Dario’s Café is the brain child of the quintessentially Italian couple, Dario and Rossella Mustarelli, they have brought a piece of Italy to the bubbling tourist town of Hout Bay. This beautiful couple met in Italy while working in different coffee bars on either side of the Trevi Fountains in Rome. In 2005 they moved to Cape Town and worked together to open Dario’s Café in 2007, and later married in 2009. Dario’s Café only uses Tomuecci coffee blend, which Dario imports from the Aprila region in southern Italy, to ensure that you get the taste of Italy. Tomuecci was established in 1883 and is steeped in tradition and flavour, much like Dario himself.
In 2017, due to Dario’s Café’s growing success, Dario and Rossella decided that they wanted to expand their premises, thus being able to accommodate more guests. This resulted in a complete revamp and Dario’s Café doubling in size! They also included catering for kids at the back with an expansive play area and outdoor seating to ensure that little ones have fun too. The walls are a bright Ferrari red and you experience rich scents as you enter Dario’s, from the delicious coffee to Rossella’s freshly made Lasagne that has become a crowd favourite and is prepared daily, she has also created the recipes that fill the pages of their substantial menu, but her signature dish is Piadina, a type of flat, unleavened bread served heated and toasted, it is a definite must try.
Along with the revamp, Dario’s have introduced a Roman style pizza, ‘Pizza al Taglio’ – Italian for pizza by the slice and real Italian ice cream! To add to the fun there will usually be tables of wizened Italians playing noisy rounds of a card game called Scopa. Could it get more authentic? I don’t think so!
While you are there:
• Visit the Hout Bay harbour where you’ll find art and craft vendors, fresh fish for sale and the launches for boat trips (approximately one hour) to Seal Island.
• Stroll the 1km-long beach with gorgeous views of the bay.
• Drive and park at the Kronenzicht Dunes. It’s a short walk to the spot that overlooks Sandy Bay beach and some shipwrecks that did not survive the weather of the Cape of Storms.
• What’s close by: World renowned Chapman’s Peak Drive links Hout Bay to Noordhoek. The views don’t get better.