Families flock to Deer Park Café in Vredehoek for the lovely lawns, alfresco tables and affordable café fare.
Serves: Café-style food, with some more intriguing specials
Average main meal: R58 to R92
Best for: Brunch or lunch while the kids run wild in the large, walled garden and play area
Star rating: Food 3, service 3, ambience 5 (if you’ve got kids)
Comfortable café-style food is the order of the day. The butternut panzerotti is one of the standouts: Pasta pockets filled with sweet morsels of butternut in a creamy, but not absurdly rich, sauce. There’s also a simple chicken sarmie on tasty Turkish bread, and a burger on good ciabatta with crunchy pickles.
A blackboard menu offers some more bespoke options; there’s a salty, tangy pork adobo with fresh coriander, and a healthier salad of broccoli, bulgar and chorizo.
For dessert, tuck into one of the gourmet ice cream lollies from Las Paletas, or sample one of the cakes; there’s usually even something gluten-free to be had.
Affordably priced breakfasts, meanwhile, include classics of croissants with scrambled eggs or eggs florentine, plus some special options. There’s oats and quinoa with toasted almonds, poached fruit and honey, and gluten-free waffles with mascarpone and berry compote.
Deer Park Café also offers a kiddies’ menu, with options around the R40 mark. Think spaghetti bolognese, toasted cheese, and chicken fillets.
In addition to the wine options, there’s craft beer, Fiery Dragon Ginger Beer and kombucha to be had.
Staff are relaxed and used to kids roaming around. It can be tricky to get their attention, however.
Deer Park Café has a wonderful, relaxed atmosphere that’s perfect for a sunny day. It’s very popular with young families, so if you’re not a fan of chubby toddlers or wide-eyed infants, perhaps it’s not the place for you. If you do have kids, though, it’s a rare gem. The large grassy play area has several jungle gyms, and is fenced on all sides. There’s one high chair (first come, first served) and even better, they have changing tables in both the male and female toilets. Cue applause.
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