Dinning out in Cairo can be a very difficult experience, unless you are willing to splash the cash. Without a Lonely Planet or Rough Guide in our possession, we ventured out on several occasions to find places to eat and were relatively unsuccessful in our quest. Most of the food outlets in Cairo are of the food stall/hole in the wall variety with descriptions and prices in Arabic and the locals in a scrum around the counter.
Finding restaurants with the ability to sit down and eat vegetarian was a fruitless task; the three or four restaurants we did find were either empty (not a good sign) and/or had a limited (and Arabic) menu. The few exceptions to this were the plethora of eating establishments within the Hilton, Sheraton, and other major hotel complexes. These were invariable expensive and very la-di-da for the average traveller (i.e. us), but right up your street if you’re on a two-week holiday.
The saving grace was the venerable Golden Arches and The Colonel. These were found close to each other along and just off Talat Harb street. They represented very good value and at a standard that is the same all around the world. A Big Mac meal was around 12 EGP, with KFC being slightly more expensive and far far busier. McDonald’s is the place if you wanted to just chill out with a shake or cup of tea (McDonald’s was the cheapest tea we found in Cairo).