An old theatre converted to a bohemian style cafe, this South-Peninsula haunt is well-known to locals. The atmosphere is lively, friendly and irreverent, but the real treat is the food. Sumptuous cooked breakfasts, delicious baked breads and pastries, as well as fresh Cape seafoods from the harbour across the road and beyond.
Main Road, Kalk Bay Phone: +27 (21) 788-6396
A quaint and vibrant area, perfect for a sunday stroll, right on the seafront with a view across False Bay to Gordon's Bay and Strand. It is jam packed with brilliant restaurants (Brass Bell, Cape to Cuba, Polano to mention a few). And it has the best ice cream in town plus wonderful antique, art, jewellery and other assorted (but interesting) old shops to browse through (including a nursery) and, best of all, is easy to access by car or train.
It is on the route for a drive to Simon's Town/Cape Point and near to Muizenberg beach for those who want to swim or stroll on the sand. The best place for a meeting of old friends.
Road: Past Fish Hoek on Main Road (heading towards Simon's Town), just before Boyes Drive intersects with Main Road.
Train: the train track runs right past and there is (as far as I know!) a station at Kalk Bay
Calamari that melts, absolutely melts, in the mouth. There is not a five-star restaurant in Cape Town that can beat them for fried/grilled calamari rings. Fish and chips that are the best in Cape Town because the fish is delivered quite literally off the trawler a mere two-minute drive away. Seafood platters include calamari, hake/snoek, mussels, prawns and loads of golden deep fried chips. Generous portions. Dirt cheap.
Unpretentious and not fine dining by any means, it's the best-kept secret in Cape Town. The locals don't tell you about it because they don't want the place overrun with tourists. I myself have even spotted the W Cape Premier, Ebrahim Rasool there, queueing like everyone else. Best to visit during the week as the weekends are insane. Only drawback is that they are not open at night.
For coffee lovers out there, it doesn't get any better than Vida for fabulous real espresso and lovely Portuguese pastries. The Kloof Street location is frequented by model types - a bit pretentious but good for people watching.
Local chain - Kloof Street, city bowl, Waterfront.
The best aquarium I've ever been to with species I never even knew existed like the giant spider crabs, which can grow up to 1 metre tall, and the tomato clown fish, whose males can turn into females at will. You'll also see sharks, stingrays, penguins and crocodiles. Well worth a visit, plus it's near all the great shops so when you're tired of fishing for bargains…
Dock Road, Victoria and Albert Waterfront, Capetown
Tel: +27 21 418 3823
A great pub to enjoy some after work beers on a Friday afternoon ... the earlier the start the better.
In summer the leafy beer garden is a perfect place to enjoy a cold lager while in winter the fire draws the crowd inside.
Newlands Avenue, Newlands
Minato may be housed one of Cape Town’s more interesting buildings — decorated by artists Beezy Bailey and Koos Malgas - but this is no place for people who like their sushi served up in designer surroundings.
You are instructed to ‘order only once’ to avoid confusion and irritation but no-one adheres to this rule, so go wild with a superb selection of sushi, sashimi and tempura and a good selection of oriental beers. Surprisingly reasonable prices - makes a change from the more fashionable sushi restaurants in town.
4 Buiten Street, CBD. 021 423 4712
The West Coast is only now starting to be discovered by tourists. Yes, the water is cold and yes, the wind can blow but the views and of course, the seafood, more than make up for it!
Paternoster has a great beach and a lovely, unspoilt fishing village feel. Head to the hotel for some of the best 'honest' seafood you'll find in the Cape.
Head up West Coast Road for about 80kms
Scarborough is still relatively tourist free despite the great scenery on offer on the drive there - head along the coast and over the pass from Noordhoek, past Misty Cliffs and into Scarborough. Cobbs itself is situated just back from the beach and offers great food and even better views. After your meal drive over Red Hill for the best views of Simon's Town on offer!
By far the best pub in Cape Town. From the deck you have views of Chapman's Peak rising on the one side and views of 9 Mile Beach on the other, the fact that they serve a great pint and decent pub fare is a bonus.
Cnr Beach & Pine Road, Noordhoek
(021) 789 1783
A showcase for innovative young Cape Town fashion designers on trendy Long Street. Co-owned by conceptual artist Doreen Southwood and designer Kirsty Bannerman, Mememe stocks an array of cutting-edge designers such as Richard de Jager, David West and Seth Harper, as well as their own designs.
A white polka-dot security gate and bright green faux grass doormat welcome you inside, while a pink metal poodle guards the cash register. If you’re looking for something original to wear, chances are you’ll find it here.
279 Long Street, 021 424 0001.
A beautiful, imposing structure. Archbishop Tutu wrote that “as a site and focus of resistance against apartheid, St George's won the splendid accolade contained in the title The People’s Cathedral”.
Sunday mass (at 11am) is legendary, but you can visit at any time. The Cape Philharmonic sometimes performs here and on Friday evenings you can listen to jazz in the crypt.
Wale Street, CBD, www.stgeorgescathedral.com, 021 424 7360.
It's extremely thought provoking to see how these citizens have come to live in such an interesting, tight community. You will see schoolchildren in nothing more than a corrugated hut, and women cooking for hundreds. There are also very different ethnic groups that keep to their own township.
Vicky's B&B is in a township where you can stay and experience true hospitality. It is also a moving experience; the children have very little, and yet are very happy.
They want to travel the world, just like you. Their hopes and dreams are the same as anyone's. Don't miss this really interesting and emotion-provoking experience.
All hotels, Guesthouses, B&B will have information, try and book with one that puts money back into the townships
Sip champagne at the Planet Bar at the Mount Nelson Hotel and experience the grandeur of the Cape's colonial era. The Planet Bar has recently been refurbished and is a very glamourous way to begin or end your evening. Great cocktails overlooking beautiful gardens.
You can sample food from all over Africa at the Africa Cafe on Shortmarket Street. The food is amazing and the decor is stunning - there are seven individually styled rooms and service is always with a smile! Afterwards, head for a drum circle where everyone is given a djembe and drums the night away!
The sessions are well facilitated and at the end of the evening, you will all be drumming together - great fun and worth the inevitable swollen hands and fingers afterwards.
Chapman's Peak Drive has only recently opened after being closed for a number of years for safety repairs. The drive takes you along the coast where you'll enjoy the most breathtaking scenery in Africa. The best way to approach it is from the South as it's much easier to stop at the viewing points. This drive should definitely be in your top ten list of things to do in Cape Town.
It is a very cool cafe. People can have a drink there and listen to music or poetry. There is also a huge outside terrace with a stage where concerts take place. It's very cosy and the staff are nice.
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