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7 cafés for decadent low-carb breakfasts

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For many fans of the most important meal of the day, the idea of forgoing carbs is not all that appealing. No pancakes, waffles or French toast? One glance at the following options at restaurants around SA, however, will show how much delicious variety awaits the low-carb diner.

Cheese Gourmet (Linden, Joburg)

Not only a cheese shop with a wide and wondrous selection, Cheese Gourmet offers café-style sit-down meals too. If you don’t fill up on cheese platters, the variety of omelettes might be appealing to the carb-conscious, with options of toppings like gruyère or oak-smoked salmon and a slice of low-carb banting bread on the side.

Dear Me (City Bowl, Cape Town)

This café has long been a haven for those with special dietary needs. In addition to the poached eggs on sautéed veg (add extra toppings like avo, bacon and mushrooms), the breakfast tofu might appeal, with smoked paprika, red pepper, tomato, seasonal veg and coriander. For a sweeter palate, try the low-carb raw chia seed porridge with goji berries, and add your own toppings like almond milk, cashew nut yoghurt, honey or more seeds. Grab a banting-friendly sweet treat from the display case on your way out.

Four & Twenty (Wynberg, Cape Town)

This quaint café and pantry offers delicious all-day breakfasts to suit banters. The Eggs Be-Lean delivers on its promise with two free-range poached eggs on an aubergine, mushroom and truffle rösti, topped with confit baby tomatoes and umami Hollandaise, and served with optional bacon, bresaola or smoked salmon trout. There’s also an oriental version, with pan-fried exotic mushrooms, sesame-crusted bacon, buttery edamame beans and sesame oil, as well as a wealth of salads and a tasty fishcake option. If any dishes are accompanied by bread, banters can ask for low-carb bread supplied by Knead.

Junipa’s (Bryanston, Johannesburg)

The dedicated carb-conscious menu includes the usual egg-and-bacon focused fare but with the very appealing options of cauliflower röstis, courgette fritters or carb-conscious loaf instead of toast. Creamy chicken livers and Salmon Royal take this breakfast offering the next level for banters.

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Prep Room (Glenwood, Durban)

At least 50% of the menu here will always be low-carb, and the selection of cakes and brownies is gluten-free. The menu is about to change, but you can look forward to the likes of avo stuffed with cream cheese and rosemary-buttered bacon, and poached free-range eggs with streaky bacon and lemony Hollandaise, served on a brinjal instead of an English muffin.

Pure Café (Colbyn, Pretoria)

As the name implies, fresh, healthy produce is the focus here. A dedicated banting and paleo menu offers favourites such as the popular build-your-own Pimp my Omelette made with coconut milk and fillings like bacon, salmon trout and lamb sausage, and the Bananas in Pyjamas, a banana-and-almond flapjack served with crisp bacon, two poached eggs and berry coulis. There’s also a new chef’s special of wheat- and gluten-free banting cheesecake, made with coconut four and coconut milk.

Rcaffe (City Bowl, Cape Town)

There are five breakfast options available all day on the special Tim-Noakes-inspired menu at this Long Street café. The banting Benedict comprises poached eggs topped with rich Hollandaise sauce, crispy bacon, goat’s cheese, rosemary-roasted cherry tomatoes, and served on a bed of fresh rocket with pumpkin seeds. For brunch you could opt for the Power Parma, a mixed green salad with soft boiled eggs, Parma ham, avocado, marinated sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts and parmesan shavings. The low-carb seed bread, available in three flavours, is baked on the premises and is free of gluten, yeast, dairy and soya. Finish off with a low-carb brownie, cheesecake or carrot cake.

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Dining at home? The Woolies Carb Clever granola range is a total game changer. These cereals are made using nuts and seeds, with added coconut or almond flour, and contain no grains. Each serving contains less than half a teaspoon of badger-friendly honey (added for colour and crunch) and the almond and cocoa nib variant – our favourite, BTW – is made using UTZ Certified cocoa, which means the cocoa has been sustainably sourced and farmed. Stock up now and say goodbye to boring breakfast!

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