'Tis the season to not sit at home doing nothing - there are so many things happening for Christmas around Cairo so, naturally, we've rounded them all up for you.
Main illustration by Ganna Hashem.
Unless you're choosing to be a decent person and spend time with your family this Christmas - in which case, kudos to you - you probably want to get out and do something since Christmas just so happens to fall on a weekend this year. While we absolutely encourage family time, particularly because it's a breeding ground for hilariously dysfunctional stories, we're also all about going out, having fun, and eating way too much. Here's our roundup of places to do just that this Christmas:
24th of December
Christmas is the time to help others, and what better way to do it than to do it while partying? CJC's Christmas Charity event will allow you to do that while having fun. The Cadillacs are playing and will rock your night!
With a stocking full of joy and festivities, there is no better way to celebrate the joy of Christmas than Onyx Lounge’s Christmas party with your all time favourite Christmas tunes by a live band and the most enticing holiday season's classic cocktails.
"Moon river, wider than a mile..." No? That's okay, Tamer Hegazy and Beirout's, Lana aren't really all about Harrison Craig, anyway. And that isn't quite the Riverside we had in mind.
Growing up there was a cartoon called The Weekenders that was basically all about dorky high school kids and their weekend adventures. Then there's The Weeknd and his kickass songs, but not quite the same as WKND at Gu Bar in its 24th and 25th volumes with Tony and Lyon killing it on Christmas Eve and Nenio making it snow on Christmas Day.
Christmas to the sweet serenades of Ranim at Johnny's? Yes.
We know that Egyptians tend to put their touch on everything, but what happens when Santa meets Egypt? Apparently we're about to find out. Sitara Theatre is putting on a show where Santa's elves go on strike and he has to find a new way of getting toys for Christmas - we hear it involves Osman the Bawaab, so we have no idea what to expect here. The CFCM Santa has a bunch of gifts, though, don't worry - if you bring your CFCM shopping receipts worth 500 LE, your child receives a gift from Santa. However, given that this is an Egyptian Santa, gifts are while supplies last. Woops.
There's nothing better than watching Santa Clause shaking heads alongside mysterious belly dancer for Christmas Eve to Salalem's live music around the Christmas tree. After a steamy dancing session, sneaky Santa's going to be giving around presents for everyone.
Reserve seats immediately for a remarkably amusing Eve by calling 01003398000 within working hours.
DJ Martin looks like a pretty snazzy type of guy - clean-cut, classy, and a little GQ hipster, if that's a thing. That's about all we can say about the guy since we know very little about his musical endeavours, which we'll be sure to check out at Hakamoro so we stop sounding so ignorant and discussing his looks rather than his musical capabilities.
Come one, or come all, or don't come at all, for it would be your great loss to miss out on the epic Christmas Concert thrown by Wadi Sports Camp. Get ready for a warm-up round of live music, Christmas carols, bazaar stalls, and most importantly, yummy delicious food. You'll only be set back 50 LE, and you don't even need to have previously visited WSC camps beforehand.
Leave the kiddies to do some Christmas arts and crafts in Soma Bay so they don't have to think about how Santa doesn't actually exist.
Expect Christmas carols and a Christmas Eve gala dinner at Kempinski Somabay, Westin Somabay, and Sheraton Somabay hotel this Christmas.
Father Christmas is obviously an amazing cook, just look at his kersh. You can learn a thing or two with the man himself at Kempinski Somabay, Westin Somabay, and Sheraton Somabay hotels this Christmas.
If you're in Sokhna for Christmas then good for you. Maybe you can pretend the sand is snow, and the water is wine and the mountains are made out of marshmellows and then you realize you're on LCD and you get scared and don't know what to do but then you find out that Stella is serving a lovely Asian a la carte menu for their New Year gala dinner and everything is suddenly okay with the world again. Then the Brazilian dance show comes on and it all gets a bit weird again.
