The gentrification of Bree Street, which started over a decade ago, has turned this innercity area into a culinary hotspot, with some fabulous eateries popping up all over. Though Bree Street has a decidedly high-street feel, we love that it still hums with contrasts, with car mechanics and panelbeaters sharing pavement space with high-end fashion boutiques, design stores and award-winning restaurants. Here is our pick of the best places to wine and dine. We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
1. Chefs Warehouse & Canteen
Image Credit: Chef’s Warehouse
Ask any famous foodies where they ate their last memorable meal, and the majority will say Chefs Warehouse – chef Liam Tomlin’s tapas bar that does double duty as a deli and cooking school. The informal canteen-style eatery, with communal tables and benches, specialises in fresh, interesting seasonal tapas that change daily.
Why we love it Rillette of duck or pork? Chicken liver parfait with grape chutney? Gazpacho with fresh crab? Sweet-corn soup with crab fritters? What’s not to love?
Don’t leave without trying the chocolate and hazelnut fondant with orange ice cream.
Contact 021 422 01 28, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where you’ll find it 92 Bree Street, Cape Town
2. Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room
This is where the hip crowd comes for generous sandwiches, tasty burgers and hearty breakfasts. Potted plants line the walls, adding pops of greenery to the otherwise pared-down natural-wood palette.
Why we love it Happy hour (5pm to 7pm daily) is fab for after-work drinks with colleagues.
Don’t leave without trying the legendary Clarke’s cheeseburger, featured in our Best Burgers in Cape Town.
Contact 021 424 7648, email@example.com
Where you’ll find it 133 Bree Street, Cape Town
Like a phoenix from the Acunto pizza oven, Bocca is back on the Bree Street block – with a brand-new menu, new owners (one of whom is a Milanese chef), and mod interiors! And, dare we say, it’s better than ever. The scrumptious Neapolitan-style pizzas made in the super-snazzy Italian-imported oven now come in a smaller half-size – all the better for sharing!
And there are five other sections on chef Guido Brambilla’s mouthwatering menu, namely Bites, Crispy, Grains (pasta), Pizzette (small pizza), Arrosti (slow roasts), and Last Stop (dessert).
We suggest you order at least one dish from each, and get stuck in.
This is good food, cooked well, and made with the finest local ingredients! “We only import the Rummo pasta from Italy,” explains Guido, “but the olive oils and cheeses we use are sourced locally, and are excellent.”
Stand-out dishes The yellow-fin tuna carpaccio, topped with finely chopped olives, tomato, oregano, spring onions and Cape micro herbs is revelatory in its simplicity; The Ital Chips (twice-cooked potato wedges with Parmesan, rosemary and truffle drizzle) are dangerously moreish; and the tiramisu will make all your worries disappear.
Opened November 2018
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 422 0188, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where to find it The Block, Corner of Bree and Wale Streets, Cape Town
Reviewer Nikki Benatar
4. Olami – previously Sababa Kitchen & Deli
Image Credit: Olami
Rubbing shoulders with Kirsten Goss (for covetable locally made jewellery) and Missibaba (for exquisite locally designed handbags), this deli specialises in fresh Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. Every day, the salad buffet is topped up with freshly made salads that taste as good as they look. No wonder it’s featured on the Best Salads in Cape Town.
Why we love it Even though it’s become the lunch spot for IT girls – perched at the street-facing counter, of course – Olami welcomes all sorts for delicious, wholesome food.
Contact 021 424 7480, email@example.com
Where you’ll find it 231 Bree Street, Cape Town
5. Jason Bakery
This artisanal bakery serves legendary breakfasts, excellent coffee, interesting sandwiches and juicy burgers.
Why we love it The limited-edition doughssant, served on Saturday mornings only, are out of this world! Each week these doughnut-croissant hybrids have a different filling.
Don’t leave without trying the famous bacon croissant – get there early, as they sell out fast!
Contact 0214245644, firstname.lastname@example.org
Where you’ll find it 185 Bree Street, Cape Town
6. Beautifull Food
Image Credit: Shop Curious Mag
Located in the same space as Youngblood Gallery, Beautifull Food serves substantial sandwiches, light lunches and wholesome breakfast made using organic local produce.
Why we love it Profits from Beautifull Food go towards supporting arts and culture developments.
Don’t leave without trying “Clara’s sexy water” – still water naturally infused with flavours cucumber, lemon, basil and pomegranate.
Contact 021 424 0074, email@example.com
Where you’ll find it 70 – 72 Bree Street, Cape Town
7. La Parada
This colourful, noisy tapas bar where Cape Town’s beautiful people congregate does an assortment of Spanish (and one or two Asian-style) tapas, as well as mains designed for sharing, desserts and divine cocktails. But it’s the tapas you’re here for, namely the smoked tomato salad, seared sesame-crusted tuna, and Serrano ham croquetas. Grab a window-facing counter seat, so you can watch the passing trade.
Why we love it It’s great for big-group occasions, so you can share delicious bite-sized tapas at long communal tables.
Don’t leave without trying the roasted pork belly.
Contact 021 426 0330, book through DinePlan
Where you’ll find it 107 Bree Street, Cape Town
We also rate these other Bree Street hotspots:
The Odyssey Gastropub, 199 Bree Street
Orphanage Cocktail Emporium, 227 Bree Street
Mother’s Ruin Gin Bar, 219 Bree Street
Lucky Fish & Chips, 120 Bree Street