U Bistro & Bar – A swank bar and lounge with multiple areas delivering different ambiance in each. You enter from the busy 26th July Street in Zamalek into what looks like an apartment building that has seen better days. But just take a walk up the wide winding staircase or a ride up the old-fashioned elevator and you’ll be transported into another world of chic sophistication and trendy elegance. Take a right for the library-themed bar with coves, nooks, and crannies everywhere, or take a left to join other clientele in the world of Cairo’s upper-class cocktail-goers. There’s also an upscale restaurant here too, but we put it under bars because it’s about 70% bar and 30% bistro.

Studio 70 – A smaller but well-designed bar just off the main lobby of the Cairo Sheraton. It’s a great place to go for a drink after a long day or touring if you don’t have access to the executive club lounge (where they have free wine and beer every day for happy hour). Just beware that at night they often play the music way too loud, drowning out not only your conversation partners but often your inner monologue as well.

The Greek Club 

– This is a very local place in downtown Cairo a few blocks off of Tahrir Square. The entrance looks like the entrance to a random run-down apartment building because, well, it is. But on the second floor of this building is a quirky local restaurant and bar with a large outdoor courtyard. This is somewhat of an alternative-y place with a youthful hipster clientele where you might see dreadlocks and tattoos rather than headscarves.

Rawi – The place to be and be seen if you want to submerge yourself in the upper-class Cairo nightlife scene one evening. This nightclub and lounge in the Cairo Sheraton’s north tower can be packed and turning it out on a Tuesday as much as on a Friday night. But when we say night, we mean really late night. It won’t even get going until about 1am, and the performances, including popular Arab singers and excellent belly dancers, get going well after 2am. You need to make a reservation to get in, and they’re strict about this. They’re also strict about the ratio of men to women, so go with a group and keep it 1 to 1. Your spend isn’t as important to this place as keeping up their reputation for a bustling Cairo hotspot filled with Egypt’s rich, famous, and beautiful. But it’s really fun if you play by the rules and plan for a late night.

Fayrouz – This is actually a restaurant in the InterContinental Citystars hotel about 25 minutes east of downtown Cairo, but we put it under bars and nightlife because the only reason you would go here is to see the authentic belly dancing show and traditional Arab band performances that they put on here with dinner. Don’t get us wrong – the Mediterranean food on the menu is also delicious. But you can find that anywhere. Make a reservation here if you want Middle Eastern food with a side of authentic entertainment at the place that locals go when they want to enjoy a night out for belly dancing. You can even spot famous belly dancers in the audience here, so you know it’s the best.