Move over, dinner! There is a new mealtime that’s front and center. It is brunch, and it is here to stay.
A brief history of our new favourite ritual
Almost 120 years ago, long before anyone waited in line to feast on French toast or a mid-morning steak, the word brunch appeared in print for the first time in the United States. “The latest ‘fad’ is to issue invitations for a meal called ‘brunch…a repast at 11 o’clock a.m.,” a column in the New Oxford, an old Pennsylvania newspaper, explained in 1896.
Fast-forward a couple of hundred years, and the search term (according to Google) is on the rise. But what makes this drawn-out, lavish affair so appealing? We think it has something to do with the bonding experience. Even in a world where people are constantly connected to each other through social media, there is still a gap created by the human need for face-to-face conversation and connection, which can be filled by meeting with friends or catching up with your parents over brunch!
One thing that has changed is the menu. We have seen a shift away from traditional items, and the rigour of 9-5 structured eating towards something more fluid, allowing chefs to showcase new and exciting options.
So where should you head when you want to feast like the best in Cape Town? We suggest the following top-notch spots.
1. Best for Sundays: Signal Restaurant
Imagine a harvest table spread so lavish that it is hard to know where to even begin. Follow this with a delectable menu of mains that cover every sweet or savoury sensation your palate desires. Pair this all with bubbles, beautiful views, and impeccable service, and you get somewhat close to the experience that is the Signal Brunch at Cape Grace. Our Sunday Brunch begins at 11:30 am, allowing you plenty of time to fit in a morning run (or lazy lie-in). After your welcome drink, take the first lap around the laden table. Pop some oysters on your plate, and sample the rooibos-cured salmon, delicious fruits and pastries, or our homemade granola with creamy yogurts. Take your time, and then order your main course from the menu. Flapjacks with maple syrup and bacon, pan-fried fish on a bed of toothsome risotto, or steak with egg, thick-cut fries and a delectable cafe au lait sauce are just some of the options. At this point, you might take a peek at the wine list, our sommeliers always on hand to help you pair an excellent glass of South African wine with your chosen dish.
After lip-smacking mains, head back to the table for desserts. Dulce mousse, guava jelly panna cotta, tropical fruit slices and chocolate tarts abound. There is also a selection of local cheeses and charcuterie if you feel like something more savoury.
A Cape Grace Brunch is an occasion for family and friends, so children are welcome too. Just remember to book.
2. The Iconic One: The PotLuck Club
The brainchild of Luke Dale Roberts, The Sunday PotLuck Club brunch is a guaranteed great time. Begin with a DIY Bloody Mary, or move straight along to the bottomless bubbles, while the Asian-influenced tapas menu rolls out before you in wave after delicious wave. Favourites include the Arnold Bennetts, and Fish Tacos, but the menu does change from time to time, so expect new and fun things with each visit. There is live jazz too, so settle into the swing, while enjoying the incredible views of the city below.
Brunch is offered from 11 am on Sundays only. Booking is required.
3. The American-Style One: Mulberry & Prince
The interior of this city gem may be minimalist, but they certainly max out when it comes to Brunch. Mulberry and Prince is a New-York inspired spot, with bottomless mimosas and dishes that are off the wall kind of indulgent. Indeed, if you have ever had a hankering for red velvet chicken and waffles, they have them, along with other treats like butter grits, a three-cheese omelet, maple-glazed bacon, and loads of fries.
Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am – 2 pm. Booking is a must.
4. The Moody One: Mink & Trout
If a Beef Burger sounds just as appealing as say a Kippers with Scrambled eggs at 11 am, then Mink and Trout is your spot. This emerald, marble, and the exposed brick interior is as sophisticated as their brunch offering, which covers the spectrum of breakfast and lunch very well indeed. They are particularly well-known for their curries, so do not pass on that. Add a side of the triple cooked thick-cut fries and thank us later. They also offer bottomless bubbles, though the wine list might pique your interest just as much.
Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays, from 9 am – 4 pm. Booking required.
5. The Casual One: Clarke’s
The cool kids hang out at Clarke’s – a fun favourite of Bree Street in Cape Town. Here, you can enjoy comfort food with serious flavour, and mimosas for R25 a pop! Begin with a Grapefruit Brulee, and then tuck into hearty portions of Hash Eggs with cauliflower, Huevos Rancheros, or the French Toast (stuffed with Nutella and laced with honey and bourbon bananas). They are also vegan-friendly, so no need to shy away if you do not eat meat. The diner-atmosphere is bustling and busy, so dress down, and grab a seat wherever you see one.
Breakfast is served all day, Mondays through to Sundays, so it is quite alright to come a bit later.
6. The Wine Farm One: Bistro Sixteen82
If you are eager to head out to the Constantia Winelands, line your stomachs with a delectable breakfast/brunch at Steenberg’s Bistro Sixteen82. Adjacent to the winery, the modern space is striking to behold, and exudes both an opulence and contemporary feel; the open interior spilling out onto manicured lawns fringed with fynbos and reflective pools where children love to play. Order the Eggs Benedict (served with a thick slice of bacon that is more like gammon), or the Eggs Royale (with rainbow trout). Do not forget about the bubbles! They make some of the very best in South Africa, so having a glass (or two) is encouraged.
Breakfast is served Monday to Sunday, but only from 9-11 am, so move fast, or make a booking for breakfast and lunch, with a spot of wine-tasting in between.
Blog post by Tarah Darge