Down South Pie Bar

Hot pies and cold beer

Down South Pie Bar has closed down since the writing of this article. 

In my opinion, Cape Town’s pies have slipped into ‘cheeseburger in a pie’ and ‘slimy gelatin’ territory. That's why I'm happy to discover Long Street's Down South Pie Bar. It’s about time someone made them the way they were intended.

Down South Pie Bar is a small, café-style restaurant with plenty of wood and clean lines. Pie and beer can be enjoyed at high tables inside, or on benches outside. The décor is simple enough to ensure that all eyes are on the pies. Facing us is a display cabinet full of hot fluffy creations, and the buttery smell of baking evokes immediate hunger.

A pie may be simple, but it should still be made well

Head chef at neighbouring Southern-style restaurant Down South, Carl Penn designed the pie recipes and his kitchen staff bake the pastry at the crack of dawn, every morning. The fillings could include springbok (slow cooked in casserole), pork and apple, chicken, butternut and feta, and ratatouille. Each pie is lovingly decorated with a pastry letter, so that pie lovers can differentiate between fillings. We can also see a plump, rotisserie chicken turning on the spit.

Manager, John Hart is a firm believer that ingredients shouldn’t be compromised. “Quality pies are possible and we’re here to provide them,” he tells us proudly.

I hail from England and I still get excited about strange African animals, like springboks. So guess what I order? Hot, baked pastry gives way to a pie packed full of slow cooked springbok, which is melt-in-the-mouth tender and prepared in a flavoursome casserole. My friend opts for ratatouille, and in between mouthfuls of tomatoes and fresh vegetables declares, “This is amazing”.

Indeed, our small pies punch well above their weight on the hunger satisfaction scale and are great value for money (only R20 each). We swill them down with a creamy mug of Lavazza cappuccino (R10) and team with fresh salad.

Down South Pie Bar’s offering is not only suited to fast-paced Long Street, but their gourmet, artisan pies are delicious and satisfying. Open from 09:00 until late, they also offer sandwiches, whole chicken and sausage rolls.

Story by Lisa Nevitt and photographs by Antonia Heil

Down South Pie Bar
267 Long Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 422 1155

Read about yummy, Capetonian lunch spots in our cafés section.

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