The Specialist Cuisine category in the Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards is the most varies of all the dining categories by its very nature. Think of it not as a miscellaneous category, where the most niche cuisine and concepts are bundled together – but a category that celebrates the uniqueness and individuality of its winners.
But quality is just as important here – these are by no means restaurants that use empty gimmicks, but ones that have developed unique concepts and menus with commitment, excellence, and, occasionally, panache.
Barbacoa Mexican Grill (Latin American Cuisine Award)
Having revamped to include a bustling ground-floor bar area, Barbacoa has become one of the best hangout spots in hangout-spot-central, Maadi. It's added a new dimension to an already excellent restaurant, whose excellent menu brings together Mexican classics such as burritos, quesadillas, burritos and tacos, and plenty more in between.
Çok Güzel (Turkish Cuisine Award)
Unsuspecting Turkish restaurant, Çok Güzel, isn't the biggest name on the local dining scene and is probably a victim of its remote first location in Beverly Hills. Since then, however, branches in Cairo Festival City and on the North Coast have spread paid testament to its outstanding Turkish dishes and a cuisine that isn't all that well represented in Cairo.
Dos Cañas (Spanish Cuisine Award)
As part of the sky-high Cairo Capital Club in Garden City, Dos Cañas has been met with universal acclaim, thanks to its quality Spanish dishes, its casual-chic atmosphere and its stunning view. Many have bemoaned the prices at the bar and taperia, as well as the excessive minimum charge, but you're guaranteed a unique dining and nightlife experience.
The Greek (Mediterranean Cuisine Award)
Though there are parallels to be drawn between Greek and Egyptian foods, the latter isn't as common in Cairo as one might think. The Greek in Maadi, however, does its roots proud, with a menu crafted under the watchful eye of one of the owners' Greek mothers. Though the gyro is arguably the most popular item on the menu, all the dishes are executed with an authenticity to what is one of the most simple but flavourful cuisines around.
Kayan Kitchen & Bakery (Gourmet Sandwiches Award)
As a small kiosk of sorts in Dokki, Kayan is a pretty unsuspecting food vendor. But this modest embellished cart, has a surprisingly large menu of gourmet burger and sandwiches has been a revelation since it opened in front of the Shooting Club (inside of which there's another Kayan cart), boasting fresh ingredients and phenomenal bread, with which they produce some truly outstanding food.
Osmanly (Turkish Cuisine Award)
The Kempinski Nile's Osmanly has long been considered, not only the best Turkish restaurant in Cairo, but one of the best restaurants in Egypt's capital, period. Adding a contemporary touch to everything you'd expect and Ottoman feast to be, Osmanly, the food is of the highest quality, as is the five-star service and the unique atmosphere.
Ovio (European Cuisine Award)
Capturing the essence of modern European cuisine at branches in Sheikh Zayed's Galleria40 and, more recently, Maadi, Ovio has emerged as one of the most unique restaurants in Cairo in the last 12 months. Bringing ophistication to casual dining, the Ovio menu pulls influence from a number of different cuisines and boasts some truly remarkable, fresh and creative dishes.
Swiss Cottage (Specialist Cuisine)
Although it takes culinary influences from neighboring French, German and Italian cuisines, Swiss food is amongst the simpler in the world. But that simplicity doesn't mean a lack of flavor or personality, as Swiss Cottage proves, as it envelopes you in a cosy, slightly kitsch cabin atmosphere, where the menu offers a true and authentic slice of Swiss cuisine.
Tabla Luna (Latin American Cuisine Award)
Having won over the discerning Maadi crowd with its authentic Latin American dishes, Tabla Luna's popularity led to a second branch opening at Westown Hub – a branch that stands as one of the main attractions at the restaurant-and-cafe complex. When it comes to the food itself, Tabla Luna's menu is a carnival of delicious and authentic dishes from Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Mexico and Bolivia.
For more on the 2016 Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Awards, click here, where you can see all of this year's winners.