With myriad speciality coffees, freshly baked goods and a menu large enough to keep anyone happy, Cafeen in the southern suburbs of Cape Town offers a cosy spot to catch up with neighbours and friends, says Linda Scarborough.
The concertina menu boasts an impressive variety of café fare for breakfast and lunch. The extravagant French toast with bacon, maple syrup, lemon curd and caramelised bananas might catch your eye, or you could go for a simple and delicious avo (when in season) on toast with fresh tomatoes and sprigs of rocket. They also do eggs in all incarnations, filled croissants, waffles and bagels. If you’re staying for lunch, choose between the tasty-sounding wraps, gourmet salads and filled sandwiches, burgers, quiche of the day and even a steak with café de Paris butter. Really, anyone could find something to love here. If you’re ‘just’ having a coffee, you might find you simply have to order cake, brownies or scones too. The menu even features a single rusk for R5, which is a sweet touch.
Cafeen is big on its speciality drinks with all sorts of syrups and additions; you won’t find any coffee snobbery here. Try a flavoured latte (gingerbread or roasted hazelnut), a frappe (‘white chocolate symphony’ or frosted cinnamon bun flavours), Bar One hot chocolate, or the decadent crème brûlée milkshake. If you’d like something for the table, you can even order jugs of fruit juice or coolers. They kindly set out iced tap water and glasses on the sideboard so you can help yourself.
Our waiter seems slightly harassed on this bustling Saturday morning, but he copes admirably, squeezing between the other tables and bringing endless rounds of plates, tea and cakes to our big group. Everything runs smoothly.
The interior room is warm, cluttered and comfortable. The walls are covered in vintage posters; and old-school kitchen appliances like grinders and scales are dotted around. Mismatched wooden furniture and snoozing (real) cats complete the cosy, familial feel. Sit outside on the covered patio to watch the hustle bustle of Third Avenue or the park across the way. It’s a bit like Starlings, but the crowd is much more relaxed. (You can arrive in your fleece after a walk and no-one will even blink.)
They take bookings, even on busy Saturday mornings, which is a welcome change from similar cafés nearby in Claremont and Wynberg.