There is no shortage of chilled and chic cafes and coffee shops in Port Elizabeth, serving up frothy cappuccinos and freshly baked breads and treats. Here is a list of some of the more popular hangouts in the Bay, offering perky pick-me-ups, tasty meals and a great Friendly City vibe.
Savages Fine Food
Restaurant, South African, $$$
Savages coffee | Courtesy of Savages Fine Food
The work philosophy of ‘happy staff, happy customers’ and a deep love for the architectural history of Port Elizabeth is what keeps Savages Fine Food a long standing favourite in the Bay. There is also no shortage of fresh and tasty meal choices on this elegant eatery’s menu. The mouth-watering breakfast options are served throughout the day, flipping out creamy scrambled eggs, grilled halloumi, avo salsa and honey-glazed pork sausages, to list just a few of the extensive options. Pastries, scones and flapjacks will satisfy those with a sweet tooth while the restaurant’s location at the gracious Victoria Veranda allows patrons to feel relaxed yet stylish.
Vovo Telo Almond croissant and Americano coffee | Courtesy of Vovo Telo
What began as an artisan bakery soon evolved into one of Port Elizabeth’s most popular coffee shops as customers, drawn by the delicious aromas that drifted out the door, came in search of freshly baked treats, great coffee and a place to chat. Today Vovo Telo offers a large range of sandwiches, pastries, light breakfasts and lunches using first class ingredients such as plump Karoo olives, stone ground flour, free range eggs and award-winning cheese. The comprehensive menu ranges from breakfast bagels and waffles to burgers, pasta and fresh and crispy salads that can be washed down with a variety of coffees, teas, frostees and fresh juices.
The flavoursome aroma of roasting coffee beans is usually the first thing that attracts patrons to the Roast Master Cafe, as this coffee shop micro roasts their own selection of Arabica coffee beans in a batch roaster. The smaller roasting quantities, along with the infra-red heat that is used to air roast the beans, gives the Roast Master’s coffee its own sublime and robust flavour that is unique in the Bay. Pair this with artisanal breads, cakes, tarts and other tasty confectionery items that are all baked on site, and the scene is set for that ultimate coffee break.
Sacramento is just one of those places that call you back, with an excellent location that affords customers exquisite ocean views while the interior remains warm, friendly and relaxed. During winter a roaring fire keeps patrons toasty while they sip on silky lattes and tuck into dishes such as fresh hake and chips with seasonal salad and generous farmer’s omelettes. The restaurant is decorated with an eclectic collection of interesting antiques that vie for attention with the magnificent seaside views. Locals often pair a trip to Sacramento with an invigorating beach walk, making that first cup of coffee taste so much better.
Lying serenely in the Gamtoos Valley outside of Port Elizabeth, Tolbos Country Shop and Restaurant offers plenty of good reasons to escape the city for a few hours. Its old school philosophy of plain and simple good quality has established the eatery as a firm favourite among the surrounding valley community and Port Elizabeth residents, who eagerly embark on the hour’s drive so that they can tuck into hearty breakfasts and generous lunch platters in the fresh mountain air. The restaurant includes a curio and gift shop where all sorts of pretty trinkets, homemade confectionery and bottled preserves can be purchased.
Cobblestone Bakery invites patrons to come and tease their taste buds with their range of freshly baked pies, quiches, and stone-ground range of artisanal breads. The pretty and quaint, pink terraced building offers both inside and outside tables and in the mornings in particular, the enticing aroma of freshly baked bread spills out the doors and into the street. The bakery is also said to make one of the best carrot cakes in Port Elizabeth and boast a Magic Bar that gets delivered all over the country, so best come hungry and save some space for dessert.
This licensed garden cafe serves light meals and a range of tempting desserts and cakes along with light lunches. The first Sunday of every month offers the option of a roast and advance bookings are essential. The cosy interior of the restaurant is inviting, however the grassy lawns and tables outside in the garden are usually the most sought after spots, where patrons can get the country feeling as they tuck into fluffy scones decorated with good dollops of jam and fresh cream. Apron Strings, as implied by its name, is a no-fuss earthy kind of place and offers good wholesome treats and fun.
Modern and light, the Como Caffe brings a touch of the Big Apple to Port Elizabeth with its slick surrounds and deli-styled presentation. The cafe’s great coffee is complemented by sweet treats such as freshly baked KitKat loaves, red velvet cupcakes and muffins. There is also a good selection to choose from on the savoury side of the menu. Pizzas, burgers, salads, wraps and sandwiches are all freshly prepared and the deli stocks an extensive range of internationally sourced ingredients that keeps their dishes interesting and unique.