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New Restaurants and Hot Spots in Cape Town
Our round-up of the latest eateries, bars, shops, pubs and clubs to launch in the Mother City
Our round-up of the latest eateries, bars, shops, pubs and clubs to launch in the Mother City
The Mother City is a fast developing, ever evolving metropolis with trendy, fresh places opening up on almost every corner every month. To keep you clued up, we’ve rounded up some of the hottest latest additions to Cape Town, from quirky new restaurants and shops to chic new clubs, pubs and bars.
The Foreign Exchange
Anything but a centre for currency conversion,this spacious Observatory-based bar and café, which launched in June 2013, promotes its own form of foreign exchange: the mixing and mingling of people from different cultures and countries. That is, the new Southern Suburbs pub – it boasts Oregon pine floors, a crackling hearth and large deck – is both a social hub for overseas visitors and a fine place for Cape Town locals to meet the city’s substantial international population. While revelry is the order of the evenings (the bar serves everything from craft beer and wine on tap to tequila-based cocktails and shooters), by day, the ambience of the second-storey venue is decidedly easygoing, making it an ideal stop for anyone looking to browse the Web (there’s uncapped Internet), relax with a book or tuck into a light bite. The kitchen dishes up a moreish array of globally inspired dishes, like Southwestern-style scrambled eggs and a fresh fruit medley for breakfast and wraps, chicken quesadillas, burritos and the famed Oregon Cheesy Bacon Fries for lunch. Visitors can keep an eye out for regular drinks specials and events, like beer pong competitions, live music evenings and movie nights.
Opening times: Monday – Thursday: 7am – 11pm; Friday: 7am – late; Saturday: 12pm – late (prior to 1 July 2013, the bar is only open from 4pm onwards)
92 – 96 Station Road | Observatory | Cape Town | +27 (0) 76 588 6588
This June 2013 addition to Muizenberg’s colourful beachfront is, as its name suggests, built entirely around the philosophy of slow living, with a focus on encouraging guests to take time to appreciate the good things in life. Quite distinct from your average café, the easygoing pescetarian eatery is entirely meat free, as owner Paul Kahanovitz is an animal rights activist. The eclectic array of patiently and creatively crafted dishes includes options like salad parfait, veggie burgers piled high with avocado and mushrooms, and fresh fish and vegetables; of course, visitors can also opt to just stop in for an unhurried cup of organic coffee. Aside from preparing nutritious fare, the contemporary seaside spot, which boasts great sea views, also runs free meditation sessions every morning at 7am and plays host to regular movie screenings and live music evenings (call to confirm dates). Not to mention, the café sells an assortment of eco-friendly African design products and functions as something of a gallery space for local artists and photographers. Edgy and multi-functional, it’s certainly set to appeal to all those a little tired of operating in life’s fast lane.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 7am – 4pm (open occasionally in the evenings for events)
152 Main Road | Muizenberg | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 788 5849
Four & Twenty Café and Pantry
Based on one of the quaintest roads in Cape Town’s Wynberg, the new Four & Twenty café and pantry was conceptualised by young Cordon Bleus chefs and friends Tracy-Leigh Genricks and Marijke Duminy while on an eating adventure in Paris. Intent on paying homage to French classics while also being innovative with flavour, the two passionate cooks conjure up a tasty array of fresh, seasonal breakfast and lunch options – think dishes like eggs benedict, chocolate chunk flapjacks, linefish and bruschetta – as well as a wide selection of delectable confections and cakes and an assortment of take-home deli items. At the pastry counter, visitors can pick up anything from Chocolate Espresso Éclairs and Peanut Praline Cheesecake to Red Velvet Cupcakes and Lime and Basil Macaroons, and from the pantry section, they can select rich jams, melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows, homemade granola and more. Those wanting to linger a while over a steaming cup of coffee, sweet treat or delicious meal can do so in the midst of the eatery’s chic Parisian-inspired ambience, a warm atmosphere that invites complete escape from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday: 8am – 5pm
23 Wolfe Street |Chelsea Village | Wynberg | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 762 0975
The Odyssey Gastropub
