The coffee culture in Port Elizabeth is booming, new cafes and restaurants are making their appearances, older ones are changing things up and the Bay’s caffeine addicts are starting to know their Robusta from their Arabica, their flat whites from their cappuccinos and their blends from their single origins.
And by now we have established that the Bay knows how to do coffee and how to do coffee well; with South Africa’s oldest roaster in town – Mastertons Tea and Coffee Specliasts – we have a rich and strong background in the dark brown liquid gold (read until the end to find out how you can win with Mastertons).
Here, there and everywhere around the Bay local baristas latte art become snap-worthy while coffee shops with interesting décor, decadent displays of food and artistic atmospheres act as the perfect Instagram background for city dwellers, foodies and selfies.
With our noses on the ground, we followed the caffeine trail and went in search of some of the Bay’s trendiest coffee shops. And while some are more coffee shop and others more full-fledged restaurants doing wine-pairing and more, the coffee was one of the biggest draw cards…
This is what we have found.
Situated in Port Elizabeth’s creative corner, Donkin Village, and in a neighbourhood where the streets are lined with old architectural styles, the Heritage Café is well-known among the coffee connoisseurs of Nelson Mandela Bay. Plus, besides a mouth-watering menu, attentive and hands-on staff and the quirky décor of the restored building of yesteryear, the Heritage Café also offer unbeatable views of the Bay.
Where: 25 Constitution Hill, Central.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 16:00. Saturday, 08:00 to 15:00.
Hello, It’s Me
Hello, It’s Me opened its doors and said “hello” to the people of the Bay in May 2018 and alongside the modern design and interior of the 1054 building and its occupiers, this restaurant focuses on contemporary food in a beautifully curated space. Apart from a seriously good cup of coffee, they also do ‘farmacy’ smoothies, have a vegan-and-vegetarian-friendly menu (while still attending to the meat eaters) and the bar seating with plug sockets make for the perfect working space. They often host wine-and-food pairing events as well as a coffee-and-cake pairing that allows you to dive into the balance, body and complexity of coffees.
Where: 254 Main Road, Walmer.
Hours: Monday to Thursday, 07:30 to 20:00. Friday, 07:30 to 21:00. Saturday, 08:00 to 21:00. Sunday, 08:00 to 14:00.
When Kindred Kitchen opened in an old Victorian house in Richmond Hill you could feel the excitement all over town as Port Elizabeth got its first plant-based eatery, and thanks to the all-inclusive and welcoming atmosphere this has become a go-to spot for healthy meals with a different twist. At Kindred Kitchen the food becomes a display of rainbows on your plate, it inspires you to live closer to earth, more consciously and here, caffeine addictions are tended to as the baristas serve the perfect cup of wow (with your choice of nut, soy or cow’s milk).
Where: 14 Irvine Street, Richmond Hill.
Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 07:00 to 15:00. Saturday 08:00 to 13:30.
Set in an old house in Walmer, Brioche feels very much like home with its wooden floors, a big stoep for a lekker get together, and the artistic mix of old and new while the smell of coffee and their famous mosbolletjies (South Africa’s version of brioche) have people popping in and out around the clock. The menu caters for all, from the carb-conscious eaters to those who are looking for something sugar free, and they also sell homemade goodies like bottled jam (there are even sugar free ones), wines, biscuits and rusks.
Where: 181 Main Road, Walmer.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 07:00 to 16:00. Saturday 07:00 to 15:00. Sunday 07:30 to 12:30.
Holiday Coffee Co.
Early risers, this one is for you! Holiday Coffee Co. opens at 06:30 from Monday to Saturday and you can pop in for a wake-up caffeine shot on the go, or sit down, get ready for the day with a cup of coffee or even whip out your laptop and start working. This coffee spot has quickly become known as one of the Bay’s trendiest cafes, and photos against the insta-famous colourful wall are anything but a rare sight on Instagram. But besides being trendy, serving some delicious light meals, free and fast wi-fi, whisking you away to that holiday feeling, the passion for coffee is ever-present here. You go for the coffee, you stay for the coffee, you go back for the coffee (and, of course, the atmosphere).
