"Brunch is cheerful, sociable and inciting. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week." Thus argued British author, Guy Beranger, back in 1895. We don't know when or how this ingenious combination of breakfast and lunch seeped into Cairo's restaurant scene, but what we do know is that the capital's restaurants and cafes have adopted the meal spectacularly, with many restaurants introducing brunch items or crafting brunch menus. We did the digging for you and, without further ado, we give you not 10, but 20 restaurants that serve great brunch in Cairo.
Noise and the occasional loud out-of-place music aside, the vibrant cosmopolitan glass-house on the Nile that is Left Bank has great choices for brunch, from sandwiches and wraps like Chicken Pesto, Smoked Salmon (around 60LE each), Thin Crust Pizzas (up to 70LE) and some delicious lighter options, including Spinach Orange Salad and Caprese Salad (from 50LE).
Tip: Try Left Bank Almond Croissant or Chocolate Brioche.
La Brioche Dorée is one of the cozier restaurants and cafés in Zamalek which often goes overlooked. The French bistro, located right next to Hilton hotel, involves a great culinary variety perfect for a midday brunch – Savoury Quiches (from 20LE), Turkey, Roast Beef, Chicken and Salmon sandwiches (50LE-70LE), fresh salads like Quinoa and Mediterranean (50LE), in addition to dishes like Saumon Grillé (115LE) and Boeuf Stroganoff (100LE) for a more substantial brunch.
Tip: Try La Brioche Dorée's freshly baked goods; Pain au Chocolate, Mille Feuilles au Chocolat or their Tartellette au Chocolat -basically just anything with chocolate.
One of the newer restaurants on this list, the Lobby, is already impressing with its cosy atmosphere and unique menu, which also makes a great choice for brunch. While brunching, opt for a Fresh Shrimp Salad (75LE), Pulled Duck Sandwich (75LE) or try their Salmon Burger (75LE) and if you feel like there's still room for dessert, the Lobby's dessert menu, offered by the Better Half & Co., will seal the deal.
Tip: The Lobby has two menus, a regular and a monthly one that rotates.
Boasting Italian food with fresh and daily specials at affordable prices, popular Downtown diner, Eish & Malh, is one of our favourite when it comes to simple Italian meals. Eish & Malh's menu includes typical Italian dishes perfect for a filling brunch – Fungi pizza (35LE), Chicken Rucola Salad (28LE), homemade Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli (37LE), not to mention, a special Friday brunch menu that includes delicious dishes including pancakes with lemon curd, granola with fruits, and traditional shakshouka.
Tip: Always ask about the daily specials. They're served fresh and rarely disappoint.
Aside of being a hub of arts and culture, Institut Français D'Égypte houses an outdoor bistro which offers decent sandwiches, omelets and crepes for a simple French brunch. It's a great choice for a reasonably-priced meal in Downtown area at any time of the day.
Tip: Savoury and sweet crepes are a must try.
Located inside Intercontinental InterContinental Semiramis in Garden City, Night & Day boasts the finest international cuisine in its all-inclusive Big Friday Brunch (290LE per person). There's an Asian corner covering everything from sushi to chicken curry, Latin flavours in the form of like fajita wraps and guacamole dips, a special station for grills and a luscious dessert corner covering fresh fruits and delicious bakes – and more. Night and Day is where you can brunch like a king at the heart of the city on a weekend.
Tip: During weekdays, you can just aim for some simple house-made Lasagna (80LE), a sautéd Duck Wrap (85LE) or a platter of fresh smoked salmon (105LE).
Dim Summing – a new verb for eating dim sum that we just made up – at brunch might not be for everyone. But if you're a fan of the popular Chinese delicacy and fancy an elegant dim sum brunch by the Nile, there's no better place to be than Four Seasons Nile Plaza's 8. The restaurant offers an all-you-can-eat dim sum buffet every Friday from 1PM to 4PM for 420LE++ covering a large variety of dumplings catering to all tastes.
Tip: All-you-can-eat Dim Sum is offered only on Fridays and during holiday promotions. On weekdays, you can still enjoy some dim sum dumplings and other authentic Chinese dishes from 8's menu.
6th of October City/Sheikh Zayed
With a special selection of perfectly executed international dishes, Gaby's is a restaurant where you can have a perfectly filling and delicious brunch – two things that don;t always go hand-in-hand across Cairo restaurants. Think Eggs and Salmon Soufflé (55LE), Chicken Enchiladas (75LE) or Gaby's Signature Burger (65LE).
Tip: Gaby's has a great breakfast menu. For 75LE, you can enjoy a hearty breakfast tray comprised of foul, eggs, grilled halloumi cheese, sojouk and fresh bread.
A gem for residents of Sheikh Zayed and New Cairo, Qahwa is where you should go for a great breakfast with an impressive selection of egg dishes with the Spinach and Mushroom Omelette (32LE) and Smoked Salmon and Scrambled Eggs (40LE) being particularly popular. While the café doesn't have a brunch menu per se, you can still enjoy a simple brunch from Qahwa's Quesadilla corner (30LE- 45LE), a flavourful Cobb Salad (49LE), or you can make your own sandwich with your choice of bread, protein and filling (from 25LE).
Tip: Qahwa has great coffee blends and different types of milk. You can customise your coffee to your taste.
