Unless you’re a devotee of the controversial Banting diet, nothing beats freshly baked bread in the morning. Here are six artisan bakeries in and around Cape Town that’ll get your mouth watering…
There’s no shortage of artisan bakeries across Cape Town, so where you choose to top up your toaster will depend on where you happen to be staying:
1. If you’re close to the city centre your first stop should be Jason Bakery on Bree Street. Jason Lilley has achieved cult-status for his bacon croissant and inspired pies, but there’s superb bread on offer here too. Stop by the window-hatch, or pick up a loaf after breakfast.
2. Around the corner on Kloof Street you’ll find the city centre branch of Knead. This charming bistro-bakery has outlets across Cape Town and does excellent sourdough, rye and ciabatta.
3. On Saturdays the Neighbourgoods market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock is the place to find loaves from the Woodstock Bakery. Baker Paul Cremer turns out superb bread sticks, ciabatta, rye, sourdough and potato bread.
4. If you’re staying in the southern peninsula, near the shores of False Bay, Olympia Café in the seaside suburb of Kalk Bay is your best bet. While famous for its weekend breakfasts and bistro cuisine, wander around the corner to the quirky and cosy (especially on busy weekends) bakery counter. Alongside delicious croissants and pastries you’ll find a wide variety of freshly baked artisanal breads: their ciabatta and French baguettes are particularly good.
5. C’est la Vie, down the Main Road into the suburb of Fish Hoek, is also worth a visit after a morning swim at this popular family-friendly beach. French-trained Jo Hill turns out wonderful bread from her charming suburban bakery, and top-notch croissants too.
6. Out in the winelands, baker Fritz Schoon keeps locals and tourists happy with his naturally fermented loaves at De Oude Bank Bakkerij in the heart of Stellenbosch. Look out for his unusual loaves, including those made from ancient grains and a sprouted buckwheat sourdough.
Chain restaurants are rarely known for great food, but all over Cape Town the Knead bakery-cafés tick all the right boxes for no-nonsense bistro dishes, great coffee and freshly-baked sweet treats.
Knead has something for everyone, with a handful of bakery-café branches across Cape Town that tick all the right boxes. Down south in Muizenberg the tables are packed on a Saturday and Sunday morning as surfers warm up with a post-wave session coffee and croissant, and families ease into the weekend with a lazy breakfast.
In the suburb of Kenilworth it’s the spot for a quick midweek meeting over coffee or a light breakfast before getting your day going. In Claremont the bustling Palmyra Junction shopping centre sees the best of both worlds: coffee and a pastry in the daytime, beer and wood-fired pizzas come sunset.
The outlet in Wembley Square off Roeland Street near the city centre is the original branch, which first opened in 2006 and continues to draw a loyal following of locals, office workers and tourists in the area. The same goes for the Sea Point branch, which is situated in the heart of this cosmopolitan corner of Cape Town.
There’s a branch on bustling Kloof Street too; a great spot for tourists to grab a coffee and a breakfast – forget about overpriced hotel buffets – or to settle in for a craft beer over lunchtime. There’s limited free Wi-Fi at all branches too.
If anyone rules the world of cake in Cape Town, it’s Charly’s Bakery. As famous for their skyscraper wedding cakes as they are for their colourful and irreverent cupcakes, they’re well worth a detour.
Famous across Cape Town for their “Mucking Afazing” designer cakes, this family-run bakery was started by Charly and Jacqui Biess way back in 1989 and continues to be the go-to bakery when people need a special something out of the oven.
The subject of a reality TV series, the small bakery is always full of curious, hungry and cake-crazy locals. They’re in an odd location off Harrington Street in the East City district, but the colourful eye-catching murals are hard to miss.
Once you’re in the door the choice is yours: take a seat for a coffee and a bite, or fill a box to take away and gorge on in private. While they’re famous for their cakes, they also make some delicious savoury pies and sandwiches. Behind the counter you can watch the “cake angels” hard at work turning out bespoke cakes for weddings and birthdays while you tuck into one of their famous cupcakes.
The rich chocolate cupcake is the signature, but also look out for quirky cupcakes that are often iced to tie in to current events. When Prince William and Kate got married the cupcakes were covered in Union Jacks!
One of Cape Town’s quirkier success stories, Charly’s Bakery remains one of the most-loved bakeries in the city.
Jason Lilley, the closest thing Cape Town has to a celebrity baker, is spreading his flour-dusted sourdough wings with a new bakery in Loop Street.
If you’re on the low-carb sugar-free Banting diet, close your eyes and go back to your kale smoothie.
Jason Lilley, the baker behind the acclaimed Jason Bakery on ever-trendy Bree Street, is opening a new outlet towards the bottom of Loop Street. Number 33 to be exact.
Loop Street may be the unlovely cousin between party-central Long Street and hipster-heaven Bree Street in the centre of Cape Town, but it is slowly tapping into the city’s burgeoning food trend with the likes of The Village Idiot bar bringing a touch of craft beer and artisan food to the lower reaches of the city centre.
Happily, Jason’s new spot is right opposite The Village Idiot, so you can revive yourself the morning after the night before.
If you’re not familiar with Jason Lilley, he’s the man who made Cape Town locals drool with his butter-rich croissants. Or was it the lobster rolls? Or the fresh sourdough? No, no; it was the pies crafted with Wagyu beef. Don’t be ridiculous, it was the chocolate brownies.
You get the idea; Lilley has the Midas touch when it comes to flour, turning the humble bakery into a Parthenon of pastry. Stop the presses, grab your flat whites and sing it with me people: bacon croissants. Enough said.
Seafood and champagne are what you’d expect to enjoy at a terrace table with a gorgeous sea view, but at La Belle in the Atlantic seaside suburb of Camps Bay you’ll find a Cape Town bakery with a difference.
It’s a rare visitor that doesn’t fall in love with the Camps Bay strip, where white sands and palm trees evoke the glamour of Miami. But no, you’re in Cape Town, and one of the finest places to watch the world go by on this glitzy strip of tar and sand is from one of the terrace tables at La Belle, a stylish bakery and bistro.
Come evening the menu here offers bistro-style cuisine, but it’s during the day you’ll most want to visit. You’ll have a clear view of the sea, and this is one of the best places to grab a good coffee and freshly baked pastry on this side of the mountain.
The breakfast menu won’t set the world on fire – the ricotta hotcakes are about as adventurous as it gets here – but crowd-pleasers include a full English breakfast, and the ever-popular Eggs Benedict. No mind though, the fine views and fresh breads, cakes and pastries make up for the staple menu.
If you’d rather not indulge in tea or coffee, you could choose from a range of raw juices if you’re that way inclined. I’m not. I’ll have another flat white, thank you very much.