Where: Corner of 6th Ave and Villiers Road, Walmer.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 06:30 to 16:00. Saturday, 06:30 to 13:00.
There is not one, but two coffee shops of Raak in Port Elizabeth and with one in Newton Park, and one in Mount Pleasant – each with very different opening hours – things are bound to “raak lekker” when visiting either one of the two. Between the two restaurants you can enjoy sitting in front of the fireplace, a 4-course dinner, or a music show (Raak2) or go for a breakfast, enjoy coffee and get a haircut at Raak in Newton Park. And to whichever one you go, there is no stop to the quirky sayings you’ll find written on the chalk boards.
Where: Raak – 27 A Pickering Street, Newton Park. Raak 2 – Buffelsfontein Road, Mount Pleasant.
Hours: Raak Newton Park – Monday to Friday, 07:00 to 15:00. Raak2 Mount Pleasant – Monday to Saturday, 08:00 to 21:00.
Groundfloor Café – with their artisanal pizza and coffee – is no stranger for the people of the Bay, their food truck has been seen at many events and festivals while their homely, rustic café is a firm favourite for those seeking alternative offices every now and then. With a 06:30 opening time, this is another café for the early risers; the food is good, the coffee is great and you’re your whole mood just gets better when visiting. It has been said that this is where you find the best eggs benedict in the Bay so why not go and taste? And while you are there, sit outside, the sunshine is waiting.
Where: 20a Stanley Street, Richmond Hill.
Hours: Monday to Friday, 06:30 to 17:00. Saturday, 08:00 to 14:00. Sunday, 08:00 to 13:00.
Situated in what is believed to be the oldest building in Port Elizabeth, Baakens Bistro in Baakens Valley never disappoints with its quirky décor, “hidden” lounge downstairs, great food, strong coffee and the famous pooch on the stoep (or wherever he finds himself when you are visiting). This spot has been dubbed – multiple times – as the ultimate brunch spot, but don’t forget that they’re open 5 nights of the week as well for dinner.
Where: 1 Bridge Street, Upper Valley Road, Baakens Valley.
Hours: Monday, 07:30 to 16:00. Tuesday to Friday, 07:30 to 22:00. Saturday, 08:30 to 22:00. Sunday, 09:00 to 15:00.
The success, atmosphere and offerings you’ll find at Loop Coffee is all thanks to two young entrepreneurs, who are passionate about coffee and they followed a dream to bring good coffee and good food (especially pizza with unique flavours) to the people of the Bay. If you are looking for a place with an inspiring ambiance, a place to relax, unwind, have a coffee, beer or pizza and listen to some great music, you know where to go. And don’t forget about their weekly specials.
Where: 2 Pine Road, Overbaakens.
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 to 17:00.
Signature burgers, Sunday lunches, sweet treats and things like camembert dunkers and of course, a ploughman platter, are only a handful of menu items that hits home when visiting the newly opened The Ploughman in Moffett on Main Lifestyle Centre in Charlo. And their coffee is packed with a caffeinated kick, perfectly paired with one of their home-baked goods alongside the vision of giving the people of the Bay a friendly, warm and community atmosphere.
Where: Moffett on Main Lifestyle Centre, Walmer.
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 08:00 to 18:00.
Wondering what to get your dad for Father’s Day this year? Wonder no more, because Mastertons has a special Father’s Day Blend and is giving away a Father’s Day Blend to one lucky winner to spoil their dad!
Founded in Port Elizabeth by Ronald John Masterton in 1924, Mastertons Coffee Tea Specialists have been pioneers in the roasting and blending of top quality coffee ever since. With a wide range of coffee blends, the finest decaf, a variety of fine teas and coffee accessories, there is more than enough varieties to pick from.
Competition closes Friday 14 June 2019. Prize to be collected at their new premises at 92 Main Road, Walmer.