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Abou Tarek, Cairo

16 Shamplion Street
Tel: 20 2 577 5935's insider take:

Despite the incursion of McDonald's and Pizza Hut, the most popular fast food in Egypt remains koshari, a delicious, hot, filling salad of short-grained rice, brown lentils, and stewed chickpeas topped with fried onions and either lemony garlic sauce or tomato and chile sauce. Abou Tarek, who started out as a pushcart street-food vendor in 1950, is famous across the city as the king of koshari. His modern and hygienic three-story restaurant, an easy walk from the Egyptian Museum, serves nothing else except for a pistachio-infused rice pudding. A small portion of koshari will feed two people for about 40 cents.

Open daily, from 7 am to 12 am.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.