Long the domain of languid New Yorkers, the institution of brunch has steadily crept its way into Cape Town’s consciousness and accompanying menus, allowing those of us in the Southern Hemisphere to enjoy the time-honoured tradition of the lavish late-riser. But what exactly makes for an excellent brunch offering? Three things you’ll want to consider:

The menu: Unlike the All-Day Breakfast, a brunch menu meets both the need for killer eggs Benedict and a buttermilk-fried piece of chicken. Really, it should combine the best of breakfast and lunch in one long, ‘yes I’ll take some extra fries’ order.

The booze: Move over coffee. Your ideal brunch spot should make a mean Bloody Mary and sport a list of bubbly cocktails to follow. Throw in some craft beer and gin for good measure.

The setting: Brunch is not a hurried affair. Indeed, the idea is to settle in and while away the hours between 10 and 2 in comfort, so your venue needs to feel relaxed and welcoming if you’re going to be in it for the long haul. Some soft jazz also never goes amiss.

With that in mind, here’s where to head for your next fix of breakfast-come-lunch.

The casual classic: Clarkes
This Bree Street diner is perfect for recovering after a big night out. Order the Huevos Rancheros or Hash Eggs and kick back in a comfy booth — dark glasses optional. Their sister restaurant, Wholesome, has just started serving up West Coast Oysters and bottomless Graham Beck Mimosas every Sunday so head to the back and seek them out if that makes your heart sing. Open from 8am to 3pm. No booking required.


The healthy option: Loading Bay
Eschewing the conventional breakfast/lunch binary, Loading Bay has instead crafted an all-day menu that is hard to beat. Favourites include the Granola Tart, Buttermilk Pancakes with vegan ice-cream and the Grilled Stem Broccilini with Boerenkaas cheese. Loading Bay takes their sustainably sourced, ethically produced views very seriously, so all ingredients are top quality in every way. Their list of beverages is seemingly endless, with everything from a Bloody Mary to a Matcha Latte available. When you’ve eaten your fill, stock up on your favourite Aesop goodies in their store. Open from 9am to 2pm. No bookings taken.


The famous one: Potluck Club
If you haven’t experienced brunch at Luke Dale Robert’s tapas paradise, positioned high above the Old Biscuit Mill, you should ameliorate that problem immediately by making a booking. Brunch at Potluck Club is a lavish affair with four different inventive courses to be shared. Bottomless bubbles, served in gold-rimmed crystal, along with a DIY Bloody Mary bar means that you probably won’t get out of there before 4 pm. And with live jazz and shimmering views of the city below, why would you want to. Open from 11am to late. Booking essential.


The hidden gem: Culture Cheese Club
Like their specialised Pecorino, this cheesy haven on Bree Street just keeps getting better and better. Now serving dinner and brunch made only with the best local ingredients, each exquisite menu item also comes with a helping of cheese in its many varied forms. Order the Avo, Eggs and Labneh on Woodstock Sourdough, French Toast with Forest Phantom Goats Cheese or Classic Caesar Salad with Parmigianino Reggiano, and crack open a bottle of their homemade kombucha. Open from 9am to 3pm. Booking optional.


Buffet and jazz: Harvey’s at Winchester Mansions
Load your plate with eggs, sushi and/or pudding at Harvey’s Sunday Jazz Brunch and keep going back until you can't squeeze in any more. R320 will get you access to the buffet, complimentary bubbles on arrival, a Sunday paper and the jazzy crooner of the moment. Afterwards, take a stroll on the Sea Point promenade and walk it off while indulging in some excellent people-watching. Open from 11am to late. Booking essential.


Take your folks: Bistro 1682 at Steenberg
While they don’t technically offer a brunch menu, Steenberg most certainly delivers on the top-notch bubbly front, and they're open for lunch too so you could always just hang around for both meals. After starting breakfast with their complimentary honey-drenched brioche buns, you know you’re in for a treat. Order their Smoked Trout & Crème Fraîche with a gorgeous chargrilled red pepper coulis and put the Steenberg Chardonnay Brut MCC on ice whilst enjoying the views of the estate. Breakfast is served from 9am to 11am, lunch from 12pm to 3pm. Booking essential.


Private dining: Matt Manning Private Chef
If you want to impress the pants off your Sunday crew, book a private brunch with international chef Matt Manning. Starting at R650 per person, Matt will cook you and 10 friends a multi-course gastronomic feast with five courses, served with bubbles and Bloody Marys. Courses typically include a Summer Fruit Salad, Cheese and Charcuterie Platter, Huevos Rancheros with braised oxtail and a Breakfast Bao bun with pulled pork shoulder, teriyaki mushrooms, pork crackling and crispy corn crumb, before finishing off with Banana French Toast with baked figs and mascarpone. I’m drooling just thinking about it. Brunch can be hosted in your home, or at Matt’s apartment by special arrangement.

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