Lola's

Lola’s on Long Street

Open Mon - Thurs 7:30am - 6pm
Fri & Sat 7:30am - 6pm | Sun 7:30am - 3:00pm
 
+27(0)21 423 0885
228 Long Street | Cape Town
www.lolas.co.za
hello@lolas.co.za
Lolasonlong
Lola's

Lola’s on Long Street

This iconic Cape Town restaurant and café is all grown up

Holding court on the corner of Long Street and Buiten Street in Cape Town’s city centre is a lovely dame called Lola. Well, to be correct, Lola’s. The restaurant - it’s on the ground floor of a converted Victorian - is an institution, and has been serving the hustle and bustle of this busy corner for years. However, with a change in ownership in 2011, the eatery has completely transformed, from the menu right down to the décor.

Interior designers Gillian Goodwin and Brenda Hart have created a space that’s airy and white, with wide windows that let the sun stream in. While the palette is mostly neutral, the designers have injected vibrancy with the colour block bar and eccentric light fittings. Local contemporary art decorates the walls, and a smattering of outside tables hug the exterior. The look now is decidedly young, fresh and clean: the perfect canvas for the rustic bistro food. Think of creamy risottos, elegant soups, and beautifully cooked steak and fish—it’s classic fare reinvented with fresh South African flavour. For a lighter meal, there are also gourmet sandwiches and salads on offer. While many dishes on the menu change at least every three weeks, certain mainstays – like the popular fishcakes that come served with garlic mash and aioli - have won hard-earned permanent status.

Something’s cooking on Long

Once the private culinary maestro for hotelier Sol Kerzner, chef and co-owner Craig Wobbe is passionate about his craft (Bret Kramer is the other owner). He believes in sustainability, organic produce and fair trade principles, so from the carrots to the coffee, he’s sourced the best option possible.

Case in point? Craig heads down to the harbour himself most days to get the morning catch so that he can scribble fresh linefish onto the ever-evolving blackboard menu. He works daily with his right hand chef, Daniel Heyns, to conceptualise new dishes with the influx of seasonal ingredients.

“The staff is suffering under my purists values,” he says with a wry smile. We’re chatting over frothy cappuccinos at a table by a window while colourful Cape Town streams past. “We’re doing everything we can out of the tiny kitchen, even baking bread and pastries.” (The carrot cake is already famous in the city.)

Needless to say, the breakfast menu is as long as the lunch offering. The restaurant does a roaring early morning trade, and the diversity of the menu reflects this: from simple scramble and fruit salad to smoked kippers with eggs and indulgent Eggs Benedict. The health conscious can tuck into a fluffy egg white omelette and trade the coffee for a freshly squeezed juice: try the apple, cucumber and spinach flavour.

Lady of the night

No longer just a breakfast and lunchtime destination, Lola’s is open every Thursday evening (during the summer season) for a seafood and paella feast; though, hearty dinnertime classics, such as beef fillet, pork belly and handmade pasta, are also on offer.

“I cooked seafood every day for five years,” says Craig, referring to his tenure at Olympia Café (he has quite the résumé). “Thursday nights will be a seafood feast—there’ll be freshly steamed West Coast mussels, beer battered linefish and, and the real ‘McCoy’ paella.” Plus, he tells me that for both dinners a complimentary glass of house wine or beer will be offered with each main course. The house wine is Stellar Organics, which ties in neatly with his food philosophy(Though bookings aren’t required for lunch or breakfast, it’s recommended you book for the evenings.).

So, next time you happen to be on Long Street, whether it’s for breakfast before work, a business lunch or a much-needed fuel-up for a night out on the town, give Lola’s a try—she’s one class act.

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Other inspiring restaurants on Long Street can be found in our cafés section. Subscribe to our popular weekly newsletter, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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