This authentically Portuguese restaurant brings the heat this winter
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. He believes in sustainability, quality produce and fair trade principles, and Craig makes it his mission to craft and conceptualise dishes depending on the availability of seasonal ingredients.
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 sweetcorn fritter stacks and indulgent Eggs Benedicts. 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.
Not to mention, if you are in the mood for some nibbles, Lola's dishes up cheese boards, Charcuterie and Mezze platters all served with homemade ciabatta and tangy pickles.
Opening hours: Lola's is open from 7:30am to 5pm every day of the week.
TIP: Lola's is available every evening for private functions, & is the perfect venue for groups of anywhere from 20 up to 50 looking for their own private space where one can watch the night on Long Street unfold. (a minimum booking of 20 is required)