Food For Thought

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Friday, 27th November 2020

Article by Marguerite Smit

“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body; it’s truly love.” - Giada De Laurentiis

If you talk about food as much as you eat it, you and I are cut from the same cloth! And if I think back on my most memorable vacations, the food experience I had on the trip took it from just an ok -, to that awesome memory level. I’m here to tell you that Nelson Mandela Bay certainly has her share of top-notch coffee shops and restaurants that will take your holiday memories to that new level! Here’s a taster of what’s on offer.

Let’s start with breakfast; Baobab Juice and Smoothy Bar located on Lower Valley road in Baakens Valley is a plant-based juice & smoothie bar. They focus on high quality ingredients and strong ethics that help to promote the body's innate ability to heal itself.




A breakfast bowl is a great way to start your day! Here you can also try alternative fermented drinks and food, beverage options like turmeric steamers, almond milk cappuccinos, cold pressed juices or try a coconut veggie curry for lunch. Their operating hours are Monday through Friday 9:00 – 15:00.



Whether you're vegan or just wanting to try out a healthier (yet delicious) alternative, The Kindred Kitchen is another great option for plant-based meals, sweet treats and beverages. Operating hours are Monday – Friday 8:00-14:00 and Saturdays closing at 13:30, located at 14 Irvine Street, Richmond Hill.


Brioche Food and Coffee located at 181 Main Road, Walmer is a hit amongst the carnivorous portion of the population. They are open daily from 7:00 to 15:30 and offer something for everyone! It does get super busy here during peak hours, so go early to secure a table!


Bocadillos has been a long standing name in the city and have now branched out to 4 locations! Bocadillos on First, on Sixth, on Moffet, Walmer Main Street and the Yellow Door. Their menu ranges from artisan bakery items, flat breads and pizza, sandwiches as well as scrumptious salads and an array of pasta dishes. The 1st & 6th avenue locations are also open for dinner, serving items like beef fillet, chicken schnitzel, battered hake & chips, pizza, pasta, burgers and of course death by desert! Operating hours are Monday – Saturday 7:30 – 21:00 and Sundays from 09:00-14:00. The Moffet location operates from 08:30-17:30 during the week and on Sat & Sun 08:00-15:00. Yellow Door is your late night stop, which stays open from 12:00 - 23:00 during the week. Sat & Sun 08:00 – 15:00. The more condensed menu here boasts mouth-watering sharing boards, tapas to die for and a range of tacos. Their desert menu is also off the charts with offerings like deep fried Lint balls…so come with elastic waist pants when visiting!



If you are staying at a guest house and want to pick up a croissant or something sweet for after dinner, Just Kneed More bakery at 203 Circular Dr & Willow Rd in Lorraine is a magical stop. They are an Old School Bakery who love the tradition and skill that goes into creating fresh, delicious products. Everything is made on their premises, offering both savoury and sweet options.

“Cooking is all about people. Food is maybe the only universal thing that really has the power to bring everyone together. No matter what culture, everywhere around the world, people get together to eat.” Guy Fieri



From the sea to your plate has never been fresher than at This is Eat!  A canteen-style setting submerging you in true local culture, it is amazing for simply prepared fish dishes as well as prawns and calamari. They are located at the Harbour, operating hours are 9:30-17:00 during the week and closes at 16:00 on weekends. You haven’t experienced seafood in the Bay until you visit This is Eat!

The new buzz in town is Asian inspired SUKI on 6th avenue Walmer and their sister property TORO located in Kings Court, Buffelsfontein Rd, Walmer Heights.





Suki offers a variety of pan-Asian dishes, seafood and incredible sushi. Did I mention, incredible sushi? TORO offers a more condensed menu with mouth-watering sushi, teppanyaki & seafood. Both restaurants are open for lunch and dinner. Chef Leon Lin started his culinary career in SA back.




In 2003, working as a teppanyaki sushi chef at Grand West Casino in Cape Town. He opened Suki in 2017, Toro in 2019 and has not looked back. If you are looking for an amazing atmosphere with food staying true to his brand, Suki and Toro both deliver every time! Reservations are recommended to avoid disappointment. Both restaurants have a kids play area and Toro have an amazing lego boat collection placed throughout the restaurant. Their fish tank is also a big hit for little kids wanting to spot Nemo!




If you have a variety of taste buds to satisfy, La Kouzina located on the Humewood seafront at Brooks on the Bay, fits the bill! From Greek, Italian, Wood-fired pizza, schwarma and a sushi bar there really is something for everyone. George and Dawn are long standing restaurateurs in the Bay. In the same complex is the well-known Coachman, a more traditional style steakhouse with magnificent views of the ocean!


