I’m one of those people who doesn’t eat bacon. Ever. Not even a taste. Yes really. And no I’ve never wondered what it tastes like…
I also can’t really eat any of the sausages etc. that get served up with traditional breakfasts either (since its not halaal). Oh & I also don’t like sweet breakfasts (flapjacks etc.) or cold options like muesli, yoghurt etc. And please don’t give me oats – I can have that at home. So yeah, breakfast is a problem, people!
I feel like restaurants don’t make enough effort with breakfast in general. I imagine that it’s not all that profitable so I am sympathetic & I actually respect those that choose to rather not serve my favourite meal of the day at all. So you can imagine that finding a good (& interesting) breakfast isn’t easy for me. Mostly I have to swap the bacon/sausage out for something else but I have found a few that’s I think are really, really good.
And so I’ve rounded up my personal favourites. I also get asked about this regularly so I wanted to have a link I could just forward onto friends. In addition to doing a good breakfast, I have some other needs too (I’m high maintenance like that!) that all these establishments more than met:
- sharp service. Smart, proactive, thinking-on-their feet waiters
- I’m married to a coffee snob, so by default all of these do pretty amazing coffee as well…
- freshly squeezed OJ – I like mine with a dash of ginger (love the way it burns the back of my throat). I haven’t had the “100% pure” stuff in years. It’s impossible to go back…
And these are the places I keep going back to (in no particular order)…
1. Sweet corn fritters from Citizen Café (previously called Café 1145), Blairgowrie, R65. They come with your choice of bacon or halloumi, rocket & balsamic roasted baby tomatoes. I always have mine with a serving of avo too. The coffee is of Joburg’s best: Bean There
2. I wish I could remember the French name of this dish from Tasha’s le Parc (no online menu for this branch *sigh*) but I do know that it translates to mushrooms with croutons. This is really something different so full marks to Tasha’s on creativity. Again, I sometimes ask them to toss in some avo for me. They have (more than once) whipped this up for me well into the afternoon. Very yummy. And they’re in my favourite mall, Hyde Park. The only downside you’ll know if you’ve been is their infamous queue. Coffee: Lavazza (might since have changed though, I heard rumours).
3. Daleahs salmon scramble, R55 Braamfontein. Honestly I’m still really upset with Daleahs for passing this pic of mine onto publications as their own but let me stay focused here. The salmon scramble is super creamy with just the right amount of salmon (I often feel like the salmon servings in general are too much – am I weird?). The cream cheese and tomato look like garnish but the mix of it all is delicious. Love their presentation too. Coffee: Tazza D’Oro on this particular day but Daleah herself mention that they try out different blends & brands.
4. Breakfast brioche bun from our old faithful Woolies Café, R47. Yes they may be a “chain” but Woolies does do plenty right when it comes to food. You can choose how you want your eggs (go for scrambled its soooo creamy & they make it just “wet” enough) & it’s topped with honey roasted bacon. Of course I swap the bacon for avo (what can I say I’m an avo fan!). The flavour really is in the smokey tomato sauce lathered on the brioche bun. Talking of the brioche bun, it tastes and looks like a regular burger bun to me (sesame seeds and the works) but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this breakfast looks pretty ordinary but is deceivingly delicious. Coffee: Tribeca (relabeled as their own)
5. The lucky breakfast malt at The Lucky Bread Company (Brooklyn Mall, PTA) comes with artisan sourdough bread, thyme pan-fried mushrooms, bacon (you guessed it – swapped out for avo!), sliced boiled eggs & topped with melted cheese – R55. Ok so I know this isn’t Jozi but they deserve a mention. Imagine this: I drive all the way to Pretoria sit down and the 1st thing the waiter tells me is that they don’t have a kitchen. I had to eat something so I decided to try this despite the fact that I don’t like boiled eggs nor cold breakfasts and it really surprised me. I think the magic is in the melted cheese (they place it under a grill). Completely unexpected win. Coffee: Tribeca.
6. Kauai‘s morning riser is another firm favourite & the one I’ve been eating on this list for the longest time. I don’t have a pic because the last 2 times I’ve ordered this meal (with the sole purpose of taking a pic for this post) I’ve completely forgotten to take the actual pic – so focused was I on stuffing my face! It’s got scrambled eggs, cheddar, tomato & spring onion on a toasted buttered roll (your choice of wholewheat or ciabatta) for R38.90. In recent years they’ve added a nice option of smoked beef rashers for an additional R9.00. I find the eggs a tad overdone but I love the generous addition of spring onion. Coffee Lavazza: (stick to their Americano).
There are plenty of other places that are really good that we frequent too. In fact when I read this list back to my husband editor he was like “what about Vovo Telo, Salvation Café, Service Station” and the list goes on. Truth is when I wake up close to noon on a Saturday morning this is the food I wish could magically appear on a tray on my beside table…
Any other non bacon/haalal friendly breakfast spots I should try?
Have a stunning weekend!