LOCAL TIME IN Alexandria

Currency in Alexandria


Food In Alexandria

Dining & Restaurants In Alexandria

Sure, the old and once-grand restaurants such as Pastroudis and the Union have long closed, but one of the pleasures of Alexandria is eating the freshest catch from the Mediterranean in one of the seafood restaurants overlooking the Eastern Harbour.
Equally enjoyable is to sit in one of the many cafes around the city center and watch Alexandrians at play. Many restaurants don’t serve alcohol. Western-style cooking can be found in upmarket hotels and noisy shopping malls where Alexandrians love to hang out.

Mohammed Ahmed

Under no circumstances should you miss this classic, the undisputed king and still champion of fuul and felafel, filled day and night with locals downing small plates of spectacularly good and cheap Egyptian standards.
From the English menu, select your type of fuul (iskandaraniis good), add some felafel, and choose a few accompanying salads, such as tahini, banga (beetroot) or pickles – then, sit back and wait for the magic to happen.
Serves Breakfast.

Located in 17 Shokour St. Raml Station, Alexandria 21599, Egypt

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Malek el-Seman

Off Sharia Attareen, just south of the junction with Sharia Mohafaza, by day this is a small courtyard clothes market, by night it’s an open-air restaurant doing one thing and doing it very, very well: quail.
Birds are served grilled or stuffed; both ways are delicious, but we especially like the slightly charred and crispy flavor of the grilled. Orders come with bread and six different salads. It’s a bit hard to find, but look for a painted sign with a small bird. offers beer.

Located in Midan El Soriyin Masguid – El Attareen, Alexandria 21599, Egypt.

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China House

Atop the Sofitel Cecil Alexandria (Cecil Hotel), this highly recommended restaurant serves scrumptious Asian food beneath a tent with dangling lanterns and stunning views over the harbor.
The ambiance is breezy, the chicken dumplings and grilled beef with garlic first-rate, and the banana fritters unmissable.  are served.
Serves Lunch, Dinner,Beer & Egyptian wine.

Located in 16 Midan Saad Zaghloul Cecil Hotel, Alexandria 21599, Egypt

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Abu Nasser

This unusually tidy place serves good, filling kushari. If you find it lacks mojo, throw in a dash of the vinegar and spicy red sauce it’s served with. If it’s still a bit plain for your taste, order sides of tahini and bazngan “eggplant” and chuck them in too.

Located in 13 Al-ghorfa Al-togariya st., Alexandria, Egypt

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This deservedly popular establishment serves excellent hand-thrown sweet or savory fiteer (Egyptian pancakes), pizza, and some of the best shwarma in town. Eat in or take away.

Located in El Guish Rd., Cleopatra, Alexandria, Egypt

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Egypt’s answer to (although a vast improvement on) McDonald’s, this chain of absurdly popular takeaway joints has people flocking (think gadflies) day and night. It serves a huge range of filled sandwiches, kebabs, ta’amiyya (Egyptian felafel) and mouth-watering shwarma.

Located in 683 El Guish Rd. Miami, Alexandria,11112, Egypt

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For some authentic Alexandrian flavor and atmosphere, head for the simple, good-value streetside restaurants in Anfushi’s baladi (working class; ‘of the land’) district. Sharia Safar Pasha is lined with a dozen places where the fires are crackling and flaming under the grills barbecuing meat and fish.
You could chance a table at any of them and probably come away satisfied, but those listed here deserve a special mention. Don’t hesitate to bring the kids to any of the places we list here; most are filled with families. All are open well past midnight.


Deep in the heart of the souq, sit outdoors under an awning or inside in an air-conditioned dining room feasting on perfectly cooked and seasoned seafood. This spot is very local and a bit hard to spot – the sign is high above street level, so look up to be sure you don’t miss it. If you do, just ask around; everyone knows it.

Located in 7 Souk El Tabbakhin St., Alexandria 21599, Egypt


Owned by Zizi Salem, the retired queen of the Alexandrian belly dancing scene, Samakmak is definitely one step up from the other fish eateries in the neighborhood.
The fish is as fresh as elsewhere, but customers flock to this place for its specials, including crayfish, marvelous crab tagen (stew cooked in a deep clay pot) and a great spaghetti with clams.