Egyptians are pretty lucky - their school canteens serve decent food. If you've ever lived outside of Egypt you may have heard of this ridiculous thing called mystery meat served at most school cafeterias. Most of us were glad it was a mystery because we don't know what would've happened to us had we actually found out what we were eating. Hopefully the surprise special Chistmas dish and treats from The Smokery aren't as mysterious as mystery meat.
Katameya Branch number: 01026019175
Gouna Branch number: 01205444490
We've basically concluded that Zitouni is the place to be this Christmas - dressed in our fanciest of pants with the loosest belts we own. Christmas Eve buffet? Yes, please! Roast turkey with all the trimmings? Merry Christmas to us.
Price: 365 LE ++
If you're anything like us, you're always looking for a reason to get fancy and get fat - those are basically the two most awesome parts of any event. So when Bella hosts a Christmas dinner with a six-course menu for 650 LE ++, we're about to put on our fanciest (and loosest) and run right over. The inclusive glass of sparkling wine is a fringe benefit, of course.
'Tis the season to loosen up those belt buckles because things like eight-course menus with sparkling wine at Eight are happening everywhere this season. Frankly, we think it's about time that stores came up with a "festivities" section right next to the "maternity" section.
Price: 888 LE ++
"Vigilia di Natale" has a much better ring to it than "Christmas Eve," but everything is better in Italian, isn't it? Especially food and celebration - the Italians are almost as good as the Egyptians when it comes to those two things. That said, Lucca Restaurant is where it's at for Christmas Eve as they host a special sense-arousing five-course set menu with one glass of local wine and one local beer or non-alcoholic cocktail.
What better way to celebrate Christmas than to dine in a classy place like The State? Enjoy a day with mouthwatering Southeast Asian cusine à la carte from Yana Restaurant, served with the finest ingredients. The delightful atmosphere will make you feel comfortable and relaxed, and if you're lucky, there might be live entertainment.
For more information call +2022399000.
Looking for fine dining with the best quality? Enjoy a classic Friday Christmas Day brunch at Aqua E Luce with live Jazz music at the Fairmont. Their delicious treats will fill you up until you can no longer breathe, and don’t worry, you don’t have to be all fancy shmancy - the dress code is smart casual.
For reservations call: +(202) 2696 0000.
When it comes to classic Italian dining, Leonardo's is the best, especially when it comes to pizza and wine. This Christmas they’re offering a four-course set menu that you won't be able to resist, including beef carpaccio, black truffle risotto, pan seared seabass, and chocolate and panettone mousse.
For more information call +(202) 2696 0000.
There's always that one person who gets us really ugly socks for Christmas. We should have ugly socks parties just to show off those ridiculously useful-but-hideous lazy attempts at a Christmas gift. Imagine if that guy got everyone chocolate for Christmas - best Christmas ever! For now, that guy is going to be Lobby Lounge because their Christmas buffet is going to be full of chocolate. That's right, a chocolate buffet for Christmas for 180 LE ++. Now THAT is a merry Christmas!ii
Christmas falls on a Friday this year so you have no excuse not to go out and see what Cairo looks like during the day instead of hiding like a hermit until nighttime comes. If you don't want to see the outside world, at least go listen to some good Jazz and eat good food while your kids stay entertained (and out of your hair). Sounds like a decent bargain for having to brave the holiday traffic, right?
Brunch for 290 LE ++.
We couldn't quite understand what laundry had to do with cookie jars, Panettone bread, and other such delicious things. Have we been doing laundry all wrong? Have we been mixing a red sock with our white laundry and everything has been coming out like jammies?! Apparently hampers aren't exclusive to laundry, so we've learned. Beymen's Christmas hamper will not include all their dirty dish towels and aprons for 350 LE ++. Promise.
Don't you wish you could be in Lebanon? Ahh, Lebanon - the land of Fairouz and... well... hot chicks and good food. Hey, we're just being honest! Clearly Fayruz thinks we're on to something because they've got an à la carte Lebanese menu, a live band, and a belly dancer for 210 LE ++. They hit the nail right on the head.
Enjoy (or don't) Japanese cuisine and some live music at Shogun. Sho sho sho, Merry Christmas!