Quite unlike anything else in the Mother City’s vibey CBD, The Odyssey – it opened on Cape Town’s buzzing Bree Street in late May 2013 – is the city’s very first gastropub, a bar that also serves high-end fare. The industrial-chic eatery-cum-tavern, which boasts an expansive upstairs and downstairs area and two solid wooden bars, places emphasis firmly on locally sourced, ethically produced ingredients and aims to take traditional pub classics to new heights. Thus, guests can look forward to delicious, ‘responsible’ dishes like free-range chicken breast wrapped in honey bacon (the restaurant only uses pasture-raised pork), reinvented shepherd’s pie and roast beetroot and red onion tart. Though certainly a fine place to dine, as a relaxed neighbourhood pub, The Odyssey is as ideal a spot to just kick back with friends and enjoy a few cold ones – the bar stocks everything from local craft beer on tap to top-notch Cape wines – after a hard day’s work.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 12pm – midnight; Saturday: 3pm – midnight (dinner trade starts upstairs at 4pm)
199 Bree Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 422 4084
Bob’s Bagel Café
Bringing the tasty roll-with-a-hole to Cape Town’s Kalk Bay, this intimate coffee shop and eatery – it was opened by British-born architect Robin Pollard in late April 2013 – is the charming coastal village’s very first authentic bagel shop. The contemporary neighbourhood venture, which rests in a corner of a pottery shop, dishes up doughy delights lovingly handcrafted from scratch daily using century-old methods. Visitors to the tiny breakfast and brunch spot can opt to have their bagel filled with an assortment of mouth-watering options, like mature cheddar and homemade strawberry jam; smoked trout, cream cheese and rocket; and egg with bacon and avocado, all at uber affordable prices. Though, the little retro store does offer up a few non-bready treats too: winter warming soups, muesli with Greek yoghurt, chocolate brownies, crunchies and more. Not to mention, on the beverages side, the café specialises in piping hot Deluxe Coffeeworks coffee and freshly squeezed juices. As it’s located just opposite a verdant kids’ play park, this eatery is as ideal for famished passers-by as it is for parents with little ones.
Opening times: Monday – Friday (closed Thursdays): 8am – 1pm; Saturday – Sunday: 8am – 2pm
6 Rouxville Road | Kalk Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0) 83 280 0012
Resting boldly in the Mother City’s CBD on Heerengracht Street, South Africa’s first Burger King opened on 9 May 2013 to a frenzy of hungry Capetonians hankering after the US brand’s famed hamburgers. A global icon in the world of fast food (indeed, anyone who’s travelled will almost certainly be familiar with the joint’s red and yellow sign), the restaurant is set to give major chain outlets like McDonald’s and Steers a run for their money with a large assortment of on-the-go meals and quick sit-down or takeaway bites. Visitors can expect all the usual suspects – the now legendary Whopper, tasty cheeseburger and well-sized king fries, for example – as well as a few more unusual options, like chilli cheese nuggets and a bean burger for vegetarians. Not to mention, as no convenience food spot would be complete without a few options for the sweet-obsessed, the eatery also serves up muffins, sundaes, shakes, brownies and doughnuts. Though there’s only one franchise in the city centre for now, locals can rest assured many more will be springing up around Cape Town in no time.
Opening times: Sunday – Thursday: 10am – 10pm; Friday – Saturday: 10am – midnight
33 Heerengracht Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 80 946 773
The Crypt Jazz Restaurant
Resting in the old stone chamber below St. George’s Cathedral smack in the heart of Cape Town, this swanky New York-style jazz club and restaurant marries the ambience of some of the world’s top live music venues with the old-world charm of eras gone by. The recently launched (April 2013) spot, which boasts plush carpets, lavish curtains, a contemporary bar and subtle lighting, plays host to a wide array of acclaimed South African and international jazz performers (even the founding team includes the likes of lauded artists Mike Rossi, Wesley Rustin and Spencer Mbadu). Guests can soak up the soulful tunes while sipping on top-notch reds, whites, MCCs or French Champagnes and tucking into tasty tapas and delicious fusion fare – think options such as Grilled Spicy Prawn Skewers, Hunter’s Chicken Stew and Pears Poached in Red Wine. Best of all, the new nightlife haunt promises a memorable melodious experience at a rather reasonable price: guests are only required to pay a small cover charge of R45 (R25 for students) during the evening hours that live jazz is performed.
