With it being December, it’s that time of the year when we can finally welcome the winter season, a time when temperatures would drop and families and friends would cozy up with a warm drink. Across Cairo, outdoor restaurants and cafes will start setting up commercial patio heaters and thick blankets to keep customers warm especially during chilly winter nights. In those very same foodie hotspots, guests can munch on the ultimate cure to the cold weather, winter comfort foods.
As Cairo is known to be home to an eclectic food scene bringing together the finest in both local and international cuisine, there is no better time than now to hit up some of the best spots for a needed dose of winter comfort food goodness.
Samsa At Uzbek Bakery
Bringing a taste of Uzbekistan all the way to Egypt is Cairo’s Uzbek, a special bakery crammed within the narrow alleyways of Nasr City, noticed by passerbys through its large, red banner that reads ‘Laziz’. In Uzbekistan, there is a known and unspoken love for bread in all its variations and that is why opening a bakery in Egypt was the best way to introduce the country’s culture and cuisine to the Cairene community.
Considered a passion project brought to life by several Uzbek students, the bakery serves up the finest in baked goods with their most famous being the traditional bagel-like bread with a texture so fluffy its akin to eating cotton candy. For the ultimate dose of warmth, you can also try their steaming meat pies similar to samosas known as samsa.
Pho At Saigon Restaurant & Lounge
Pho is popularly known as the ubiquitous Vietnamese soup packed with simple and homey ingredients like meat and scallions. With one sip of its rich broth, you will feel a sort of comfort that cannot be mimicked by any other warm savory dish. To get a taste of this special soup, you can hit up Saigon restaurant and lounge, known to serve Pan-Asian dining at its finest with stunning views of the Nile River.
At this special dining spot, the fan-favorite soup is made with the utmost delicacy wherein a bed of rice noodles topped with thinly sliced beef is cooked in a steaming spiced beef broth. From there, the dish is finished off with an assortment of toppings including fresh herbs like cilantro as well as crunchy bean sprouts and hot chili.
Tagine At Hagoga
Rich, bubbling and hot are the perfect words to describe a tagine, the infamous stew-like dish slow-cooked within the popularly shaped ceramic cone pot. The dish is quite popular in Cairo with many restaurants making unique varieties of tagine with different types of meat, chicken and fish but when it comes to the ultimate spot to hit up for a rich, succulent tagine, Hagogah is the place to go.
Housed within a large open courtyard with large overhanging palm trees and a dome-shaped white entrance, you will feel like you are sitting in a lively Bedouin village. Known for its melt-in-your-mouth beef and heavily-creamed dishes, you should expect a food coma after indulging in your meal. Now when it comes to their tagines, choices are plenty as they having everything from their meat & potato tagine to their stuffed vein leaves & ribs tagine.
Tteokbokki At Kokio
Korean food has been making it big all over Cairo especially at the two ultimate foodie hotspots, Maadi and Zamalek. This type of cuisine is known for intensely flavored, spicy and pungent dishes that immediately have this warming effect on the body coupled with the gratifying gastronomical experience of tasting the food. Their specialty being Korean barbeque, we instead wanted to pick a different type of dish that will warm you up while giving you a unique eating experience in terms of texture and taste.
Tteokbokki is a special street food served all over Korea that is basically a spicy, slightly sweet and chewy rice cake drenched in their famous gochujang sauce made from red chili paste. To try out this unique dish, you can head to Maadi’s Kokio, a tiny restaurant that sits along a hidden street in the Degla area. This Korean spot is actually famous for serving spicy, juicy fried chicken and wings but we’d also highly recommend having their tteokbokki to give you that gratifying dose of warmth during the cold winter.
Feteer At Wael Pie & Pizza
Cheese and pizza lovers rejoice as there is nothing better than biting into a steaming hot Egyptian pie dubbed ‘feteer’ during the chilly winter. These pies are made using a large special oven and are normally served closed like a sandwich rather than the open faced style of a typical pizza. The beauty of an Egyptian feteer is that you can fill it with anything of your choice whether its the popular mixed cheese filling or the pastrami cheese combo for the ones who like that salty kick.
For the ultimate feeter experience, you should head to Nasr City’s Wael Pie & Pizza, one of the most popular spots that makes this savory pie. This tiny open-faced store houses a large display case populated with every kind of filling you’d want for your feteer including everything from Nutella to spicy sausage, corned beef, chicken and the like. Once you’ve made your order, be ready to enjoy that satisfactory cheese pull you’d get from biting into any warm cheesy pie.
So with that, you have your very own curated collection of comfy and warm foods to give you that needed dose of warmth. Let us know if any of your favorites made it to our list.