Kalk Bay is a sweet, bustling, seaside town with a lot of character. It makes for a great trip out of the city and has loads of unique spots to stop for a bite. The Courtyard Cafe is one of these gems, and not only is it easy to find, conveniently located on the main road, but it’s vegan friendly too!
where: 48 Main Road, Kalk Bay 7975 South Africa (Between Kalk Bay Theatre and Artvark Gallery)
contact: +27 21 788 1691
Before even entering The Courtyard Cafe itself, guests are greeted by an assortment of treats that’ll have your mouth watering before you’ve even looked at the menu.
After tearing your eyes away from the vegan-friendly baked goods, you’ll go on upstairs to be seated in the unpretentious, peaceful courtyard. You can relax in the dappled light streaming through the trees, or sit up on the deck and enjoy a view of the bustling main road below. If you need something to do while you wait for your food ( to distract you from the hunger the cupcakes downstairs triggered) you can browse some of the art in the gallery attached to the cafe.
It can be hard to find places that cater for both the vegan crowd and the carnivores, but The Courtyard Cafe really has something for everyone. The menu is currently quite limited on account of the pandemic, and yet there was something to satisfy every craving. I tucked in to a glorious vegan moussaka while their beef burger was, in the words of my mother, “the best burger I’ve had in a very long time”. They have vegan burgers too, which I’ll have to try next time when the call of the moussaka isn’t so strong.
For dessert, my dad ordered their apple crumble and when it arrived the rest of us dived in like vultures because it looked too good to resist. Fortunately it was massive and enough for three of us to share!
In fact, all the portion sizes are nothing to sneeze at (even the plant-based ones), and you’ll probably be rolling down the stairs after – especially if you indulged in dessert. The coffee was great too, and the menu and the atmosphere combined make the Courtyard Cafe great for meetings, casual lunches and even romantic dinners.
Of course, no 2020 review would be complete without a discussion of the COVID-19 protocols, and I’m happy to report that the Courtyard Cafe felt like a really comfortable spot to lunch in the pandemic.
The menu was written out on a chalk board, so you won’t need to handle a menu that’s been touched by countless other patrons, and all the cutlery came wrapped in plastic – a move that’s rare in inner city restaurants. The tables are spaced fairly far apart, and the fact that the seating is all open-air can have you breathing easy. Our waitress didn’t even touch our plates at all. Instead, our meals were brought to us on wooden trays, and we took them off of those ourselves.
The Courtyard Cafe is probably one of the most pandemic-friendly spots I’ve dined at since the lockdown restrictions were lifted, and their vegan offerings left me feeling full and content. Toss in the friendly service, the pleasant atmosphere, and the fact that their menu could leave me and both my parents feeling quite content ( we have very different tastes), and this little Kalk Bay gem has made it onto the list of places I’ll happily visit again.
Essential Millennial Rating: 4 out of 5 avocados