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

Pub 28

Pub 28: Zamalek’s Long Time Local Bar

reviewed by
Ahmed Ezzat
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Pub 28: Zamalek’s Long Time Local Bar

Pub 28, or
simply ’The Pub‘ as it is referred to by its regulars, is another of those
Cairo institutions that you’re unlikely to simply wander into if you’re not a
local resident. For one thing, the exterior of the place is decidedly dingy and
the sign that displays the name is barely readable in the dimly-lit section of
Shagarat El Dor Street.

Once you enter the pub, it’s decidedly dark, enhanced
by poor lighting, dark brown tables and wood panelling. This bar caters to all
age groups, with one of the most eclectic crowds you will ever see in Cairo: from
the elderly regulars visiting their favourite haunt to the young college
students that make you wonder about Egypt’s ID policy.

Food-wise,
the Pub serves…well, pub food, albeit with a distinct Egyptian twist, and the
mezzas alone are enough of a reason to visit the place. Definitely go for the
white feta cheese with tomato dip, and order it with chopped up onions and hot
peppers if you’re feeling adventurous; you won’t regret it. The meatballs come
grilled and spiced really well, the kofta is char-grilled, and the kebda is
grilled and crispy; all very popular appetisers. 

For the main courses,
the steaks are good for the most part, although the place really would benefit
from a more consistent meat supplier because sometimes the order can be rather
stringy. The pub’s signature dish, however, is definitely the sayadiya (fish
tagine with rice), which features very crispy fish and rice cooked just right.
The sliced fillet steak, which is really juicy and tender, is also another
great choice. All dishes are very moderately priced; you can easily have a meal
and a drink for under 100LE, unless you order the steak for a main course.

The drink
selection is pretty much what you would expect from any old pub in Egypt. All
the local beers, wines and most of the imported liquors are available but don’t
even think about ordering a sophisticated cocktail– you may get a puzzled look
from the bartender.

Atmosphere-wise,
don’t expect to hear the latest hits; as some like to joke, the music playlist
has been closed to additions since 1986. And definitely do not expect to see
any dancing. Pub 28 is a great place for a conversation over a drink and
some delicious food. The pub is an especially popular destination for late
weekend lunches.

360 Tip

Don’t judge the pub from your first visit; pop in again and you might start to see the appeal.

Best Bit

For a pub, the food is definitely a highlight.

Worst Bit

The waiters can be a bit nonchalant if they don't know you; don’t take it personally.

Map Data
Map data ©2016
Map DataMap data ©2016
Map data ©2016

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