Ten places to brunch, lunch or dessert at for Easter and Sham El Nessim long weekend

Dina Ezzat , Saturday 30 Apr 2016

Dina Ezzat recommends some of the best restaurants and cafes in Cairo, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, as well as Port Said, for the Easter and Sham El Nessim long weekend


Cake Café

The ‘original’ venue of this very popular breakfast brunch and cake place, that is still the most attractive to mainland Cairo, is the tiny and intimate place in Zamalek, off ElGazira Street.The light breakfast of yogurt and granola and a cup of Illy cappuccino at a little after 8 am is always a delight. Equally enjoyable is a slice of freshly baked lemon tart or diet pistachio-base tart or of course the ultimate red velvet cake, making it known for its delicious servings.

Cake Cafe
(Photo: Courtesy of Cake Cafe Facebook)

The nice and generally light sandwiches and incredibly inviting variety of cup cakes that are baked to perfection is also another reason to venture into Cake Café. And, contrary to the common assumption, Cake Café does serve ice cream.

It remains an inevitable attraction at Ramlah Square in Alexandria. And no matter the elements, this Greek tearoom still has the power to gracefully impress.
Delices is the place to get a nice selection of chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs and also the traditional Sham El Nessim cake decorated with the typical boiled and coloured eggs.

(Photo: Courtesy of Delices Facebook page)

It is also the place to enjoy a nice dessert – ranging from the Greek recipe for sweet goulash to the Italian soda and the very en vogue macarons.
The old fashion interior and the incredible terrace with the perfect view over the Ramlah Square and the sea are bound to be busy with Alexandrians and visitors who return to the beauty of the coastal Mediterranean city.

Since it opened its first place in Port Said a few decades ago, ElBorg established itself as the place to go for traditional fish meals just as for innovative fish recipes – all observing the essential elements of the Port-Saidi way of doing fish.
In Cairo there are two venues to go for ElBorg experience: Nasr City, off Tayran Road, and Fifth District, at the Qattamiyah Plaza Mall.

(Photo: Courtesy of ElBorg Restaurants For Sea Food Facebook page)

The herring salad, the shrimps and the fried vegetable rice could suffice for a delicious meal but of course they are usually just three items on a large feast of fresh sea food and appetizing salads and starters.

Fresca Café and Gelateria
At a terrace just off the Four Seasons hotel at the heart of Alexandria – with ample view of the sea and access to the perfect May sun there is room for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But regular Fresca goers would argue that this is a place where a perfectly seasoned Caprese salad and sea food pizza are not to be missed.

(Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Alexandria at San Stefano Facebook page)

Fresca is one of the very few places where you can be assured about the quality of your Tiramisu and your vanilla crème brulee; but then again is it is one of the very few places where you can trust that home made ice cream selection is not just about a large pack of super market ice cream.
And of course it is the place where the perfect Italian espresso is as good as the no sugar Turkish coffee.

Of its many venues, the Heliopolis branch of Paul is for sure one of the most popular – both for its lovely location on Baghdad Street just as for the diversity and the quality of the food and beverages it offers in style.

(Photo: Courtesy of Paul Arabia Facebook page)

Le petit dejune complet, with fresh orange juice, café crème, baguette, strawberry and apricot jams, croissant and omelette is delicious every step of the way. But so are the quiches, crepes and gratins.
A combination of a salade crabe et saumon or a salade fermiere followed by an éclair or a millefuille is always a recommended experience even by those who find the Cairo service as failing to match the one you get in Paris.

It is about as Egyptian as the international version of the Chinese cuisine goes. This is perhaps why the Peking restaurants all around are so popular that one does need to make an in advance reservation before heading for the spring rolls, the crisp Shandong, spicy chicken Kun Pao, duck with pineapple and soya, prawns with mixed shiitake and mushrooms in oyster sauce and glass noodles with vegetables.

(Photo: Courtesy of Peking Restaurants Facebook Page)

And no matter how bust the restaurant is on a weekend or a holiday, the chefs seem always capable to serve a delicious candied banana for dessert.

Ocean Basket
For those who make sure to hit Marina for the Sham El Nessim Monday just as for those who stick to their neighbourhood and pursue a nice lunch out, Ocean Basket is a place worth inspecting.
Like other modern fish places in Egypt, Ocean Basket is venturing with a relatively satisfactory Sushi Bar. It is also observing the Egyptian style of serving fish and other seafood favourites, especially the shrimps, both grilled and fried by the kilo. However, the Ocean Basket perfect choice is their platters – that are designed to be served for one person or to share – and that assemble fish, shrimps and calamari, with a bit of salad, vegetables, French fries or rice.

Ocean Basket
(Photo: Courtesy of Ocean Basket Facebook page)

The grilled tuna fish and Salmon are worth trying. And although most mussels lovers would argue that if you are not by the sea it might not be so fresh, the nice terrace of Ocean Basket overlooking Mergahni Street in Heliopolis could offer a pleasant surprise.

It sounds so German and it does offer a good enough taste of the Bavarian cuisine – at least when it comes to its specialty: chicken.
Whether on Street 9 in Maadi, Twin Plaza at New Cairo or at Hegaz Square at Heliopolis, there is a reason to try a Kartofeel salad and a schintzel – essentially chicken pane.

(Photo: Courtesy of WienerWald Facebook page)

WienerWald offers family meals, XL family meals and the XXL family meal – and it is all about a fresh and tender roasted chicken served with fries and appetizers. And if it promises to bring a taste of the Bavarian cuisine then it offers a reasonably good apple strudel too.

If you yearn for the Montazah days or for the walks by the Stanly Corniche then Zanilli’s is perhaps your right destination.
A café and a restaurant, Zanilli’s is exactly the place to go for Pasta with salmon or chicken and white sauce followed by an ice cream and coffee.

(Photo: Courtesy of Zanilli's Facebook page)

They are promising a special Sham El Nessim menu with the typical pickled fish items – and that too should be followed by ice cream either at Zanilli’s or at the ultimate ice cream destination in Alexandria: Gelateria Azza.

The fast food has a grills face to it – this is at least what 3ALFA7M is about.
It is not offering only the Shawrma and Kofta sandwiches – although those are good enough. It is also offering the otherwise more traditional Kebab and Kofta varieties, along side with the traditional Egyptian salads and starters including its popular rice-stuffed sausages.

(Photo: Courtesy of 3ALFA7M Facebook page)

The grilled kofta – Egyptian, Iranian (which is not so very Iranian but close enough) and chicken kofta – could perhaps vouch for being the number one item on the lengthy meal of this grills restaurant that is open both in Rehab, Fifth District and that has a delivery bar at Heliopolis.
As of Easter Sunday, 3ALFA7M should be opening in Marina, as they promised.



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