Grease, gears and hot coffee: 5 great motorcycle concept cafés

Revving engines and single-origin roasts may not be the most traditional marriage, but these gearheads are combining biking and café culture in a most delicious way. From vintage diners on dusty routes to slick city showrooms, we list five great cafes that cater to motorcycle enthusiasts and food lovers alike.

Diesel & Crème (Barrydale, Overberg)

Driving up to Diesel and Crème, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve wandered onto the set of a 20th-century Americana film. Situated on the iconic Route 62 in Barrydale, this vintage diner and motel draws bike enthusiasts from far and wide, presenting a glimpse into motoring history with an impressive collection of vintage cars, motorbikes and old petrol pumps. The café offers an extensive menu of diner-style fare, including crumpet stacks for breakfast, burgers, hot dogs, old-school chicken pies, waffles and their famous milkshakes with flavours ranging from the ‘cookie shake’ to Turkish delight. Another intriguing menu addition is the Jack Daniel’s burger – a beef patty drenched in smoky Jack Daniel’s sauce and topped with blue cheese, beetroot, red onion, cucumber, tomato and olives. The café also offers a selection of craft beers from breweries like Devil’s Peak Brewing Company, Brewers & Union, Boston Breweries, Cape Brewing Co. and Jack Black.

Diesel and Crème. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Diesel and Crème. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Duke & Duchess (Umhlanga Rocks, Durban)

Whether you’re there to grab a quick coffee, have lunch, or browse a selection of custom motorcycles, apparel and accessories, Duke & Duchess has it all. Chef Scott Bain sources all of his produce from the fresh produce market in Flower Road, using the seasonal ingredients as inspiration behind the menu. He serves a single-origin coffee blend from Durban roastery, Colombo. The menu changes regularly, but you can expect wholesome salads, quesadillas, gourmet hot dogs, pulled pork pies, Falklands calamari, turkey burgers, sweet potato wedges and more. A crowd favourite is the slow-roasted pork belly on a Portuguese roll topped with apple-and-lemon slaw. The breakfast menu features everything from classic eggy breakfasts and low GI oats with roasted seeds and berry compote to seasonal fruit platters with mint and lime dressing. Duke & Duchess will be relocating to a larger space in mid April 2015, so keep an eye out for news about the big move on their Facebook page.

Duke & Duchess. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Duke & Duchess. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

House of Machines (Cape Town City Bowl)

Located in a historic workhouse in Cape Town’s city bowl, this lively venue houses a café, bar, bike shop and men’s fashion outlet. The La Macchina Speed Shop, a glass-enclosed bike shop and “the heart of the store”, rests at the back of the shop, while the front functions as an upmarket shop, cosy café and bar. In addition to their exclusive espresso brand, Evil Twin – a single-origin blend made with organic Arabica beans from Honduras – the café offers a small menu of breakfasts, healthy meals and bar snacks, including signature rye-bread sandwiches like the Los Pollos with chicken, spicy mayo and salad; and the Big Papi layered with salami, artichokes, mozzarella, red peppers, tomato and pesto. From Wednesday to Saturday, House of Machines offers a completely different vibe as the space transforms into a bustling bar in the evenings, serving up small-batch spirits and a selection of craft beers. The Prohibition Bar, which often hosts live music, is open Wednesday to Saturdays from 5pm until late. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the latest musical acts and promotions.

House of Machines. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

House of Machines. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Los Muertos Motorcycles (Bo-Kaap, Cape Town)

Los Muertos is a creative hub, combining film production, custom motorcycle construction, biking apparel, coffee and pastries in one space. Located in historic Bo-Kaap, the venue has an industrial-style interior with exposed brick walls, steel, bike engines and a display of café racers (lightweight bikes that are modified for speed). The café section serves up Salvador coffee – a 100% Arabica single-estate roast from Nicaragua – along with baguettes from Baguette, croissants and fresh pies from Jason Bakery, and refreshing artisan fruit juice from Juicebox.

Los Muertos Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of the restaurant

Los Muertos Motorcycles. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Tribe 112 (Cape Town City Bowl)

Housing a larger-than-life BMW showroom and sophisticated café, this collaboration between Donford BMW Motorrad and Tribe coffee is a juxtaposition of motorcycle lifestyle and café culture. With a display of glossy motorcycles, workshop facilities and accessories, the showroom offers something for avid bikers and adventure lovers alike, while the café’s slick vibe makes it the perfect spot for a relaxed, post-spending snack. In addition to Tribe’s famous coffee, the café offers a breakfast and lunch menu crafted by chef Maureen Muller. Breakfast is served between 7.30am and 11am and includes everything from traditional bacon and eggs and lemon and cinnamon pancakes to herbed pan-fried mushrooms on toast. Lunch is on offer between 12pm and 3pm, featuring signature treats like the Tribe burger with grilled cheese, thyme and balsamic caramelised onions; a hummus bowl with smoky tomato sauce, chicken cubes and pita wedges; and roasted vegetable open sandwiches. Various cakes, brownies and sweet treats are available all day.

Tribe 112. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

Tribe 112. Photo courtesy of the restaurant.

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