3 Great Places to Get a Soya Latte in Cape Town
Written by Jaillan Yehia
First I should point out that you don’t have to have soya milk – but each of these three places does great coffee and superior snacks and has a lovely ethos – plus happily for me and other soya fans, they can all offer you a non-dairy latte without blinking an eye. Here are my top 3 places to grab a soya latte in Cape Town…
1. Vida e Caffè
I was already a fan of Vida e Caffè, which had just two branches in London, before boarding the plane, so I was very excited to see a branch of this so-serious-about-coffee-they-don’t-even-serve-tea South African chain within minutes of touching down in Joburg. I admit that by the time I reached Cape Town with its whopping 27 branches I’d chilled out a bit about seeing the familiar red and white logo, and I’d stopped feeling the need to have a cup of coffee at every outlet I passed – but a bit like spotting impala on a safari, I was always happy to see them, even if I was no longer especially surprised.
Still, the chain was an absolute godsend outside the big cities where most cafes hadn’t heard of the concept of soya milk, never mind served it, so I gave up enquiring and just sought out the nearest Vida instead. I still hadn’t tired of their savoury and sweet muffins and complimentary Lindt chocolate squares by the time I left the Southern hemisphere, and now that they have a further branch in London’s Westfield it’ll be even easier for me to keep my addiction going. I just wish Vida e Caffe had won the franchise wars in the UK instead of Starbucks, maybe one day they will…
You can count on stumbling on a branch without even trying, but if you need more info check out their natty website:
If Vida e Caffè is a better version of Starbucks or Cafe Nero, then Melissa’s is like a mini Whole Foods married to a more informal Carluccio’s. Part deli, part cafe, part gift shop for your food-loving friends, Melissa’s has a selection of branches around Cape Town serving fresh, wholesome, quality food, and selling more of the same ready for you to take home or pile into your picnic basket as sustenance during a summer evening concert at Kirstenbosch.
The overriding vibe at the tables is one of brunch with the papers, and the fridges are stocked with various treats of an international persuasion like pea pesto soup, and shelves heave under the weight of jars of onion marmalade and preserved lemons.
Take-away baked goods at breakfast give way to chunky salads at lunch, which in turn make way for more muffins and cakes come mid-afternoon. All with my requirement of a soya latte to make it complete. Foodie heaven.
Branch opening times vary, see website for details.
Popular branches in Cape Town include the V&A Waterfront (pictured), and Kloof Street
There being only one of Lola’s, the UK coffee chain analogies have to end here. Lola’s is doing its own thing, and doing it very well indeed right in the middle of Long Street. A popular spot both physically, and it seems emotionally given the heartfelt positive reviews and write-ups to be found online, the place has recently had a face-lift and a change of ownership, giving it a bright interior, a colourful and contemporary look, and a new veggie-friendly menu. The staff have a sunny disposition – the atmosphere may be chilled but the welcome is warm, and we were made to feel right at home.
Having gone in for coffee, we stayed on for lunch, enticed by the Penne Vesuvio (a creamy pasta dish with chilli, pesto and tomato) and the thought of escaping the rain, and were detained further by an artistically presented baked cheesecake – we left feeling completely full and with a sense of having found a place we’d want to return to time and again.
Open for breakfast and lunch and throughout the afternoon Monday-Thursday and for dinner ’til around 10pm on weekends
228 Long Street | Cape Town | +27 (0)21 423 0885
Savoir There was a guest of African Hotels and Adventures, which manages a portfolio of independent luxury boutique hotels across South Africa
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