Rise and shine, Breakfast in Cape Town: Brunch is, almost by definition, a lazy meal. It usually involves waking up late on a weekend morning and easing ever-so-slowly into the day with a leisurely, often decadent breakfast. Which means it might just be the perfect Capetonian mealtime, bowing only to the not-quite-late-afternoon cocktail hour, and maybe not even then.
Having picked up on this fact, more than a few Cape Town eateries cash in on the tradition by offering a plethora of scrumptious breakfast specials – most of them available till sometime in the late afternoon. The idea for this blog actually came about during just such a luxuriously late breakfast on an unseasonably sunny winter’s day in Kalk Bay.
The place? Olympia Bakery (Find Olympia Cafe at 134 Main Road in Kalk Bay or phone: +27 (0)21 788-6396).
Though a 20- to 30-minute drive from the city centre, Olympia is always busy. And small wonder – such mouth-watering confectionary as comes out of its ovens (to make no mention of the freshly baked bread) would be reason to drive a whole lot further.
A sweet tooth like mine is overwhelmed by the collection of biscuits, muffins, cakes, croissants, Danishes, brownies, and whatever else you care to name, but the café does ‘proper’ food as well of course, and no less delicious for not being sugar-filled. Add to this the feeling of well-being that hanging out in picturesque Kalk Bay always brings, and you’ve got yourself one great spot for a lazy breakfast.
Saturday and Sunday mornings after rising from your accommodation in Cape Town, you’ll get to see a large portion of (usually hungover) locals mobbing the street-side patio of Arnold’s in Kloof Street (Find Arnold’s at 60 Kloof Street, Gardens or phone +27 (0)21 434-4344). Its chilled vibe, central location, friendly staff and simple yet generous fare score it points with fickle Capetonians, who hate anything that tries too hard.
Constantly winning it new converts, as well as keeping regulars returning, is Mike’s Breakfast – two eggs, bacon, grilled tomato, ostrich wors (that’s sausage by the way) and toast, for R19. Variations come in the form of the cheaper Early Bird special (R9.50 for the same breakfast provided you’re there before 7am) and the Double Mike’s – self-explanatory, except you get potato wedges instead of doubling up on the tomato, and it’ll cost you R38. Breakfast, in true Mother City style, is served until 5pm.
A stone’s throw away from Arnold’s (literally – the two are separated by the entrance to a block of flats), is Café Sofia (60 Kloof Street, Gardens or phone: 021 426-0801), a more recent addition to the Mother City eatery scene but one that’s settled in nicely and gained popularity.
Though Sofia is a franchise (with other branches in Camps Bay, Green Point, Rondebosch and Seapoint) it scores points for not having that chain-store feel. Decorated in an eclectic 70s style, the restaurant specialises in meze and tapas, but their breakfast specials are good too: regular English and coffee for twenty bucks, an omelette with toast and coffee for R25, or coffee and a muffin for R15.
Situated opposite the wildly popular Rafiki’s on Kloof Nek (Find Rafiki’s at 13B Kloof Nek Road or phone +27 (0)21 426-4731), you’d expect a small eatery like Beleza to struggle for clientele. You’d be wrong. An extensive (and I really mean extensive) brunch menu pulls crowds onto its wooden decking, and at R12 for a regular English, they’ve got the cheapest breakfast in town.
Budget breakfasts are huge with Capetonians, but if you can afford to blow the bank on this all-important first meal of the day, most of the Mother City’s hotels offer the public some seriously decadent buffet breakfasts with all the frills. My personal favourite has to be the Winchester Mansions Sunday Jazz Branch, an affair of epic proportions accompanied by easy-listening, live jazz, a glass of bubbly and a complimentary morning paper, all for R195 a head.
For visitors to Cape Town these pages may be of use to help plan your trip: