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Egghead Diner, Cape Town
Photograph: Gibson Photo

The 18 best breakfast and brunch spots in Cape Town

From trendy coffee joints and bakeries to top spots for breakfast-on-the-go, these are the Mother City’s best breakfasts and brunches

Alicia Erickson
Written by
Alicia Erickson

Breakfast: a meal so revered it can be enjoyed at any hour. As Cape Town’s dining scene grows more impressive by the day, so does its ability to whip up quality breakfasts. The vibrant streets of the Mother City are dotted with vibey breakfast spots and brunch places to help you start your day right – whether it’s 6am or well past noon.

Amble through Cape Town’s seaside and central neighbourhoods alike and you’ll come across an enormous range of essential breakfasts and brunches. This place has it all: from whitewashed coffee shops brewing artisanal blends to eclectic, art-filled spaces where you can linger over a boozy brunch; bagel joints serving up cream cheese-stuffed goodness to bakeries dishing out South African baked delicacies; and nourishing, plant-based spots for all the yogis and health food junkies out there.

Whether you’re looking to linger awhile in one of Cape Town’s favourite brunch establishments or get your breakfast to go and start your day with a picnic on the beach, soaking up the endless ocean and mountain views, here are this city’s finest places for breakfast and brunch.


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Nøsh Café brews up three of the city’s finest artisan roasters – Origin, Truth and Tribe – in a single location, showcasing the Mother City’s vibrant coffee culture in all its guises. And to accompany that cortado? At Nøsh Café you’ll find a menu of all-day breakfasts, light meals and baked goods. 

The best breakfast and brunch spots in Cape Town

Kleinsky’s is always buzzing with customers awaiting their beloved bagels. This Sea Point establishment changed Cape Town’s bagel game, and while it may now have stiff competition, Kleinsky’s always delivers exactly what it promises: New York-style bagels filled with scrumptious cream cheeses, veggies and meats. Looking to mix it up? They also offer mushroom latkes and eggs benedict, rugelach pastries and pierogis. Dine in or take away, the choice is yours – Kleinsky’s is spacious, but the bagels also travel well.

This family-run establishment is perfect for any season: it opens up from cosy spots in front of fireplaces to a sun-dappled patio complete with macramé swing chairs. The only challenge with Kanela is that you’ll probably want to order the entire menu. Stay warm with one of their soothing loose-leaf tea blends, refresh with a smoothie or tuck in to their selection of freshly baked cakes, tasty toasts, smoothie bowls and gooey toasted sandwiches.


This dreamy white-brick café is awash in natural light: perfect for grabbing a quick bite with friends or lingering all day over a steaming mug of coffee as you work or read a book. Oh, and as for the food: you could tuck into a flaky croissant stuffed with egg and bacon or tackle a stack of grilled veggies and tempeh. Pair them with a fluorescent-coloured iced drink – though be sure to save room for the cream cheese-frosted carrot cake.

Step off Kloof Street into Our Local and you’ll feel as though you’ve entered some kind of flea market – and that’s in a very, very good way. Rustic wooden tables extend through the open space, chandeliers dangle from the ceiling, antique collectables adorn shelves and leafy plants transform the space into a forested oasis. Offering a delightful menu for weekday breakfast and weekend brunch, Our Local satisfies vegetarians and carnivores alike with crowd favourites like its Reuben toasties and shakshuka smashed avo with Danish feta. Feeling thirsty? Wash it down with a breakfast cocktail or two.


Max’s is a hip, hole-in-the-wall establishment on Bree Street that sells boiled bagels by day and natural wine by night. Your task is simple: choose your favourite flavour of handmade bagel and fill it with your selected toppings – from smoked trout and cream cheese to pesto, fennel, and avocado, you can’t really go wrong. Seating is limited at Max’s – there are only a few bar seats inside and a handful of small street-side tables – but you can always take your bagel to go for a morning on the town or beach breakfast.

Tucked into a heritage Cape house, Between Us has an earthy feel and its constantly-evolving menu is fittingly rooted in seasonal, sustainably procured ingredients. Check out the innovative twists on breakfast classics, like polenta pancakes, activated granola with grapefruit curd, porridge with poached plum, or herb frittata with smoked salmon. Each dish is a sensory delight, as good to look at as it is to eat. You might even be tempted to linger so long you’ll be here all the way till lunch or dinner.


Ambient lighting and dreamy shades of pale pink and evergreen set the tone at this trendy new spot. Elevating your favourite breakfast dishes with creative twists, the real highlights of the menu are its extensive egg-based offerings. Pick your chosen style – fried, boiled, scrambled, or poached – and top ’em with lip-smacking combos such as halloumi and salsa verde, mushroom and truffle cream or sun-dried tomato pesto and goat cheese.

