This is a guest post by Jamie Gibbs.
The amazing culture and history aside, one of the highlights of spending time working in Luxor was the variety of rich food that was available if you knew where to look.
Our group had breakfast delivered to our dig site every morning (having falafel sandwiches for breakfast was definitely worth getting up at 5 o clock in the morning, they were that good), so we had to wait until the cooler evenings to venture out and explore the city in search of new food experiences. Here are five of the best restaurants on either side of the Nile.
This place kicked off my near-obsession with aubergine. The Africa is a rooftop terrace restaurant that you can see almost immediately as you get off the ferry on the West Bank, which offers a pretty good view of the Nile.
The set price menu is highly recommended – you pick your main dish (I went for the shawarma lamb kebab) and then you have a near unlimited supply of salad, houmous, pitta bread, ful beans and, best of all, deep-fried aubergine. I polished off at least a full plate’s worth on my own. This restaurant caters mainly for groups, but it offers you a true taste of local cuisine.
Located just behind Luxor Temple, Sinbad’s is an open air restaurant that lets you cool down in the shade, which becomes especially useful in the middle of August when the sun is anything but your friend.
The peppered steak here is one of the best things on the menu, and everything is reasonably priced. Be warned that there are a number of cats that wander about the area and will very likely beg for food, but they’re little more than a pleasant distraction. Make sure you visit after sundown for a view of Luxor Temple all lit up while you eat.
Esquire Restaurant (Pub 2000)
This one is a little out-of-the-way, but a perfect reason to get away from the throngs of tourists and street vendors for an hour or so. The hospitality is second to none and it has the feel of an English country pub, despite the 40 degree heat outside. This is where you go for a little taste of home.
The egg and chips were so good that for the rest of the trip our group measured how good something was by how many ‘egg and chips’ it was worth. If that’s not enough to sway you, they even do traditional Sunday roasts and a pub quiz.
This is the place to go if you’re really hungry or are celebrating a special event. The dishes here can be rather pricey, but you tend to get your money’s worth. We went there for a friend’s birthday and they presented us with an enormous half chocolate, half fruit cake.
The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful and you can take a break from the hustle of the Savoy tourist market near to where the restaurant is situated.
The King’s Head
This definitely wins the award for one of the most interesting restaurants I visited. The main ‘pub sign’ of the restaurant is a portrait of Henry VIII with ancient Egyptian regalia and the head of an Egyptian pharaoh.
You can find The King’s Head towards the southern end of Luxor near the luxury hotels on the East Bank. What you get here is a clash of local Egyptian and British influences, and this is reflected as much in the food as it is in the decor.
If you’re feeling adventurous, pay a visit to the McDonald’s near Luxor Temple. Their kofta McArabia is surprisingly good considering it’s in a fast food chain.
Have you been to Luxor? What were your favourite restaurants?
Photo Credit: Bryan_T