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

El Muriaz

El Muriaz: Atmospheric Downtown Baladi Bar

reviewed by
Anne de Groot
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El Muriaz: Atmospheric Downtown Baladi Bar

bar hopping is one of the most exciting things to do in Cairo at
night. Forget about the expensive clubs with dress codes and minimum charges; if
you want a guaranteed evening of laughter, excitement and good
conversations; then look no further than Downtown Cairo. With baladi bars all
over Cairo, it is sometimes difficult to decide where to go, with many venues
hidden in obscure locations. One of the easiest bars to find is El Muriaz on
Adly Street. Located on the corner close to Opera Square, the bar’s red
exterior is easy to spot. If you can’t find it; search for the Stella sign.

named after its original owner, El Muriaz has two floors with red and gold
walls. Stella posters hang on one wall, while a large mirror hangs on the other.
An LCD screen is placed on top of empty beer crates. At the time of this
reviewer’s visit, the show Californication
was being screened, making it all the more peculiar.

An A/C
unit provides much-needed cool in the bar. Simple seats around wobbly wooden
tables usually carry a predominantly male clientele, but women won’t be
harassed or intimidated in this nonchalant, relaxed watering hole.

As is custom
in Downtown Cairo bars, small snacks are served to you when you sit down. The cool
thing about El Muriaz is that you don’t get a bowl of greasy bar nuts or chips
but a plate of cucumbers, salad and potatoes. You can have a bottle of Stella beer for 11LE,
Heineken for 14LE, or local brandy VAT for 15LE and a shisha for 5LE. The shisha
was honestly one of the best that this reviewer has ever sampled in Cairo. The
only available flavour is apple; there’s nothing fancy or exotic about this
shisha, but it’s excellent.

it might be rude, the best thing to do here is eavesdrop on other people’s
conversations The regulars are friendly and sociable, and they won’t mind if
you join in the conversation.

When you’re
out bar-hopping around Downtown Cairo; make sure to pay a visit to El Muriaz; it’s
the perfect place to cool down in and enjoy a relaxed drink.

360 Tip

We were told that if you want to bring your ‘ladyfriend’ and have some privacy, you can sit upstairs, but only until 11PM.

Best Bit

The shisha, snacks and low beer prices.

Worst Bit

The A/C is a little rundown, and so the venue can get very hot on summer nights.

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