As many of us hard-working folk know, ordering lunch to the office has its pitfalls. Most lunch orders tends in the direction of greasy fast-food, which can satisfy the work-induced hunger between meetings, but not, of course, basic health or nutrition requirements. So in a bold gesture to take better care of ourselves, why not opt for a healthy lunch that satisfies even the pickiest palates?
While Cairo has a plethora of restaurants that deliver, navigating the jungle of menus can be daunting, so here are some well known, but nonetheless well-worth-it choices to look out for.
Casper and Gambini’s is an all-time favourite whether you have a hankering for a wholesome sandwich, a green salad, a light soup or even a well-cooked steak. Casper’s delivery menu promises a tasty array of healthy options that are packed with flavour. The ice tea delivers a refreshing moment of bliss in the mid-afternoon, while great brunch options include the fluffy golden pancakes or the savoury omelette with perfectly roasted potatoes and a generous helping of toast.
If you are a chronic food-orderer, than upwards of 40LE a day can get a bit much; so be sure to mix in a few days of home-packed lunches to protect your wallet.
While Subway is not available everywhere in Cairo yet, the sandwich chain has yielded some satisfying results. The Maadi branch is fresh and quite good with record delivery time. Best of all, you can choose your own just-baked bread, toppings and fillings. For those trying to stay healthy, Subway has a few good options– the spicy Italian sandwich on toasted wheat is an all-time favourite. If you can’t resist temptation, be sure to try the warm, oven-baked cookies: chocolate chip, double chocolate and chewy oatmeal raisin.
For a step up from fast food that still has all the staples-- such as giant cheeseburgers and wedge fries-- try Euro Deli. Despite its often temperamental delivery service (sometimes fast, other times slow), the Lebanese-inspired menu has a bit of everything. For breakfast orders, the florentine omelette is an affordable protein-packed way to start the day, although both bagels and pizzas can be sub-par.
For those wishing to dart out of the office for a quick bite, Cilantro offers packaged salads, sandwiches and pastas. If you are in need of a coffee and a little pick-me-up, then Cilantro provides a convenient stop with branches in every major area of Cairo. The food is relatively healthy (try their sundried tomato pasta or their cold chicken wraps) if you steer clear of the sugary drinks and array of pastries and brownies.
Taboula in Garden City delivers a wealth of fresh and mouth-watering mezzas, from crisp fatoush to baba ganough with pomegranates to smooth hummus, lebneh and addictive fresh bread. Taboula is perfect for a communal spread at the office, offers vegetarian options and also caters for events.
Mana’eesh are always a tasty option when funds are low and a bit of Lebanese sounds appetising, whether turkey and cheese, tomato or a bit of zaatar if your fancy strikes. Order some fatoush or other oriental salads for a healthy side and a fresh, seasonal juice to wash it down.If you’re in Maadi, Dar El Amer will do the trick, though their delivery can be slow. Be sure to specify whether you want vegetables or you will get a load packed in whether you like it or not.
There are always those stressful work days where only junk foods will suffice. So if it is junk food you must have, some personal fast food highlights include Hardee's curly fries, a McDonald's sundae as summer's heat rolls in, and Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust pizzas.
But if you’re trying to stick to the healthy side, take our advice and don’t eat a heavy lunch that leave you feeling lethargic and desperately in need of the gym. If you're anything like us, you agree that a little guidance to shaking up the lunchtime routine is never a bad thing.