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NileGuide Expert Says:
Meeting point for Cairo's wannabe artists and writers. The high ceilings and walls lined with (now cracked) mirrors still evoke the original 1930s atmosphere.
Al Balaqsah, Abdin, Egypt
NileGuide Expert tip:
Try to make friends with the serving staff at Horeya, and they will do their best to find you a seat somewhere amongst the pandemonium
Horeya is without a doubt one of the coolest bars in Downtown Cairo
. It is not, however, somewhere you come for a quiet drink in nice surroundings! It's essentially an old coffee shop that also serves Stella beer. It has high ceilings, vomit yellow walls and pillars, and a dirty grey stone floor that is littered with fag butts and bean casings the same colour as the walls.
Horeya is crammed full of Stella-sponsored tables and rickety wooden chairs, and patrolled by a handful of serving staff who almost aggressively thrust bottle after bottle of Stella at you. These bottle stay on the table, and are used to calculate your tab when you finally stagger out.
The best thing about Horeya is the clientele: you literally rub shoulders with Egyptians from all walks of life, expats, the occasional tourist, and lots of earnest students from the American University in Cairo practising their Arabic. Even if there were music, you wouldn't be able to hear it over the chaotic hubbub of conversation. Talking to random punters is compulsory!
The most bizarre part of Horeya is that in the corner, separated from the beer drinkers by an imaginary force-field, are groups of old men drinking Turkish coffee and playing chess. It's entirely typical of Horeya that they even manage to do this boisterously!