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Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room

Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room
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Cost
R80 avg main meal
Ambience
Bar scene, Groups
Food
Bakery fare, Burgers, Coffee, Food from the Americas, Modern, Vegetarian
Payment
Mastercard, Visa
Corkage
R50

Critic's review

Seth Shezi

Food

This Cape Town haunt is much-loved for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. It’s attracted an almost cult-like following among the resident hipster set. Clarke’s makes a mean beef burger served on a buttery brioche bun, topped with Underberger cheese with flippin’ fantastic fries! The offering hearkens to elevated pseudo-American diner fare but is done with more flare and a whole lot more luvin’.

For brunch, The Hash Eggs comes with toasted cauliflower, parmentier potatoes, two poached eggs, asparagus and hollandaise. It’s a firm favourite and I’m a repeat offender when it comes to ordering the Huevos Rancheros with black beans, smoked tomatoes and fried eggs all topped with homemade queso fresco and avocado.

Where would American fare be without good old mac and cheese? Clarke’s is no exception here. Their four-cheese gooey hot pot is the stuff cheesy dreams are made of!

If your sweet tooth is yearning, try the nutty gluten-free brownie to tame the chocolatey beast within. Or, if ice cream’s your thing, the hot fudge brownie sundae is perfect for two... or just one!

Drinks

The buzzing bar serves up drinks to Bree Street’s thriving masses from dusk till dawn and is popular for its brunch cocktails, as well as its larger dinner cocktail menu. The Hibiscus and Gin Soda, as well as its virgin counterpart, is a floral delight, and their Bloody Mary seems to be a super popular choice for hungover-filled Saturday mornings.

Showcasing some of the Cape’s best, a carefully selected array of local wines and craft beers are available, as well as a fully stocked bar with artisanal spirits and everything else one could ever need. On the non-alcoholic front, Clarke’s whizzes up fantastic fresh juices – try The Red with carrot, beetroot, pineapple and ginger – and offers on-tap Theonista kombucha. Caffeine-wise, the barista efficiently pumps out coffees with beans made by local coffee roastery Deluxe.

Service

Service is relaxed and informal. There seems to be quite a close-knit relationship amongst all the staff and it’s evident in the air of familiarity wafting around the place. It’s not a fussy establishment. One is mostly left to one’s devices and often has to wave down a waitron in times of need but, that said, everyone seems to have a good handle on what needs doing.

Ambience

At peak times the buzz can get to a frenetic roar, especially during the mania of First Thursdays, but don’t let that deter you! Clarke’s oftentimes feels a bit like a sprawling party with customers filling every nook and cranny with laughter and the frivolity of celebration. If peace and quiet are beckoning your name, this is not your destination – Clarke’s is fit for the easygoing city-dweller in need of the sights and sounds of a rowdy kitchen and a familiar smile.

And…

Clarke’s offers a myriad of interesting options fit for the non-meat eater – the beet burger is an absolute winner!

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  • Service
  • Food
  • Lisa van Aswegen

    Food
    Start the day with house-made granola, a decent fry-up (the huevos rancheros have a cult following) or simple avo on toast. Lunch and dinner time sees serious diner fare: the four cheese mac and cheese will have you in cheesy heaven, while salads such as the classic Caesar are light and zesty, packed with crunch. Smoked pulled pork or Reuben sarmies, a juicy burger, or a packed-with goodness pressed veggie sandwich hit the spot time and again.

    Welcome bar snacks, like twice-fried fries with aioli or their Rooster Dog with kimchi and sriracha, go down well with a drink or two. If you're an oyster fan, this is the place to be – the baked oysters are a treat. Sweets are simple: hot fudge brownie sundae or a scoop of ice cream hit the sweet spot.

    Drinks
    Fresh juices, smoothies and Deluxe coffees keep things ticking over in the mornings. Move on to classic cocktails with a twist – such as their own hibiscus cordial with gin – as the day goes on. A small but interesting wine list and decent selection of craft beers rounds things off. Look out for their regular drinks and happy hour specials.

    Service
    Super chilled but super friendly. Staff seem at home and enjoy your enjoyment of the food.

    Ambience
    Sit outside watching Bree Street life, inside at the bar or at one of the tables. There's a large courtyard table at the back, ideal for a group get-together.

    And…
    The addition of a small deck on the pavement adds to its outside appeal.

    (September 2016)

    Eat Out reviewers dine anonymously and pay for their meals in full. Click here to read our editorial policy.

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    • Food

User reviews

  • A sure thing for great diner food. Service is hit&miss and it can get quite noisy over peak times. But theee best cheese toastie in all of the land!
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  • It's no secret Clarke's toasted sandwich & tomatoe soup duo is a delicious combo. It definitely lives up to the hype! See a video review here: https://goo.gl/b7gQBr Here is a playlist of my other reviews: https://goo.gl/fDWtmq
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  • I have to compliment Clarke's on their incredible brioche bun burgers with medium-rare burger patties. It is honestly one of the best I've had
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  • One of the best beef burgers in town. I opt for a salad instead of fries, which was also mind-blowing ( as side salads are usually disappointing with burgers). Go hungry and feast!
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Facilities

  • Accepts credit cards
  • Alfresco
  • Beer served
  • Breakfast
  • Cocktails
  • Dinner
  • Food
  • Licensed
  • Lunch
  • Parking
  • Serves food
  • Takeaways
  • Vegetarian
  • WiFi

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