Open for more than 250 years, El Fishawy is a must go to cafe in Khan El-Khalili. It has a rich history for being popular among the Egyptian elite and most notably for being a hang out spot of Nobel laureate, Naguib Mahfouz.
Khan El-Khalili can be a very confusing and easy place to get lost. To find El Fishawy you could pretty much ask anyone to point out the way. But if you are anything like me and feel determined to find it on your own, make your way to the Al-Hussein Mosque and you can’t miss it. It is a very charming little cafe with outdoor seating, old wooden benches, elegant chandeliers and even a decorative crocodile. It is small and crowded at peak hours but is lively and there are always a great mix of Cairo locals and tourists from around the world.
The service leaves a bit to be desired, but as long as you aren’t in any hurry, you can relax and take in the sights while you wait. You can order a variety of beverages (they don’t serve food) that range from juice, my favorite is the mango, to hibiscus tea and the ever popular mint tea. You can also smoke shisha, which I highly recommend. The cafe, despite its fame, continues to be affordable and if you can read Arabic, prices are listed inside.
The only downfall to El Fishaway is the constant hassling from peddlers selling their goods. It can be annoying but generally a “no thank you” or “shukran” (thank you in Arabic) will send them on their way. It is an excellent place to rest your weary feet after spending the whole day shopping in Khan El-Khalili.