Brunch is taken very seriously in Cape Town. Here, the midday meal involves some considerable eating, talking and (afterwards) day time napping. Usually taking place on a Sunday, when the working week looms, the popularity of the meal has meant that many brunch spots are instantly snapped up by the end of the week, so remember to book ahead. What with the Capetonian love for a party, you can guarantee a brunch served with style.
The Bistro at Cascades on the Promenade
Throwing open their doors at 7.30am to welcome in the bleary eyed and ravenous crowds,the Bistro is everything courteous. Going so far as to even allow pets to join their owners for a swanky city brunch, this boutique hotel is only a few steps from the glorious Sea Point Promenade. Whether you are feeling the lure of the hearty Farm Style breakfast, which is packed with double eggs, bacon and cheese, or prefer to nibble on the fresh, fruity Continental buffet, there is food for every bruncher’s appetite.
Harveys at Winchester Mansions
There is no more perfect way to spend a leisurely Sunday morning than lounging in tables by a courtyard fountain, enjoying live Jazz music and sumptuous food. Harveys Jazz Brunch, which is situated in the Winchester Mansions on the picturesque Seapoint promenade, provides all of this for its guests. In addition to this guests are also given a complimentary newspaper and glass of refreshing bubbly immediately upon arrival. With a delicious range of foods to choose from, including sushi, you’ll feel wholly pampered and rather like royalty at this perfect brunch spot.
Distinctly Mediterranean in feel, Sotano is the ideal spot for an exotic brunch break. Opening at 7am, the restaurant is able to quickly satisfy the grumbling tummies of the early morning risers with tasty and fully loaded meals. There are a number of menu items that may not be known to the average bruncher but which nevertheless fulfil the cravings of this oddly timed meal. Their Israeli themed Shakshouka, for example, is a flavourful spin on the classic ‘eggs on toast’ as the dish is gorgeously layered with red pepper and tomato chutney. A firm favourite at this brunch spot is no doubt the Mediterranean breakfast which includes all the healthiest trimmings like avocado and sundried tomatoes.
Savour Restaurant at 15 on Orange
On the first Sunday of each month, the Savour restaurant plays host to an alarmingly lavish event – the gourmet, gorgeous, Sunday lunch. To sweeten the deal they even offer unlimited refills of Graham Beck Methode Cap Classique. Yes, you read it right; bottomless bubbly. Leaning more towards the lunch end of brunch with only the best breakfast items, this is the ideal brunch spot for late risers. Starting at 12.30pm and partying on until 4pm there are a wide range of dishes to startle the eyes and the taste buds. Savour will have you drooling over starters such as their duck liver crème brûlée with apple chutney and pecan nut brioche or their seafood mains such as the seared yellowfin tuna tataki with soy sauce.
Isabella’s Cake and Food Shop
Offering something a little different for their brunchers, Isabella’s welcomes fussy eaters with their all day, build-your-own style breakfast and bottomless coffee. The choice of food is simply unbelievable as Isabella’s strives to fill every niche, every flavour combo and every stomach. Their ‘Jamaican Me Crazy’ scrambled eggs, for example, showcase the wild combination of scrambled eggs and mango chutney. The prices are so reasonable it beggars belief, with classic breakfast dishes such as the ‘Hey Suga!’ pancake, which is filled with scrumptiously spicy cinnamon, sweet sugar, a generous dollop of cream and a squeeze of lemon, costing only R20.
The picture pretty café delights the eyes with small drawings of starlings adorning the walls and a small, tinkling fountain in the backyard. Believing in simplicity, honesty in their food and coziness in their décor, this little café in the uptown Claremont area specialises in serving up every kind of brunch eggs available, accompanied by locally grown veggies, local meats and great coffee. Vegan, veggie and diet friendly, Starlings keeps health in mind as it also offers fare such as zero carb bread and hormone free bacon. This hand salted bacon, along with slow roasted tomatoes and avocados, is the perfect side to the parmesan and pesto poached eggs.
Ou Meul Bakkery
The warm, mouth-watering smell of freshly baked croissants and other tasty baked goods envelopes this cozy little bakery. With beautifully decorated coffees to tempt you in, brunch here feels like something of a posh affair. So stick out your little finger and nibble on a smoked salmon and cream cheese croissant or a warm, perfectly light pain au chocolat. The location also adds to the atmosphere of sophistication as customers can admire the view of Willowbridge’s rolling hills. If you’re looking for a more filling brunch meal however, it is a well-known fact that Ou Meul Bakkery has some of the best burgers in town.
Melissa’s Food Shop
A gourmet food shop with a twist, Melissa’s is a colourful little corner of Cape Town that offers its clientele a literal taste of its products. Melissa’s is the perfect spot for a brunch catch up with friends as customers can sit outside in the glorious summer sun enjoying a ‘Melissa’s Morning Smoothie’ with mango, orange juice, milk and honey. Alternatively, during cooler months, customers can huddle into the warmth of the little café, surrounded by the smell of exciting foods and warmed by Melissa’s hot chocolate which comes in a Nutella coated glass. In terms of brunch food, the menu is extensive and offers everything from lighter bites such as warmed Brie, bacon and pan-fried banana croissants to super scrumptious feasts like their eggs Benedict soft poached free-range eggs & bacon on toasted ciabatta with a rich Hollandaise sauce and roasted tomatoes.
Stylish and comfortable, Cocoa Oola is located on the famous Kloof Street, huddled in the roots of Table Mountain. A hub of happy activity, Cocoa Oola caters to the sporting crowd with three large HD TVs so those who are fans of brunch and rugby never have to decide which takes priority. If you prefer something stronger than coffee with your midday meal, Cocoa Oola’s boasts a large selection of local craft beers and cheeky cocktails. The more important matter however is the food and Cocoa Oola doesn’t disappoint on this front either. Their ‘wah wah wonderful’ brunch dish comprises of fried eggs, melted cheese, spinach and bacon atop toasted white bread smothered in mustard and hollandaise sauce.
A fascinating space that couples café and clothes shop, the Loading Bay is a brunch spot for gourmet burger lovers and salad enthusiasts alike. Customers can enjoy a perfectly brewed coffee while perusing clothing brands such as ACNE and Naked & Famous Denim. If you can’t make up your mind about whether you prefer a lunch item or a breakfast item, the Loading Bay has a perfectly designed brunch dish called the ‘Breakfast Burger’ which consists of bacon, egg, cheese and grilled banana all served on a brioche bun. Alternatively those who aren’t keen on large meals early in the day, there are a range of sumptuous salads such as the beetroot, spiced pumpkin and caramelized goat’s cheese salads.