Italian dining at Maestro for Christmas? Spaghetti and meat balls for the holy day? Oh Yeah?
320 LE for the full course.
Once upon a time Jesus died so that one day we could all enjoy an a la carte menu at Intercontinental Semiramis along with a live DJ and your very own welcome drink.
Celebrating Christmas eating massive, juicy steaks seems like a pretty badass way to honor the holidays.
250 LE + Taxes + Service or Minimum Charge 280 LE
You know how the Asians celebrate Christmas? With 350 LE minimum charge culinary goodness at L'Asiatique!
Why are Indian's celebrating Chritmas? Why not? Everyone can celebrate Christmas! Yay! Who wants turkey when you can have a chicken butter instead?
200 LE + Taxes + Service
Spend Christmas Eve with Johnny. He is a nice man who likes to hear you sing and then get you really drunk - Just what Christmas is all about!
250 LE + Service & Taxes
Not incuding corkarage.
Piccolooooo! Piccolo-Piccolo-Piccoloooo! We had to. We just had to. Now that we got that out of our system, we're going to go fill up our system at Piccolo Mondo for 250 LE (plus taxes and sevice, of course), accompanied by in-house Christmas music. Hopefully they'll be more musically inclined than our fiasco up there.
Get into the christmas spirit and relish a four-course set menu on Christmas Eve, inspired by all the treasures of Italian cuisine to set the taste buds alive. A light cream of Parmesan cheese soup to begin, grilled Australian beef, followed by mille-feuille with cherries and strawberries. Tayeb weh el Christmas pudding fein ba2a?
Overlooking the lakes and palms of the golf course, Mirage Cafe is the perfect venue to get into the holiday mood. Wait no, what have golf courses and lakes got to do with Christmas? Does it matter? No, of course not, you're already at the buffet.
We've never walked into La Patisserie without ending up glued to their display cases and drooling like savages who'd never seen dessert before. But, come on! Pastries, cakes, gateaux, mille-feuille! *insert Homer Simpson drooling*. Oh well, it's Christmas, that's basically our green light to indulge in all things sweet and fattening. Excuse us...
Celebrate Christmas Eve and Day at the most STUNNING ballroom in Egypt with a dinner for Kings and Queens.
The Kings and Queens of past shall meet the royalty of today at a grand dinner set menu in 1886 Winter Palace.
Aw, how cute is this! Christmas cookies and 'little Santas'!Yakhtchy kameela! ... Sorry, we didn't mean to ruin Christmas for you.
Clearly the West has completely misunderstood what Christmas is all about. It's not about families, gift-giving, acts of love, the birth of Jesus, hot cocoa by the fireplace as it snows outside, or even Santa Claus and Christmas trees. Obviously Christmas is about DJs and belly dancers - duh!
Do you like Pizza? Do you like Pizza with Christmas topping such as lit candles, raindeer meat and candycane? Well we hope not because that sounds horrific and cruel. Anyways Italian restaurant Pepenero will be serving a special set menu for Christmas which will also feature music by Zaco. Zaco? Zaco! You know Zaco...
We're pretty sure that Santa adopted the sleigh concept as based on the Egyptian karetta - true story. Good luck finding parking for your sleigh - err, karetta - but we're sure people will be so befuddled by your means of transportation near the Sofitel that they'll give you all the space in the world. That alone is reason to feast for brunch or dinner - or both - at Le Sud, each for 480 LE.
To reserve, call +(202) 2737 3737.
Baby, it's cold outside! Of course it is, it's Christmas Eve - or, as cold as it gets on Christmas Eve in Cairo, anyway. Keep warm at Windows on the Nile with a glass of champaign and smoked salmon for 140 LE.
To reserve, call +(202) 2737 3737.
25th Of December
"I'm not great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?" Ahh, good old Chandler Bing. We imagine that the Three Wise Men are going about saying, "We're not that great at the advice. Can we interest you in some kickass House music?" Yes, yes you can, guys.
