Cafe Frank – not just a café

Café Frank has been around for a while, but it’s often overlooked as a coffee stop because of the ever so popular Jason’s just across the road. I only discovered it because the queue at The Hatch promised at least 10 minutes’ waiting time which I didn’t have that morning. So I went to Cafe Frank’s hatch, and subsequently to sit inside and eat. Now I’ll keep going back. There’s just so many things to try.

The inside is simple. There’s long, light-wood benches and tables and walls of shelves stocking yummy eats and drinks for a quick lunch. You order at the counter, paying, tipping and getting all of it done. Then you can sit back for a chat or a good read. I love the high stacks of Rolling StoneWired and Time Magazine just sitting there, waiting for you to stuff your brain with new information. If you can’t stand reading something that’s printed on paper, there’s always the free wifi to keep you occupied.

The food is wholesome and without fancy frills. Apart from the pastry-based breakfasts (everything is baked fresh and lined along the counter, tempting you to forget those healthy eating habits), there’s also the very delicious and colourful looking yoghurt, muesli and fruit to indulge in if you manage to stop yourself. Lunches are either decently filled ciabatta’s and sourdough sandwiches, plated chicken/salmon/quiche and salad, soup of the day or a wide variety of filling salads.

Going on a picnic? Stop here on the way and pick up a fresh, delicious picnic box.

Not keen to cook and less keen for takeaway? Pick up a take-home dinner on your way from work.

They really have all your meals covered, and deliciously so.

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Café Frank

160 Bree Street (corner of Bree and Bloem)
cafefrank.com
info@cafefrank.com 
021 423 0360

Opening times: 

Monday – Thursday 07:30 – 18:00
Friday 07:30 – 17:00
Saturday 08:00 – 14:00

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Alba Lounge – cocktails with a view

For some reason, a prerequisite for drinking cocktails is a having a good view to admire. The two just go together so well. Take a sip, stare at the view, take a sip, stare at the view, repeat. And although it’s been around for a while, steadily supplying a range of classic and exotic cocktails, Alba Lounge really gets it right. There’s the extensive list of cocktails and shots, the ceiling-to-floor windows, the view over the harbour and the glittering V&A Waterfront, and the shoreline in the distance to stare at. Perfect recipe.

Alba Lounge is called a lounge for a reason. The seats are deep, the tables are low and the music is mellow. The decor is all about dark wood and a fireplace centerpiece and the waiters are smart. Something I really like is that the music’s volume goes up and down according to the mood. On a Saturday night it’s pumping and happy and in the middle of the week it’s subtle, allowing you talk to the people you’re with.

Alba is stylish, but they don’t force you to dress up. During the day (mostly in summer) the outside deck is a laid-back place on which to enjoy cold beers and chilled wines. They also have thin-based pizzas to munch on while dreaming about owning one of the impressive yachts parked below.

You’ll find Alba Lounge above The Hildebrand, at the Pierhead, sort of in line with Quay 4.

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alba loungeAlba Lounge

0214253385
bliss@albalounge.co.za
www.albalounge.co.za

Opening hours: Mon – Sun: 11:00 – late

Vovo Telo Waterfront – fresh goodness

If, like me, you are a sucker for anything freshly baked, then Vovo Telo will soon become your happy place. It’s hard to believe that it all started in Port Elizabeth, but lucky for the rest of us, this nifty little bakery-slash-eatery soon became a franchise spread out across the country. In Cape Town, you’ll find Vovo Telo in the V&A Waterfront, just across from Mitchell’s. The setting suits it perfectly, with tables and chairs scattered along the cobblestones, the wheel of excellence spinning around and around and the Waterfront’s resident marimba band jamming their best tunes.

Vovo Telo keeps things simple. Basically, they bake. At 04:00 in the morning, the day’s croissants, panini’s, brioche, baguettes and foccaccia’s are ready for the early morning pastry peckers and the lazy lunch hour lovers. So whether you pick out one of the sweet treats or the readymade sandwiches  lined up on the counter or whether you prefer sitting down and having your thin-crusted pizza, breakfast or thickly-stuffed sandwich, you’ll be impressed. All the stuffings, toppings and ingredients are locally sourced and only the highest quality products made the cut.

Those who notice the interior and design of a place will appreciate the playful character of Vovo Telo. Stylishly playful, that is. Have a look on their website and you’ll see what I mean. Even the takeaway packets have a sense of young freshness to it.

On the drinks side, you can choose your caffeine fix or settle for a fresh juice or Bos Ice Tea. Now go tuck in.