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday: 12pm – 11pm (open for breakfast on Fridays at 8am); Live Jazz: Tuesday – Friday: 6pm – 9pm; Saturday: 8pm – 11pm
The Crypt | St. George’s Cathedral | 1 Wale Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 79 683 4658
Re:public Restaurant, Bar and Lounge
Opened in May 2013 by well-travelled partners Leigh Steven-Jennings and Gareth Rossi, Re:public is committed to bringing a bit of pizzazz to Hout Bay’s formerly rather sparse nightlife scene. With a chic restaurant offering, VIP lounge, well-stocked bar, free Wi-fi and line-up of top local DJs on select evenings, the cosmopolitan spot services all the whims and wants of the suburb’s hip, young crowd. On the food side, the eco-friendly space – its décor incorporates many green features – focuses on dishing up wholesome, organic meals best shared amongst friends (the emphasis is on communal dining). Breakfast is served all day and the ever-changing lunch and dinner menus feature full-flavoured dishes like peri-peri chicken livers, gourmet burgers, falafel pitas, pan-fried Norwegian salmon, free-range seared fillet and indulgent tasting platters. And on the drinks side, visitors can expect a premium selection of craft beer, organic wine and more, alongside a unique assortment of designer cocktails developed by a local mixologist especially for this relaxed, trendy venue. Revellers keen to stop in can also look out for regular food and drinks deals, including a two-course roast special on Sundays.
Opening times: Thursday – Sunday: 11am – 2am (breakfast: all day; lunch: noon – sunset; dinner: sunset – 10pm)
44 Victoria Avenue | Hout Bay | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 790 7829
220 Princes Lounge
This elegant new coffee lounge and private function venue – the brainchild of creative couple Julia and Mark Harmel – is both a fine spot to indulge in a warm beverage and tasty bite (by day) and the perfect place to host a small personal party or intimate event. Housed in an old Victorian building and boasting a series of different spaces, including a quirky communal dining room, regal lounge and expansive balcony, the upscale café – it opened in May 2013 – places emphasis firmly on slow-paced leisure and unhurried lazing. Alongside quality Italian coffee and speciality loose-leaf tea, the city centre space serves a few lovingly prepared breakfast options, like croissants, pancakes and homemade muesli, as well as fresh sandwiches, quiches and salads for lunch. Not to mention, guests are also invited to indulge in an always-changing selection of complimentary sweet treats or stop by for an R85 buffet special daily between 1:20pm and 2:20pm. With free Wi-fi completing the package, the noble 220 Princes Lounge is a fresh CBD must-visit.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 8am – 3pm (coffee lounge); the venue can be hired until the early hours of the morning for private functions
C/o Hatfield and Wandel streets | Gardens | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 461 6175
A rather unconventional May 2013 addition to Cape Town’s picturesque Groot Constantia wine estate, BBQUES is a saucy new Southwestern-style grill committed to bringing a touch of informal fun to the usually austere Winelands. The eclectic, country-style restaurant – it’s housed in a big, old cellar formerly used as a function venue – specialises in relaxed comfort food and solid grown-up entertainment. Hence, live music performed by a local folk rock band accompanies the eatery’s selection of finger-licking good dishes and top-notch drinks. The menu offering, which is scrawled out on large blackboards, changes regularly but features options like sticky ribs, Southern fried chicken, gumbo ya-ya, mussel chowder, chicken drumsticks, prawns and calamari (surprisingly, considering the bistro’s name and focus, there are a few vegetarian alternatives too, including a fresh salad and macaroni and cheese). All meals are complemented by an assortment of American-inspired sauces and can be enjoyed at large wooden tables scattered throughout the open-plan space (a massive fireplace keeps the venue cosy in winter). Anyone keen to visit should note that, as a pop-up type restaurant, BBQUES is only open on Friday and Saturday evenings – it’s available for hire for private events the rest of the time – and thus booking is strongly advised.
