Most of our family and friends do not live in Cape Town. Moreover, we have a lot of acquaintances and friends of friends visiting Cape Town. In those cases, they often enquire with us what they should do and where they should eat.
So in the next few weeks and months, I’m going to put up some posts that give our personal suggestions for visiting Cape Town. These are all places we’ve been to multiple times and we love going back to. Our personal preferences are also influenced by proximity. Kim and I live in Cape Town’s city bowl so the majority of recommendations will be situated there.
If you’re also from Cape Town and reading this post, please add your own recommendations so people finding this can get a variety of opinions.
Let’s start with the most important meal of the day: breakfast.
The recommendations are listed alphabetically per category, so this is not the order of preference. We’ll leave that to you to decide.
Company’s Gardens, Cape Town City Centre. Right in the middle of The Company’s Gardens park, this quaint restaurant can be found. While the food is pretty good, the main reason to go there is its location. Enjoy the lushness of the green park, observe the many squirrels hiding their loot, and let your kids play in sight in the nearby playground while having your breakfast. (link)
I’m not going to lie, when it comes to the next two spots, I always have to think hard which one is called what. They both have names with a “J” and have dark interior designs. And they’re also both very tasting. Jason Bakery, Cape Town City Centre (link) and JARRYDS Eatery, Sea Point (link) are great spots to go for a rich brunch and a great vibe.
New York Bagels, District Six. On regular Saturdays, Kim and I have a routine. We have a fairly slow morning at home. Then we head to NY Bagels before going for organic vegetable shopping at Nude Foods across the road. So of all breakfast spots, we’re recommending, this is by far the one we’ve been to the most and we’re yet to be disappointed. If you eat bacon, we highly recommend the BART. (link)
Olympia Café, Kalk Bay. While Kalk Bay is not close to us, you’ll likely drive through there if you’re visiting Cape Point (that’s a highly recommended activity, but that’s for a different post). In Kalk Bay, you can find Olympia which is one of the best-known bakeries in the bigger Cape Town. (link)
Starbucks doesn’t exist in Cape Town and for good reason as we have amazing spots for getting coffee. Our roasteries are as hip as they can get. While it’s difficult to make a selection, here are the ones we’d recommend if you’re in Cape Town for a shorter time.
Bean There, Cape Town City Centre. Bean There is one of the first companies in South Africa to focus entirely on sustainable and fair sourcing of beans. This is the reason that we’re also using Bean There as our preferred coffee brand at home, next to the coffee having a great taste of course. If you’re a fan of coffee and in Cape Town for a bit longer, we highly recommend the “cupping” event; the coffee equivalent of a wine tasting. (link)
Espresso Lab, Woodstock. For over four years, my offices were situated above Espresso Lab. And we had a tap. Needless to say that I drank a lot of coffee. The owners and baristas are amazing people. Make sure to say “hi” from me if you’re visiting. Further, Espresso Lab is often voted as one of the best places for coffee in South Africa. If you’re there, try one of their more experimental coffee inventions, they are a “lab” after all. (link)
Haas Collective, District Six. Situated in District Six, Haas is a very trendy coffee shop with a quirky interior. Their coffee is good but doesn’t necessarily stand out that much — it’s difficult to stand out in Cape Town — but the overall vibe of the place makes it worth a visit. (link)
Truth Coffee Roasting, District Six. Truth is probably the most famous coffee shop in Cape Town. Not only is its coffee amazing, but the steampunk interior is also memorable. (link)
Finally, if you’re travelling around South Africa and you’re wondering what the closest equivalent to a Starbucks type chain is, we’d recommend the following two.
Bootlegger Coffee Company. Popping up all over Cape Town and recently also in Johannesburg, Bootleggers gives good coffee and a nice atmosphere. (link)
Vida e Caffè. Portuguese in its original style, Vida is known for its enthusiastic baristas. (link)