Since its founding, the Baking & Confectionery category has been possibly the most fiercely contested in the Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards. That in itself is no surprise; we're a nation that loves sweets and desserts and the number of bakeries, confectioneries, patisseries and dessert shops increase by the year.
With this year's winners, though, we have selected the venues that have not only maintained a consistency in the quality of its foods, but also a consistency in a gastronomic field that relies just as much on creativity that captures the imagination of Cairo's collective sweet-tooth.
Emerging as a perfect dessert-and-hot-drink-hangout in Cairo, Brew & Chew stands as one of the best venues among a very good few at the Courtyard in Maadi, thanks to some inspired foods and a generally great place to enjoy both sweet and savoury nibbles, while maintaining a playfulness and a good level of service.
"Efficient service, classy design and lip-smacking desserts - what more can you ask for?" was what one Cairo 360 reviewer said of Coppermelt – a statement that sums the chic New Cairo patisserie up to a tee. Despite facing plenty of competition in and around its location, Coppermelt has continued to attract dessert lovers from far and wide.
One of the newer dessert chains in Cairo, Dip n' Dip is strictly for chocolate addicts and doesn't apologise for its gluttonous food. With branches at Citystars, Cairo Festival City and Sheikh Zayed, the cult of Dip n' Dip is slowly but surely taking over Cairo.
Having opened some five years ago, Dukes has enjoyed a hushed existence – you see, they might not be as flashy or as heavy-handed with promotion and social media as its competition, but it really does let its outstanding food speak for itself, with largely simple, but well-made cakes, baked goods and more.
As a largely modest and unspectacular looking booth aat Downtown Katameya Mall, it's easy to walk past L'Éclair Paris without a second thought. But taking a closer look, and eventually a taste, will reward you with some truly marvellous Parisian éclairs. While some of the savoury options are excellent – including the smoked salmon éclair – its the generously cream-stuffed sweet éclairs that have earned L'Éclair Paris an award.
While Cairo's love affair with the humble cupcake has died down a little, one cupcake creator is left standing as the absolute best – Nola. The numerous other cupcake specialist that have found success over the last few years have struggle to maintain a consistency, creativity and loyalty, but Nola continues to be number one.
It was only a matter of time before Egypt's love of Nutella – a love shared the world over – was to inspire someone to bring Nutelleria to the country. That seemingly simple hazelnut chocolate spread is as infectious as it is delicious and Porto Cairo Mall's Nutelleria presents some pretty creative ways to eat that chocolate gold – including through a syringe straight to the mouth. Outstanding.
Though functioning as a restaurant, too, it's in the Bakery & Confectionary category that we've chose to salute international chain, PAUL. While their French-inspired menu is solid, it's the chain's profficieny in their desserts and baked goods that it truly excels with in Cairo.
Having recovered from a PR disaster last Ramadan, and done so with the utmost respect and accountability, TBS (The Bakery Shop) has regained its position as the premier bakery in Cairo and reminded everyone that their baked goods and products are among, if not the, best to be found across the city.
Gluttony thy name is the Batter Half & Co. Widely thought of as the most popular, and maybe even best, dessert shop in Zamalek, the Batter Half & Co. has maintained quality and creativity since its opening, presenting a variety of modern desserts not found anywhere else in Cairo – as worthy a winner as there ever has been in the ECA.
For more information on the 2016 Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards, click here, where you can see all of this year's winners.