Aswan Restaurants and Dining

(Aswan, Egypt)

Nile view taken from riverfront eateryThose dining out in Aswan will find a good choice of restaurants, both Egyptian and slightly more international, with a number being clustered around the Corniche el-Nile, the Midan al-Mahatta, the Sharia Abtal at-Tahrir and the Sharia as-Souq. There are no American fast-food restaurants to be found in Aswan, which for many visitors, is actually quite refreshing and makes the whole Egyptian experience all the more real and authentic.

The most popular restaurants tend to be known more for their views of the River Nile than their actual food. Most serve national dishes, which often feature garlic, onion, coriander and aubergines, served with Egyptian bread (similar to pitta bread).

Bowls of lentil soup, Egyptian kebabs (skewered meat grilled on charcoal) and similar koftas (tasty meatballs) are always popular, as are green peppers and other vegetables, stuffed with spicy rice. And of course, being so close to Lake Nasser, you can expect plenty of freshly caught fish, often simply skewered and grilled.

Picture of al fresco dining at the Cataract Hotel

Where to Eat

Do bear in mind that all food served in restaurants should be hot, and avoid anything that may have been washed in Egyptian tap water, such as salads as fruit, to reduce the possibility of sickness and diarrhoea. If you eat sensibly, this is fairly simple to avoid.

Also note that during the month of Ramadan, food can become somewhat scarce during the day, although as nighttime approaches, restaurants offer nothing short of a banquet and the atmosphere as local Egyptians feast is quite memorable.

Central imageSome hotels in Aswan are home to noteworthy restaurants, where non-guest can enjoy a good standard of dining. The centrally located Isis Corniche is one such hotel which comes complete with a popular Italian-influenced restaurant, enjoying an enviable position adjacent to the River Nile, on the Corniche El Nile.

Other notable restaurants include the waterfront Aswan Panorama, which boasts strong Nubian flavours and very affordable, sophisticated Arabic dishes, washed down wither either bishareen or bedouin coffee. Alternatively, tourists tend to recommend the Aswan Moon, a floating restaurant located on the River Nile itself, while for more dining in more upscale surroundings, consider a meal on the terrace at the Old Cataract Hotel, where you can enjoy the views of the felucca boats sailing by, as perhaps Agatha Christie once did when she stayed and dined here.