Dalebrook Cafe is Kalk Bay’s fabulous new casual restaurant and deli. It’s opened opposite the super popular Dalebrook tidal pool.

Located in landmark building, Dalebrook Place, the eaterie is set to become another Kalk Bay favourite, thanks to the careful renovation of the heritage space and an on pointe, right-for-the-times menu by owner Charmaine Lilje of Chardonnay Deli fame.

The seaside sibling of Constantia-based Chardonnay Deli pays homage to its historical roots – the building is over 120 years old and has almost always been home to both businesses at street level and residences above.

Dalebrook Café menu

Seasonal food, rustic touch

“We wanted to reclaim that sense of place and history with the café, which is why we’ve left the beautiful original brickwork we discovered exposed and why we worked so hard with local craftsmen to build a space that has integrity from the woodwork up”, explains Charmaine, herself a Kalk Bay resident who before starting her own catering company and later opening Chardonnay Deli, cut her culinary teeth working at the Olympia Café close by, followed by a stint at La Colombe restaurant under then-chef Franck Dangereaux.

Charmaine has a passion for authentic, seasonal food, often with a rustic touch and this is especially evident in her menu development for Dalebrook Cafe. “I really believe that people are moving back to basics with a wish for simple, uncomplicated good food and good vibes”, she says – and judging by the hum of ‘hello’s’ across the café as people greet each other and the buzz of people as they tuck into hearty breakfasts and wholesome lunches, she’s certainly hit the mark.

Signature dishes on the menu include an avocado smash breakfast served with salmon and poached eggs, a raw energy bowl, seafood risotto, grilled linefish and of course homemade pies and quiches along with a coffee menu fuelled by Uber Coffee.

Dalebrook Café Kalk Bay
Just-baked artisanal breads at Dalebrook Café

Breakfast and lunchtime trade

As with Chardonnay Deli, the deli side of the business is just as important as the breakfast and lunchtime trade and customers can stock up on just-baked artisanal breads as well as delicious deli goods, and in time – meals to go.

“We want people to know they can pop in and stock up on homemade, quality basics and some spoils too”, says Charmaine, whose business is already a favourite with locals and out-of-towners alike. “I think living in Kalk Bay and knowing the area has given me some insight into the mood of the place and with Dalebrook Café, we want to serve quality products and be as inclusive as we possibly can – we’re really happy for people to come in barefoot from the beach”, she laughs

It seems her quest to create an authentic eatery is what people have been waiting for. Dalebrook Cafe is already an all-day pop in coffee spot as well as a linger-longer lunch destination. Early morning swimmers know they can grab one of the best coffees and pastries in the ‘hood before or after their swim, while cyclists who used to zoom past the building are putting in extra kilometers so they can justify the delicious calorific intake at Dalebrook Cafe later.

Heads-up: A great additional touch is a wall of lockers where you can leave your keys and phone before popping to the Dalebrook pool for a dip.

What: Dalebrook Cafe
Where: Dalebrook Place Dalebrook Cafe 20 Main Road Kalk Bay Cape Town
Dalebrook Cafe opening hours: Open daily for breakfast and lunch 7am – 6pm, dinner three nights a week (Thursday – Saturday) until 9pm
Dalebrook Cafe info: 083 326 0184, info@kalkbaycafe.co.za
Dalebrook Cafe menu: www.dalebrookcafe.co.za