seat, the staff will rush over to take your order. If not, just shout out for Abu Nasser; if he doesn’t come himself, someone else absolutely will. There is a menu available but it is not handed out. You are here for foul and nothing else, and it is of course is available in all varieties. There is standard foul, Alexandrian foul with olive oil, spicy foul, foul with boiled or fried eggs, and so on and so forth. Prices start at 1.25LE for a sandwich and 2.75LE for a bowl of the mashed beans. You can also order basterma with sogo’ for 2.50LE and Alexandrian liver for 3.75LE.

The foul is as good as it gets: creamy, tasty and filling. In case you have any personal preferences for your foul, the staff are more than happy to prepare it as you wish. The basterma omelettes in particular are really good. They are not excessively greasy as usual and just one omelette is not enough; you will absolutely be craving another one. The tehina and baba ghanough are just so-so. Both lacked taste, and the baba ghanough was a bit too sour for our liking. The solution here is to mix it with the foul, the combination makes it a bit more interesting.

In this reviewer’s opinion, the only downside to having sohour at Safo is the constant stream of cars driving right by the terrace, which often causes quarrels between the drivers and the restaurant’s patrons. Also, kindly note that as soon as you are finished with your meal, you are expected to leave immediately, as other people will be eager to take over your spot.

When in the Dokki neighbourhood and starving for sohour; absolutely go to Safo. You will not be disappointed.