Situated at a busy intersection in a part of Cape Town that seems to be at the point where Gardens, Oranjezicht and Vredehoek meet, Lazari’s location might not seem ideal. Parking isn’t exactly easy. And yet a peek through the restaurant’s enormous windows reveals a constant stream of happy-looking patrons. Warm, convivial and noisy, Lazari has the feel of a busy, pretension-free Parisian breakfast spot, a true bistro with a sideline in cakes and breads baked to order.

It’s the perfect place for the suburban Capetonian crowd to grab an Italian coffee or breakfast as they head into town in the morning, and the sheer number of schools in the area means there are often harassedlooking parents grabbing some post-school run peace and sustenance. Lazari’s forté as a restaurant is good fresh breakfasts served with charm and at a clip. The bobotie omelette folded over with wodges of sliced avocado is the kind of breakfast that will see you through to dinner.  

If you’re lunching you’ll do well to improve on the bacon, butternut and blue cheese salad – but breakfast is served all day, so take your time to read the menu, written all over the walls.  What makes this little bistro slightly different is the additional services it offers. It specialises in baking – and its soft, spongy pink cupcakes are one of its signatures. But book in advance and they’ll pack a  picnic for your next trip up the West Coast, and cater for your next dinner party. You can even bring your own dishes to serve their legendary lasagne.  

They’ll bake cakes to order too –and specialise in pink vanilla cakes, an absolutely delicious carrot cake and a range of traditional cheesecakes too. Owner Chris Lazari is a constant presence at Lazari – generally a good thing in a neighbourhood family bistro like this – keeping a close eye on his kitchen. If you’re new to Lazari you’d struggle to know he owns the place, though, as he runs around clearing plates and taking orders. A culture of service goes right to the top, which makes for good-quality, quickly delivered, well-made food.

Vredehoek Ave, Cape Town
021 461 9865.

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