The Coachman Restaurant in Port Elizabeth


COVID-19 has certainly done a number on the hospitality industry. If you venture up to Stanley Street in Richmond Hill, you’ll notice a few favourites are sadly missing. But some really amazing restaurants have stood their ground. Mellas Dim-Sam and noodle bar has to be my personal favourite Asian-inspired restaurant in the Bay. It’s the kind of restaurant that emphasizes sharing food with friends, taking your time to order small plates and enjoying a wide variety that won’t break the bank. Owner-run and operated, it really lends to a personalized home away from home type of dining experience and delicious options for both vegan and vegetarians! Closed on Sundays and Mondays, Wed – Sat 12:00-14:00 for lunch and then 18:00-20:00 including Tuesdays for dinner only.





Muse is another great option in Stanley street. A more upscale dining experience offering delicious options for every pallet. Beetroot falafels, marinated vegetables, black rice, quinoa and chicken salads, butternut and chickpea croquette ,fire-roasted salsa and vegetable crisps, duck samoosa’s, Asian slaw, plum sauce and orange, just to name a few of the chef inspired art dishes. Another great stop if you are vegetarian! Closed on Sundays and Mondays but operations on all other days of the week between 12:00 and 22:00.

A well-known stop in this area is the original Vovo Telo bakery and café. All their breads and pastries are baked daily, using traditional artisan techniques. They use stone ground flour and no preservatives are added in the bakery. A great coffee stop at any time of the day! Hours of operation are Mon – Fri 06:45 – 15:00 and Sat 06:45 -14:00. On Monday’s they have a R50 breakfast special and on Thursday, a cake or baked pastry. & coffee special!

Just across Cape Road from Vovo, is the fairly new foodie experience 78 Havelock, which has a self-service menu that changes daily based on what fresh ingredients are locally available. They were doing a harvest table with delicious fresh food choices, but in adapting to COVID-19 now offer harvest portions. Check them out, at guess where? Yep, 78 Havelock streets, Central.




If you’re looking for a good burger joint – Crave Burger on 152 Main Road Walmer offers a truly American Milkshake, Burger and waffle fries experience. Their milkshakes are so good because they use top quality ingredients, no preservatives and their ice cream is made in house from scratch! They also have a great Veggie burger! Open Mon-Sat from 12:00-19:00, closed on Sundays.




Chingada’s Mexican Cantina is another PE hot spot, located on the corner of Main Road and 6th Ave Walmer. For an authentic Mexican flare ranging from fajitas and nachos to tacos, Chimichangas and enchiladas, this place has you covered. Round off your Mexican meal with a good Agave Tequila – the best Mexican this side of the Guadalajara!


Remo’s  Port Elizabeth for Italian cuisine


If you’re after Italian cuisine, Remo’s is the place to go! Located on Alabaster Road in (lower) Baakens Valley, this is the brain child of Renzo and Franco Scribante, founded in 2007. This family-oriented franchise has 3 stores, the other two are located in Durban and Jozi. The authentic refurbished décor lends to the ambiance, it’s a great place to chill. From delicious recipes handed down from mother to son, feel-good Italian food, black and white family photographs ordaining the walls down to the La Dolce Vita coffee & Nutella served by their friendly waitstaff, this is your home away from home. If you have kiddies dining with you, they have a big toy box to keep the little ones entertained, and the Rubiks-cube Madiba artwork is one-of-a-kind. Hours of operation are Sunday-Tuesday 07:00 – 16:00 and Wednesday – Friday 07:00-22:00.

Just up the lower Baakens Valley, are another two great stops, The Harbourmaster located in what was at some time a surfboard shaping workshop – check out the old wax dribbling’s in the basement stone room – offers a great brunch and dinner venue at great prices. From scrumptious French toast breakfasts to ribs and chips dinners, gourmet burgers paired with local craft beer, to venison fillets they have an extensive menu and great vegetarian options. Open most days from 07:30 to 22:00, they are closed on Sundays.

Just down the short hill, still in the lower Baakens Valley, is another of the Bay’s iconic stops, the Bridge Street Brewery. Known for its riverside outdoor area where many a chilled afternoon can be spent listening to local artists, and its great pub food, the real reason for its being is its craft beers that are made on site in the micro-brewery. The Celtic Cross Pilsner, the Valley Light Lager, the Black Dragon Stout and the Boar’s Head Ale make up a stable of fine craft beers that may just entice you to give up wine forever. What, give up wine, well certainly for an afternoon or two. They’re open all week, usually from 11:00 to 21:00 and Sunday’s from 11:00 to 22:00.



