To kids, it’s the silver bullet: a socially acceptable way to eat dessert at the same time as your main course. Served traditionally in vanilla, chocolate, banana, bubblegum and strawberry (or, more accurately, ‘pink’) flavour, the milkshake also holds a nostalgic place in the hearts of many grown-ups.
In recent years, however, the drink has been emancipated from these pastel-coloured beginnings, re-emerging as something far more haute: the gourmet shake. And true to form, enthusiastic inventers have come up with all manner of flavours. Right now, there’s apparently a limited edition purple sweet potato ice cream shake on offer at McDonalds in Japan; a potato chip shake in Brooklyn, New York (with peanut butter and caramel, for good measure); and a bacon shake n San Francisco, which has unsurprisingly been discontinued.
Here in South Africa, it seems we’ve got some pretty inspired – and slightly less deranged – milkshakes creators of our own. We set our Eat Out contributors loose in Joburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town to return to us with tales of every flavour under the sun. Brace yourselves for miso, caramel popcorn, fresh avocado and mint, Nutella with mini doughnuts, candyfloss, carrot cake and rooibos, pumpkin, marshmallow and caramel shakes.
Also renowned for their hamburgers (and shirtless waiters), Beefcakes does delicious Horlicks, Milo and Oreo milkshakes, and aficionados claim that their peanut butter and gingerbread milkshakes are not to be scorned, either. Their bubblegum milkshake is made from imported French Monin syrup and has no artificial flavourants or colourants, just that lovely happy Wicks bubblegum flavour. R35 for all flavours.
Café Liège (Athol)
This newly opened venue, decorated in delightfully modern baby blue, chocolate and white, serves a number of summery milkshakes, all made from high quality ingredients. Try the blueberry milkshake garnished with fresh berries and mint for a potent pick-me-up that’s also delicious, or a good old-fashioned strawberry milkshake made from fresh strawberries and ice cream only. (R35 for all flavours).
Fire & Ice Hotel (Melrose Arch)
No colourants or artificial flavours are used here. Their biggest seller is the Ferrero Rocher milkshake, or you could order the Lindt milkshake for another chocoholic delight. Their 3D milkshake is a coke float with popcorn. (R45 for a half-size or R55 for a full-size portion.)
Full Stop Café (Parktown)
This lovely café, situated in an old house with pressed ceilings, serves a serious milkshake made from peanut butter and homemade ice cream. (All R22.)
Gourmet Garage (Montecasino)
With a range from banana milkshake (made from really ripe bananas) to a peppermint crisp milkshake and chocolate shakes made with their own homemade choc sauce, Gourmet Garage offers the real McCoy. Even the peanut butter milkshakes are made with gooey dollops of real peanut butter. (R38 each).
Odd Café (Greenside)
A favourite hangout for hip crowds, this quirky café in Greenside makes a mean avocado milkshake. It tastes a bit like a mixed nut milkshake, but it’s made from fresh avos, ice cream and a drop of milk (with no added sugar). The shakes range from R32 to R35, depending on flavour.
How about a cookies and cream shake, made from chocolate wafer biscuits and vanilla ice cream, and decorated with more wafers and chocolate flakes? Or try their unusual Mexican vanilla milkshake, made with a thick base cooked from corn flour, brown sugar and cinnamon, and blended with vanilla ice cream. R30 for all flavours.
Make a stop for one of the best cherry and marshmallow milkshakes around, with tart fruit and chewy mallows blended together with vanilla pod ice cream, and then piled high with even more marshmallows and cherries. They serve a few other delicious milkshakes too, in flavours like peanut butter and Oreo. The regular flavours are R28, fruit shakes are R30 and gourmet flavours like Oreo and peanut butter range from R38 to R42.
23 on Hazelwood (Hazelwood)
This new eatery in Pretoria offers a selection of classic as well as inventive milkshakes made with indulgent ice cream and fresh ingredients. Flavours include traditional chocolate and strawberry (both R30), as well as gourmet Bar-One, banoffee, meringue and the stand-out, Nutella with mini-doughnuts. (All R32).
Aroma Gourmet Coffee Roastery (Brooklyn)
This popular coffee spot offers a great range of milkshakes, mostly made with their fantastic coffees and gelato. The coffee Freezo and peanut butter Freezo (both R32) are both memorable, and other options include a red Freezo, vanilla Freezo and a frappé (R24).
BICCCS (Waterkloof Heights)
Anyone who’s anyone in Pretoria knows that BICCCS makes some of the finest gelato out there and their milkshakes are no different. They simply blend their gelato flavours of the day, whether they be the moreish chocolate, playful Liquorice Allsorts or the zingy granadilla (all R34.)