Opening times: Friday – Saturday: 7pm – 12pm (all bookings must be taken up between 7pm and 7:45pm)
Groot Constantia Wine Estate | Groot Constantia Road (off Constantia Main Road) | Constantia | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 794 2984
V&A Waterfront Developments
April, May and June 2013 saw a number of well-known brands and outlets join the already impressive retail repertoire at Cape Town’s most popular shopping and entertainment destination, the V&A Waterfront. Most notably, edgy British label Topshop and American style icon Tommy Hilfiger both opened stores at the seaside hub in early autumn, bringing some of the world’s hottest fashion items for men and women to the Mother City. These developments were accompanied more recently by the launch of a bigger and better Mango superstore in June and the opening of two new versions of a couple of Mother City restaurant favourites, the North Indian-themed Bukhara and sophisticated Asian tapas specialist Haiku. Both eateries boast unparalleled views of the waterfront’s harbour and clearly signal the centre’s commitment to constantly building the dining side of their offering with fresh, world-class options.
V&A Waterfront | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 408 7600
*The above information was updated in June 2013
Love Milo Homeware Shop
A late January 2013 addition to Cape Town’s animated Loop Street, designer Nicki Ellis’s new Love Milo décor shop offers a light and airy home to her striking range of handcrafted homeware products, formerly only found in larger retailers. Here, on sleek shelves near the front of the boutique (the back is used as a studio space), browsers can find her complete collection, which includes ceramic cups, mugs, jugs, pitchers and pots; wooden plates, platters, placemats and cutlery; cotton cushion covers, table runners and napkins; and eye-catching lights and lanterns. Each carefully handmade piece is adorned with graphic, nature-inspired elements and shapes taken from Nicki’s own photographs – lines of ants, tree branches and birds, for instance. Being both a contemporary and inviting space, the new store is an ideal spot to pick up a cherished must-have purchase.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm
99 Loop Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 82 522 4921
Stunner of the Month
Formally launched in South Africa in February 2013, Stunner of the Month is an innovative online subscription-based sunglasses enterprise that delivers a fresh pair of stylish shades to enrolled members every month for no more than R140 a pop. Though new to Mzansi shores, the company was started in the US back in 2009 by a group of mates eager to share their passion for flashy specs with the world. All the sunglasses in their diverse collection – it includes over 400 distinct styles – are sourced on travels from countries around the globe, and each arrives monthly at fashion-forward fans’ doorsteps complete with its own quirky story. Though ideal for those hip Capetonians looking to build their own inventory of swag, OTT shades, the virtual business also offers a gifting option for anyone looking to spoil a special someone with regular surprise parcels in the post. To sign up as a member or register to be a ‘giver’, simply visit their website at Stunnerofthemonth.com.
With the tagline ‘home is where the heart is’, Baked Bistro, a rustic bakery-cum-eatery that opened in Cape Town’s Bakoven in February 2013, aims to provide locals with a warm and welcoming neighbourhood hangout that’s centred on a sense of community. Flaunting an unfinished edge and long communal tables, the unassuming restaurant invites diners to tuck into a tasty selection of handcrafted breads (all made on site), buttery pastries, inventive breakfasts and hearty, wholesome lunch options. The simple menu includes anything from Scrambled Egg and Sardines and Blueberry French Toast to a lamb and rosemary burger, thyme-infused chicken pizza and an artisan vegetable sandwich (all options are available as takeaways too). What’s more, the small café also boasts its own smooth blend of coffee for passing java junkies. With free Wi-fi, mahala deliveries and regular chef’s table evenings added to their offering, the Bakoven bistro is an ideal new spot to sit back and, as driven young founder Zahir Mohamed says, “get baked”.
