• Bitten by the whale watching bug Bitten by the whale watching bug We don’t realise how lucky we are in South Africa, and in particular the Western Cape, to have the mightiest of the marine mammals visit our coastline between every year ...
  • The Whale Trail The Whale Trail The Whale Trail is not a new trail, having been around since about 2002, but it has become extremely popular. It is truly a unique experience, perhaps comparable with ...
  • 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa Combine your trip to South Africa with a relaxing, revitalising visit to a health spa and experience Africa at it's finest. Our favourite 10 Pamper-Perfect Spas in South Africa are ...
  • Locals share their favourite getaways Locals share their favourite getaways We ask 30 local South Africans to share their favourite holiday destinations and getaways with us. From the more popular destinations like Knysna and the Kruger Park to ...
  • The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip hike The Oude Skip walk shares portions of its hike with the larger Karbonkelberg Traverse, which is roughly seven hours of hard walk from Hout Bay harbour to Llandudno ...
  • 10 Amazing Game Lodges 10 Amazing Game Lodges South Africa is world renowned for her game reserves and wildlife. The lodges which allow us to experience these in luxury are no less awe inspiring. Our favourites are ...
  • 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town 101 Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town As much as your kids will tell you they can’t wait for the school holidays, the words "I’m bored" inevitably cross their lips. Our "101 things to do with kids in Cape Town" will ...
  • "World's most beautiful Cities" "World's most beautiful Cities" Open space makes Cape Town special. Renowned English sea navigator Sir Francis Drake once referred to Cape Town as the fairest cape in the world. The city houses the ...

Find Accommodation in South Africa
Subscribe to our Feed
Posted on: Monday, 13 July 2009

Olympia Café in Kalk Bay

Send to Kindle
Olympia Cafe

Olympia Cafe

Aside from the fact that whenever vaguely in the vicinity, I find reason to pop into the Olympia Café’s bakery, which now offers its breads, pastries, danishes and other delectable tasties around the corner from the eatery on the corner of Main Road and Boyes Drive, I have also had occasion to breakfast there at least once and found reason to dine there more than twice – and I don’t even live in Kalk Bay!

This rather obviously expresses my enthusiasm for the popular place. The food is, well, it’s really good. And for what you receive on your plate, excellent value. The bread is heavenly (I defy anyone to find tastier ciabata on the peninsular) and the menu takes its cue from the accessibility and availability of fresh, local, organic where possible ingredients …

But the main reason for going is the unpretentiousness of the place. Wooden tables and rather old, mismatched chairs, as well as paintings and photographs by local artists give it character. There is always a bustling atmosphere, people are prepared to queue for a table, and the view from the window over Main Road and the harbour, whilst not breath-taking, makes for interesting ‘people watching’ opportunities (although on this particular visit, much of this was marred by scaffolding – obviously a temporary hindrance).

Olympia Cafe

Olympia Cafe

I’ve yet to be disappointed by Olympia Café. And it’s fairly obvious why – even the waitors like to work here because, whilst it may be an award-winning eatery, there is also a genuine passion to the way their down-to-earth nosh is served that invokes a quality that every restaurateur wishes he could bottle.

I was particularly struck on this visit, by a blatent refusal to stock bottled mineral water, by a menu item on the chalk board behind the counter, which stated that mineral water was ‘N/A’. Tap water was, however, at a cost of R0.0. It appears that the café and its owner are doing their bit for the environment, and running an ethical business. Staff here receive better that average hourly rates, the restaurant is SASSI aware and never serves fish on the red list, organic and local fruit and veg is sourced as much as possible, and their fish is bought fresh across the road in the harbour from local fishermen.

Given the chance, the average waitron will do anything but enthuse about his employer (and often for good reason) and the way a restaurant runs its business, but here is one venue where the opposite occurred. There is no better advert, not that this particular restaurant needs marketing!

Olympia Cafe

Olympia Cafe

And there is plenty of reason to head over to the little village of Kalk Bay, even if the current road works on Main Road between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay are something of a deterrent! This quaint, seaside hamlet, with a high street that is Cape Town’s closest thing to Portobello Road in London (although much smaller) is humming with a combination of vintage stores, book shops (including Kalk Bay Books), galleries (don’t forget the modern art gallery above Olympia Café). And a fair number of bohemian boutiques and restaurants means that it is never quiet.

Hard to believe that during the early 1990s there was not a restaurant or fancy apartment in evidence, and the nearest thing to a deli was the corner café that sold fish and chips. In a former life the fish and chips shop had been known as the Olympia tea room and the building was home to a hotel and movie house. The deli and restaurant’s current owner, who worked up the road at the Brass Bell during the early 1990s, knew something we didn’t and succumbed to a dream of reinstating the beautiful old building into something of its former glory. We’re rather glad that he did.

For more about Kalk Bay and surrounding suburbs see:
False Bay Coast
False Bay Coast Beaches
False Bay Coast Accommodation
Things to do on the False Bay Coast
Cape Town Accommodation
South Africa Accommodation

Contact Details: Find Olympia Cafe at 134 Main Road in Kalk Bay or phone: +27 (0)21 788-6396.


Olympia Cafe


Wanda Coustas


Wanda Coustas has written in one form or another for 10 years, seven of them as a copyblogger. She has travelled the Western Cape extensively and the rest of the country in protracted road trips that have given her both joy and an ongoing relish for experiencing what she writes about first-hand. She is a trained opera singer, poet, eurythmy dancer, philosopher, and bee whisperer.

Related Posts: