El Fishawi – Cairo, Egypt

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.

IMG_4518The outside seating is actually in the market.

IMG_4523Dozens of mirrors inside and out make this place seem infinite.


Inside are more mirrors and Egyptian relics of the past and present.

IMG_4359Taysen 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.

IMG_4358I 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.

IMG_4340The chairs are old, wobbly, and not the most comfortable.  I thought they were absolutely perfect.

IMG_4339Mirrors, fans, tea, sheesha, chandeliers, alligators on the wall and hanging with the locals.  I was blissfully happy.

IMG_4345So many interesting people.

IMG_4346Anyone you ask knows where this place is, so don’t worry about getting lost or not finding it.

IMG_4354My view for about 2 hours.

IMG_4365An old door off limits to the public.

Address: El-Gamaleya

Qism El-Gamaleya

Cairo Governorate


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