Ginger and Fig (Brooklyn)
Their incredibly inventive shakes are made using fantastic ice creams by Whisk Away in flavours like miso, peanut butter and chocolate, caramel popcorn, yoghurt, mint and ginger, and passionfruit and shortbread (all R30).
Isabella’s Cake and Food Shop (Waterkloof)
If you’re looking for something super indulgent and a little different, try a luxurious milkshake in flavours like Ferrero Rocher, Lindt white chocolate, candy floss, dipped flake, or Oreo (R28). They also offer classics like strawberry and vanilla (R22).
Lucky Bread Company (Brooklyn)
Milkshakes at Lucky Bread are an absolute treat. Homemade and preservative and colourant free, their shakes come in awesome flavours including salted caramel, chocolate toddy, berry nice and vanilla (R25 each) and peppermint crisp (R30).
Tribeca Standard (Lynnwood Bridge) and Tribeca Lounge (Brooklyn)
Tribeca offers full-cream milkshakes in an array of flavours. At Tribeca Standard you will find classic flavours like chocolate, vanilla, fresh strawberry and fresh banana (all R28), while the Brooklyn café offers more quirky flavours like the fantastic peanut butter and banana.
Circus Circus Beach Café (Bay of Plenty)
This café has a back-to-basics approach, which means that standard flavoured milkshakes (R26) – chocolate, lime, strawberry etc. – are done really well. We also love the rich, malty Horlicks and honey milkshake (R31), which is even more decadent when ordered double thick.
Freedom Café (Greyville)
The retro feel-good factor reigns supreme at Freedom Café, where the shakes (R25) are as good as those in your childhood memories. Classic malted vanilla, chocolate and banana versions are supplemented by berry, coffee and peanut butter, thankfully all made sans artificial syrup and flavourants. We love the spiked shakes (R35) too: the hazelnut version is made with Frangelico; the strawberry contains Strawberry Lips and the coffee one is super-charged with Patrón tequila.
Parc Café (Glenwood)
There’s a danger that you will be immobilised by indecision at Parc. All milkshakes (R25) are made with locally produced ice cream from grass-fed, free-range Jersey cows, and natural and/or homemade flavourings. The flavours are varied and heavenly: vanilla bean (with real vanilla seeds); chocolate ganache; brownie; fresh banana; lemon cheesecake (with lemon curd); Fedora classic (with a double shot of Fedora classic coffee from their local roastery); and peanut butter. Their signature shake is the Free’s Shake, which is a concoction of avocado and fresh vanilla.
Sage Café (Ballito)
Addicts get their fix at Sage, which is known for its gourmet milkshakes in variations like Ferrero Rocher (R45); Nutella and banana (R32); peanut butter and banana (R32); and Peppermint Crisp (R28). All are made with a locally produced premium ice cream, and imported syrups are used for the standard range of milkshakes.
Beefcakes (Green Point)
The diner-style milkshakes served at this butch burger joint are extremely thick, requiring extra-strong slurping skills. Try flavours like choc chip brownie, Oreo, Milo, Horlicks, peanut butter, coffee, or gingerbread, made with crushed biscuits (all R35).
The Creamery Café (Newlands) and the Creamery stall at V&A Market on the Wharf
The Creamery’s shakes are made on the spot, with any flavour that’s in the ice cream counter. Flavours change with the seasons, but you’ll always find 65% chocolate, sea salt caramel, peanut butter, sweet cream, and Rosetta Roastery coffee on offer. Right now, there’s also mint choc chip, choc malt, lemon curd, toasted coconut, and chocolate orange. You can request a mix of two flavours and let the mixer know how thick you’d like your shake. No milk is added to the mix, so the thickness is dependent on stirring. (All shakes are R35.) We hear the milkshakes will also be on offer at the new café opening in Salt River at the end of September.
Engruna Eatery (Sea Point)
We recommend the cookies and cream shake made with Oreos; the fabulous-sounding burnt marshmallow milkshake; or a banana and Bailey’s shake. The ice cream is homemade and fresh fruit is used (all R40).
Franky’s Diner (Sea Point)
Slip into a red vinyl booth and choose from a mouth-watering selection of milkshakes at this fifties-style diner. All shakes are lovingly crafted with La Veneziana soft serve ice cream and imported French Giffard syrups, and arrive topped with fresh cream and a Maraschino cherry. Enjoy something sweet with the creamy cotton candy crush or cool off with a refreshing watermelon shakes (all R35). Alternatively, behold the new Naughty Milkshakes menu which features decadent liquor-spiked shakes (all R45). These indulgent options include the Marilyn Monroe (cream liquor with Bar One spread and soft serve ice cream) and the James Dean (blackberry liquor with cotton candy extracts and creamy soft serve).
