Eating our way through Jeffrey’s Bay

If you visiting the Surf capital, you’ll mostly spend all time in the ocean or doing water activities. Unexpectedly; we ate our way through Jeffrey’s Bay and it was the best decision yet.

The 20.79 km² area is known to host one of the best surfing competitions; luring surfers from around the world like Matt McGillivray, Filipe Toledo and Frederico Morais to try out the magical waves of Jeffrey’s Bay.

Arriving on a very windy day with some heat from the sun, our first stop from our everlasting adventure in Tsitsikamma came with the sight of relaxing by the sea. Having no plans set for this small town, our initial thought was to just follow the road and see where it takes us.

But how did Jeffrey’s Bay acquire its name?

According to history, the town is named after Captain Jeffreys; sailing his cargo ship up and down the East Coast of South Africa on trading expeditions in the 1840s. During one of these trips, an epidemic of scurvy broke out aboard his ship, forcing him to land. He soon realized the potential of the place and built a primitive port on what is now the main beach.

First stop: Dolphin Beach where a huge Supertube emerged, looking all ready for Summer. That happens to be Dolphin Beach Entertainment assorted with cool activities like water slides and putt-putt.

Colourful beach huts caught our eyes instantly so we stretched our legs and, strolled down a wooden pier to get a closer look of the ocean.

The wind here feels like a tornado.

It blew us straight towards the huts for a better view and lead us to the Shell Museum. You know we love our museums!

Shell Museum with its bright colour mural outside the building houses over 600 different types of shells; mostly collected from the shores of Jeffrey’s Bay. Walking into the building, AJ welcomed us in letting us know that it’s R10.00pp and asked us if we would like him as a tour guide. I said of course because these small glass-like ornaments aroused my interest.

AJ began with directing us to two huge cabinets housing common shells that we’ll find along the shore. He spoke with so much passion, it’s hard to imagine that shells play an integral part in the ecosystem.

I will never take shells for granted again.

One interesting and fascinating fact was that this yellow shell was known as Cypraeidae once used as currency. People back then used this particular shell to purchase goods with. I asked AJ if they will ever bring this back and all he did was laugh at me.

I wouldn’t mind collecting them though.

All this shell talk made us hungry so across the street stood a delightful restaurant known as Tasty Table Cafe. Walking in, you felt like you were home.

Each piece of wall offering positive messages with quotes to brighten up your day.

We made a beeline to the window seating overlooking the Blue Flag Beach as the waiter brought us the menu.

Both ordering a calamari burger with fries and ice cold ciders, our food arrived in approximately 20 minutes later. How’s that for good service? The calamari soft and crunchy to the bite, seasoned so well! The fries needed no salt since it came with its own unique flavour, nearly shedding a tear of many delights.

I highly recommend you try it. I left one of my biggest tips here.

Getting back into our car to check into our next accommodation, dumping our bags down to put our feet up for a change.

Hours went by and it was time for supper. Mmmm, what do we feel like next? In a pamphlet provide in our room, a listing for The Greek restaurant sprung ahead. Let’s go there.

Literally 7 minutes away, we parked in front of the restaurant, lit by candles. Greeted by the staff, they told us that most of the seats were reserved but luckily, there was a spot for us.

Handed with the menu, I immediately asked for an Appletiser. For some reason, I was boiling and it was not because there was a cute waiter leaning by the door. After scanning the tad bit pricey selection, we both chose to have pizzas.

It was large. It was filling. It needed some seasoning. But the place was authentic yet amorous; walking away with a huge doggy bag that we’ll probably eat from tonight.

With the wind cricking through the balcony door, the morning light woke us. Anyway, it’s time to wash, get done and say goodbye to our host. But we need to have breakfast! Out with my phone, I managed to locate a diner just down the road.

McTasty Diner. Bright, bold and retro. Just how I like it; taking us back to the 60s. The 60s were the best in my opinion. My parents were fortunate to be born at that time.

We oohed and aaad until we reached our seats with a menu selection that screamed eat me. To start the day correctly, cappuccinos were in order followed by me taking pictures while Courtney browsed further through the menu since there were so many delicious options to choose from. We better choose well. We won’t be in Jeffrey’s Bay anytime soon.

Hooray! Jaffles, please. With fries. Don’t forget those calories! Then our vinyl placemats were placed, jamming to old school beats in the background.

Our food arrived, placed in colourful baskets. Savaging the jaffle, I had no shame if there were crumbs stick to my face, It was delicious. Bacon, feta and avo – a great combination, indeed.

Stomach well satisfied, we couldn’t leave without finding a Jeffreys Bay sticker for our car. The Tourism office told us that Surf Art is the place to find one so off we went on our last stop.

A tiny shop in Pepper street, vibrant as ever. I’m sure we’ll find what we after.

Yvonne Robinson, proud owner preached behind the counter, sketching away. She designs everything in the shop and is famous for her combi with surfboards on top artwork; a significant image that portrays the culture in this town.

We said hello; telling her that we looking for her infamous car stickers. She said she ran out of stock and had ordered some this morning. However, she might have one in her handbag from using it as one of the items in her sons’ party bags. Viciously searching, she found one! But that didn’t stop us from inspecting what else we could take home with us – chatting away about all our travels and how her husband doesn’t get why she wants to go on holiday when they live in a holiday destination.

Such an eccentric woman she is. Do say hello. She loves having a tourist around.

Saying our farewells, skipping merrily towards the car to place our new sticker; back on the road, we go with our stomachs full and our hearts warm.

Travel Tips

Getting there: Take a scenic drive with your car along the beaches of Jeffrey’s Bay. Port Elizabeth Airport is the closet if you’re coming from another city or country.

When to go: Surf competitions take place in July but generally in the Summer months (November – March).

Must-see sights: There are a number of beaches to relax. 30 minutes West of Jeffrey’s Bay is St Francis Bay. A must-visit town.

Shop up a storm: Surf brands like Billabong, Roxy, etc all have big shops to splurge at. Not forgetting to get your hands on one of Yvonne’s artworks.

Websites to visit: Jeffrey’s Bay Tourism and many of the others linked in this post.

Until the next adventure.

Stephanie Marthinus Blog