Despite the fact that Cairo is one of the world’s oldest cities, finding Cairo’s oldest pubs and bars is a somewhat difficult task. Indeed, you really have to know your way around Cairo. So, guess what? We have decided to do the research for you, and we have compiled a list of Cairo’s oldest, and best, pubs and bars.

1) Pub 28


Established in 1974, and located in Zamalek, Pub 28 not only offers drinks, it also offers “pub food” with an Egyptian twist. The dimly lit ambiance, and the 80’s music playing in the background, make for an ideally nostalgic atmosphere.


2) Cairo Cellar

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Staying true to its name, this pub does gives off that “cellar” vibe, with all its dark ambiance glory. That being said, this pub strikes a resemblance to English pubs, largely due to its dark wooden panels, its furniture, and its dimmed lighting. Even though it has been around since 1978, the pub’s playlist is always updated with the latest hits. So, if you like the sound of now, but you enjoy the looks of yesterday, Cairo Cellar should be your go-to pub.


3) Estoril

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This downtown bar attracts a diverse crowd of Egyptian thinkers, drinkers, and foodies. The bar serves Kebda sandwiches and Fatta dishes, alongside a selection of beer & alcohol. Estoril has been around since the 60’s. While you might have a hard time finding it, the ambiance, the food, and the drinks are so incredibly rewarding.


4) Windsor


This bar and restaurant is literally a relic of the past. It has been around since the era of British colonialism. Windsor was the go-to bar for British officers. With its wooden floors, antique furniture, and picturesque tables, you should not expect anything less than royal treatment (for a reasonable price). 


5) Don Quichotte


This family-run bar has been around since 1978. While the bar initially sought to brand itself as both a  restaurant and bar, given the evolving needs of Cairenes, this place is now more of a bar than it is a restaurant. Needn’t say, the quality of drinks and food offered have stayed the same. The bar’s interior drips in wooden panels, and stunning paintings.


6) El-Horreya Café


This is perhaps one of the most renowned bars in Cairo. Dating back to the 70’s/80’s, the bar’s main attraction is its seating area (modelled after the seating area one would typically find in a “Qahwa Balady”). Although it has lately underwent some renovations, it has largely maintained the looks of a Qahwa. Also, the prices of its drinks come around very cheaply; however, if you don’t like large crowds, avoid this place on Thursday nights.


We have to say that we are just in love with these places. Specifically, we are in love with their vintage 70’s/80’s/60’s decorations, with the smell of their polished wood, with the carvings in the furniture, with the relics of the past hung on walls as paintings, with the creaking wooden floors, with the sculptures, with the dial telephones and with so much more!

By Adel M. Fakhry

Cover by Downtown Cairo