Cilantro (previously the Metropolitan Cafe)
The Metropolitan cafe, part of the Edris Group, has been on this site beside the Nile, on the lower Corniche opposite the northern end of Luxor Temple, for a long while. In the spring of 2031 the cafe was reincarnated as Cilantro.
Cilantro is a sort of Egyptian Starbucks. The company opened its first coffee shop in Cairo in 2000 and now has around 50 outlets. Most are in Cairo, but there are an increasing number elsewhere in and around Egypt and even one in London.
As the Metropolitan, this cafe used to have more of a street cafe feel. It does still have some tables in small clusters either side of the pathway but much of the seating closest to the Nile is now under a shelter. In common with the other restaurants and cafés along this stretch of the lower Corniche, there is a superb view of the Nile.
As the Metropolitan, the food was OK for an outdoor cafe but not particularly good and expensive for what it was. Cilantro has a rather good reputation for the quality of its food and drinks - mostly but not exclusively coffees - but we have not had the opportunity to visit a sufficient number of times to form a view that we are ready to share.
Nevertheless, if you just want a drink or very light snack, or if you are in the Luxor temple area of the Corniche and don't want to walk further south or away from the Nile, then be aware that well-reputed Cilantro is now here and could well be worth a try.
Review updated April 2013