Located in 42 Kasr Raas El Teen Street | Anfushi, Alexandria 21599, Egypt

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Pronounced ‘Adora’, this is one of Alexandria’s most authentic fish restaurants, where food is served at tables in the narrow street. Pick your fish from a huge ice-packed selection, which usually includes sea bass, red and grey mullet, bluefish, sole, squid, crab and prawns, and often a lot more. A selection of mezze is served with all orders (don’t hope for a menu). It has a second, air-conditioned (though less atmospheric) branch along the Corniche.

Located in 47 26 Yoliu Elkornesh Street | Bahary, Alexandria 21599, Egypt

Abu Ashraf

One of this street’s fish specialists. Make your selection from the day’s catch then take a seat under the green awning and watch it being cooked.Sea bass stuffed with garlic and herbs is a specialty, as is the creamy prawn kishk (casserole). Price is determined by weight and type of fish.

Located in 28 Safar Pasha St., Alexandria 21599, Egypt

Hosny Grill

If you’re a little fished out in Anfushi, Hosny Grill, opposite Abu Ashraf, is a semi-outdoor restaurant specializing in tasty grilled chicken, kebabs and other meats, served with the usual triumvirate of vegetables, salad and rice.

Located in 30 Saffar Pasha St,Bahary & Gamal Abd El Nasser St., Alexandria 21599, Egypt

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El-Sheikh Wafik

This unassuming and breezy corner cafe has a secret – the best dessert in town. You can get the usual ice cream in several flavors, but the real treats are Egyptian classics such as cous-cousy; a yummy mix of couscous, shredded coconut, nuts, raisins, and sugar, topped with hot milk.

Hassan Fouad

This tiny and incredibly tidy market offers beautifully displayed produce, like grapes from Lebanon and tasty Egyptian mangoes, and a good selection of imported staples such as digestive biscuits. There’s no sign in English, so look for the place with artfully stacked fruits and a bright-red sign.

Patisserie Assad

Just east of Midan Saad Zaghloul, this hole-in-the-wall bakery does good sweets, fiteer, and croissants, sold by weight. It also offers a selection of hard-to-find local honey and olive oil. There’s no sign, so look for the honey stacked in the window.

Abo Faris

An excellent eatery specializing in Syrian shawarma, a mouth-watering concoction of spicy grilled lamb or chicken slathered in garlicky mayonnaise and pickles, rolled up inside roasted flatbread.
A full menu is available, and seating is indoors or in a garden patio (you can also do takeaway). It’s about 500m before the City Centre Mall, on the left as you’re coming from the city. Most taxi drivers will know it.

Located in 60 Iskandar Ibrahim St., Alexandria 21599, Egypt

Juice Bars

Freshat Juice Bar

This sparkling little find has a cornucopia of different juices on offer, including all the standards plus some interesting and hard-to-find traditional drinks. If you’re keen to try something new, ask the friendly owner, Ayman, to show you. All juices can be made without sugar on request.

El Qobesi

El Qobesi has crowned itself the ‘king of mango’ but take one sip and you will bow down a loyal peon. Slivers of several ripe mangoes are cajoled nearly whole into a tall, chilled glass to make some of the best mango juice we’ve ever tried. Open around the clock, it’s always bustling, often with locals parked outside for a quick in-car slurp (we’ve even seen full microbuses stop by).

Located in 51 Corniche, Alexandria 21599, Egypt

Cafes & Ahwas

During summer the 20km length of the Corniche from Ras at-Tin to Montazah seems to become one great strung-out Qahwa (coffeehouse). With a few exceptions, these are not the greatest places – they’re catering for a passing holiday trade and tend to overcharge. Nevertheless, Alexandria is a great place to get some quality sheesha (water pipe) time in. While many Qahwas remain the exclusive domain of backgammon-playing men, families are welcome at these places, unless otherwise mentioned.

Selsela Cafe

This fantastic Qahwa across from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina is practically unique in Alexandria – you can sip tea and sheesha to the sound of waves rolling in, smelling sea air instead of petrol
fumes. Directly on the water, it has rustic open-air tables and palm trees with cheerful colored lights, set around a small curving beach where you can hardly hear the traffic. It’s a great place to relax in the sultry breeze, enjoying the Mediterranean vibe.

Located in Corniche, Alexandria 21599, Egypt.

To find it, look for the modern sculpture with three white needles, directly across the Corniche from the library. Walk past the sculpture towards the sea; the entrance is down the steps to the right.

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Imperial Cafe & Restaurant

This recently renovated classic cafe is now Alexandria’s most modern, a chic yet comfortable air-conditioned space with wi-fi and a list of espresso-based coffees. There’s a full menu, too, with everything from tasty snacks to pizza to steak. You can also sit out on the sidewalk at an umbrella-covered table. It’s a great place to take a break.

