Most people have been to, or at least heard of, Vovo Telo. This national chain is owned by Famous Brands (that also owns other well-known brands like Steers, Wimpy, Debonairs, Tashas, and many more), but very few people know that it started as a little bakery in Port Elizabeth.
Vovo Telo was not a flash in the pan; Port Elizabeth actually has a great selection of breakfast, brunch and lunch options. In this post we share just 5 of our favourites.
Fratelli Foods (Website | Facebook)
Fratelli’s is not just a restaurant, it’s a purveyor of authentic Italian foods. We’ve never been able to walk out of there without purchasing something, our favourite being their beautifully creamy Gorgonzola cheese.
Located on one side of a warehouse, with boxes of Italian goodies packed against the walls and on shelves, Fratelli’s reminds one of the gentrified but edgy industrial areas in some cities like New York. The warehouse is actually home to the Village Market once a month and Fratelli’s serves market-goers over their counter.
For breakfast I opted for the scrambled eggs on toast topped with crispy pancetta. The scrambled eggs you could find elsewhere but that pancetta might be the best I have tasted and it is worth visiting just for that.
There are not a lot of cooked breakfast options. Other options include things like croissants, muffins or fruit salad. The lunch menu has a selection of sandwiches and salads, or a selection of Italian meats and cheeses (yes please!).
(Alabaster Road, Baakens Valley | 082 877 6411)
Friendly Stranger (Website | Facebook)
The Friendly Stranger is just around the corner from Fratelli’s Foods (and just across the parking lot from Bridge Street Brewery and Colonial Kitchen), but it has been around for much longer.
Housed in a quaint old house under a big tree, this eatery offers an al fresco section in addition to the tables inside. Many people don’t know there is secret section downstairs which is perfect if you want some privacy or want to host a small function.
For breakfast I opted for the breakfast tart which sounded interesting and looked amazing but was quite dry, perhaps over cooked. But the other breakfast options were nice. I like that the scrambled egg and bacon comes with roasted cherry tomatoes and a squeeze of balsamic glaze.
I’d like to get there for lunch next time as people are raving about the burgers. The lunch menu also offers other items like wraps and salads.
(1 Bridge Street, Upper Valley Road | 076 437 6850)
Brioche (Website | Facebook)
The first of our two spots in Walmer, you’ll find Brioche in a beautifully restored house on Main Road. With seating inside and outside, this is a great option for winter or summer.
Apart from the usual breakfast options, Brioche offers a large selection of other interesting breakfasts like hot chicken livers on toast, halloumi cheese breakfast, porkies and beans breakfast and more. But the sweet options caught my eye and after my bacon and egg breakfast I ended up treating myself to another cup of coffee and a French vanilla custard pancake!
The lunch menu is also diverse with options like burgers, pizza, chicken schnitzel, savoury mince, pasta, etc. Brioche also has a big selection of Banting friendly meals.
(181 Main Road, Walmer | 041 581 2136)
Bocadillos (Website | Facebook)
As you walk into Bocadillos you will struggle to look at anything other than the cake counter. It’s filled with the tastiest looking pastries. When you manage to drag your eyes away you will probably next focus on the freshly baked breads for sale. Finally you’ll check the place out and realise it has very funky décor.
The breakfast menu is broken into sections. Healthy start has options like hot oats and fresh fruit but also flapjack stacks with bacon and maple syrup which doesn’t sound that healthy (but very tasty!). The Eggstatic section includes the English breakfast, omelettes, scrambled eggs and egg focused dishes. Then the Speciality section offers things like livers on toast, Bolognese on toast, breakfast pizza, etc.
It’s a PE thing to have a wide menu to please every taste and Bocadillos does it well. The lunch and dinner menu have a little of everything on them. Pizza, pasta, hamburger, meat, chicken, and, and, and. Whatever you feel like you’ll probably find it or something similar.
(42 6th Avenue, Walmer | 041 581 1523)
Vovo Telo (Website | Facebook)
And we end where we started, with Vovo Telo. If you’ve eaten at any of the others around the country you’ve seen the menu but you’ve not experienced the food. The original is still as good as it was while the others are poor replicas.
My mother says the creamy scrambled eggs are the best in town. Her favourite trick is to order the scrambled eggs with a small portion of chicken livers on top. That combination is not on the menu, but it should be. There are some other interesting options like poached eggs on corn hotcakes or the buttermilk hotcakes with Mascarpone and blueberries. I enjoyed my croissant with cheese and ham.
The lunch menu offers a selection of salads, pastas, sandwiches and pizzas. Be sure to take home some freshly baked bread too.
(16 – 18 Raleigh Street, Richmond Hill | 041 585-5606)
Follow @RelaxwithDax on Twitter for more up-to-date restaurant and foodie news.
- Dax Villanueva