Cape Town is without doubt the foodie capital of South Africa. No offence to the other provinces, but the Cape is bursting with alternatives to supermarkets – sidewalk café culture, farmstalls, farmers’ markets, bakeries, and delis – that make shopping out, to eat in, a complete pleasure.
Our list of delis and bakeries are not exclusively one or the other – bakery or deli – many function as are both (if you provide bread, you’d be remiss not to also supply foods to go with bread). For either balmy autumn days, or lunches with friends in front of a fire, you can’t go wrong with the delights sampled at the list below. (For the best delis see Best Delis in Cape Town)
The Best Bakeries in Cape Town
With outlets in Kloof Street, Muizenberg, Newlands and Claremont, Knead is an artisan bakery that produces the whole smorgasbord of daily breads, as well as pastries and confectionery, which you can sample on site at their bakery cafés. Specialty breads include sweet potato and rye. Pop in for breakfast, brunch or takeaway, whilst a handy tip is that bread is half price after 3pm.
Where: Wembley Square, McKenzie Street, Gardens 021 462 4183
Producers of, arguably, the very best ciabatta in Cape Town, Olympia Bakery is tucked up a little narrow alley to the side of the bottlestore on Main Road, Kalk Bay, with a link to its very popular restaurant. Their pastries and breads are worth planning an outing along the peninsular for, whilst their pastries and almond Danish in particular, are spectacular.
Where: 134 Main Road, Kalk Bay, +27 (0)21 788 6396
Based in Woodstock, right next the Biscuit Mill, the Artisan Baker produces European style charcuterie and artisan sourdough woodfired bread, baked daily on site with immense love and care at 4am. It’s very popular for its home-made pies, and lunch time menus include seasonal soups, salads, sandwiches and pastas.
Where: 399 Albert Road, Woodstock, +27 (0)21 447 5293
This used to be known as Jardine Bakery, but is more commonly known simply as the hole-in-the-wall on Bree Street. Despite the daily array of baked goods, and breads, it’s the Caesar chicken sandwiches that are rated the star of the show here. The manager goes by the pseudonym of Captain Bread.
Where: 185 Bree Street, City Bowl, +27 (0)21 424 5644
Don’t think breads, when you visit Charly’s Bakery, because they’re essentially about cake – weddings mainly, but any occasion is worth ordering one of their double chocolate cheese cakes in lopsided, brightly iced aplomb. For visitors to their bakery, expect to indulge in their incredible oversized cupcakes that will have you reaching for more.
Where: 38 Canterbury Street, Cape Town, +27 (0)21 461 5181
Another incredible cake-producing bakery, Queen of Tarts caters, produces cakes to die for, and runs a series of cooking class demos whilst managing to also host breakfast, teas and lunches at their shop with a menu that includes savoury tarts with highly imaginative fillings, and breakfasts that include muesli with vanilla poached apricots and yoghurt. You may as well indulge, or you’ll be drooling at the cakes on display.
Where: 213 Lower Main Road, Observatory, +27 (0)21 448 2420
Tucked away in Kalk Bay down a cobbled side alley, C’est La Vie is a firm favourite with locals. As its name indicates the bakery produces French baked goods, and looks and feels like something out of Paris. Freshly baked baguettes, buttery croissants, a wonderful cup of coffee (serves illy and is voted one of the best coffee spots in town) is a recipe for a morning of decadence.
Where: Rosmead Road, Kalk Bay
A lifeline for those Southern Suburbs marooned between Kalk Bay and the City Bowl, Martins bakes artisan breads on the premises that are gone by lunch time on any given Saturday. Their rye ciabatta and cheese and tomato foccaccias are a firm favourite, but their pumpkin seed rye, and ouma bread easily come a close second. Enjoy breakfast and teas at their continental feel coffee shop. Locals support to such a degree that many are greeted by name as they walk in the door.
Where: 43 Main Road, Diep River, +27 (0)21 712 8555
This traditional German bakery also has a deli, but its the bread that is the focus point. Its specialties are the traditional 100% rye, dinkelbrot, plumcake and apple cake. The bakery gets its name from the German word ‘dinkel’ which is German for spelt. Best experienced seated, with a delicious cup of Dormans coffee and milchbroetchen infront of you.
Where: 91 Kloofnek Road, Tamboerskloof, +27 (0)21 424 3217
See our article about the deli’s in Cape Town.
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