History in a Cup: The Oldest Cafés in Egypt

Out of all of the countries in the Middle East, Egypt is known as being one of the most historically famous. However, historical sites in Egypt go beyond the pyramids or the sphinx: something as simple as a café or coffee shop can be filled with a rich history. If grabbing a cup of coffee from a museum in disguise peaks your interest, be sure to check out the oldest cafés in Egypt.

El Fishawy Café

The government of Egypt has officially recognized El Fishawy Café in Cairo as one of the oldest cafés in Egypt. It has reportedly hosted kings, princes, artists and everyone in between since it was founded around 1790 CE.

And as you take in the artistry of the building, the shisha smoke in the air and the historical paintings/pictures hanging on the walls, you can really appreciate that you’re dining in a café of historical and cultural significance.

Cap D’or (Sheikh Ali)

History in a Cup: The Oldest Cafes in Egypt
Cap D’or (Sheikh ‘Ali) café in Egypt. (Photo from traveladvisor.com)

Cap D’or also known locally as Sheikh Ali is one of the oldest cafés in Egypt residing in one of the oldest cities (Alexandria). It was founded over one hundred years ago and it still stands today.

Cap D’or also duals as a bar on top of its café status, so whether you’re looking for beers or coffee with your history, Cap D’or in the heart of Alexandria is the place to go.

Café Riche

Up next on this list of the oldest cafés in Egypt is Café Riche which opened its doors around 1900 CE in downtown Cairo.

As far as historical cafés go this one has certainly seen its fair share of history.

It is supposedly where King Farouk met his second wife, where a failed assassination of Egypt Coptic Prime Minister Youssef Wahba took place, and where revolutionaries met to print flyers and organize plans.

Ali El Hendy

Ali El Hendy, one of the oldest cafés in Egypt, is similar to Cap D’or in the sense that it’s located in Alexandria and packed with history.

It was founded around 1882 between Greek Maria Khritiobas and Egyptian Ali El Hendy. El Hendy later took over the café, running it solo for years and eventually using the café as a hideout for people during World War I.

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