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


The Cairo Guide to Cheap Sohours in Ramadan 2011

The Cairo Guide to Cheap Sohours in Ramadan 2011
written by
Waleed Abuarab

While Cairo has its share of fabulous
Ramadan tents and extravagant sohours, many of us prefer having our
sohours in the comfort of our homes or at a street kiosk with our friends. There’s
a certain charm about standing at a foul cart at 2AM, digging into a fresh
plates of foul, salad and eggs, and then ordering some more; just to make sure that
you don’t get hungry the following day. That meal alone will usually cost you
no more than a measly 5LE.

Of course, a lot of foul carts have no name,
but work in territories, so you should have no problem finding any particular
one. The cart in Ramses Square behind
El Fath Mosque begins trade at 10PM, and continues until the fagr prayer call.
You can fill up on foul, boiled eggs and Egyptian-style aubergine for 5LE to 6LE.

Located on El Naam Square in Ain Shams, Abdo Dollar is almost always busy; thus
more often than not, the pickled aubergine finishes pretty fast. It’s more expensive than most foul carts, but
you’ll never pay more than 10LE. Why so expensive? Try the delicious foul with
spicy oil to find out.

In the Sayeda Zeinab area, if you walk
along Port Said Road you’ll eventually come to a small road on the right. Take the first left from there, and you’ll
find Foul El Gahsh; one of
the best foul carts in Cairo. Here you’ll find foul made with oil or butter,
fried potato and fries as well fried aubergine. The prices are reasonable, but
it can sometimes be crowded.

If you’re in Garden City, why not check out
Foul Mahrous near the Canadian
Embassy. Tthe owner has laid out more tables for the oncoming rush of customers that comes with Ramadan. The prices are higher than
most places, but they offer falafel, omelettes, cheese and other options. Same
goes for Saad El Haraamy on Kasr El
Nil Street by After Eight in Downtown Cairo. The kiosk serves great
shakshouka, foul with sausage and white cheese with tomato.

Moving away from foul carts, there are a
number of restaurants that offer sohour that is equally as cheap and delicious.
Gad, for example, is a
popular Egyptian venue with branches all across Cairo. They offer pretty much
the same menu as they do year-round, but there is a definite focus on sohour

has a branch in El Basha Square in Manial, as well as in Helmeyet El Zaytoun
Square, and El Hegaz Street in Heliopolis. They have
erected a special Ramadan sohour tent opposite the shop, at which you can eat
yourself full for no more than 15LE. The place in general has a family-friendly
feel, and so is good for all ages. 

To avoid any confusion, El Shabrawy and Arabiata El Shabrawy are different
restaurants, and not only is the latter cheaper, but you’ll do well to find
better foul than there.

You can find very decent liver and
sausage in Alaa’, located in Saint
Fatima Square in Heliopolis. Though they are small, a liver or sausage sandwich
costs just 1.50LE, and the restaurant also serves up foul, falafel and burgers as
well as shawerma. If you still have space in your stomach, we also recommend
Alaa’s coleslaw.

You can also claim a fairly cheap sohour in
the form of delicious sandwiches at Baba
or Zizo, which are both
located in Bab El Fetouh near El Muez Street. Both really step up their game for Ramadan with more tables and chairs,
more food and an all-round great late-night atmosphere.

The great thing about these cheap sohour
venues is that they are everywhere; you won’t have to travel too far to find
the closest foul cart or sandwich joint. Don’t be put off by the low prices;
the quality of food is a bit hit-and-miss, but there are a few gems out there
that will have you addicted long after Ramadan is over.

If you know of any similarly obscure places
that deserve Cairo’s attention, tell us!