Thursday September 28th, 2023
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10 Alternative Cafes to Grab Your Morning Coffee in Cairo

Coffee; the elixir of life from your wake-up jolt to your evening espresso. This is a list of places for those who are tired of mainstream coffee shop franchises and just want a refuge with a great cup of caffeine.

Staff Writer

Sometimes it’s not just about the coffee, it’s also about the setting you’re in. At other times, it is just about the coffee and nothing else matters. Of course the ideal case scenario is when both are just great, and all your senses are wrapped in the glowing warmth of the moment - but you usually get neither at your cookie-cutter coffee shop chain.  We bring you a list of places; some with the charm of atmosphere, some that just serve great coffee, and some that magically do both!

 1- Shakespeare&Co Café Restaurant - 6th October City

This place feels like you’ve walked into the 19th Century Victorian England. It is an absolute charm, and there is nothing like it in Cairo. Check their website  or even better, go for some coffee and lavish dessert.

2- Café Greco - Maadi

This doesn’t need much of an introduction since Greco’s coffee exceeds its reputation but you may not have had the pleasure of visiting this place if you don’t mingle with the Maadi crowd. High ceilings and white all over, it has the feel of an old coffee house from the 40s. The coffee itself is by far one of the finest you can possibly find in Cairo. Check out their Facebook Page though it hardly does the place any justice.

3- Kafficho - Zamalek, Sheikh Zayed, Hurghada

The Zamalek branch is a great place to hide during a weekday and indulge in various forms of coffee from creative Frappuccino blends to a traditional hardcore double espresso. You can’t find fault with their coffee, it totally hits the spot.

4- L’Aroma - Zamalek, Cairo-Alex Dessert Road, Mohandessin, Maadi, New Cairo, Ramelt Boulaq, Marina North Coast

There is absolutely no dispute over L’Aroma’s coffee. All coffee lovers agree that they serve a fine cup of Joe. Though there is nothing too eccentric or quaint about the atmosphere, it is still a pleasant place to hang out and chat, or work the day away with constant access to gourmet coffee and free wi-fi.

 5 - Qahwa - Sheikh Zayed 

A must-go spot for anyone who lives in Sheikh Zayed and 6th October, Lebanese-inspired Qahwa serves all your classic espresso-based coffees as well a slew of creative creations and Arabic style coffees. Check out their breakfast too - no one's had it without coming back raving.

6- Cake Café - Zamalek

Quaint is the first word that comes to mind when we think about Cake. It’s small, elegant, and cosy and their cakes are made with the finest ingredients, as they spare no expense. The coffee is divine, though we’re not sure if that’s because it really is divine, or we were too enchantedby the red velvet slice that our taste buds were simply seduced.

7-  Simonds - Dokki, Zamalek, Downtown

In Cairo since 1898, once you walk into Simonds you will actually walk into 1898. For us, this is simply delightful. Tired of blaring music, and worn out couches at cafes trying so hard to be different that they are just as the same as everything else in tackiness? Simonds, with it’s old traditional interiors, and charmingly bureaucratic vibe, is your spot. You will not find rowdy young crowds here, rather sophisticated nostalgic intellectuals, and guess what? The coffee is great! Into history? Check out their website.

8- Karakeeb - Mohandessin

With old school glamour updated with super cool decor, this Mohandessin hot spot is usually always busy. Their coffee is great and really well priced, with a cappuccino coming in for 18 LE, while all the #Instashots you'll undoubtedly take here are free!

9- Zack’s Café - Al Rehab

Though attached to Smiley’s Grill (same owners), this is an elegant artisan café with soothing music and big comfy chairs to sink into and never leave. The coffee is very special, and it is easy to understand why, since Zack made it his mission to take the Maestro Bistro course at the Illy University of Coffee, and researched coffee drinks for two years before bringing Zack’s Café to life. You like coffee and bakery porn? Check out the photos on their Facebook Page.

10- Kafein (Downtown)

Last, but most definitely not least, this absolutely authentic artisan café caters to those with a lingering passion for downtown Cairo, and a love for hanging out over good coffee. Their sister restaurant Eish we Malh, also downtown, serves equally good coffee in a huge high ceiling restaurant/café with a very original vibe, and a teasing background of Jazz. Jazz and coffee; you just can’t go wrong with that.