Bob’s Bagel Café in Cape Town

The neighbourhood venture committed to bringing the bagel to coastal Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay may be antique store utopia and it may lay claim to a charming constellation of crêperies, cocktail spots and coffee bars, but, until April 2013, the quaint coastal village’s eclectic mix lacked one important ingredient: an authentic neighbourhood bagel shop.

“I wanted to introduce something unique to Kalk Bay,” explains British-born architect Robin Pollard, who founded Bob’s Bagel Café in a corner of his wife Charley’s ceramics store, The Pottershop. “No one in Cape Town makes proper bagels anymore.”

Needless to say then, he established the intimate breakfast and brunch spot in a bid to bring the tasty roll-with-a-hole, made the way it should be, to the seaside suburb. Though, this distinctive focus isn’t the little eatery’s only drawcard; as it opens out onto Lever Street Community Park, a lush green space boasting swings, slides, seesaws and climbing frames for kids, the joint is also an ideal place for parents to unwind while their little ones frolic at a safe distance.

And conveniently, being simple, versatile products that are as good plain as they are heaped high with decadent trimmings, the doughy delicacies that the store specialises in are equally popular with both mature and minor members of the family.

The edgy spot – itflaunts bold retro décor and an eye-catching colour scheme – serves up two different kinds of bagels, an artisan New York style that’s crafted from 100% wholewheat stone-ground flour and a slightly sweeter Montreal-inspired alternative toasted with sesame seeds. Both bready types are handmadefrom scratch by local baker Jeremy Barty – Robin is set on supporting home-grown talent – using traditional, century-old methods and an intricate preparation process that can take up to 18 hours (and requires as hefty a dose of passion).

As if these creations alone aren’t tasty enough, guests can select from a variety of mouth-watering filling options, like smoked trout, cream cheese and rocket; mature cheddar and homemade strawberry jam; cream cheese with mazavaroo (Mauritian chilli paste); or, for breakfast, egg with a choice of avocado, smoked trout, bacon or cheese.

Although undeniably the star of the show, bagels aren’t the only foodie delight on offer at the contemporary sit-down and takeaway store (it has indoor and outdoor tables). Robin’smuch-loved spot also dishes up homemade muesli with Greek yoghurt and an assortment of other sweet treats (think chocolate brownies, crunchies, ginger cake, shortbread and more), all washed down best witha piping hot cup of Deluxe Coffeeworks coffee – served in mugs made by a gifted local potter – or a glass of freshly squeezed apple, carrot or ginger juice.

Though, it must be said, while all of these other delicious goods are certainly must-tries too, without a taste of one of the shop’s fresh ring-shaped breads, a visit to this unique Kalk Bay café simply wouldn’t be complete.

Tip: Bob’s Bagel Café will gladly cater for kiddies’ parties, and with the play park just a cobblestone street away, there are few more ideal spots for a little one’s birthday bash.

The Bill: The eatery’s bagels are as affordable as they are scrumptious – with toppings, they go for between R20 and R35. All confections cost R15, coffee ranges from R15 to R18 and homemade apple, carrot or ginger juice rings in at R18. Patrons should note that the shop only accepts cash, not cards.

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (closed Thursdays): 8am – 1pm; Saturday – Sunday: 8am – 2pm

6 Rouxville Road | Kalk Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0) 83 280 0012

Note: As it’s tucked away on a corner, the café is not easily visible from Kalk Bay’s Main Road; visitors should thus look out for a classic red 1960s kombi with signage that will show them the way.


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