Venues

Honest Chocolate Café (Cape Town)

Honest Chocolate Café (Cape Town)
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Cost
R40 avg main meal
Food
Bakery fare, Café fare, Coffee, Health food, Light meals, Vegan food
Payment
Mastercard, Snapscan, Visa
Corkage
No BYO

Critic's review

Ishay Govender-Ypma

Food
This crowd-funded café built on a cult following was created by friends Anthony Gird and Michael de Klerk, whose passion for sugar-free, dairy-free, ethically sourced and made raw chocolate led to the brand, Honest Chocolate. The delicate bars with artful wrappers were first sold at markets and later, at the petite flagship store in Wale Street.

The café is a celebration of baked chocolate treats, from brownies to a decadent banana bread bunny chow and vanilla gelato to tarts, cookies, bon-bons and dairy-free shakes. It’s popular with those on the sugar-free wagon but not afraid of calories.

Try the fresh, light-as-air croissants, served with Honest Chocolate’s chocolate spread, available for sale in jars. You won’t find any savouries on the menu – it’s a before, after or between-meals niche café that offers outstanding chocolate desserts. Vegans and vegetarians will be charmed here too.

Drinks
There’s a variety of hot chocolate (including original, spiced Mexican and Christmas orange flavours), served short and dark or tall and milky; rooibos cappuccinos; kombucha; cold chocolate milk; Trump and Timbal coffees (you can buy the beans here); and the Chocolate Dream milkshake made with coconut milk, dates and cacao. You’re covered.

Service
Friendly and efficient.

Ambience
A narrow, rectangular space – with a glass front on Wale Street, small wooden chairs and simple wood tables – it makes good use of the space and fills up throughout the day. Go out back to the grey-and-white tiled courtyard for a pleasant city break.

And…
An open secret is that the courtyard out back leads to the teeny, popular Secret Gin Bar, which opens in the late afternoon.

(August 2017)

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

  • Ambience
  • Service
  • Food
  • Lauren Josephs

    The Eat Out editorial team trades lunch for a cocoa overdose at Honest Chocolate Café on Wale Street in Cape Town, sister to the Honest Chocolate store at the Woodstock Exchange.

    Food

    If salads and sandwiches are what you’re looking for, consider yourself warned: you won’t find anything that boring on this menu. Instead, it boasts a seemingly endless array of items made with their signature raw chocolate that’s free from preservatives and artificial flavourings.

    Tempting options include bon bon truffles (R45), chocolate macarons (R12), Honest dark chocolate cake (R35) and double-chocolate macadamia nut brownies (R20). For something completely different, try the justifiably popular banana ‘bunny chow’ (R48), a freshly baked banana mini loaf filled with macadamia chocolate spread and served with vanilla ice cream (or the dairy-free option made with coconut milk). The soft, fluffy banana bread balances out the rich, dark chocolate spread, with the ice cream bringing the dish to creamy completion. Also adventurous – and surprisingly delicious – is the chocolate ‘guacamole’ with crispy salted nachos and chilli flakes on the side (R48). The dark choc-coconut macaroon tart (R35) and the sweet potato chocolate-chunk brownie with a scoop of ice cream (R37) are further interesting options.

    Drinks 

    Without having to ask, we receive glasses of refreshing citrus water – quite clever of them to prepare their customers for the sweetness to come. Their drinks menu includes classics like chocolate and vanilla milkshakes for R35 (also available dairy free), and a sometimes an additional flavour of the day when the chef is able to set aside time and be creative. Other drinks to try are the short and thick hot chocolate (R25), with a spoon of brown sugar to sweeten it slightly. The latté (R20) is part of their Honest brew range, and can be made with soy milk too. The daring should opt for their chilli choc chai tea (R18) with some hot milk to neutralise the heat.

    Ambience 

    The modern, chic space with its intimate atmosphere allows for conversations to take place as soft background music plays. Sunny weather calls for alfresco dining, so we move through to the Mexican-styled courtyard at the back to sit at one of the trestle tables near the water feature.

    Adjoining the courtyard is a beautiful Victorian-styled gin bar, with an antique cash register to complete the look, and the doorway to Commune 1 art gallery. The aroma of cocoa treats baking (and slightly burning) while you relax outside in the afternoon sun adds to the rich chocolate experience.

    Service

    If your plan is to grab something quickly, the courtyard is probably not the best place to sit, as service outside tends to be a bit more relaxed. The staff are a friendly bunch and are quite keen to assist without hovering too much.

    And… 

    They have plenty of vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options on their menu, so those with special dietary requirements can enjoy the good things in life too.

User reviews

  • A warm and cozy environment lending itself to any food mood. With numerous options catering to each and every dietary requirement, Honest is a Cape Town treasure that every local and visitor should squeeze into their schedule.
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  • Such an incredible, cosy and vibey spot! The food caters to everyone, with vegan and gluten free options available and the service is friendly and fast! The most delicious chocolate treats I've ever tasted, and all their chocolate is ethically sourced, vegan and dairy-free! A favorite spot in Cape Town for sure!
    • Ambience
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  • Went to Honest Chocolate in Cape Town on Saturday 11 July 15'. The little place is beautiful, but after 5min of standing around and not having a place to sit or any staff member offering alternative seating or info we just ordered from the counter. I had a short and thick hot chocolate. The waiter brought it to a table we eventually secured. It was lukewarm and definitely not thick, tasted exactly like the cocoa I make at home, but no sugar or sweetener was served, we had to get up and ask for it and also to have HOT chocolate, not lukewarm chocolate, which he then changed. The waiter also had a strong alcohol smell to his breath. I understand staff is a huge problem in SA and often difficult to manage, but how difficult can it be as there were only two of them? I blame management and it was the last time this place saw me, Cape Town luckily has an abundance of good cafe's and restaurants.
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Facilities

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

Stores and Markets

Owner: Anthony Gird and Michael de Klerk

Opening times: Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-2pm

This raw chocolate is free from preservatives and artificial flavourings. It’s also dairy-free and is sweetened with agave nectar so there’s no processed sugar. Try the melt-in-the-mouth bonbons, a jar of decadently dark chocolate spread, and pick up a bar of 72% cocoa with Kalahari desert salt, coffee, cocoa nibs or maca.
Ethical shopper tip: the chocolates are organic, and handmade on the premises.

Store categories
Sweet stuff

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