Africa,  Destinations,  Egypt,  Vegan Travel

10 Best Vegan Restaurants in Cairo, Egypt

Last Updated on July 23, 2022 by Lina

This is a guest post written by Miriam from Miro from Cairo.
She’s a family travel blogger and mostly writes about adventures in Egypt and the Middle East. You can read more about her adventures on her blog or FB page.

Cairo, the capital city of Egypt and a must on every Egypt itinerary, is home to 22 million people, making it one of the most populated cities in Africa and the Middle East. As a native Cairene and foodie, I have visited tons of vegan restaurants in Cairo and like you, I am always on the lookout for good vegan options.

(This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a certain percentage of a sale if you purchase after clicking.)

About Egyptian Cuisine

Egyptian cuisine is a melange of cultures and civilizations with influences from Turkey, Italy, Greece, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. Egyptian flatbread (known in the West as pita bread) is eaten at almost every meal, and we also eat rice, pasta, and potatoes.

Veganism is not well-known in Egypt yet but we do eat a lot of plant-based proteins such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas. We tend to eat fruits and vegetables in season and we are proud growers and exporters of tomatoes, oranges, and grapes.

vegan restaurants in Cairo
Nile River in Cairo

Vegan Egyptian Food

A lot of traditional Egyptian recipes are actually vegan and some of them even date to ancient Egyptian times! Coptic Christians are a religious and ethnic minority in Egypt and some of them go on vegan fasts during Advent, Lent, and other religious occasions. “Seyami” is an Arabic word used by the Coptic Christian community to describe food that they can eat during their vegan fasts that are meat-free and dairy-free.

So, if you are in a hotel or restaurant and want them to know that you are vegan, you can just ask your waiter to tell you what “seyami” options they have on the menu. And to make things even easier for you when you visit, here are some vegan restaurants in Cairo that I have personally tried.

Vegan Restaurants in Cairo Serving Egyptian Cuisine

Abu Tarek Koshary

Price range: $
Location(s): The main branch is in downtown Cairo near Tahrir Square and the Egyptian Museum for Antiquities but it also opened new branches in Nasr City and New Cairo.

This Egyptian restaurant started from modest beginnings and has now become a heaven for “koshari” lovers. “Koshari” is an Egyptian street food made of rice, pasta, brown lentils, and chickpeas, and topped with tomato sauce, vinegar dressing and caramelized onions.

You can also add hot sauce to your liking and a squeeze of lemon juice. After a plate or two and if you don’t mind a little dairy, you can try some of their traditional Egyptian desserts such as sweet rice pudding which uses rice, milk, cream, coconut, and nuts, or “muhalebeyya” – a pudding made of milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and corn-starch.

vegan restaurants in Cairo
Koshari

Arabiata

Price range: $$
Location(s): The first two branches are in Helipolis in Korba and Roxy. There are other thriving branches in Nasr City, Shoubra, New Cairo, Shorouk, Obour and Dokki. There is even one inside Cairo International Airport!

Known to many Egyptians by its original name; El Shabrawy, this Egyptian fast-food chain was established in 1948. At Arabiata, they serve vegan “ful” with olive oil or linseed oil, and vegan toppings such as chickpeas or eggplants and side dishes such as fried eggplants and breaded cauliflower. However, their flagship dishes are the falafel ones which in Egypt we call “taamiya”.

In Lebanon and Syria, falafel is made from chickpeas, however, in Egypt we make them from fava beans. If you love spicy food, then you have to try their stuffed “taameya” known on the menu as spicy falafel.

Zooba

Price range: $$$
Location(s): Zooba is a Cairo-based chain with branches in Nasr City, Heliopolis, Rehab, Zamalek, Maadi, New Cairo, and Sheikh Zayed. They recently launched a branch in New York too! The one I usually visit or order from is in City Stars Mall in Nasr City.

The founders of Zooba took Egyptian street food to the next level. They use homegrown and organic ingredients as much as possible. We have tried most of the items on their color-coded menu. But our favorite has to be the “ful” or fava beans – an Egyptian staple whatever your dietary preferences are!

Fava beans are soaked overnight and then cooked in a pressure or slow cooker with lentils, tomatoes, turmeric, and baking soda. My husband loves his “ful” dish with pickled lemons while I love the version with “tahini”.

Vegan Restaurants in Cairo Serving Middle Eastern Cuisine

Beit Ward

Price range: $$$
Location(s): This restaurant currently has branches in Dokki, Zamalek, Helipolis and New Cairo.

If you are a fan of Lebanese cuisine like me, you will know that it is a vegan paradise! Beit Ward serves a huge bowl of “fattoush” salad enough for 4 people, with lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, pomegranate seeds, toasted bread, and that magical dressing of olive oil, sumac, lemon juice, garlic, mint and pomegranate molasses.

