The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

On The Run

On The Run: Quick Stop for Fast Food

reviewed by
Soraya Morayef
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On The Run: Quick Stop for Fast Food

It’s hard to remember what life was like
before On The Run franchise was introduced to Mobil Petrol Stations across Egypt a decade
ago. The genius of this convenience store/snack
shop is that, like all petrol stations, it’s open 24 hours, and it offers fresh pastry, coffee, and
last-minute items that you’re bound to need on a road trip.

With several branches across Cairo, notably near the
Cairo Toll Station, On The Run has its own fan following of young Egyptians
that crave its hot dogs, cold sandwiches (between 10LE and 25LE) and hot
chocolate (13.75LE). The store also has a La Poire counter selling cinnamon
rolls, sweet pastries, oriental sweets and cakes, which is an absolute genius
idea: many times we have found ourselves on the route to a gathering
empty-handed and a quick stop at On the Run has saved the day.

Before you turn your nose up at the sight
of their average-looking cold sandwiches, made fresh every day by La Poire, note that they’re actually quite good and hit the spot if you’re about to embark
on a long and tedious road trip (cough Sahel cough). The tuna sandwich is
recommended, as is the crab sandwich; though you should check its expiry date
first and make sure you can handle the mayonnaise that it’s drowning in. If
you’re counting your calories, a few packaged salads and vine leaves are

For a quick breakfast snack, there is a
fresh selection of croissants, Danish pastries and pâtés (around 4.50LE). While
the hot chocolate isn’t impressive, the cappuccino (11.75LE) and the coffee are
surprisingly good at locally competitive prices.

The store’s shelves carry imported granola
bars, Milka chocolate, Kettle Chips and Mars ice cream. They also sell
deodorants, shampoos, and other last-minute items you may need for your trip.  

In addition to the usual car freshener
accessories and fluffy, scented Tweety cushions (why, for the love of God?), the
store also carries local magazines, books and notebooks by Hani Mahfouz
Designs. ATM Machines and semi-clean bathrooms are available in all branches.

Though other petrol stations are becoming
strong contenders to On the Run’s throne, this store remains the best quick
stop to make when you need a snack, some petrol and a scented car cushion to
sleep on.

360 Tip

During the summer, the On the Run at the Cairo Toll Gate tends to be severely congested; especially at night, so try a branch closer to you and head straight to the Toll Gate.

Best Bit

Fresh pastries, hot coffee, Daim chocolate bars and excellent tobacco supplies.

Worst Bit

The hot cocoa.

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