Looking for an extravagant luxurious Christmas night? Brace yourselves for a glamorous night with superstar Haifa Wehbe at the Royal Maxim Kempinski. Other entertainment includes DJunkie and Disco Misr that will keep you dancing all night. That’s not all! Alla Kushnier and Hagag will be performing, as well with more surprises throughout the night. Dress code is black tie, so dress to impress!
For reservations call 01288803861, 01288803967, 01288804260, 01288803847.
Hey you lonely cynic man/woman sitting at home at Christmas thinking your only options are some rubbish Christmas party with 'Live DJ' and 'Set Menu'. You are wrong Sir/Madam. Because THIS is not just Another Christmas Party is at Le Pacha 1901 on the 25th of this month. Open bar all night is supplied by Amici On Wheels; guest list only!
"After the show it's the after-party, and after the party it's the..." Yeah, we'll just stop there. We get a little carried away with our R. Kelly sometimes. As though R. Kelly wasn't a weird enough mention for Christmas, try Nourre fahmy and Kidmims;. No, we don't have a love affair with semicolons to the point where we put one before the period! Okay, we do have a love affair with semicolons, but that's probably why we love that Kidmims; has that random strange semicolon at the end. Whatever, it's just Another After Party at ZigZag. Nourre Fahmy and Kidmims; all you want.
Don't fret, an empty Christmas schedule is nothing to worry about. However, it defies the act 1691 in the Holy book of Party Rocking to stay at home on the most wonderful night of the year. We got you covered, DJ Anastasis Basias is flying in all the way from Greece to rock your Christmas with Hip Hop and RnB Beats. You're welcome.
What does Neon Vibes share with the Joker? They both light up the dark night, (insert laughter here). Grab somebody sexy, and a fruity cocktail, for an upbeat Christmas party rhythms down at Buddha Bar. Snatch up some of their cool neon accessories to guide you through the crowd while DJ Goblin special guests, and Mute opens up. Regular reserved tickets are for 350 LE, if you snooze and get to the door without a ticket, it's 400 LE, and if you consider yourself extra special, opt for the VIP ticket for 500/550 LE.
For more info and reservations, contact 01126190092 or 01007797270.
In case you don't feel like being traditional this Christmas, Dr. K & Nii and Amr Zahrawy are tearing it up at Hakamoro in case you don't quite feel like rocking around the Christmas tree.
Christmas beats usually means Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, or even Jingle Bells. For Cavallini it means Karia, Oxana, and Loupa and Peto. We can live with that.
Celebrate Christmas by getting fat, Italian style. That's the best way to get fat, though, isn't it? Tutti Matti are celebrating their opening ceremony with a Christmas breakfast buffet - yes, a thousand times yes.
If you've been following Amie Sultan's swinging hips from one party to the next, we're not sure who's more tired, you, or her. Apparently she's got the energy to do one more Christmas party with DJ Dido - do you have the energy to follow her for one more night?
We not-so-secretly wish that we could experience this whole white Christmas thing in Cairo, but the closest we came to that was two years ago when we got a taffa of snow in the outskirts of the city and made snow angels instead of our usual dust angels. There's a silver lining, though - we get to look up at the starry skies this Christmas and dance it out to DJ Carlos, DJ Akladios, and Sharm'sOUZO.
Tickets: 200 LE
For more information please call 01000743040 - 01224977460 - 01148494987
Forget getting fat over far too much food, giving gifts that no one cares about, and attending every bazaar and festival around the city - that isn't what Christmas is about, even though that's how we celebrate it around here. Christmas is about a particular message, so obviously The Message Team wouldn't be The Message Team if they didn't have a concert to celebrate the message of Christmas through song with their annual Christmas concert at El Sawy Culture Wheel.
Kazoku, Pikatchu, peek-a-boo, and you know what else rhymes with Kazoku? Christmas. Maybe not, but they're getting you Hesham Blue(s) to do all the rhyming instead, with a live performance to get you a bit warmer in your Christmas stockings.