Opening times: Tuesday – Sunday: 7am – 5pm
38 Victoria Road | Bakoven | Cape Town | +27 (0) 79 268 9821
The Pot Luck Club
Though not entirely new on the scene, this popular modern global fusion restaurant – owned by legendary local chef Luke Dale-Roberts – now flaunts a brand new glass and steel home on the top floor of the historic Silo building at Woodstock’s Old Biscuit Mill. Having relocated from a spot next to its fine dining sibling, The Test Kitchen, in February 2013, the re-imagined eatery, which boasts uninterrupted views of the city, was conceptualised in collaboration with a handful of esteemed local creatives, making for a particularly eye-catching space. Though the venue has certainly been upgraded, The Pot Luck Club’s communal, plate-sharing focus and emphasis on adventurous, cutting-edge cuisine remains the same. Hence, guests can still expect to find a smattering of creative tapas-style dishes on the unusual menu (it’s divided into taste profiles), including options like Crispy Duck Spring Rolls, Yellowtail Sashimi Lettuce Ssam and succulent Pork Belly. These can be washed down with an inventive sake-based cocktail or premium boutique wine from the hip new Pot Luck Bar. Fervent fans should also note that with the fresh setting comes a new addition: a laidback Sunday brunch option ideal for those in the mood for a relaxed family-friendly weekend feast.
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday: 12:30pm – 2:30pm (lunch); 6pm – 10:30pm (dinner); Sunday: 11:30am – 3pm
Top Floor | The Silo Building | The Old Biscuit Mill | 375 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 0804
Based out on the picturesque Durbanville wine route, this new kids’ play place-cum-café affords parents the chance to relax and unwind while their little ones frolic and cavort to their hearts’ content. The family-friendly farm-style centre, which was launched in March 2013 by single mother and aspiring artist Natasha Potgieter, boasts indoor and outdoor play areas equipped with everything required for kiddies’ amusement – think slides, jumping castles, craft tables and jungle gyms – alongside a vintage coffee shop and boutique for adults. The café treats guests to fresh homemade cakes, muffins, scones, quiches and sandwiches and also sells hot dogs and sarmies for the young’uns, while the quaint shop stocks children’s clothing, accessories and other lovely odds and ends for the home. Visitors to Fun House, a veritable recreation wonderland, should note that kids are charged an entrance fee of R40 for an unlimited time in the playgrounds; moms and pops can stop by for free.
Opening times: Wednesday – Friday: 10am – 5pm; Saturday: 9am – 5pm; Sunday: 9am – 2pm
Mountain View Farm| Tygerberg Road | Durbanville | Cape Town | +27 (0) 82 770 3286
Nuri Sushi Factory
Housed in an old heritage building in Cape Town’s CBD, this new addition to the city’s mushrooming sushi scene (March 2013) firmly emphasises originality, quality and affordability. With an on-the-run takeaway focus, the eatery, which does boast a scattering of tables for those keen to sit down, dishes up an array of well-priced inventive specialities (think rice-free platters and fashion sandwiches topped with peanut dressing and crushed nuts); conventional California rolls, hand rolls, maki, nigiri and sashimi; a selection of sushi-based salads and a medley of fat-free fruit and coffee-based smoothies. Most notably though, the city centre newcomer also has big plans to ‘South Africanise’ sushi in the near future; hence, patrons can expect to see anything from ostrich fillet nigiri to springbok and pineapple California rolls appearing on the diverse menu within the next six to eight months. What’s more, for those keen to craft the Japanese delicacy themselves, Nuri will be offering two-hour sushi-making lessons every alternate Wednesday from April 2013 onwards.