Watch the bustle of the city go by with a foamy cappuccino (or a fizzy champagne cocktail) in hand through the floor-to-ceiling windows at this urban oasis. While Hemelhuijs serves lunch and dinner too, their all-day breakfast is arguably the star of the show. The elegant menu reflects South Africa’s diverse terrain: find twists on national faves like mosbolletjies – an Afrikaner sweet bread – which can be enjoyed with karoo honey or toasted with eggs. Dishes like foraged mushrooms and smoked trout should keep those looking for savoury stuff satisfied.


If your body has been begging you for a bit of cleansing goodness, Nourish’d is your spot. With locations in both Kloof and Observatory, Nourish’d will leave you feeling exactly as the name suggests. Take the time to read through the stellar smoothie and cold-pressed juice options, all of which will surely boost any mind-and-body reset. And if you’re after more than a liquid diet (we don’t blame you) then grab a wrap, toast or bowl stuffed with rainbow vegetables before taking a seat at the outside wooden bar and engaging in some serious self-care – courtesy of plant-based goodness and Capetonian sunshine.

A favourite for Cape Town’s plant-based food lovers, Scheckter’s Raw has a few spots around town, but our pick is the spacious branch in Sea Point. Stop in to indulge in some life-giving delights like chai chia, açaí bowls, pumpkin pancakes and golden milk; or if you’re already running late for yoga class, check out their refrigerator of pre-made selections and cold-press juice cleanses and grab some gourmet health food on the go.


At once a café and a clothes shop, Loading Bay is your go-to for everything ethical, earthy and chic. It’s a calming space with a carefully put-together menu that reflects the flavours of the seasons and the land. Seasonal produce is transformed into mouth-watering dishes that turn the typical health-food vibe up a notch: think roasted root vegetables with goat’s cheese and seasonal greens brightened by citrus and chilli. The freshly baked sourdough is an absolute must.

This Tamboerskloof stop-off puts a distinctive South African twist on French cuisine. While there is a full breakfast menu on offer, you might not make it past their enticing selection of pastries, especially the famous coconut bread. Gluten-free? Not a worry – the selection of GF breads and pastries is extensive and won’t leave you envying the rest of the table.


Step into Swan Café and you might, you just might, be tricked into believing you’ve been swept away to the streets of Paris. Dimly lit and with walls lined with dramatic paintings, this crêperie oozes Parisian cool. Order either a sweet crêpe or a savoury galette – perhaps one of each if you’re hungry enough – then sit back and enjoy a taste of France whilst sipping on a mimosa or one of Swan’s elegantly blended teas.

This Kloof Street estab embodies the spirit of an old-school diner. Slide into a cosy yellow booth or grab a street-side table (complete with mountain views) as you dig into one of Egghead’s breakfast classics. The name might give away its specialities – the stand-outs are egg rolls served up with bacon, houmous or smoked salmon – but this buzzing breakfast joint also offers dishes for non-eggheads to indulge in: dig the tofu scrambles.


This historic Tamboerskloof establishment dates all the way back to 1904 and remains a neighbourhood treasure with deep roots in the area. Produce is bought from local residents and neighbours pack out the joint. We say you should join ’em: pull up a seat at a pavement table and start your morning with a flat white or a cleansing turmeric tea, then tuck into simple but tasty stuff like scrambled eggs, creamy oats and freshly baked pastries.

Feeling a bit fancy? CT brunches don’t get much fancier than Kloof Street House’s notorious Saturday-morning jazz sessions. Sip on your chosen poison – whether that’s a gin and cucumber cocktail, Bloody Mary or bottomless mimosas – while listening to electro-jazz in an enchanting garden. The food selections boast hearty classics done right: things like mushroom or bacon bennies, eggs, salmon and wasabi on toast, to name a few. This place is (rightly) popular, so do try and snag a table in advance.


No two ways about it: Jarryds is a Cape Town classic. Dawdle through an all-day brunch over mimosas, all while tucking in to creative twists on classics like eggs benedict, huevos rancheros and shakshuka. Egg-dodgers can find joy in crowd favourites like the breakfast burgers, mushrooms on toast and quinoa bowls, plus some ace light-dining options like smoothie bowls and ginger-poached pear with oats. Tables are first-come, first-serve, so arrive early on weekends to get yourself a seat.

18. Freddie Freeloader

A favourite of Salt River and Woodstock residents, cosy café Freddie Freeloader is a perfect spot for brekkie and a relaxed cup of coffee. Its simple-yet-delicious creations include wraps, toasties, bagels and croissant sandwiches, alongside rotating daily specials. Food and coffee are taken equally seriously in this home-grown establishment, which never skimps on quality.

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