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Big Dog Café

Big Dog Café
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Cost
R90 avg main meal
Ambience
Coffee, Groups, Quick meals
Food
Café fare, Coffee, Light meals
Payment
Mastercard, Snapscan, Visa, Zapper
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Katharine Pope

What started out in 2004 as a small-scale, family-run coffee roastery in the KZN Midlands has grown into a thriving coffee brand. But Terbodore’s cosy Franschhoek café is more than just a place to taste their coffee – the café-style food really is rather wonderful, too.

Food
The menu is unique and refined – a mix of tempting classics and fresh, healthy options. Take, for example the buttermilk-fried chicken and waffles. This usually heavy dish is given a lift thanks to house labneh, kale tabouleh and jewel-like pomegranate arils. The chicken, meanwhile, is beautifully crispy; the waffles light and fluffy.

The burger – basted in an Asian-inspired marinade, and topped with miso butter, aioli, pickled daikon, and crispy kale is another dish that is perfectly executed. The ciabatta ban, and golden, crunchy, twice-fried chips seal the deal.

Breakfast options are also available all day, and include warm chocolate and hazelnut oatmeat; beans on toast with tahini sauce, poached egg and roasted black beans and sourdough; and mushrooms on sourdough with onion and miso puree and a spinach Hollandaise.

For a sweet ending, look out for the treats in their glass-fronted cabinet – many of them vegan – or one of the luscious looking cakes. Think gluten-free carrot cake topped with figs and dried pineapple, or chocolate-and-date sponge with dark chocolate ganache – the Brooklyn Blackout cake.

Drinks
As you might expect, the coffee here is well-made and full of flavor. Try one of the single origin options or a tasting board if you’re a fundi. Else the red velvet latte – with beetroot, cocoa and ginger – is wonderfully warming and somehow manages to feel healthy while tasting like a gingerbread loaf. The café does not have a liquor license and corkage is not permitted.

Service
Relaxed and friendly.

Ambience
White walls, a vaulted ceiling and plenty of wood make this a light, bright space for lunch or breakfast. There’s a lovely big garden out back with a stream – perfect for summertime meals. The café is dog-friendly – provided Fido is on a leash – and also has the use of the neighbouring restaurant’s kiddies’ play area.

Best for...
Brunch with the kids – or with friends who have high standards for breakfast.

(2018)

 

Eat Out critics dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Read our editorial policy here.

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Hetta van Deventer Terblanche

    Food
    The Terbodore brand has gone from strength to strength since they started their coffee roastery in the Midlands in 2004. This new spot – Big Dog Café – named for Terbodore’s brand ambassador, the Great Dane, adds a new casual option for brunch and lunch to Franschhoek’s otherwise largely high-end restaurant offering. Big Dog Café serves delicious all-day breakfasts, ranging from Middle Eastern spiced shakshuka – a pan consisting of tomato relish, creamy labneh, free-range eggs and flatbread, to mushrooms on toast accompanied with spinach purée, poached eggs and miso hollandaise.

    There’s also standard breakfast fare like granola, croissants or bacon and eggs. The Big Dog Whole Bowl is recommended if you crave a fresh salad, cheese, pulses and other scrumptious salad combinations. These change with the season and depend on availability. More light meal options include a burger, a waffle with buttermilk-fried chicken or a selection of open sandwiches. Enjoy them outside on the idyllic veranda, which overlooks the backyard garden, or in a cosy nook inside on a cold winter’s day.

    Pastries, cake or a dessert special of the day will satisfy any sweet tooth.

    Drinks
    Big Dog Café is serious about its coffee and part of its aim is to showcase Terbodore, who roast on the premises and supply stores countrywide. A selection of coffee, including cold brews with interesting flavours and spiced lattes are offered, in addition to matcha teas. No beer or alcohol is served, but cordials and other refreshing drinks will quench your thirst.

    Service
    The service here is friendly and non-intrusive, with the owners always ready for a quick chat that adds that extra personal touch.

    Ambience
    The interior is modern and reminiscent of a café in New York. The beautiful backyard garden is spacious and shaded with large trees, and features a labyrinth and lots of play areas for the little ones.

    And…
    Stock up on fresh coffee or pastries to take home with you.

    Eat Out critics dine unannounced and pay for their own meals. Read our full editorial policy here.

    (October 2017)

    • Ambience
    • Service
    • Food

User reviews

  • Exceptional Food and superb coffee. The Mushrooms on toast are sublime.
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  • Amazing food, excellent service and the BEST coffee!! Must have meal -Mushrooms on toast
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  • Lovely place to eat breakfast with the coffee aroma in the air! The dishes have unique flavour combinations and are presented beautifully.
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  • The famous Big dog Cafe', nice hidden gem with awesome food and the best coffee! The Great Dane blend all time favourite.
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    • Food

Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Breakfast
  • Child friendly
  • Food
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Smoking
  • Takeaways
  • WiFi

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