Whenever people ask me what my favourite meal of the day is – they’re always a little taken aback when I confidently reply breakfast. Sure, dinner is great, but how good is a greasy bacon Eggs Benedict, or a sky-high stack of buttermilk pancakes – or the big English breakfast featuring all of your fried friends. All these options are terrific – especially to a breakfast lover like me – but there is one dish that, in my opinion, ranks above them all – and that is the humble granola.
Why you ask? Well, the beauty of granola, is it can be anything it wants to be. It can be chocolate-y, it can be nutty, it can be fruity, and it can be served with other tasty ingredients like yoghurt, milk, honey, stewed fruit – the list is endless. So, now you know why it’s such a crowd-pleaser, I’m here to shine some light on the cafes in Wellington that are acing this simple but delicious dish.
1. Comes and Goes.
If you’ve had the granola from here before, I’m hoping you’re reading this and nodding your head in agreement when I say that the granola from Comes and Goes has to come number 1. Not only did this beautiful breakfast bowl have the most gorgeous nutty granola I’ve ever tasted – it was topped with a vanilla panna cotta that Mary Berry would’ve been proud of. Along with the tangy berry compote, bittersweet cacao powder and colourful combination of fresh fruit – this granola bowl isn’t just the top of the list for granola, its hand-down got to be the best brunch I’ve tasted to date, ever.
If you love sweets, chocolate and caramel – you’re going to love this daytime delight. I brunched at Coenes for the first time a few weeks ago, and of course to do a little more research for you guys for this write-up, I simply had to order their granola (although their eggs bene did look divine). Well. All thoughts of food envy & ordering-anxiety left my brain once that stunning plate of granola was place in front of me. Underneath the caramelized granola sat a layer of tart berry yoghurt, which offset the rich flavours of the extra cacao, caramel sauce, butterscotch sauce, and whipped coconut cream. This bowl was a mix between breakfast and an indulgent after-dinner dessert – and I was totally there for it.
3. The Oatery
Going to a café to get your granola fix is good and all – but what if you want the goodness of granola outside? Well, that’s where the gals at The Oatery have your back – as their fresh, fruit and wholesome granola and porridge bowls come in at third on my list. I had my first Oatery Granola Bowl after a 10km run – and I tell you, it was exactly what I needed to refuel. Every bite of the lusciously fatty Fix & Fogg peanut butter, mixed with tart berry coulis, rich bananas, and nutty granola was to die for – and even though this bowl was massive, I reached the bottom in no time because I couldn’t stop myself digging in for more.
Now this one here was a dark horse I never imagined would make my top 5 – but here it is, the granola bowl from Goldmine. I came to this place expecting a nice brunch, nothing out of the ordinary – but instead I was surprised with a bowl of granola that had everything I loved going for it. Crunchy, candied, nutty granola pieces? Check. Soft and sweet poached fruit? Check. Two dairy options (or non-dairy in my case) to make the granola as soft or crunchy you want? Check. Even though this bowl didn’t push the flavour boundaries like the previous two, it executed every single element that a granola bowl should consist of perfectly – which is why it has come number 3 on my list.
5. Beach Babylon
Last – but definitely not least – is the granola bowls from our Oriental bay-side friends, Beach Babylon. Their granola is in fact so good, that they released their recipe to the public after an overload of requests. Of course, no matter how hard we try – our homemade version will never be as good as their beautiful bowl of nutty, oaty, buckwheat bliss. And did I mention it’s all vegan? Oh yeah. They go the extra mile here – serving it up with some good old coconut yoghurt, berry puree & fresh seasonal fruit (with a dash of your favourite milk substitute on the side) – which means everybody can go ahead and enjoy what they’ve got to offer!