The way you feel about that ‘first meal of the day’ – bacon that cracks apart as you gently fold it in half; fluffy, light scrambled eggs and creamy, melty cheese, all neatly stacked on a deleriously delicious breakfast croissant – is something more than a love affair. It’s more like finding your soul mate, a spiritual eating relationship, occasionally cherished after the 11:30am restaurant cutoff, because let’s face it, there are times when it’s simply impossible to get your act together before noon. Here are five Capetonian food joints where you’ll find a winning early morning meal – all day long.
WHAT: Hemelhuijs WHERE: 71 Waterkant Street, Cape Town (021-418-2042) WHY WE LOVE IT: That chef patron Jacques Erasmus has taste is evident from the moment you step into the space in which he hangs a covetable (and purchasable!) collection of homeware. Despite the dark walls, Hemelhuijs’ interior is light and airy, which makes it an ideal place to enjoy a spot of late afternoon eggs. Once you’ve pried your eyes from everything inside you’ll lose yourself again in the menu – a symphonic collection of mouthwatering ingredient compositions. HL CHOICE: Home-made potato rösti with salmon gravad lax and a soft poached egg – a heavenly combination of texture, flavour and colour. It’s breakfast in disguise when paired with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc.
WHAT: Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room WHERE: 133 Bree Street, City Bowl, Cape Town (021-424-7648) WHY WE LOVE IT: No respectable Capetonian has gone without one of Clarke’s breakfasts, washed down with one of its killer bloody Mary’s of course. With healthy and hangover options (and the kind of carbs that make you want to throw out your copy of the Real Meal Revolution), this spot has earned its place as a perennial favourite on the city’s breakfast map. HL CHOICE: Huevos rancheros with queso fresca. The hippest egg-spice-avo combo you’ll find on the Atlantic.
WHAT: Tashas WHERE: Shop 7117, Lower Level, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town (021-421-4350) WHY WE LOVE IT: What’s not to love about Tashas? The city centre has been begging for an iteration while Joburgers held it over our heads for years (‘Yes, you have the muhooountain, but we have Tashas, boet’), and after taking over the old Mugg&Bean spot in the V&A, this eatery is never lacking customers. In fact, you’ll find people lining up for as long as it takes (no problem when they pass out the little tumblers of wine) to get their hands on the simply delectable, fresh fare. HL CHOICE: Hangovers begone with Jett & Luke’s mini breakfast rolls – a calorific (but surprisingly not-too-greasy) combination of fried eggs, bacon, cheddar, grilled onion, packed into two baby buns.
WHAT: Knead Bakery WHERE: Lifestyle Centre, Kloof Street, Gardens (021-424-1666) WHY WE LOVE IT: It’s not easy to place your order at Knead. Not due to poor service – the staff is efficient and friendly – but rather the sheer amount of breakfast items on the menu. Feel like a Bircher’s Muesli at 6pm? Fine. Going to have the cinnamon-sprinkled french brioche for lunch? Go ahead! There’s something on the menu for everyone, and with its prime location in the middle of buzzing Kloof street, you’ll find yourself hanging around to people watch long after you’ve devoured the last morsel on your plate. HL CHOICE: Four words. All day breakfast pizza.
WHAT: Lazari WHERE: 221 Upper Buitenkant Street, Vredehoek (021-461-9865) WHY WE LOVE IT: ‘Food gallery’ Lazari may be small, but it’s a big guy on the breakfast scene. With a diverse breakfast menu offered right until close, seven days a week, it’s little wonder that after eight years it remains popular in an area with a number of top-notch dining venues. Perhaps it’s for the revered pastries, or the enticing scent of coffee as you approach. Or perhaps it’s just because Lazari knows breakfast. HL CHOICE: For a South African twist try the bobotie and avo omelette, but we’re a huge fan of the perfectly made egg’s Benedict with bacon.
Text Jessica Ross Photographs Greg Cox, Micky Hoyle, Inge Prins, supplied