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Vovo Telo

Facebook Page
www.vovotelo.com
Waterfront opening times: Monday – Friday 07:30 – 21:00

 

The Blend – food and coffee in the east city

In Cape Town, if you want to drink one of our local coffee brews, most of the time you have to go to that brew’s own shop to get it. Until now. The Blend, situated in Roeland Street, stocks a range of local coffees, like Tribe, Kupa and Deluxe. Either this lets you access your favourite brew more easily or you simply get the chance to try something new. Just ask Julie, the creator of The Blend, to give you a bit of advice.

They don’t just serve coffee though. Not in the least. You can come by for some great classic breakfast options. Most of these include coffee in the price, something which I really like. I also like the wide range of smaller breakfast options on the menu, like toast and jam, oats, all bran and muesli. So you don’t have to overindulge just because you’re eating breakfast out.

For lunch, there’s a whole range of great-looking gourmet sandwiches to choose from. The menu is divided by meat, making it easy for the vegetarians to find something nice.

The Blend has a warm look and feel. Although the shop is small on the inside, it’s comfortable and there seems to always be a table open somewhere in a corner. Odds and ends like Consol glass bottles, wooden boxes full of books and a window sill lined with little plants gives it character rather than over crowding the space.

An added bonus is that clients can make use of the unlimited free wifi.

So if you’re in the market for a new coffee joint, this might just well be it.

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The Blend

79 Roeland Street
071 927 3031

Monday – Friday 07:00 – 16:00
Saturdays 08:00 – 14:00

Twitter @the_BlendCPT
Facebook page
Julie@profiletwo.co.za

Truth HQ – industrial style coffee

Truth Coffee‘s head quarters are in the perfect place – downtown. And the design of the store couldn’t have suited the vibe down here better. With wires hanging from the roof, rustic wooden tables and loads of open steel pipes you feel like you’re in a factory, but in a good way. The takeaway hatch looks out onto Buitenkant Street and it’s a popular stop throughout the day. Naturally, the coffee is pretty good as well.

On the menu you’ll find grab-and-go sandwiches, muffins, quiches and pastries until lunch time. Then there’s a daily menu from which you can order. The soup looked particularly tasty. If the ready-made sandwiches are already finished, it is now impossible to grab a quick lunch, so rather don’t take the chance if you’re in a hurry. If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands though, nothing beats a lazy lunch to catch up with a friend and do some people watching.

If you’re taking yourself out for coffee, you’ll have to get your internet fix within the hour as there’s 60 minutes of free wifi each day for everyone. If you run out, you’ll have to settle for reading – never a bad way to spend your time in a coffee shop.

One particularly cool bonus of this Truth is that it’s open until 9pm from Monday to Saturday (see complete opening times below). Just a few days ago I mentioned that I was looking for a night time tea and coffee drinking spot. Well, now I have two.

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Truth HQ

36 Buitenkant Street
Monday – Friday 07:00 – 21:00
Saturday 08:00 – 21:00
Sunday 08:00 – 14:00

The Power and the Glory – not just a watering hole

The Power and the Glory up in Kloofnek Street, just below the renowned Rafiki’s, is a meeting place of many a city folk for night time drinking sessions and dancing on the tables. But that’s not in the least the only activity the P&G has to offer. They also have quite the selection of teas. Now I wouldn’t recommend going for tea at 10pm on a Friday night, but around 7pm in the middle of the week is a pretty neat time for some nightly tea-drinkings with friends. I’m always looking for nice places to go to in the evenings where you can chill out without drinking, where it’s okay to order tea. And it looks like I found it.

When it’s quiet, a seat at the windowsill is a great spot to sit and watch the city for a while. Lots of people come here to eat and take advantage of the wifi – apparently even to Skype with distant girlfriends.

A nice vibe, a nice selection of teas and a peaceful night time activity that I saw fit for a mid-week outing.

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Cool lunch spot: Bread Milk & Honey

Now this here coffee shop and lunch/breakfast spot, buried beneath the skyscrapers of Cape Town’s CBD, is quite a treat. Because this isn’t Kloof or Bree Street, there aren’t eateries and coffee shops on very single street corner. That’s why Bread Milk & Honey stands out. Apart from having what looks like very fresh and delicious sandwiches wrapped and ready for takeaway, they also have a sweet looking freshly baked goods section, the flavours of which I’m assuming change daily. Coffee comes compliments of Origin Coffee – always a good bet.

For lunch, they’ve got a seasonal buffet every day from which you can scoop up (on a plate or in a takeaway box) and weigh. Absolutely everything on that table looks wonderful, but if you’d like to know what you’re in for beforehand, you can check out their Twitter page (@breadmilkhoney) as they tweet everyday’s menu in the morning. Some previous lunch examples: spinach, feta & peppadew quiche, roasted butternut, onion and cream cheese quiche, baby marrow, olives, feta and sundried tomatoes quiche, Thai chicken curry with basmati rice, beef lasagne, chicken & sweet potato pie. The list goes on.