Opening times: Monday – Saturday: 12pm – 9pm
8 Parliament Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 461 8719
The Toad & Josephine
In March 2013, Cape Town’s historic Josephine Mill, an age-old site where stone-ground flour was once milled, became home to The Toad & Josephine, the latest addition to retired rugby player Bobby Skinstad’s well-loved restaurant group that includes The Toad in the Village in Noordhoek and The Toad on the Road in Lakeside. From its charming setting on the banks of the Liesbeek River (the venue used to house Caveau), the easy-going new eatery dishes up delicious pub grub, with options like eisbein, pork ribs, venison pie, succulent burgers and wood-fired pizzas on the menu. On the drinks side, the upstairs bar, which is located out on a deck, and its alfresco downstairs counterpart are base to nine different draft beers, wine and a wide range of other liquor that are all best enjoyed with a gaggle of mates just before or after game time, especially since the laidback newcomer is located only steps away from the Newlands Rugby Stadium.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 11am – 9:30pm (kitchen); 11am – 11:30pm (bar)
Josephine Mill | 13 Boundary Road | Newlands | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 686 1437
Wakaberry Frozen Yoghurt Bar in Durbanville
To the delight of all Durbanville residents with a penchant for slightly healthier sweet treats, in early March 2013, a brand new self-service Wakaberry frozen yoghurt bar opened in Cape Town’s Northern Suburbs at the Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre. Like its now well-established sister outlets in Rondebosch and the city centre, the playfully decorated store invites visitors to help themselves to a diverse range of delectable FroYo flavours (options range from more conventional favourites, like Vanilla and Mixed Berry, to innovative premium alternatives, like Fudge Brownie and Condensed Milk). Patrons can then adorn their portions with a tantalising selection of tasty toppings (think fudge, fresh fruit, nuts, turkish delight, jelly tots and more). The experience is unique, social and fun, and as the cost of each serving is determined by a pay-by-weight system, the control is entirely in customers’ hungry hands.
Opening times: Monday – Sunday: 9am – 9pm
Shop G75 | Willowbridge Lifestyle Centre | 39 Carl Cronje Drive | Durbanville | +27 (0) 21 914 3207
Woodstock Academy of Music
A truly inspiring new home for Cape Town’s emerging musicians, this Woodstock-based school and rehearsal venue was born of esteemed sax player Rus Nerwich’s desire to craft a welcoming place where aspiring Mother City melody makers can learn and practice music. The academy, which opened in January 2013, offers both private and group lessons in piano, guitar, drums, bass, saxophone, trumpet, violin and vocals for individuals of any age or ability level (beginners are welcome too); all classes are taught by gifted tutors that are well trained in a range of genres, from classical and jazz to pop and modern contemporary. What’s more, the tastefully adorned venue also claims light, airy rehearsal studios that are fully equipped with amps, PA systems, microphones, drum kits and more for up-and-coming bands seeking a comfortable, acoustically treated spot to spin tunes (mentoring by seasoned professionals is also an option for budding ensembles). As for those eager to immortalise their tracks, the academy will soon (April 2013) launch a first-rate recording studio that will be open to artists all hours of the day and night.
Opening times: Lessons:Monday – Friday:9am – 8pm; Saturday: 10am – 2pm; Rehearsal Studios: Monday – Sunday: 2pm – 4am (open through the night)
Side Street Studios | 48 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 72 510 4859
Honest Chocolate Shop at The Woodstock Exchange
At the beginning of February 2013, proudly Capetonian artisan venture Honest Chocolate, which has called Wale Street home for some time now, verified its burgeoning success with the launch of a second store in creative hub The Woodstock Exchange. Home to the brand’s mouth-watering selection of handcrafted, raw cacao treats, the new shop retains the old-school vintage charm of its sister outlet while at the same time channelling the industrial feel of its setting. Alongside heavenly, individually wrapped chocolate slabs, chocolate spread and bonbon truffles, the Woodstock store, where the kitchen is now based, is also experimenting with macadamia nut butter cups, water ganache cakes, chocolate pizzas, coconut and cashew nut butter-based ice cream and hot chocolate in winter. These melt-in-your-mouth delicacies, which are all free of preservatives, dairy and processed sugar, can be enjoyed at the newcomer’s inside wooden bar or in its contained outside area that flaunts a row of old, red cinema-style seats.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 9am – 5pm; Saturday: 10am – 2pm
The Woodstock Exchange | 66 Albert Road | Woodstock | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 447 1438
*The above information was updated in March 2013
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