Brunch and buffet in one sentence gets our senses tingling to an extent. The combination of having a second breakfast, along with no limit should be what Christmas is all about. Share the Christmas spirit with your loved ones by heading down to The Sate's festive brunch and enjoy the live music performances, and the mountains of food. The brunch is for 430 LE ++ with beverages a la carte!
Celebrate the Christmas spirit with a festive day at Lucca Restaurant. With live entertainment, you will enjoy a delicious five-course set menu with seasonal treats, whether it’s with your family or your date. In addition, you can enjoy Tuscan flavours within the picturesque wall painting of Lucca and its pleasurable atmosphere. The price is 580 LE per person and includes one glass of local wine, one local beer or one non-alcoholic cocktail.
For more information call +20223899000
Most people travel during Christmastime, but if you're stuck in 2om el donya for the holiday season you can always pretend to travel by going to Night & Day for international cuisine at their Christmas Brunch for 350 LE. The best part of travelling is the food, anyway.
Christmas to the tunes of the Orient with a Lebanese à la carte menu? TAKE OUR MONEY!
Ready for a meal you won't forget? Birdcage is offering a Thai à la carte menu for Christmas! Chef Narong’s unique dishes will leave you wanting more. The set menus are for 550 LE, inclusive of service charge and taxes.
The Grill’s extraordinary Noël Sur Le Nile gala dinner will give you a fancy shmancy Christmas dinner for a little taste bud awakening, which is what everyone should be doing anyway around this time. Go ahead and embrace the savory dishes while enjoy live piano and flute performances to give your ears a little bit of a go as well. The five-course dinner is for 550 LE without having to worry about splitting up tax and service so you don't have to waste not a single Christmassy moment.
For more information, which we're sure you're most definitely looking for, call 02 27957171.
Eat + Drink = Merry, and that's how your Christmas equation should be looking like. Celebrate the joyous holiday with Cairo's number one jazzy Ahmed Harfoush with a little shimmy shimmy under the jingle bells followed by dinner and drinks.
The kids will love it at Citron as Santa hands out gifts and presents on Christmas Day! Then head for the special buffet to pick out some classic traditional Christmas offerings.
Spend Christmas being all fly like a G6! Wait... Crap... That's Far East Movement not Far East cuisine. Scratch that! Well, this is embarassing... Please save face for us and go to Chinoix for Christmas - they've got spring rolls and hot-and-sour julienne bean curd soup as part of their three-course set menu, complete with dessert. Honestly, that sounds far better than the Far East Movement anyway.
Have a super sexy and or relaxing time this Christmas at Mena House with Grand Deluxe Room package for rates starting 2500 LE including breakfast and afternoon tea for two at 139 Pavilion.
Christmas Day BBQ Lunch for 300 LE per person. It's just like Secret Santa but you know what you're going to get - meat.
Whether it's Christmas or not, a delicious meal with a view of the blue blue Aswan Nile in view is never a bad idea.
If you can't escape Egypt for the holidays, the next best thing you can do is get yourself to Sharm and just own all that is Arab and bedouin and Oriental, especially the food. Do something a little different this year, and it doesn't get much more Arab than Arabesque Four Seasons in Sharm.
You have to have good food for Christmas - you just have to - and no one does it better than the Italians. The Egyptians may come close, but it's not quite the same.
Nothing feels as good as Christmas tastes, honey! This year Christmas tastes like one hell of a lunch buffet at Terrace Café for 296 LE.
Call +(202) 2577 7444 to reserve.
Luxor for Christmas? Look at you.you adventurer! Enjoy Christmas Day lunch at L'Oasis in the glorious Winter Palace.
So Cairene Christmas may not come complete with snow, but The Courtyard is doing you one better and bringing sensational songstress Nelly Cassis instead. Who wants snow anyway; it's so overrated.
Tis the season to feast like you won't have to be wearing a dress on New Year's Eve. And because brunch is so much more cool and hipster than a traditional dinner, The Eatery is hosting a Christmas brunch with open stations of pasta, pizza, sushi, and meat off the grill. Plus, for cheques that are over 500LE, Travco has a special surprise up their sleeve.