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Ask a Local: Best Ramadan Iftar Spots in Cairo

February 28, 2024

 

For Egyptians, Ramadan transcends a simple religious observance. It becomes the very lifeblood of their nation, its spirit pulsing through the music and energy that fills the streets. Unlike a fleeting event or a static monument, Ramadan’s influence lingers, its spirit persisting long after the month ends and the last crescent moon fades.

To truly experience Ramadan like a local, do not just seek out delicious food. Instead, prioritize finding places that capture the authentic spirit of the month, where the atmosphere complements the traditional flavors.

Egyptian Streets’ “Ask a Local” series sought the best iftar spots for an authentic Ramadan experience below:

Al-Hussein

During Ramadan, many people, both Egyptians and foreign visitors, flock to Midan Al-Hussein, a historic area in the heart of Cairo. This vibrant district, also known as “Hayy Al-Bahga Al-Ramadenya” (meaning “The Ramadan Neighborhood of Joy”), embodies the spirit of the holy month in Egypt. Throughout Ramadan, Midan Al-Hussein comes alive with bustling streets filled with friendly greetings and a variety of entertainment options.

What makes this area special is the sense of community. People of all ages and backgrounds come together to share tables and meals. During the hour before iftar, the streets and alleys transform into a giant open-air restaurant, welcoming everyone with open arms.

Lanterns and decorations also light up Al Hussein’s narrow streets as people gather for traditional Ramadan celebrations. The beauty of the area is further enhanced by the sight of prayers at El-Hussein Mosque, where a peaceful and spiritual atmosphere fills the space.

Layalina Ramadan Tent

For an iftar that captures a more modern experience of Ramadan in Cairo, Layalina Ramadan Tent offers a variety of experiences.

Layalina understands that Ramadan is about more than just delicious iftar meals, which is why it offers entertainment ranging from traditional Tanoura dancers to melodies of traditional music. Layalina also serves traditional Egyptian food. During Ramadan, they will have classic dishes like molokhia stew, grilled meats, stuffed vegetables, and sweet desserts.

When you step inside the tent, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time. It’s decorated to bring back memories of the best Ramadans, with beautiful lanterns, traditional designs,  and a cozy atmosphere.

Layalina has locations in both East and West Cairo (often at the Royal Maxim Palace Kempinski, and ZED Park).

Gemeza at the Salah Al-Din Citadel

The newly opened Gemeza restaurant at the Salah Al-Din Citadel offers stunning Cairo views and a delicious fusion of food and culture.

Perched atop the iconic Salah Al-Din Citadel, the restaurant soaks you in the breathtaking view of Cairo’s historical and sprawling cityscape. There will also be traditional music performances that add to the vibrant atmosphere and connect you with the local culture.

As you dine, you’ll be surrounded by the majestic walls of the Citadel, a testament to Cairo’s rich past.

Al-Azhar Park 

Al-Azhar Park is an excellent choice for those who want to organize their own iftar gatherings in a beautiful and spacious outdoor setting. This expansive park offers plenty of room to spread out blankets, set up tables, and comfortably accommodate your group.

There is nothing quite like breaking your fast surrounded by nature and the gentle hum of park life, creating a memorable and unique iftar experience compared to more traditional restaurant settings.

The park also has dedicated play areas, making it a great option for families with children who need space to run around and play.

Abou El Sid Restaurant

For those seeking a calming and authentic iftar experience, Abou El Sid Restaurant offers a unique blend of traditional Egyptian cuisine and a tranquil atmosphere. Abou El Sid prides itself on serving classic Egyptian dishes prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Unlike bustling restaurants, Abou El Sid offers a tranquil atmosphere ideal for more intimate gatherings and savor the essence of iftar in a peaceful setting.

The interior is adorned with portraits of historical figures and traditional architectural elements, enriching your iftar experience with a touch of cultural heritage.

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