Located in Mhatet El Raml, Ramy Station, Alexandria, Egypt

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El Tugareya

Although it may not look like much to the uninitiated (it doesn’t even sport a sign), this 90-year-old institution is one of the most important Qahwas in town.
It’s an informal center of business and trade (the name roughly translates to ‘commerce’), where deals are brokered in time-honored tradition – over a glass of tea. The cafe is separated into multiple rooms, covering a whole block. The southern side is a male-dominated area dedicated to games and informal socializing, while along the Corniche you’re likely to be part of a rambunctious mix of writers, filmmakers, students, expats and courting couples filling the hall with a cacophony of animated conversation. You’ll Even see women smoking sheesha.

El Rehany

This expansive and breezy Alexandrian classic is reputed to have the best sheesha in town, served with a flourish by attentive boys in smart two-toned waistcoats while waiters in black-and-white bring tea in silver urns. The decor is eclectically elegant, with lofty ceilings etched with elaborate floral patterns, tables, and chairs in Islamic designs, and burgundy tablecloths. Check out the bizarre assortment of knick-knacks in the glass displays in the back, too. There’s no sign in English, neither look for the place with green awnings, next to the Premiere Wellness and Fitness Centre.

Located in Ezzaa St., Gleem, Alexandria

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Farouk Cafe

This venerable sheesha joint doesn’t look like it’s changed an iota since it opened in 1928. It’s a charmingly ramshackle old place, with dusty bronze lanterns outside, and charmingly fusty old men arguing and playing board games at the tables under huge photos of the former king.

Located in Bahary, Alexandria, Egypt

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Ahwa Sayed Darwish

Named for the composer of Egypt’s national anthem, this tiny and highly enjoyable local coffee shop, near Sharia al-Nabi Daniel, is set on a quiet and leafy side street around the corner from the Cavafy Museum. The chairs are comfortably padded, and the sheesha is clean. The clientele is exclusively men.

Located in 202 El Guish Rd., Alexandria 21599, Egypt


Sixty years ago Alexandria was so famous for its Greek tavernas and divey little watering holes that the 1958 movie Ice Cold in Alex was entirely based around a stranded WWII ambulance crew struggling through the desert, dreaming of making it back to Alexandria to sip a beer. Times have changed and Alex isn’t much of a drinking town anymore; there are few places worth crossing the desert for.

Cap d’Or

The Cap d’Or, just off Sharia Saad Zaghloul, is a top spot to relax, and one of the only surviving typical Alexandrian bars. With beer flowing generously, stained-glass windows, a long marble-topped bar, plenty of ancient memorabilia decorating the walls and crackling tapes of old French chanson (a type of traditional folk music) or Egyptian hits, it feels very much like an Andalusian tapas bar. Bohemian crowds come to drink cold Stella beer, snack on great seafood, and just hang out at the bar talking or playing guitar with fellow drinkers. Thursday and Friday’s nights are more ‘open-minded’ than most nights in Alexandria.

Located in Adeeb Bek Ishaaq St., Alexandria, Egypt

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Greek Club

The Greek Club is a great place for a sunset drink, inside its large newly restored rooms or, even better, on the wide terrace catching the afternoon breeze or watching the lights on this legendary bay. The menu has a selection of fresh fish cooked any way you like it (grilled with olive oil, oregano, and lemon, baked or Egyptian style), as well as Greek classics such as moussaka and souvlaki.

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Spitfire feels almost like a Bangkok Bar – sans go-go girls. It has a reputation as a sailors’ hang-out and the walls are plastered with shipping-line stickers, rock-and-roll memorabilia, and photos of drunk regulars. It’s a great place for an evening out on one of the world’s finest harbors, listening to American rock and roll from the 1970s.

Located in Raml Station/Manshia, Next to Telecom Egypt Central, Alexandria 21599, Egypt

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Centro de Portugal

This hard-to-find expat haven is fully equipped for fun: a garden bar in a leafy patio, darts, foosball, and pool, plus a tiny disco complete with mirrored ball. Best of all, the beverages are very cold. Drinks are purchased via an unusual card system: E£75 gets you enough credits for five beers, three glasses of wine, two cocktails or 10 soft drinks. The food menu sports Western standards, and there’s a small playground for kids (who get free admission). It’s a great place to unwind and meet local expats while sucking down an icy gin and tonic.


Take away beer is available in the city center at this aptly named a place. It also delivers.

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