Some of us are unabashed shisha addicts, which usually doesn’t pose a problem in Cairo — shisha spots and ahwas are a dime a dozen. But what about after a long day at work when you want to kick back with a drink, but not give up your beloved shisha? Most bars don’t have shisha, and God knows most cafes don’t serve alcohol, but we gathered up a list of unicorns:
Good for: when you also want to have a decent meal. Carlo’s has the triumvirate of drinks, shisha and great food.
2. Eat & Barrel
Good for: a shabbier version of Sequoia, but with the same fantastic view and breeze.
3. Abou El Sid
Location: there are several branches, but we recommend the Maadi one because of its outdoor area.
Go for: the stuffed pigeon or the sharqesseya.
Go for: a rooftop experience in Helio and their Indian food from the restaurant in the hotel.
5. Le Pacha West
Location: 6th of October
Go for: a sister experience to Carlo’s in Zamalek, but in Arkan.
6. TGI Friday’s Maadi
Location: like we said above, Maadi
Go for: appetizers and a great Nileside view. We too are surprised that Friday’s of all places has not only alcohol and shisha but also one of the best spots on the Maadi Corniche.
Go for: a great day spot as well as night spot. The hotel itself is shady as hell but the view more than makes up for it.
Location: Garden City
Go for: great Lebanese mezzat.
Go for: the fact that it’s a rooftop bar with shisha in Dokki?
10. Villa 55
Go for: the section that has both drinks and shisha is a cozy balcony, and they have decent pizza too.
Go for: some hard-to-attain fresh air in the concrete jungle which is Downtown Cairo.
12. Alle Botti
Go for: to be honest, we’re not sure, but you can try it for yourselves and tell us if you like it or not.
13. El Tonsy
Go for: the fact that it’s 24/7 and all the creepy but entertaining people-watching you can do in the early morning hours.
Go for: the fact that this is another 24/7 spot and usually has a good mix of the Downtown crowd — artists, hipsters, foreigners, etc.
Go for: the belly dancer on Thursdays and Fridays!
Go for: because it’s Sequoia. End of text.
This is kind of a bonus point because most hotels have the option of drinking and having shisha simultaneously. The reason we’re not listing them all individually is because they’re just so much more expensive than the others places mentioned above. But if you’re interested, here are a bunch of hotel drinking/shisha spots we recommend:
- Pizza Bar (Fairmont Heliopolis)
- Kebabgy & Palmeraie (Sofitel Gezirah)
- Egyptian Nights (Marriott Zamalek)
- Bab El Nil (Nile Fairmont)
- Pool Grill (Four Seasons Nile Plaza)
- Bab El-Sharq (Ritz-Carlton)