By Joanna Hurlston
If you’re a Cape Town local, you’re probably well aware that Bree Street has snatched a reputation as the trendiest and most sought-after strip in the bustling CBD – and it’s easy to see why. There’s always been an unspoken competition to determine the most cosmopolitan street in Cape Town. Initially, Long Street dominated with its epic nightlife, then Kloof Street took over with its ultra-trendy concept stores and restaurants. And now, Bree Street is claiming its place the new kid on the block. The only difference? Bree street has it all and more.
The contrasting blend of rustic colonial buildings amongst the ever-buzzing bars and restaurants make it a beautiful harmony of old-school charming and modern day chic. Throw in a few bespoke upmarket boutiques and hipster-esque hangouts, and it’s the place to see – and be seen. Simply put, the choices of where to wine and dine are staggering. So, without further ado, these are a few of my absolute favourite Bree Street gems.
Culture Club Cheese
If you’re a huge cheese enthusiast (and let’s be honest, the chances are pretty high), then the Culture Club Cheese will become your new local. Their deli section serves over fifty artisanal cheeses on any given day, accompanied by delectable accompaniments, from salsas, chutneys, jams and charcuterie. On the restaurant side, they’re famed for their incredible lunch dishes and impeccable coffee, and they also do an exceptional breakfast. They serve breakfast dishes such as poached seasonal fruit with free range yogurt, stacked pancakes and also Banting options. For lunch, they serve cheese-based dishes such as pea and mint risotto with Gonedsa Boerenkaas and indulgently unconventional toasties, with mature cheddar, walnuts, caramelised onions and apple sauce. Simply to die for.
Visit their website at https://www.cultureclubcheese.co.za/
Publik Wine / ASH Restaurant
Publik Wine Bar has always the perfect venue to indulge in South Africa’s finest new wines and bump heads with other wine lovers. It recently joined forces with Ash Heeger of ASH Restaurant, transforming it from ambient evening wine bar to one of the most indulgence and experiential dining experiences in The Mother City. Ash Restaurant’s menu has been crafted on the innovative method of “charcoal cooking.” The eatery is the brainchild of Chef Ash Heeger, who’s worked at La Colombe and The Test Kitchen in Cape Town, The Ledbury and Dinner by Heston in London, and in partnership with Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants. The service is beyond impeccable. Drinks are always topped up quickly and discreetly, table settings are replaced after each course, and the team caters to any request swiftly and professionally. Prepare to feel well looked after.
Visit their website at http://www.ashrestaurant.co.za/
The Chefs Warehouse recently won an accolade as a nominee for the 2016 Eat Out Mercedes-Benz Restaurant Awards – and with good reason. The food couldn’t be fresher, and they put some serious emphasis on exquisitely impactful flavours and beautiful plating. The ambience is simply contagious, and the clean lines, simple wooden finishes and massive glass windows emit tasteful minimalism in waves. The view is the absolute pinnacle of the venue – so find a seat where you can watch the sky turn magenta during sunset!
Visit their website at http://www.chefswarehouse.co.za/
La Parada in Bree Street
If you’re looking to wine and dine in the throes of the Bree Street bustle, then look no further. La Parada is always purring with infectious energy and life. They serve authentic tapas and boast an impressive cocktail menu late into the night. The window-side bar is prime seating to perch and watch the comings and goings on Bree. If you’re one for an enjoyable dinner that morphs into drinks, that morph into an inescapable party, then this is your treasure.
Visit their website at http://laparada.co.za/bree-street-cape-town/
Honest Chocolate/The Secret Gin Bar
This absolute gem is proof that you really can have the best of both worlds – at the same time, if you feel so inclined. Honest Chocolate is an artisanal daytime chocolate cafe that promises to satisfy your sweet tooth in the very best way possible. They serve the most ridiculous moreish sweet treats, such the volcano-ey chocolate “Bunny Chow” with ice-cream, amongst other unexpected delights. Neatly tucked away in the back is a charming, rustic courtyard that will make you feel like you’ve taken an express flight to old-school Prague. The speakeasy Secret Gin Bar boasts a selection of quirkily titled, herb-infused gin cocktails that will (apparently) cure any ailment, with remedies for The Head, The Heart and The Soul. An ideal spot for maximum indulgence.
Visit their website at http://honestchocolate.co.za/
And there you have it! I hope you enjoy these treasures as much I do (frequently, might I add.) Salut!