Tucked away in a narrow street off Zamalek’s 26th of July Street, Barista café is not easy to find, but its deliciously invigorating coffee makes it well worth the search.
Once inside the café, and past the obvious parking hassle, Barista doesn’t seem like much at first with only a couple of high chairs squeezed together on each end. There’s a glimpse of hope in the form of a narrow staircase that promises perhaps a bit more room on the second floor. While there isn’t that much space, there are comfortable couches in the cozy atmosphere.
The four-month-old café, a franchise of an international coffeehouse chain based in Italy, is the newest addition to the growing number of 24-hour, wifi-equipped cafés in Cairo. It doesn’t offer anything that different other than a quieter, more relaxed environment, partly due to the majority of customers being foreigners – but who’s stereotyping?
Sameh William, the owner of Barista, takes credit for creating his own version of the international chain here in Cairo by changing the logo, adding new items to the menu and creating new recipes.
One thing that needs no change at Barista is their selection of coffee drinks, which verifies the café’s name. Prices range from LE 5.50 for an espresso to LE 8 for a latte; there is also a choice of iced coffee drinks for around LE 9.
Not in the mood for coffee? Barista also offers an assortment of other drinks, from the average variety of juices to a more adventurous selection of cocktails such as Pina Colada or Oreo Shake.
The food seems less appetizing than the drinks. A light snack won’t rock your world, but it will abate your hunger and serve as a side order to your drink. You can choose from a selection of sandwiches (with an average price of LE 11), pasta (averaging LE 15), croissants, and salads.
The dessert menu is more promising: ice-cream brownies (LE 10), mousse tarts, tiramisus (LE 14), and other sweet delights.
Currently in the works is a separate breakfast menu, which will be served from 7-9:30 am, with a selection of omelets and other breakfast specials. William added that he is constantly upgrading the menu based on customers’ comments.
Expect to see more of Barista around Cairo, with branches set to open in Maadi and Heliopolis this summer.26 Yehya Ibrahim St, Zamalek, CairoTel: (02) 2736 3386