Friday, 06 March 2020 08:33 AM
If cycling for hours on end isn't quite your thing, why not get your taste buds ready for a Cape Town Cycle Tour experience of a different kind? Join in on the event's festivities while indulging in some great food along the famous 109 km route. To help you navigate your way around the Cape Peninsula's eclectic food scene with ease, get started with Ilse Zeitsman’s recommended Cycle Tour itinerary for the foodie.
Get off to an appetizing start
This year’s Cycle Tour returns to its roots by starting at the Grand Parade Precinct.
Enjoy an early morning energy boost before the starter’s pistol cracks by heading up to Truth Coffee, the quirky steampunk-inspired coffee shop on Buitenkant Street in Cape Town. Expect innovative coffee blends with steampunk attitude such as ‘Deep, dark and twisted’ and ‘Black honey’– alternatively, a shot of grappa can be added to your espresso. And if you’re up for coffee with a twist, try their Albumen Airship, a cold coffee drink that comprises a shot of espresso, blended with egg white and condensed milk. Whichever way you enjoy your coffee, you’ll be wide-eyed with enthusiasm by the time the cyclists set off!
If you’re planning to relinquish some spectating in favour of a good breakfast, Truth Coffee also serves a mean Steampunk Benedict with poached egg, artisanal bacon, cherry tomatoes and hollandaise sauce on sourdough toast. But if you’re wanting a meal that will see you through till lunch, go the Whole Hog with a Sho’t Left Mixed Grill, a plate filled to the brim with mfino (Zulu spinach), roasted vine tomatoes, a skilpadjie, a marinated lamb rib chop, free-range beef wors, a mature Cheddar-infused mielie cake and a soft-boiled egg.
Replenish your energy levels before the 12:15 pm cut-off
Kalk Bay, a popular spectator viewing spot is the perfect place for a light snack, brunch or lunch while cheering on the many cyclists heading towards the 30 km mark. This trendy hidden gem on the coast of False Bay, not only shelters one of the last working fishing harbours for an authentic seafood experience, but you are spoilt for choice with a handful of restaurants along the main strip. With a cappuccino and fresh croissant in hand, get a window view of the cyclists pedalling full steam from Olympia Café and Deli. Or, immerse yourself in the race’s electrifying atmosphere by joining the throng of spectators at Live Bait seafood grill and sushi bar. There, you can nibble on sardines off the grill, order fresh West Coast mussels or smoked paprika calamari as a starter (or main) and enjoy their famous grilled prawns with garlic, chilli and lemon zest. For the same buzz with a rustic dining experience, head over to Kalky’s, a time-tested old school fish ‘n chips shop serving seafood straight off the boat.
If you decide to wait it out for some extra kilometres before the Glencairn cut off point, Fish Hoek will make it worth your while. Hidden within the quietness of this fishing town, is the retro inspired Stargarden Boutique Café. Their food is exquisite as is their interior with a selection of offbeat art, some for sale. The menu changes monthly. Think delectable desserts like seed-crusted gorgonzola cheesecake with smoked honey and beetroot carrot cake or hearty dishes like a leg of lamb with lavender sauce and chickpeas curry accompanied by Persian pilaf.
Keep your hunger pangs at bay before the final stretch
The next popular spectator point is Simonstown, 40 km into the race. Get in on the great vibe early in the day with brunch at The Lighthouse, a part-beach house, part-French Provencal café with a laidback atmosphere. There, you can indulge in a novel breakfast of sweetcorn fitter stacks with bacon and maple syrup or a banana loaf served with sliced banana and vanilla-and-cinnamon yoghurt. If you arrive just in time for lunch, opt for moules marinieres (mussels cooked the French way), Jamie’s beer-battered fish and chips or bouillabaisse (when available).
Cyclists who have just passed the 2 pm cut-off point before Scarborourgh, still have 49 km to go. The Camel Rock Restaurant & Oasis Garden in Scarborough is a great hangout for spectators rallying around cyclists, heading for the final stretch of the race. But beware, their sumptuous pizzas baked in a camel-shaped oven could tempt the mere mortal into giving up their dreams of finishing the tour!
Noordhoek, the beloved home of hippies and assorted artists is 10 km further along the route. Pull into Café Roux at Noordhoek Farm Village to enjoy a shroom burger or vegan curry. For a pub-style grub like "Lekker Lamb Vindaloo" and "Eish Eisbein" try out The Toad in the Village. And if you get there a little early, The Foodbarn Deli serves raw and cooked breakfast or a light lunch of pies, salads and wraps.
Get through crunch time with an afternoon pick-me-up
With only 24 km to go, the weary cyclists prepare to tackle the infamous Suikerbossie Hill, the final climb of the race. With crunch time looming, they’ll need as much spectator support as they can get as they head into the final stretch. Join the crowds in Hout Bay at the balcony of the Chapman’s Peak Hotel for a light snack and a spectacular view. Alternatively, be at the centre of all the action by basing yourself at Suikerbossie Restaurant for most of the day. You won’t regret their incredible buffet breakfast.
Between Suikerbossie and Bakoven, sustenance comes mostly in the form of food trucks dotted along the roadside. Grab an espresso, iced coffee or ice-cream from Street Café. Loads of cyclists stop at this food truck for a rest before tackling the final stretch. Then there’s Bootleggers Restaurant in Bakoven, a familiar spot to many cyclists cruising through the remaining 10 km of the race. It’s also a decent food spot from which to yell some words of encouragement.
You can also hit the Camps Bay strip and take your pick from a wide selection of ritzy cafés to start the Cycle Tour celebrations early.
Celebrate the finish at Sea Point
Hardcore supporters will be lined up along Beach Road in Sea Point until the final cut-off at 5 pm. It is where the Cape Town Cycle Tour ends after all. Get the celebrations started by treating yourself (and favourite cyclist) to a well-deserved meal at Rockpool Restaurant on 205 Beach Road.