They have other vegan salads, pastries, and main dishes, and all of it is served with freshly baked Lebanese bread.

vegan restaurants in Cairo
Eggplant Fattah

Bab Tooma

Price range: $$$
Location(s): This is the only branch and it is in New Cairo.

This restaurant was established in 2013 by Syrian refugees and has been a huge hit with its delightful cuisine and attentive staff. The name is a nod to a historical district in Damascus, Syria and one of seven ancient gates around the old city. Their spinach “safiha” is a must-try as well as their Syrian falafel.

Vegan Restaurants Serving International Cuisine

Ovio

Price range: $$$
Location(s): I have been to the branches in Maadi, Waterway New Cairo, and Cairo Festival City Mall and they also have a branch in Sheikh Zayed.

Ovio is a recent establishment in Cairo and offers some vegetarian and vegan items on its menu for breakfast and lunch inspired by the European kitchen. If you don’t mind a little sprinkle of feta cheese, I would recommend their toast with avocado or olives. Make sure to try their beetroot detox drink or their mint lemonade!

Le Chantilly

Price range: $$$
Location(s): The restaurant is in an area of Heliopolis called El Korba, a shopping district with beautiful architecture and history.

This quaint restaurant is part of a chain of Swiss restaurants in Egypt that opened in the 1970s and is very nostalgic for locals. They serve Egyptian and European style breakfast and lunch and they also have a bakery where you can get bread and pastries, as well as “seyami” cakes.

At Le Chantilly, you must try the “molokheya fattah” which has layers of bread and rice served with “molokheya” soup – a dish that dates back to Pharaonic Egypt!

vegan restaurants in Cairo
Inside Le Chantilly

Armando

Price range: $$
Location(s): The branch I frequent a lot is in Heliopolis but there are other branches too.

Armando is a relaxed and family-friendly restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. In addition to its regular menu for breakfast and dinner, it also has a “seyami” menu which is used to describe vegetarian and vegan food. Sure, you can go for safe options such as onion rings, pasta, or fajitas, but if I were you, I would try their lentils “fattah” which is made of fried bread topped with lentil soup and caramelized onions.

Vegan Restaurants in Cairo Serving Asian Cuisine

Peking

Price range: $$$
Location(s): Peking has lots of branches throughout Cairo in Heliopolis, Zamalek, Maadi, Sheikh Zayed, Mohandiseen, Nasr City, and New Cairo.

Peking is the restaurant that probably introduced Egyptians to Chinese cuisine 50 years ago! So if you find yourself craving some mixed vegetables with mushrooms or vegetable glass noodles you can trust the quality of Peking.

Indira

Price range: $$$
Location(s): This restaurant is located inside the Holiday Inn City Stars hotel in Nasr City.

Another favorite restaurant of mine when I am too bored to cook and want wholesome vegan food is an Indian restaurant called Indira. You must try their vegetable samosa filled with potatoes, peas, and chilies. Their vegetarian and vegan curries are just delicious whether the vegetable korma or the okra-based bhindi masala. They even have a kids’ menu.

Vegan Takeout in Cairo

Most if not all of the above restaurants offer takeout and delivery. If you are staying in a hotel apartment and want to prepare some vegan recipes or if you want to grab some vegan snacks before your road trip, then check out these highly recommended, Cairo-based vegan businesses:

Seasalt Bakery and Cafe: This bakery was founded by a certified gluten-free baker called Passand El Hammami. It has lots of yummy cakes, muffins, and breads that are gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free. The café in Zamalek serves coffee and breakfast.

Kaju: This place specializes in raw vegan desserts, dairy-free cheeses, and vegan comfort food. You have to try their “halawa” and pistachio dessert balls and their vegan mango ice cream!

Sincerely V: This business was started by a Russian lady called Victoria who lives in Cairo with her family. She is a certified plant-based nutritionist and health coach. Don’t forget to try her lentil soup and her aubergine stew.

So, if you happen to pass through my hometown, there is no need to worry about finding vegan restaurants in Cairo!


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Do you want to travel like me?
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Flights: I prefer using CheapOair or Skyscanner to book flights. The destination everywhere feature is perfect for finding some cheap deals!

Accommodation: Booking.com is my favorite site to find some great hotel deals. I do love staying at a local place as well, thus I book an Airbnb every now and then.

Travel Insurance: There are many reasons why travel insurance is important and I never travel without having one. I use the simple and flexible one from World Nomads to be protected against unforeseen events.

Tours: I love taking tours to explore destinations like a local. My favorite website to book them in advance is GetYourGuide.

Camera Gear: I use a Nikon D5300 camera with an 18-105 mm and a 10-20 mm wide-angle lens to take my photos.   

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