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


Wel3a: Ingenious Shisha Café in Zamalek

reviewed by
Heba El-Sherif
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Wel3a: Ingenious Shisha Café in Zamalek

Cairo’s myriads of shisha
cafés are conveniently dispersed around the city; it’s no feat to get your fix
round the clock on the corner of just about anywhere.  

However, finding a
place that offers you undying, flavourful shisha that blows strong for two
straight hours – without having to dig deep inside your pockets – is a slightly
different ordeal.

Located on 26th of July Street in the heart of Zamalek, Wel3a offers you just that.  

Paying tribute to its
predecessor, a baladi ahwa whose regulars streamed in during the late hours of
the night, Wel3a crowns itself as Cairo’s first dedicated shisha café. The tiny space is furnished with grey couches
and plastic chairs, some of which line up the pavement in front, offering an
array of tobacco for those willing to dabble.

While local tobacco
providers such El Nakhla and Mizo are on offer for 12LE and 15LE respectively,
the café’s edge lies in its imports. Hailing from Jordan and exclusive to Wel3a, Shesh Besh (22LE) is a
tobacco blend made from pure honey, guaranteeing a sweeter and slightly richer
experience. An unusual blend called Blue Mist is also on offer, hailing from the
United States at 25LE.

This reviewer opted
for the Fakher blend (18LE), a staple of the Gulf. Needless to say, it was a
long, smoky afternoon. The shisha was served with a plastic lay, and coal was
changed regularly by the extra attentive waiter. Shishas come in all flavours,
as well as the classic meassel.

Go all out and ask
for the unlimited option: an infinite
round of your favourite shisha served with a warm pot of tea. Available for all
tobacco blends, the unlimited option is priced between 22LE and 45LE.  

Snacks include
sandwiches (22LE to 26LE) including turkey, roast beef and cheese mix, each
freshly folded into baguettes that you could either toast or ask to be tossed
into the microwave.

Other items on offer
include salads, quiche, an assortment of cakes (18LE to 22LE) and

The chicken quiche
was served a little cold, but the jumble of chicken, bell peppers and onions
was perfectly peppered and came in a generous slice.

Along with its
wide-ranging shisha menu, Wel3a also offer a plethora of smoothies and cold
drinks. The good morning smoothie is a rich and refreshing drink that combines strawberry,
banana and peach, all freshly squeezed and blended to just the right amount of

Wel3a also offers
coffee, both hot and cold. So however
you like to take your shisha, whether with coffee, a fruit blend or after a
quick bite, Wel3a should surely make it to your list of shisha places to check

360 Tip

Wel3a offers on-the-go breakfast from 8AM to noon: choose from their selection of muffins, croissants and pastries as well as coffee.

Best Bit

Both their sandwiches and cakes come in generous portions.

Worst Bit

Flies easily find their way into the indoor section.

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