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Old school diner and motel – South African style
Retro memorabilia, gourmet milkshakes and a night in the oldest building in Barrydale
Last updated: 23 August 2022
There's something nostalgic about walking into a dining establishment that looks like it has been around since the 1950s – the golden era of diners. So it’s not hard to fall for Diesel & Crème’s charm with its South African, vintage diner theme visible from the moment you walk in.
Diesel & Crème is child-friendly, bicycle-friendly and motorbike-friendly. Image: Diesel & Crème
EXPLORE QUIRKY-COOL VINTAGE FINDS
Established in 2013, Diesel & Crème, is situated on the scenic Route 62 in Barrydale. It has become legendary for gourmet milkshakes, hospitality and a must-stop pit-stop for road trippers and antique lovers.
From entering, you will see the large brick-faced building with old cars parked in front enticing you in, but as you get closer you will discover what makes this quirky gem so special. The outside area is adorned with vintage signage that you often find hanging in a collectors’ bar, garage parts like a tall Caltex sign and old petrol pumps, wine barrels and vintage motorcycles, all from an era passed by.
There’s different seating areas, inside the large shed or outside under plastic shading. Image: Diesel & Crème
The tall ceilings inside create a sense of grandeur, with old, rusted metal sheets, metal rafters, chandeliers, a bicycle and even a horse statue named Bettie hanging down. Well-worn, light, wooden floors and light grey, face-brick make the interior feel warm.
Much like the decor, the seating area is made up of a miss-match of finds. There’s long wooden tables with bulky white chairs or leather-backs, or even park benches. The kids can play outside, exploring all the retro gadgets like arcade games.
There is a bar area with beer on tap, plus you can watch the chefs cook and bake. Image: Diesel & Crème
SAVOUR THE GOOD ‘OL CLASSICS
Just like the decor, the menu pays homage to an old school diner with classics like chicken pie (served with nachos and cottage cheese) and burgers, which are all made with freshly baked, house-made buns, plus simple lemon-sugar pancakes and maple syrup waffles.
Or if you are looking for something a little different, there’s coconut green lamb curry with aniseed, vetkoek dumplings and frankfurters on a pretzel roll. There’s plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans too, like The Greta Burger or vegan wrap.
All the hamburger buns and sourdough are baked fresh in the shop, and you can watch them bake them. Image: Diesel & Crème
INDULGE IN ZOO BISCUIT AND RED VELVET MILKSHAKES
Besides its hearty food menu, what really draws in the crowds is the milkshakes. It’s hard not to indulge in a sweet, creamy shake when they have flavours to please every tooth, in fact, there's over 20 to choose from.
There’s Zoo Biscuit, peppermint crisp, cinnamon macadamia or peanut butter and fresh banana, red velvet cake and more. If you like the classics, they also have bubblegum, vanilla, lime and chocolate. And you can order them from the vintage, Green Monster trailer parked outside.
Diesel & Crème is very popular and reservations should be made to avoid disappointment. Image: Diesel & Crème
STAY IN THE OLDEST BUILDING IN BARRYDALE
If you feel like staying over, the oldest building in Barrydale is right next door to Diesel & Crème The Karoo Moon Motel, originally built as a homestead in 1896, was creatively restored into 2 self-catering units by the same hands in 2019.
At The Karoo Moon Motel you will find a garden, barbecue facilities, bar and a shared fireplace, lounge area and mountain views from the room. With its beautiful repurposed decor and great ambience the Karoo Moon Motel is a true gem.
The motel is a great spot to stay over if you’re on a road trip, or to tick off your bucket list. Image: Diesel & Crème
WHEN + WHERE TO GO
By Sarah Jarvis
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