donuts at Kramerville Bakery

A Secret Bakery in Kramerville

The Kramerville Bakery is hard to explain. As is Kramerville itself.

Despite the small-town-sounding name, Kramerville is a street full of furniture showrooms and interior design warehouses in an industrial area just off the M1 highway north of Sandton. A few years ago, a ragtag bunch of restaurants, coffeeshops, and bars started popping up amongst the showrooms and warehouses. These food and drink venues are usually hidden above, behind, or inside the showrooms and warehouses, and hence accessible only to people in the know.

The Kramerville Bakery is the newest of these secret venues.

Kramerville Bakery entranceThe entrance to the Kramerville Bakery. Note the stacks of plumbing pipe outside the door.

To find the Kramerville Bakery you must drive to the end of Desmond Street (Kramerville’s main drag), make a right onto Archimedes Street, then turn right into an unmarked parking lot and drive to the end. There you will find a plumbing supply warehouse, no sign of a bakery. Park your car, walk around to the back of the plumbing warehouse, climb a short flight of metal steps and then another flight of steps inside. Boom! You’re in the bakery.

Steps to the Kramerville BakeryThe steps behind Marie-Lais lead up to the bakery.

I should mention the Kramerville Bakery isn’t really a bakery. Or rather it’s not only a bakery. Baking is the Kramerville Bakery’s day job, but it also has a side gig as a fine-dining restaurant.

Still with me? I thought not. Let me explain.

The Story of the Kramerville Bakery

Eloise and her husband Alex worked in the restaurant business in the U.K for many years — Alex as a chef at a Michelin-starred restaurant and Eloise in restaurant management. The couple recently moved to Joburg, where Eloise is from, and decided to open a commercial bakery.

They found the hidden space in Kramerville through family friends, and decided to run a pop-up restaurant from the bakery.

Alex and Eloise at Kramerville BakeryAlex and Eloise in the bakery kitchen.

I learned about the Kramerville Bakery when Eloise invited me to attend a pop-up Sunday lunch called the Great North African Roast, part of Alex and Eloise’s monthly “Great Roast” series. (This month’s event is the Great Greek Roast.) I went, taking along my food-critic friend Marie-Lais, and we both enjoyed the meal so much that we went back a couple of weeks later for their pop-up breakfast and bake sale.

Great North African Roast

The Great North African Roast took place on a stormy Sunday afternoon. Marie-Lais and I made our way into the bakery dining area and found seats at one of the long tables. We quickly made friends with the people beside us — Joburg-lovers Donna and Neil, who discovered the Kramerville Bakery on Facebook. (Facebook is the secret to the Joburg pop-up dining scene. If you want to discover Joburg foodie gems like this, of which there are many, get active on Facebook.)

Kramerville Bakery dining areaThe Kramerville Bakery dining area.

Our welcome drinks were served and we got down to an afternoon of eating and drinking. Here’s a quick visual summary.

Menu for Great North African Roast
Great North African Roast menu card + whiskey cocktail.

Starter falafel at Great North African RoastBroad bean falafel with labneh and sumac.

Chicken and cous cous at Kramerville BakeryHarissa roasted chicken with couscous and apricots.

Cauliflower and hummusMy favorite dish of the afternoon: Crispy cauliflower with chickpeas and preserved lemon.

Dessert at Kramerville Bakery: pistachio cake with yogurt sorbet and peachesPistachio cake with yogurt sorbet and peaches.

This three-course meal cost R350 (about $25), including a welcome drink and a bottle of wine (choice of white or red) split between two people. This is a heck of a fine-dining deal. Booking is essential.

Just take my advice and don’t plan anything for the rest of the day. This meal lasts for several hours and you won’t be hungry afterward. Donna and Neil had to go to a friend’s house for dinner that evening and I felt sorry for them.

Breakfast Bake Sale

During the roast, Eloise mentioned that they also host a breakfast/bake sale, featuring homemade donuts, on the last Saturday of every month. She had me at donuts.

There were tables set up outside for the breakfast but it was uncharacteristically freezing for an early summer day. So Marie-Lais and I bought our coffee from the truck in the parking lot and made our way inside.

Coffee from Curbside CafeCoffee by Curbside Cafe.

Curbside Cafe truckOur cappuccinos were delicious.

Breakfast bake sale at KramervilleEloise serves a customer at the bake sale. Despite the early hour (8:30 on Saturday) and crappy weather, the place was busy. I think the donuts often sell out.

Donuts at Kramerville BakeryDonuts filled with chocolate, vanilla, or apricot. These donuts are fantastic. According to foodie Marie-Lais, the cream is real egg cream.

The bake sale included donuts, cookies, and brownies, as well as bread, olive oil, anchovy butter, and various other special items.

Customers can also order a hot breakfast: Last’s Saturday’s menu was a choice between grilled haloumi with chorizo on toast or a double-cheese toastie. (“Toastie” is South African for grilled cheese.) We ordered one of each. I loved both but the toastie, which came with a side of bread-and-butter pickles, was my favorite.

Breakfast at Kramerville BakeryBonanza.

It was a good breakfast.

This is a longer-than-normal restaurant review but as I said, the Kramerville Bakery is hard to describe. It was worth the time and effort though, as this is a special Jozi place.

Find the Kramerville Bakery on Facebook, foodies, and get yourself up there.

My Sunday lunch at Kramerville Bakery was complimentary but I went back for breakfast on my own dime. Opinions expressed are mine.

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9 Comments

  • Reply Jess October 31, 2017 at 11:36 am

    This place looks amazing!

    • Reply 2summers October 31, 2017 at 11:37 am

      You’d love it!

  • Reply Pam October 31, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Wow, my kind of food. Would love to pay them a visit one day.

  • Reply autumnashbough November 1, 2017 at 12:25 am

    Want. It seems like you have the most amazing new/ non-permanent places. Is their licensing less strict than in the U.S.? Or maybe I’m just not hip.

    • Reply 2summers November 1, 2017 at 5:47 am

      I don’t know if licensing is less strict but it’s probably less enforced.

  • Reply all-TIM-ate November 1, 2017 at 7:26 am

    Great find! Will pass through there even if it’s just to try their cappuccino.

    • Reply 2summers November 1, 2017 at 8:34 am

      Curbside Cafe serves at other locations around the northern suburbs, too.

  • Reply Di Brown November 9, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    This is why Joburg is way cooler than Cape Town. Love this concept of secret pop up stuff. Maybe it happens in Cape Town too and I am just not in the know…. but anyway, I love “your Joburg ” Heather. Great post

    • Reply 2summers November 9, 2017 at 6:37 pm

      Aww, thanks Di. It probably happens more often here but there must be stuff like this in CT!

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