Best of cafe culture

Gillian McAinsh

AFTER 10 years of interviewing the ladies who lunch and the madams who munch for The Herald, La Femme editor Gillian McAinsh shares her wildly subjective recommendations of the metro’s coffee shops.

RAAK, Pickering Street, Newton Park

Formerly a branch of Vovo Telo, this chic coffee shop opened this year at the Warehouse, which means Jigsaw’s hair salon customers get some of the best coffee around.

Best for: Cheaper refills than elsewhere and the source of Lindie’s Brownies, which after years of dedicated testing I recommend as the best in the Bay.

VOVO TELO, Raleigh Street, Richmond Hill

This trailblazer of artisanal bakeries in Port Elizabeth still sets the standard for quality coffee, bread and confectionery. Port Elizabeth people complain that the prices are high. They match the quality but are nothing out of the ordinary for well-heeled visitors.

Best for: Red velvet cake – and the best croissants in town.

THE FRIENDLY STRANGER, Bridge Street, Baakens Valley

Although it has real meals, this tiny (and very cool) upstairs-downstairs eatery is THE place for cake.

Best for: Carrot cake, but you won’t go wrong with any of its cakes.

DESSIE’S, Bloomingdales, Main Road, Walmer

This pretty cafe serves breakfast, lunches and teas overlooking the verdant Bloomingdales garden centre.

The owner, Dessie, is a cordon bleu chef who pays great attention to detail, both savoury and sweet.

Best for: Its selection of biscuits and treats to take home

BRIOCHE, Main Road, Walmer

The Walmer yummy mummies like Brioche not only for its fresh bakes and coffee but also for its sheltered back garden – popular for stork parties and other events – and kiddies play table.

Best for: Pecan nut tart.

BOCADILLO’S, Sixth Avenue, Walmer

This is another stylish coffee shop, with a mouth-watering selection of bakery items.

COBBLESTONE, Sixth Avenue, Walmer

Just a few metres away, Cobblestone changed hands this year but has kept its rustic charm.

Best for: The caramelly-coconutty Magic Bars are still a diet kiss-of-death.

RED CHERRY Heugh Road, Walmer

Not a bad place for a get-together or lunch, and the brownies are based on the above-mentioned Lindie’s recipe so they are good.

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