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10 top coffee shops in Cape Town
We discovered some of the best roasteries and cafés in the Mother City for that perfect cup of java
We discovered some of the best roasteries and cafés in the Mother City for that perfect cup of java
They say that a good cuppa joe brings people together. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from, a great cup of coffee is a great cup of coffee. And java should be nothing less than great. That is why we have put together a list of 10 (okay, more than 10) top coffee shops in and around Cape Town that will bring you closer to tasting the perfect cuppa.
With tried and tested confidence, we can honestly say that Bean There produces some of the best coffee in Cape Town. Aside from the fact that they source their beans ethically, Bean There also takes pride in travelling to farms and communities to hand select their single origin coffee beans. Not to mention, they also take care to roast their beans on site in small batches, one of the few coffee shops in South Africa to do so allowing for java addicts to get an exclusive optimal roast that is nothing short of excellence. In addition to their amazing cuppas, the extensive mix of African inspired trinkets and art creates the perfect environment for creatives to brainstorm, or for the regular Joe Soap to sit back and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Cape Town city outside.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 7:30am – 4pm
58 Wale Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 87 943 2228
This unique and unpretentious coffee shop doesn’t play by the rules, but instead makes up its own. In addition to stocking just one java brand like most coffee shops in Cape Town do, The Blend, as the name suggests offers its customers a range of different roasts to choose from. After all, it is all about great coffee, a humble vibe and the right to alternatives – there is really no need to pick sides. On any given day, the edgy little haunt offers at least three different roasts (like Bootlegger and Deluxe Coffeeworks), as well as its own caramel-y creation. The coffee can be enjoyed on and off site, and is conveniently available in takeaway cups (ideal for the many 9-to-5ers that work in the area) and sit-down where customers are able to enjoy the laidback communal feel of the space and snack on a bite or two. The coffee shop also serves breakfast items such as omelettes, traditional fry-ups and muffins as well as gourmet sandwiches, wraps, quiches and salads. Not to mention, if you are feeling a little adventurous and wish to mix your usual java routine up a little, the shop also offers freshly cold-pressed juices as well as delicious smoothies.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 7am – 4pm
79 Roeland Street | East City | Cape Town | +27 (0) 73 831 0547
This popular long-time Long Street coffee shop and restaurant has been serving new (and loyal) customers since 2004, and even now, over a decade later, with its old school and unconventional look, this coffee shop and eatery is still bang on the money making it a definite must-experience. With its “romantic, bohemian funky feel to it” and décor and art features inspired by and created from recycled magazines and books, records, tape recorders and even vintage squash racquets, the RCaffé experience permeates all of your senses. Not to mention, their delectable artisan coffee is some of the best java in the Mother City. Should you wish to add a sweet (or savory) treat to your cuppa, be sure to check out their red velvet cake, or perhaps even a cheeky croissant.
NOTE: Early birds can enjoy the Rise ‘n Shine breakfast menu from 6:30am to 8am.
Opening Times: Monday to Friday: 6:30am – 5pm | Saturday and Holidays: 8:30am – 3pm
138 Long Street | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 1124
mischu: The Coffee Showroom
Sitting pretty on Sea Point’s Regent Road, mischu is named after the owner himself, Mikhael Bou Rjeily (or Mischu as he is affectionately known by his friends and family). Separating itself from the pack, the coffee shop offers its customers high- quality espresso-based beverages at very reasonable prices. Not to mention, in 2012, mischu took home the Best Espresso and Best Cappuccino trophies at the Cape Town Barista Awards, as well as the title of Best Cappuccino in South Africa later that year. Boasting its own Coffee Academy that offers a number of java-related workshops and courses – mischu and its talented team have forged a reputation for being passionate about coffee. A trip to mischu is worthwhile (if you don’t live in the Sea Point area). If you do live in the region, then you would already know just how great this hotspot is.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 7am – 6pm | Weekends and Public Holidays: 8am – 6pm
85A Regent Road | Sea Point | + 27 (0) 72 563 8090
This relatively new (it only opened its doors last year) and slightly alternative coffee shop does more then just create specialty coffees inspired by travels abroad. Described as the “sort of place that people can come to any time of day and do whatever they want in”, Shift Espresso invites its customers to be themselves and make whatever they want of the space provided. With their coffee being their standout feature, of course, the shop offers an array of unique and ‘against-the-grain’ specialties. Although the exact recipes are under lock and key, it has been revealed that indulgent ingredients such as condensed milk, Oreos and hazelnuts are used to create these unusually delicious concoctions. If this doesn’t excite you, perhaps the free Wi-fi, multiple laptop plug points and cell phone charging stations will tempt you to try out this electrifying coffee stop.
Opening times: Weekdays: 7am – 6pm | Saturday: 7am – 7pm | Sunday: 8am – 3pm
Cape Royal | 47 Main Road | Green Point | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 433 2450
‘Coffee and community’ are two things that Molten Coffee is very passionate about. But that isn’t just any coffee, or community-vibe. It is an excellent well-balanced cuppa of Deluxe Coffeeworks joe as well as a social and creative environment where anyone and everyone is welcome. Much like a neighbourhood, the coffee shop aims to create an atmosphere where people can come together and feel connected, create conversations between themselves and share in new and innovative ideas while enjoying a rich and flavoursome cup of coffee. Folks are able to enjoy their coffees with a selection of deli-type eats, as well as browse (and buy) the various crafted products displayed on the coffee shops walls and shelves.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 7am – 5pm | Saturday: 7am – 3pm
45B Kloof Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 422 2885
Bootlegger Coffee Company
Importing coffee beans from exotic countries like Guatemala and Costa Rica, Bootlegger Coffee Company takes pride in serving its customers coffee made with only the best beans that they could possibly find. Freshly roasting their beans every day in a way that no other coffee shop does, Bootleggers gives its customers more than just a cuppa, they give them an experience. Customers are also able to enjoy their java delights with what is described as ‘honest food’ - food that is made with only fresh local produce. From fresh farm eggs benedict to rocket and free range burgers, Bootleggers has hand-picked only the best quality Cape Town produce giving their costumers glorious tasting food every time. For all those early birds who are still half asleep, Bootlegger serves a ‘red-eye’ coffee everyday from 6:30am – 8:30am for only R14.