Not a bad idea to keep an eye on their Twitter feed as they advertise new muffin flavours and lunchtime muffin specials (R10 for a banana, choc chip and peanut butter one? Not bad).

Bread Milk & Honey is situated in an old building, the outside of which has been kept pretty much the same (from the looks of it) and the floor is now covered in homely, black and white checkered tiles. Wooden benches and simplistic furniture draws the eye to the art against the walls. For example, prints of how this section of Cape Town used to look in colonial times, with open plains, horse and carriages and classic trams. It’s worth coming for just these. You can sit either by the window and look out over Church Square or choose a spot further to the back. All in all a great place for any time of day and it seems that they open at 6:45 in the morning already. Now ain’t that convenient for an early morning breakfast?

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Bread Milk & Honey

10 Spin Street
Mon – Fri: 6:45 am – 4:00 pm
021 461 8425

Facebook Page

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cape town coffee shop

cape town coffee shop

cape town coffee shop

Cape Town Markets in photos: Market on the Wharf

It’s no secret that I’m quite a big supporter of Cape Town‘s many markets. I already did photo blogs about the Earth Fair Market in the beautiful, inner-city St George’s Mall as well as the City Bowl Market on the lovely Hope Street. These markets are usually only a weekly occurrence, forcing you to get your planning right. So it’s safe to assume that I was pretty stoked when today’s featured market opened its doors.

Market on the Wharf is situated in the V&A Waterfront and has all the artisanal goodness of an excellent Cape Town market, with the only difference that it’s open for five days each week. And believe me, you’ll need to visit many, many times in order to taste even half of the delicious meals, treats, snacks and drinks on offer. The building suits its insides perfectly, having a rustic appearance with an absolutely beautiful set of stairs winding it’s way to the loft area inside.

If ever you visit the Waterfront and you find yourself hungry for a quick lunch or dinner, don’t settle for the takeaway places inside the shopping mall. Walk the few hundred metres to this foodie treasure. Your tastebuds will remain thankful for a long time to come.

V&A Market on the Wharf

Wed. Thurs. Sun. 09:30 – 18:00
Fri. Sat. 09:30 – 19:30

Click here for Google Maps and directions

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Arnold’s in Kloof – breakfast of champions

Arnold’s in Kloof – probably the best known, most recommended breakfast spot in town. It’s definitely one of my favourites and a place that I associate with early morning bacon and eggs. Their early bird special – R14 for bacon, eggs, toast, 2 sausages and tomato – is a winner. And even though you need to order before 07:00 to get it, it’s still as popular as hell. Well, in summer that is. I love that the waiter literally only asks ‘Coffee?’ and ‘How do you want your eggs?’.

You always feel welcome here, the waiters look like they actually want to be here and not just making rent and the hostess happily greets you, even if you’re just walking by in the street. Here’s a typical morning at Arnold’s.

Arnold’s

60 Kloof Street
www.arnolds.co.za
manager@arnolds.co.za
021 4244344

Mon-Sun: 06:45 to late (08:00 Sat & Sun). Outside dining till 10pm

Ou Meul bakkery: Riviersonderend’s famous pies

Even my mom remembers these pies. Associated with road trips along the N2 highway, the homemade pies sold in one particular store in Riviersonderend hold happy holiday memories for many. And it seems as if these pies have finally decided to come to town.

Ou Meul bakkery is situated almost at the bottom of Long Street and creates a welcoming place to relax in an area where few nice places are found. And don’t worry, they don’t only serve pies. Apart from the rather elaborate pie range, you’ll also find sweet treats like croissants and pastries and even a trusty pink rice crispy cookie or two. There’s also ready-to-eat sandwhiches on anything from sourdough to health bread and a variety of salads and drinks for on-the-go lunches.

But you don’t really just want to walk in and out again. It’s just such a nice place to sit down at. On the green couch, at a large table or at one of my personal favourites – the high window seats. The tables and chairs are specially crafted and boast the rustic Ou Meul logo engraved in the wood. The people are friendly, the coffee is great and you instantly feel welcome when you walk through the door. It’s also quite a treat sitting down with a cup of coffee and some lunch while the downtown buildings tower out of sight.

On the menu, you’ll find a range of sandwiches, breakfasts and all kinds of deliciousness. The sourdough mozzarella, basil pesto and tomato is a classic in my eyes and, although I tried really hard to save the one half for later, I just couldn’t resist.

So whenever you find yourself in downtown Cape Town and in need of a place to escape the suits, here’s you answer.

Ou Meul

Ou Meul

Ou Meul

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Ou Meul

Monday – Friday 06:30 – 18:00
Saturday 07:00 – 14:00
Sunday closed
021 419 0662

Ou Meul