For crazy croissants
SCHOON MANUFACTORY AND CROISSANT HATCH
Stellenbosch locals shed a tear when, after seven successful years, Fritz Schoon’s glorious bakery left Stellenbosch for Somerset West. Now, the bakery is back in the Eikestad with two new locations: an industrial-chic “Manufactory” café in Bird Street, and a cute hatch in the De Wet Centre courtyard. At the Manufactory, start the day with soft scrambled eggs from Usana Farm, Ryan Boon bacon and country loaf toast – and watch while the staff wrestle huge batches of sourdough, dark rye and baguettes in the kitchen. The hatch – decorated in gorgeous floral wallpaper – focuses on croissants, baked goods and coffee – a signature Schoon blend courtesy of Conti Coffee. Don’t leave without trying one of the baked treats: think wonderfully almondy apple friands, strawberry-andyoghurt cronuts and ricotta-and-honey croissants.
Schoon Manufactory Café, 91 Bird Street, La Colline; Schoon Croissant and Coffee Bar, De Wet Centre, corner Church and Bird Streets
For a single-malt whisky
Named for famous barfly and author Henry Charles Bukowski – whose nickname was Hank – this fairly new whisky bar is a great spot for storytelling and slow sipping. Located directly above veteran drinking spot De Akker Pub, the moody, sophisticated space was designed by Story Design Collective, who recreated the atmosphere of a hunting lodge with pressed ceilings, leather banquettes and old hunting paintings (which frequently feature the character from the logo – a cheeky fox, which always escapes the hunter). There’s an impressive range of Irish and Scotch whiskies to try, as well as a couple of options from Taiwan, Japan, America and SA. Or sip on a perfectly poured whisky sour with a light egg white froth, or a Paloma – the Mexican cocktail that’s more authentic than a margarita. Catch live acoustic blues and folk on Tuesdays, and jazz on Thursdays.
1st floor, De Akker building, 90 Dorp Street (entrance on Herte Street)
For a glorious harvest table
Pile up a plate of fresh salads and meat from the harvest table at this relaxed café. Sandwiches and pies (try the venison one) are another great lunch option. Sweltering Stellenbosch summer days call for milkshakes made with Italian ice cream or vegan blueberry-and-banana “nice cream”. Owner Ingrid du Toit is passionate about vegan cooking – so look out for other specials including vegan carrot cake, vegan chocolate and coconut cake and vegan tagines.
De Wet Square, corner Church and Bird Streets
For farm-fresh food whenever you like
BOSCHENDAL AT OUDE BANK
Located in the former home of Schoon, this all-day spot is now also offering dinners from Wednesday to Saturday. Think farm pizza made with local, stoneground flour; organic yellow maize-battered hake and chips with charred onion dip, and farm-fresh salads – all developed by Boschendal’s star chef Christiaan Campbell. In the afternoon, pop in for a platter and a cocktail – try The Stopwatch Gang with whisky, pomegranate juice, citrus stock, stopwatch syrup, orange and pomegranate bitters and ginger ale.
7 Church Street
For a slap-up lunch
George Jardine is the master of turning comfort food into fine-dining plates, like the braised Williston lamb shoulder “pie”, honeyed parsnip, grilled lamb kidney and roasted garlic (top). At his Andringa Street space (no. 9 on the 2019 Eat Out Top 10), he serves a surprisingly affordable two- or three-course menu (if you calculate based on cost per units of deliciousness).
1 Andringa Street
For a salmon bagel
ALL THINGS GOOD
Come lunchtime, this Ryneveld Street spot is buzzing. Students and tourists alike flock here for an affordable, doughnut-shaped lunch. Think bagels loaded with salmon, cream cheese, cucumber, capers and dill; or salami, Brie, olive tapenade and onion jam. It’s also a great spot for vegans: at the time of writing, there were four vegan bagel options – including a mushroom, sundried tomato, hummus and basil bagel – and a choice of almond, soya or coconut milk for your coffee. And for pud, there are vegan peanut butter tarts and vegan cheesecake. While you’re there, pop into Meraki next door – run by the same owners – for fantastic gluten-free ricotta-and-almond cake. Also check out the fairly new Meraki Downtown at 84 Dorp Street – the spot formerly occupied by Melissa’s.
36 Ryneveld St
For a giant burger
DE VRIJE BURGER
“Chefs need to start reclaiming everyday food,” award-winning chef Bertus Basson tells us over burgers, which he orders from this, his diminutive burger joint on Plein Street, at least once a week to “check standards”. We think the hand-cut potato chips, the juicy patties, and the free soft-serve with sprinkles that come with it could also have something to do with his habit. Also visit Bertus’s stellar new fine-dining spot, Eike, and his superb tapas-and-wine bar, Spek & Bone, both on Dorp Street.
61 Plein Street
For oysters, bubbly and market-style shopping
This double-volume, market-style space makes a great relaxed spot to meet for lunch. On sweltering summer days, a platter of dressed Saldanha Bay oysters from the Kaapse Vonkel Cap Classique Oyster Bar will go down a treat with a glass of something from the Legends wine list, which celebrates the Stellenbosch terroir. Finish with a Jackson Pollock crêpe with Nutella and banana from the For the Love of Yummyness stall. While you’re there, stock up on Rozendal vinegars, Banhoek chilli oil from the deli, and some Oak Valley glazed pork rashers, free-range, bone-in sirloin and certified Karoo lamb from the Ryan Boon Speciality Butcher counter.
20 Ryneveld Street
For steak aux champignons
Dry-aged Chalmar beef is the game changer at this stylish steakhouse set in historic Collins House. It’s been around since 2016 and has built a reputation for perfectly seared steaks. Feast on a steak aux champignons: fillet steak, foraged mushrooms, Dijon mustard, sherry, white truffle oil, kataifi and fresh black truffle. On balmy evenings, nab a spot outside in the lovely courtyard and sip on something cold from the extensive gin list.
1 Van Riebeeck Street
For a fresh lime mojito
BALBOA BALCONY BAR
Situated on the first floor, with a balcony looking out through the oak trees, Balboa makes a wonderful place for a relaxed drink on a hot afternoon. It’s named for boxing legend Rocky Balboa, but this is not the sort of place that regularly sees fist fights – an age limit of 23 means that most patrons can hold their liquor. Sip on a mojito made with fresh limes, and don’t miss the espresso tequila shot, made with freshly brewed coffee and Kahlua. Soak up the booze with a generous burger with a home-made patty, cheese sauce, and three kinds of fries.
First floor, 18A Andringa Street