For something a bit more casual, especially if you’re close to the Bay’s great southern beaches, Something Good is a great family stop. Located on the beachfront (Pollock Beach) and one of the few pet friendly places to eat, this long standing PE favourite offers an array of options and sandy feet is welcomed. Think surfer food, hungry munchies and great ice cream. The play area here is great for kids! On sunny days be prepared to wait!

And then, if pizza is your thing, Charlies Pizza Summerstrand is just a short flip-flop walk inland from Something Good. Their hand-rolled and fermented bases lay the foundation for the “best wood-fired pizzas” in the Bay and perhaps the Southern Hemisphere? Ok, I may be exaggerating a little, but once you’ve experienced the Prosciutto Con Rucola or the Onion Marmalade or the Brie and Ham stop and ask yourself, where have you tasted a better pizza? Located in the Summerstrand Village shopping centre they’re open seven days a week from 08:30 to 21:30




If you travel further down along the coast towards Sardinia Bay, Grass Roof restaurant, farmstall and bakery is another epic stop. Located at 792 Heron Road, Lovemore Park, this is a true farm-to-table experience. The restaurant is open Tuesday – Sunday 08:00 – 16:30 and the farm stall is open until 17:00. They grow their own vegetables, stock locally made products in their farm stall and serve customers healthy, wholesome options on a farm like setting. They are also pet friendly (dogs need to be on a leash) and probably boast the best kids play area in the Bay! They have a variety of cats roaming around, or lazily laying around baking in the sun. A well-known pit stop for the biking community and a great family environment!

Crossways Country Market’s name says it all. Situated on a beautiful farm just off the N2, and just past the Van Stadens bridge, with wide open spaces where children can be left to explore safely and behaved pets are welcomed. All things edible are homemade and most of their vegetables come from their very own veggie garden. There is a little shop selling edible goods and take-aways for those on the go. Reservations are a must especially for parties larger then 6, on weekends and public holidays to avoid disappointment. They have a country market the first Sunday of every month supporting local businesses. They are closed on Monday’s but open every other day of the week from 08:00-16:00. You will often find live music here on the weekend and it’s a great hit amongst mountain bikers. Their play area is wonderful and they often put up a jumping castle to help burn off energy for the little people. They also cater for vegetarians – so a great stop all round!


Crossways Country Market Port Elizabeth


Jacks Bagels Port Elizabeth


Jacks Bagels now has 3 locations in the Bay, Walmer, Greenacres, Lorraine and a brand new one opening in Summerstrand this December! A trendy artisan bakery, offering bagels of all sorts daily between 8:00-16:00 and weekends from 8:30 – 14:00, Sunday’s until 13:00. A great option for both take-out and sit down. Their ice-coffee adds a nice sweet touch to their authentic savoury bagel options. Super satisfying for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon snack! The Walmer location often has live music over the weekend setting a wonderful ambiance for a good chill session with friends!




Hello. it’s me is located just up the road on 254 Main Road Walmer. This contemporary kitchen and bar also now offers a ‘grab and go’ range for those who are in a hurry or don’t want to sit down! It’s a great social hang-out if you have the time, ranging from breakfast to dinner as well as coffee & wine pairings! Booking are essential for pairings so check out their offerings updated regularly. Hello It’s me also offer a wide range of options covering most dietary requirements. They close early during the week but are open from 07:30 – 20:30 Thursday through Sat.





One of the best kept secrets of the Bay is MyMito Café in Walmer Township. It is my favourite coffee shop. Lloyd the barista has the most engaging smile and he makes the best cappuccino in town…but the greatness doesn’t stop here, they also serve lunch and freshly baked goods! Their motto is “Feed your mitochondria” with emphasis on serving fresh, healthy and affordable food to their customers. Their in-house training supports out of school youth in Barista and Hospitality training, so your money is well spent here! It’s a safe meeting space for visitors, awesome music and they have Wifi! If you haven’t visited them yet – do it, you’ll be hooked! They are located on 23 Witbooi Street in Walmer Township and open Mon – Thu 08:00 – 16:30 and on Fri until 19:30.



And that I’m afraid is the end of our brief foodie sojourn. I fully expect that Nelson Mandela Bay’s awesome beaches will blow you away (yes it’s a pun), and our friendly residents will have you smiling all day every day, but I’m convinced that our food and drink spots will take your stay in the Bay to a truly memorable level. And hey, it’s 20 minutes anywhere, imagine living here?


“Food, in the end, in our own tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity.” - Louise Fresco