With a fantastic menu inspired by European cuisines, Ovio is one of the best restaurants and delis in Cairo and an obvious choice for a great brunch. Like the foods of Europe, Ovio's menu is huge and versatile. For brunch, try an Apple Chicken Salad (62LE), Artisan Salmon Toast (56LE) or a delicious Madame Ovio sandwich (66LE).
Tip: Ask about Ovio's homegrown products.
Though it may not be an obvious choice for brunch, Victorian-styled Shakespeare and Co has you covered with an all-day breakfast menu which includes English, American and Lebanese breakfasts, not to mention a great selection of savoury crepes (54LE -70LE), sandwiches and salads befitting a delightful midday brunch.
Tip: Try something from Shakespeare and Co.'s great selection of refreshing herbal drinks.
Located d right after the Hyper One entrance to Sheikh Zayed, Tableya is not your average brunch place, but with a simple, colourful, Nubian-inspired atmosphere and a menu that includes a great selection of traditional and affordable feteer (35LE-50LE), the seemingly primitive café promises an exceptional experience.
Tip: Tableya tends to be overcrowded. Make sure you reserve before you go. For reservation call 01000544332.
Though located on Maadi's busy Street 9 and the fact that you actually have to visit the neighbouring Greco Café to use the bathroom, Brunch and Lunch is a great choice for brunch in the area – it's in the name after all. The café boasts a creative selection of brunch items including Spaghetti Pesto (45LE), Spinach salad (45LE) and Smoke Salmon Burger (62LE).
Tip: Ask about the chef's special menu for brunch!
As a bakery and café, Il Mulino is a Maadi favourite and another great choice for brunch, thanks to its delicious baked goods and large menu with plenty to choose from. For brunch, opt for Spinach and Mozzarella Quiche (29LE), a fresh panini sandwich (45LE-60LE) or one of Il Mulino's croissant sandwiches (39LE-45LE).
Tip: Get there early for baked goods at the peak of their freshness and deliciousness.
Burgers, fried chicken, American-style pancakes and bacon; popular Maadi diner, Lucille's, has always been about comfort food. If you happen to be in Maadi and feel like a brunch greasier and more filling than a salad bowl or some ravioli, Lucille's juicy burgers (50LE-100LE) or a perfectly fried Chicken Strip Platter (89LE) might just do it for you.
Tip: Lucille's has an all-day breakfast menu, too.
Nasr City and New Cairo
A proverbial Jack of all trades and one of the few restaurants balancing variety and good quality, there's plenty to choose from at Casper and Gambini's for a delightful midday brunch. Think delicious platters of Prawns and Couscous (69LE), a hefty Crunchy Seafood Basket (42LE), Crusted Parmesan Eggplant (35LE) for a lighter choice or Casper and Gambini's signature Club Sandwich (65LE).
Tip: Want to brunch at home? Casper & Gambini's delivery service is quick and efficient.
Located inside Intercontinental Cairo CityStars hotel, El Khal is a newcomer to Cairo's Oriental food scene, promising Egyptian classics. Though the restaurant is still new, El Khal offers an exquisite brunch buffet every Saturday (200LE++) that brings together a large selection of Oriental fresh salads, hot tajines, a kebda and sujok station, and classic Egyptian grills station that includes kofta, hawawshi, ribs and tarb.
El Khal's molokheya station with is a must, giving you a choice of chicken, rabbit or shrimp with it.
Imagine beef, shrimp, lobster, chicken, and scallop chunks masterfully chopped, swirling in the air then served sizzling on your platter. If you're craving an authentic Japanese experience and an exquisite live Teppanyaki show, Shogun will give you just that. Hidden inside Intercontinental Cairo Citystars, Shogun is where you can enjoy a delicious brunch with authentic Japanese flavours from stir-fry salads (30L 85LE), Teppanyaki platters à la carte (195LE–300LE) or some of Shogun's signature sushi rolls including Shogun Maki (110LE), Tiger Eye Roll (95LE) or Kamikaze Roll (115LE).
Tip: Shogun holds a brunch buffet for 210LE++ every Saturday from 1PM to 5PM with a large assortment of sushi, salads and a selection of Teppanyaki dishes.
When it comes to Lebanese, Tamara is one of our go-to favourites in Cairo and one of the best restaurants for a light Oriental brunch. Opt for a mishmash of appetiser platters comprised of fresh tabbouleh, fattoush or hummos salads (30LE-45LE), savoury safayeh, fatayer or manakish (30LE-40LE) alongside a delicious platter of makanek with pomegranate dip (50LE) or a mix mini shawerma dish (45LE).
Tip: The rule of thumb for brunching in Tamara is to always go for the appetisers.
Boasting a breathtaking view of Katameya Heights' Golf Course, the Smokery is, without a doubt, one of the most sophisticated fine dining experiences in Egypt's capital, introducing the crème de la crème of French and European cuisine. With a newly crafted brunch menu boasting the Smokery's signature dishes – The Smokery Fiesta for two (130LE), Carpaccio de Boeuf (85LE) – along with classic brunch dishes – eggs Benedict and club sandwiches- the Smokery is exactly where you should be for a more refined brunch.
Tip: Always keep an eye out for the Smokery's special holiday menus.
Happy brunch, Cairo!