The best breakfasts in Joburg

A need-to-know round-up of the best places to breakfast in Johannesburg.

by: Kate Liquorish | 28 Nov 2013

I’d honestly never seriously interrogated the word ‘breakfast’ – maybe I’ve just been oblivious, but if you look closer, you’ll notice that it breaks into two words: ‘break’ and ‘fast’ because you’re ‘breaking the fast’ from the previous night with your first meal of the day…so that’s my interesting fact for the day.

The point is that I don’t think the antiquated meaning relates to how we experience breakfast today – it’s a celebration rather than a mandatory meal, and with beauties like eggs Benedict, French-style brioche toast, salmon scramble and flapjacks draped with bacon and syrup, who in their right mind would skip it?

Some call it ‘the most important meal of the day’, I just call it ‘awesome’.

Top spots in Jozi:

Everyone agrees

Salvation café
It’s without doubt at the top of everybody’s list. The courtyard setting, the great coffee, the freshly squeezed juices, the eggs Benedict, the breakfast duo (you get both the sweet French toast and the eggs Benedict on one plate!) and my personal favourite: the halloumi breakfast burrito make this an unbeatable breakfast venue.

Service Station
Strong cappuccinos and great Bloody Mary’s, simple sandwiches and scrambled eggs, plus seriously good quiches for brunching that will turn into lunching. It’s relaxed, light, bright and breezy and if you’re there on a Saturday there’s a market upstairs for some post-nosh shopping.

Their ‘egg baskets’ - toast baskets filled with poached eggs, bacon and topped with spicy tomato relish are infamous around Joburg, or if you’re in the mood for something sweet; their chocolate croissant with strawberries or the crumpets with mascarpone and bacon will satisfy any craving. Great service and a hands-on attitude from the owner make it an all-round VERY ‘nice’ spot.

The franchise
Tasha’s le Parc
Some love Tasha’s and some just don’t get what the fuss is all about, personally I dig it, and am a regular at their Athol and Hyde Park branches because their breakfasts never disappoint. Tasha’s le Parc in Hyde Park is simply gorgeous; paper teacups and pots hang amongst the lights, white linen and marble detail the setting and potted trees soften the façade. The best scrambled eggs on rye I have encountered and a bacon rosti to die for, doll.

Hipster hangouts

Croft & Co
A Coffee-come-wifi-hotspot for the Parkview populace. They only offer scrambled eggs, croissants and fruit salad, but the variants of accompaniments to the scramble are wonderfully diverse and idiosyncratic: Lincolnshire pork sausages, fillet steak, smoke salmon trout or just good old bacon and cherry tomatoes.

The Whippet
Exquisite loose-leaf teas in huge glass jars - think strawberry and hibiscus and Earl Grey from Malawi, as well as the best coffee in town paired with innovative breakfasts like tempura-battered, fried poached eggs with crispy bacon and tomato relish or poached eggs served in a bacon cup with parmesan equals hipster-chic-heaven.

Something different

The new kids on the block in Braamfontein; with a ‘keep it simple and do it well’ philosophy that they really do honour. Four options to choose from including: granola, French toast (sweet and savoury), a bacon and egg stack or a healthier rye and scramble with cherry tomatoes. Perfect for a breakfast meeting near the CBD or just something a little different.

Girly goodness

La Vie en Rose
A beautiful garden dappled with roses and lush trees, it’s one of the only spots in Joburg where you can eat outdoors without a parking lot or pavement in site. A simple breakfast menu that isn’t overly exciting, but the surroundings certainly exhilarate the senses.

Park café
Hidden in the Parks Centre opposite the Polish nail spa, it’s a pretty little setting where you’ll get the perfect stack of crumpets for your crumpet and the best creamy oats to float your boat.

Throwing caution to the wind

The Saxon
At R295 a head you’re going to want to go hungry, but with a spread including crayfish, oysters and Scottish smoked salmon, it’s a celebration in decadence that is worth experiencing. There are two options for breakfast, one being the Continental breakfast that includes all the buffet items of crayfish and oysters, etc for R205 and the selection with hot menu items, such as eggs, etc. is R295. And they throw in a glass of French champagne.

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