In an ideal world, all chickens would be at liberty to roam the land during the day, interact with one another, bathe in the dust and eat natural, plant-based foods. There’s still a long way to go – and the definition of free range is still pretty broad – but you can help by helping to create demand for free-range produce. Make a start by visiting one of these five restaurants in the Cape that whip up a mean breakfast using free-range eggs.
From the enthusiastic people behind the Bacon of the Month Club comes the Bacon Pop-Up Bar, a café, coffee shop and wine bar where you can grab scrumptious breakfasts, brunch and burgers. With a dedication to sourcing fresh produce from local farms and suppliers, the team uses free-range eggs from Farmer Angus, who is a pioneer of biodynamic farming in South Africa. (Not to mention the winner of multiple Eat Out Produce Awards.) His chickens roam freely on the Spier estate, eat a natural diet and roost in spacious egg mobiles. The menu at the pop-up changes daily, but their signature streaky bacon and free-range eggs breakfast (R40) is a sure thing. Alternatively, try the bacon French toast (R50). Their bread is freshly baked at Bread & Wine vineyard, while charcuterie superstar Neil Jewell cures all their bacon. The Bacon Pop-Up Bar will be touching down in Cape Town soon, so keep your eyes peeled for the latest updates on their Facebook page.
Birds Café has been a favourite amongst Cape Town locals for years, due in part to their seasonal approach to food and focus on locally sourced produce. (It’s also where we pick up our organic veggie boxes each week.) All their eggs are free range and sourced from Happy Valley Farms – a fact emphasised on the menu. Choose between an egg-white omelette with slow-roasted tomatoes and basil (R38); classic fried egg with slow-roasted tomatoes and crispy bacon (R40); creamy scrambled eggs with kippers and slow-roasted tomatoes (R58); smoked Franschhoek salmon and avocado (R68); and poached eggs with cannellini beans, chickpeas on toast and crispy bacon (R65).
Tucked away on Woodbridge Island, this cool, unpretentious eatery is fast becoming a popular Capetonian breakfast spot. Craft House Eatery’s large breakfast selection offers all-day breakfasts made with free-range eggs from Nest Egg. Those on a budget will enjoy the Craft breakfast with two eggs, two rashers of bacon, two breakfast sausages, mushrooms, rosa tomatoes and two slices of toast (R35) or the creamy scrambled eggs on sourdough or rye toast (R15), but if you’re looking for a treat, try the scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese on sourdough or rye toast (R65). You can also craft your own three-egg omelette with toppings like mushrooms, mozzarella, smoky bacon, beef sausage and more.
Part Parisian-style café, part artisan pantry, Four & Twenty offers a menu of classic breakfasts, lunches and pastries with a focus on local produce and sustainable ingredients. Their all-day breakfast menu is packed with both classic and exotic breakfast options, with all eggs sourced from Homegrown Free-Range Eggs on Fijnbos Farm in Stellenbosch. Here, the chickens are free to graze outdoors in the lush, green pastures in the daytime, and sleep inside at night. All feed is free of fishmeal, animal by-products, growth hormones, stimulants and antibiotics. You can also buy free-range eggs from the café’s pantry, which is packed to the rafters with local product, homemade deli items and handcrafted confectionary. The eggs for sale are from Usana Wine Farm in Stellenbosch, where pasture-reared chickens eat a natural diet of bugs and grass, and roost in egg mobiles. Some of the breakfasts offered at Four & Twenty include the ‘eggs belicious’ with two poached eggs, Hollandaise and confit baby tomatoes served on ciabatta with crispy bacon (R68) or smoked salmon trout (R80); ‘eggs be-lean’ with two poached eggs served on an aubergine, mushroom and truffle rösti with confit baby tomatoes and a light yoghurt Hollandaise (R72); and ‘oriental eggs be-lean’ with pan-fried exotic mushrooms, two poached eggs, Indonesian umami Hollandaise, sesame-crusted bacon, buttery edamame beans and a drop of sesame oil (R88).
This charming café promises simple honest fare, and that’s exactly what you’ll get. Starlings sources eggs from Farmer Graham of Solitaire Free Range Eggs in the lush Hemel-en-Aarde Valley. Farmer Graham works hard to source feed for his hens that is free from preservatives, animal by-products and colourants. The hens roam free during the day so they can forage and dust-bathe as they would naturally. Pop into Starlings for a wide selection of free-range eggy breakfasts, including two poached eggs in a cup (R20); scrambled or soft poached eggs on toast (R35); fried or soft poached eggs with parmesan and basil pesto (R50); eggs on toast with bacon and Dijon Hollandaise sauce (R69); eggs Florentine (R63); and herbed egg omelette with salad (R68).