Opening times: Monday – Thursday: 6:30am – 10pm | Friday: 6:30am – 11pm | Saturday: 7:30am – 11pm | Sunday: 7:30am – 10pm
39-41 Regent Road| Sea Point | Cape Town | + 27 (0) 21 434 0060
Origin Coffee Roasting
Calling themselves “the artisan roasters of Africa” and taking pride in their hands-on mastery coffee crafting approach – Origin was here as an inner city first and is the godfather of all gourmet coffees in the Mother City. The venue has a wide range of beans available to their customers, both local and international, that they roast on site. It’s popular with the freelancing crowd as its cool interiors include both an upstairs and a downstairs area perfect for networking and socialising. If this isn’t enough, the coffee shop also attracts all tea lovers with their exotic options as the shop too has its own built-in teahouse replete with decorative orchids.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 7am – 5pm | Weekends: 9am – 2pm
28 Hudson Street | De Waterkant | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 421 1000
Read about other top Cape Town roasteries in our amazing artisan coffee roasteries section of our website.
Perhaps you are one of those many coffee drinkers who add all sorts of things to their cup before drinking? Sugar, double cream, sweeter and milk (which has to be 2%) – otherwise you find coffee repulsive. Well, if that’s you. Allow TRUTH to set you and your bad java drinking habits free. The coffee shop is open everyday of the week so you have no excuse to not go, and believe us when we say that Truth will teach you how to drink the good stuff, and how to drink it right. Other cool perks the shop has to offer is a couple hours of free Wi-fi, tasty wraps and a good place to network, while drinking artisan coffee, of course.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 7am – 6pm | Saturday: 8am – 5pm | Sunday: 8am – 2pm
36 Buitenkant Street | CBD | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 200 0440
Department of Coffee in Khayelitsha
Taking coffee to the people, the Department of Coffee (DOC) is the first artisan java stop to open its doors in the informal settlement of Khayelitsha. The shop is located right next to the bustling Khayelitsha train station and serves an array of espresso-based options from lattes, to macchiatos, chococinos and ‘freezeeccinos’ made from their own brand of Arabica-Italian coffee beans. This delightful quirky coffee shop, along with its trio of founders Wongama Baleni, Vusumzi Mamile and Vuyile Masku has become a major source of inspiration for the community and a definite ‘must-taste’ in terms of cuppa’s.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 6am – 6pm | Saturday: 7am – 3pm
VPUU Building | Corner of Ntlazane Road and Khwezi Crescent | Llitha Park | Khayelitsha | Cape Town | Wongama: +27 (0) 78 086 0093; Vusumzi: +27 (0) 73 300 9519; Vuyile: +27 (0) 78 316 2918
Here are four more bonus coffee shops for you to discover:
Good music, great hosts and excellent coffee – the triple threat of any thriving coffee shop and Deluxe Coffeeworks on Church Street is no exception. Unquestionably popular for all the right reasons, the shop sits in the centre of the city, just near the Greenmarket Square. In addition, Deluxe coffee is served in lots of other cool places such as Field Office, Superette, Yourstruly, Brew Mobile and Jason Bakery.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 7am – 5pm
25 Church Street | City Bowl | Cape Town | +27 (0) 72 903 0319
Deluxe Coffeeworks Roodehek is open on Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 2pm
6 Roodehek Street | Cape Town | 072 569 9579
Tribe Coffee Café
The Tribe Coffee Café situated in Woodstock aims to give its customers an experience like no other. With exceptional cups of coffee designed to move java lovers, customers are encouraged to take a journey through the roastery, taking in the various countries that supply the coffee beans all in aim to find (and go home with) the perfect beanery coffee for them. Come on, don’t be afraid – join the Tribe.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 7am – 4pm | Saturday: 9am – 1pm
The Foundry | 160 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 448 3362
Espresso Lab Microroasters
Dubbed as the coffee shop in Woodstock’s Old Biscuit Mill, Espresso Lab gives its customer’s new and exciting tastes and coffee roasting principles from across the globe. Using principles such as Nordic roasting which allows for a softer palate weight, and experimenting with methods that result in Americano’s served in glass cups – Espresso Lab will take you and your taste buds on one hell of a ride. With coffee growing areas spanning the globe, from Bolivia to Tanzania, they believe that no two palates are the same and thus aim to showcase ‘transparent, clean and complex’ coffees. As these java experts say: “The farmers do the hard work, and we’re their humble ambassadors”.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 8am – 4pm | Saturday: 8am – 2:30am
373 – 375 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 0845
Situated in the city bowl, it is rare to not find this delectable bakery riddled with groups of Cape Town creatives huddled together over their first cup of coffee for the day. Visitors are also able to enjoy the delicious breads and pastries on offer. Best served warm out of the oven, these delectable treats disappear faster then you can say ciabatta. Note: Make sure you get there early to try their famous bacon croissant – nothing can compare to this mouth-watering bacon-y, buttery delicacy.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 7am – 3:30pm | Saturday: 8am – 2pm
185 Bree Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 5644
Looking for another hotspot to visit in the Mother City? Then make sure you check out these other cool and trendy places in Cape Town.
Compiled by: Krysia Gaweda