El Fishawi has been frequented by artists, musicians, and intellectuals (including Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz), over its 268-years of being in business. For people watching, endless activity and mingling with the locals, this is my absolute most favorite place to be in Cairo.
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, the tea house lies within the Khan El Khalili Market, just a few streets from the Hussein Mosque.
Sitting either inside or outside El Fishawy just screams, “THIS IS CAIRO!”
My driver, Tayson, and I arrived mid-afternoon on a Friday.
Tables and chairs surrounded by gigantic antique mirrors, big fans, all things Egyptian collected over the years, and people that were just hanging out. It was a delightful sensory explosion trying to take it all in.
I was so excited to be there, but I literally had no idea what I was doing so I asked Tyson to handle it.
He ordered us 2 peppermint teas, gum and mint sheesha, and bottled water. This was the best $4.70 I had ever spent in my entire life.
The outside seating is actually in the market.
Dozens of mirrors inside and out make this place seem infinite.
Inside are more mirrors and Egyptian relics of the past and present.
Taysen told the owner I was visiting from Texas and he took us in the back and kindly showed us a back room off limits to the public where his family had collected memorabilia, including this picture of Morgan Freemen and a throne of the King of Egypt.
I absolutely adored this young girl. She gave me a simple yet beautiful henna bracelet. The cost was less than $3. I gave her a $10 USD and she was so very Happy, I almost cried.
The chairs are old, wobbly, and not the most comfortable. I thought they were absolutely perfect.
Mirrors, fans, tea, sheesha, chandeliers, alligators on the wall and hanging with the locals. I was blissfully happy.
So many interesting people.
Anyone you ask knows where this place is, so don’t worry about getting lost or not finding it.
My view for about 2 hours.
An old door off limits to the public.