By Zoe Wiltshire
Cape Town is an incredible city, it has something for everyone. Whether you like hiking, history, shopping or eating – Cape Town has you covered, and then some! But what many don’t know is that the city is the centre of Africa’s hipster culture. So, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to let the secret out! Here’s a few key spots to make any stay a little quirkier and a whole lot more insta-worthy.
Kloof Street House – Set in an old Victorian house, each room is lavish and uniquely decorated, offering up huge amounts of character. If you’re in the mood, there is often live jazz on a Sunday, or boozy lunches in the lush gardens are fantastic.
The food is of superb quality, the ingredients responsibly sourced and the menu changes with the seasons so you can always rely on the best that can be found when you go. If you are wanting something a little lighter, there are both a bar menu and the sharing platters to choose from.
The staff are great fun; however, the service can be a little slow, but trust us…it is well worth the wait.
Chocoholics and Gin-lovers Unite!
Honest Chocolate is a small artisanal chocolate company based on Wale Street. If you are looking for a cool stop for sandwiches and other food before the chocolate course, this certainly isn’t it. Everything in this café is about good drinks and even better chocolatey goodness.
All of their chocolate is handcrafted using ethically sourced cacao and utilising traditional techniques. It is a much higher quality chocolate with no additives, preservatives, dairy or processed sugar, making Honest Chocolate a vegan haven!
They are particularly well known for their banana bread ‘Bunny Chow’ – a play on the local dish of the same name consisting of a hollowed-out loaf of bread, filled with delicious curry. However, in this version, they use hollowed-out banana bread filled with their handmade chocolate spread and ice-cream with spiced nuts on the side. What more could you ask for?!
To make this quirky little stop even more special…why there is a secret gin bar in the courtyard that opens in the evening!
Pop-up Shops & Market Hops
If you are in the mood to head to the local markets to get some amazing quality (and budget friendly) local crafts and artisanal food – Cape Town has many to offer. The Neighbourgoods Market, situated in the Woodstock area, takes over The Old Biscuit Mill each Saturday. Here you will find a diverse range of food, drink, as well as clothing and arts and crafts – all with a backdrop of live music. It is a maze of shopping and a great way to spend a leisurely morning.
Another great stop is the V&A Food Market, situated in The Old Power Station, this is another great piece of history that has now given way to a vibrant market, right in the heart of the V&A Waterfront. Open most of the week, this market will give you some great dining options, as well as artisanal stalls. This is combined really well with the Watershed Market, just a short walk away.
The Watershed Market is located in a huge warehouse and now houses over 150 local artisans offering a huge range of affordable crafts, workshops, exhibitions and live entertainments. You never know what you will find around each corner – other than the guarantee that it will be colourful and unique. These really are two gems in the heart of the V&A Waterfront.
No hipster hangout guide would be complete without a speakeasy, but this one has a sombre history. Back in the early 20th century a flu outbreak took hold of the Western Cape, taking many lives and leaving 1000s of children orphaned, hence the name ‘Orphan Street’ – on which the Orphanage Cocktail Emporium is located. The team here pay homage to this sad time by linking up with, and supporting, St Francis’ Children’s home via fundraisers and donations.
These days the Orphanage plays host to some of Cape Town’s coolest DJ nights & live bands and is home to some of the city’s best bartenders & mixologists. If you’re a fan of on-trend cocktails, vintage furnishings and keeping up with the latest sound – the Orphanage is the late-night spot for you.
Asia meets Africa
Last but not least, it’s’ Tjing Tjing – a stunning 4 floor heritage building transformed into the coolest Japanese inspired venue on the African continent.
Each level offers something different. On the ground floor you have Torii, offering Japanese street eats in a casual setting. Moving on up is Momiji, where oriental zen provides the backdrop for a formal Japanese dining experience, this makes for a great destination restaurant. On the second floor we find Momiji Lounge, a seriously cool cocktail bar complete with dark furnishings, moody lighting & classy Japanese inspired mixes & bar snacks.
Our favourite floor, however, is right up top – where you’ll find Tjing Tjing rooftop bar. This place was named in Conde Naste’s list of ‘coolest new bars’ in 2011, and it’s easy to see why! A little slice of Kyoto in the heart of Africa’s coolest city. Booking is advised.
We could go on…and on, as there are so many amazing spots in Cape Town which are truly unique and put the hip in hipster. Hopefully this has whetted your appetite to find some more for yourself whilst there! To see how Cape Town can fit into your next trip, take a look at our inspirational itineraries and give us a call or drop us an enquiry, so we can get to work designing your dream trip.