Capetonians have lately been in the midst of a Banting craze — a food philosophy that favors a high-fat, low-carb diet filled with faux-bread and cauliflower rice. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of bakeries that have no interest in such nonsense. Here are five spots where you can take care of those carb cravings without shame.
1. Jason Bakery
How many bakers can say they have a cult following? Jason Lilley is known to Capetonians on a first-name basis, having built something of a rock star rep for the croissants he serves up at his eponymous Bree Street café (something else he’s serious about: good coffee. Whatever you do, don’t ask for a cappuccino—it’s all about the flat white here). Every Saturday morning, Capetonians log in to Instagram to see what his latest “doughssant” is. He constantly experiments with flavors for his answer to the cronut, which sell out within hours. Recent combinations include coconut macaroon with salted caramel, strawberry and chocolate-chip cookie, earl grey with lavender, and Belgian beer with pretzel.
2. Loaves on Long
A relative newcomer to Cape Town’s dining scene, Loaves on Long opened in May in a heritage building on busy Long Street. In that 200-year-old space, Lyndal Wakeford and Ciska Rossouw pursue their biggest passion, running this artisan eatery where bread plays the starring role. Upstairs is a cute café with a balcony overlooking the space, but downstairs is where the baking magic happens. If you’re inspired by their dedication to dough, be sure to ask about weekend classes.
3. Ou Meul Bakkery
I first stumbled onto one of Ou Meul’s outposts as a pit stop on a road trip to the Garden Route, in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town called Riviersonderend (I suspect the name is bigger than the town). While I chalked it away to a particularly scenic roadside stop, I was surprised to discover it was the flagship of a growing group of bakeries beloved for sweets like their pecan tart and mini pies. Soon after, one opened on Long Street in Cape Town’s Central Business District. Now their famous pastries are always a quick stroll away.
4. Schoon de Companje
This one isn’t in Cape Town, but I highly recommend making the drive out to Stellenbosch to check it out. Set in a former bank in the heart of the historic city’s beautiful whitewashed central district, you’ll find artisanal baker Fritz Schoon turning out his signature sourdough loaves and popular pastries in Schoon de Companje’s rustic-chic space.
5. Woodstock Bakery
While this isn’t exactly a café you can pop in to, Woodstock Bakery is a constant fixture at popular weekend markets like Neighbourgoods and Oranjezicht, where their crusty sourdough and generous bread sticks are perennially popular. But even if you don’t make it to one of their stalls, chances are you’ve tasted their wood-fired loaves at some point during your Cape Town visit—they supply many popular city restaurants and coffee shops with their goods.