Hudson’s (Green Point, Kloof Street and Claremont)
Served in bowl-like goblets, the milkshakes at this trendy burger joint have a reputation of their own. No syrups are used, so the salted caramel, fudge and Lindt brownies that are used to flavour these options are all made in-house. They’re also double thick with no milk added; it’s just ice cream and the base flavour ingredient. Other flavours include peanut butter, choc-mint, Horlicks and honey, vanilla, Bar One, Nutella, strawberry, Oreo shake and Lindt brownie. (Prices range from R25 to R42.)
On a Roll (Little Mowbray)
Hotdogs are the focus at this American-style diner, but for a full 50s diner experience, tuck into a chocolate Nutella brownie, strawberry, banana or vanilla shake (all R26). They’re flavoured with syrup but made with real dairy ice cream.
Protea Hotel Fire and Ice (City Bowl)
There are an overwhelming 36 flavours on offer at this hotel restaurant. Some are based on chocolate bars (Aero, Ferrero Rocher, Lunchbar, Turkish delight and Crunchie); some are flavoured with fruit (peaches and cream, and peanut butter and banana); and others still are spiked with alcohol – even coffee-flavoured tequila. There are also some downright crazy flavours: we salute whoever came up with pumpkin, marshmallows and caramel; popcorn and Coke float; dark chocolate, orange and honeycomb; and the rocky road with cherry, choc chip, nuts and coconut marshmallow. They’ll set you back R40 for a small, or R55 for a large goblet.
Royale Eatery (City bowl)
This Long Street favourite offers 24 flavours. All of the shakes are served extra thick, with a spoon and wide smoothie straw to make consuming them possible. The most popular flavours include the choc brownie (chunks of actual brownie in a chocolate shake topped with chocolate sauce), the Oreo (biscuits blended with vanilla ice cream), and the Jack Daniels and peanut butter. There are often additional crazy concoctions on the specials board: right now, try the flavour with caramel liqueur with glacé pecan nuts. Fruit shakes (banana, strawberry and orange) use fresh fruit pieces and/or pulp, and the avo and mint shake was such a hit with one of the writers from international magazine Saveur that she wrote a feature http://www.saveur.com/article/recipes/south-african-avocado-mint-shake on it. They’re available in 300ml or 600ml servings and range from R30 to R58 for small and R45 to R75 for large, depending on flavour.
tashas (Constantia and V&A Waterfront)
All milkshakes are made with an Italian full-cream vanilla ice cream. Flavours include strawberry, lime, chocolate, vanilla, Horlicks or Bar-One. Also on offer are fruit shakes made with freshly squeezed fruit juice, and the very popular frullatos, made with ice cream, freshly squeezed juice and fresh fruit pieces, which are available in all kinds of flavours such as strawberry, granadilla, apple and cranberry. (R28 for basic milkshakes; R30 for fruit shakes; and R35 for frullatos.)
Cold Gold (Stellenbosch)
You can order any flavour of the available ice creams, sorbets, vegan ice creams and banting ice creams in milkshake form. There are normally around 20 flavours of ice cream in stock at any given time – think caramelised white chocolate mint, Valrhona chocolate, vanilla, koeksister, coffee, peanut butter or caramel. The normal milkshakes are made with scoops of ice cream and full cream milk. There are also vegan sorbet seasonal fruit slushies, dairy-free nut milk shakes, and banting milkshakes to be had, all for R25 each.
Schoon de Companje (Stellenbosch)
It stands to reason that the makers of the glorious Fanny Chanel ice cream also serve up milkshakes. The ice cream itself is made with eggs from pasture-reared chickens, cream from the University’s Maties Milk brand, organic honey and sugar, all-natural flavours, and seasonal fruits. Right now, there’s a caramel popcorn shake, served in a glass lined with homemade caramel and topped with homemade caramel popcorn; a double chocolate shake, which involves chocolate ganache and chocolate brownie crumbles; vanilla strawberry swirl; and banana, peanut butter and salted caramel. They’re available in kids’ size (250ml) or adult size (350ml) for R25 or R35 respectively.
The Thirsty Scarecrow
The Thirsty Scarecrow shakes are made with real dairy ice cream and real ingredients instead of syrups: for instance, the apple pie shake is made with vanilla ice cream and apple cooked with cinnamon, sugar and butter. Other flavors include lemon meringue, banoffee, coconut, milk tart, strawberry, gingerbeer float and stout beer float. From R26 to R32, depending on flavor.
Please note that while we take care to report accurate information, some menu items and offers may change without our knowledge.