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

Zooba Is Going International!
written by
Sherif Khairy

We’ve always believed that Egyptian street food is one of the best in the world. Our hearty meals set us apart from other places around the globe, and if any Cairene or Egyptian travels abroad, he would realise that the flavours of the world may be great, but nothing replaces the true taste of Egyptian food.

Yesterday, we told you all about how The Guardian confirmed that Egypt is home to the world’s best falafel recipes. Today we’re here to talk about one of our greatest exponents of Egyptian street food and their plans for expansion. Zooba, one of the favourite breakfast spots in Cairo, has been expanding as of late, and a new expansion plan is set to bring it to international levels.

Zooba started in Cairo in 2012 when it opened its first branch in Zamalek. The foul and falafel restaurant appeared on 26 July Street as a tiny, colourful shop in the middle of a greyscale street with tons of shops and other restaurants. The restaurant opened with a flurry of customers and steadily garnered popularity among all Cairenes with its strong flavours and clean take on one of the most popular Egyptian meals.

Over time, Zooba developed its menu to include more and more items, making it a go-to spot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. After first opening in Zamalek in 2012, Zooba expanded to City Stars and Maadi in 2014, followed by Downtown Mall in New Cairo, and Korba in Heliopolis the following year, and they just recently opened their sixth branch in Sheikh Zayed.

Breaking international boundaries, Zooba have signed a franchise agreement to set up shop in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, looking to open in Riyadh before summer. But now America is calling, with Zooba set to open its first branch in New York.

According to Enterprise magazine, Zooba raised 4 million dollars to drive their expansion in Manhattan. Founder and CEO Chris Khalifa will be relocating abroad to oversee the launch of their new branch in the Nolita area. The company stated that “Representing Egyptian street food and culture the world over is no longer simply our goal; it is our mission.”

We are very proud to see an Egyptian restaurant grow from one tiny branch in Zamalek to six branches in Cairo, and planning to set up 3 more international branches in Riyadh, Bahrain, and the Big Apple itself, in Manhattan.