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Free, new and secret on Bree Street

Updated: The street you think you know...

Last updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2024

Did you know that there’s 58 corners on Bree Street? We dare you to rediscover them. Our team went for a walk about to find the new, secret and free. There’s tshisanyama in a secret courtyard, animal-style fries and smashburgers, a deli down an alley and a Mexican eatery with 500-year-old sauce, just to name a few. And of course, free First Thursdays events. 


Bree Street | Image: Lara van Zyl

A COURTYARD DOWN AN ALLEY

It’s the new cosy deli and bar everyone’s talking about. Found in a hidden courtyard, Babbi has coffees, cookies and DJs. In the week you can find menu items such as a toasted cheese and atchar sandwich or a beetroot, orange, and olive salad. On a Sunday you might even find crayfish. Plus, their must try is a sesame s’more dough boy cookie.

Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, from 12pm; Sunday, from 2pm


215 Bree Street | City Centre | @babbi.capetown | Image: Babbi

ANOTHER HOLE-IN-THE-WALL EATERY

Where Nish-Nush used to be, you can now find a place for American-style smashburgers and animal-style fries. Burgers & Brews feels like an old school takeout spot, with a little order window, red tile decor, and a few white tables on the sidewalk. Pair your meal with a gelato milkshake or a draught beer (and it’s open till 11pm). Plus, there are specials every First Thursdays.

Hours: Monday to Saturday; 11am to 11pm


110 Bree Street | City Centre | @burgersandbrews.ct | Image: Burgers & Brews

A NOT SO TUF(T) CROWD

First date? Friend date? Solo date? Tufting is a worldwide trend that is now in Cape Town. At this arts and crafts store, you can hand-tuft your very own rug. You’ll choose the shape, size and colour and explore different designs and patterns. Plus, you can create your own mirror at Tuft Crowd.

Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10am - 8pm


243 Bree Street | Cape Town | @tuftcrowd.za | Image: Tuft Crowd

AFRICAN DESERT MEETS URBAN JUNGLE

1970s saloon meets African desert at the new hottie on Bree Street (where La Parada used to be). Sit around the fire and be transported from Karoo to Kalahari, with dishes like skaap rib, jaffles and even kaas for dessert. Plus, after 10pm it becomes a 25 and over party. Get more magical details about Boma on Bree

Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm - 2am


Boma | 107 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | @bomaonbree | Image: Boma

LITTLE SLICE OF ASIA

Cowfish, a popular Joburg restaurant, recently opened in The Barracks, the CBD’s latest development in a 300-year-old building. The green-and-beige eatery has a wide range of menu items, from sushi and poke bowls to dumplings and bao buns. Plus, some fiery cocktails like a flaming gin and juice or candy floss and mixed berry.  

Hours: Monday to Saturday, 12pm - 10pm; Sunday, 12pm - 7pm


The Barracks | 50 Bree Street | @cowfishbreestreet | Image: Cowfish

TSHISHANYAMA IN A SECRET COURTYARD

Meet up at one of Bree Street's newest additions and connect over a braai. At Gypsy Rabbit, tshisanyama is the specialty. Blending South African and South American flavours together. Try a 24-Hour Short Rib Braised Baked Potato made with Bourbon, minty crème fraîche and onion rings. Enjoy hubbly on a night out, plus there's specials on First Thursdays.

Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 4pm to 12am


110 Bree Street | City Centre | @gypsyrabbitct | Image: Gypsy Rabbit

LIMONCELLO SPRITZ, ANYONE?

Two doors down from Pizza Shed, you’ll find a new cocktail bar. Aperitif boasts all the best bits of Italian living – a veranda on the cobblestone sidewalk, rustic indoor courtyard, a minimalist bar with arch mirrors, and olive snack plates. The menu is drinks only with cocktails like Limoncello Spritz or Margarita. You can order snack plates (olives and potato crisps) while sipping your drink at Aperitif.

Hours: Tuesday to Thursday, 4pm - 11pm; Friday to Sunday, 12pm - 11pm


227 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | @aperitifonbree | Image: Lara van Zyl
 

THE COOKIE JAR ON BREE STREET

Home of the American-style cookie, Cookie Co is something out of a kid’s dream. The sweet aroma of freshly baked cookies fill the colourful shop, and you’re confronted with rows and rows of gooey cookies – including classics like chocolate chip and local flavours like milktart. It’s a great spot for your cookie fix or to stock up on sweets from around the world. 

Hours: Monday to Friday, 7am - 4pm; Saturdays, 8am - 2pm


16 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | @cookieco_sa | Image: Cookie Co

500 (AND COUNTING) DAY OLD SAUCE

This is not your ordinary Mexican eatery. Sure, it has tequila and tacos, and Hacienda just takes things to a whole new level with its “5 chilli oil” and guacamole that’s made at your table. The most curious item is the motherdough of sauces – Mole. The last time one of our team members went to Hacienda it was 533 days old. It gives Cape Town a taste of coastal Mexico

Hours: Monday to Sunday, 12pm to 10:30pm


92 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | @hacienda_sa | Image: Hacienda

SECRET WEDDING VENUE

Housed in an original Cape heritage building, this hidden cafe is an almost-too-good-to-be-true event space with a balcony bookended by orange trees and an intimate olive tree courtyard. The large open-plan dining room is ideal for a reception area and swinging dance floor, and it caters for everything from formal à la carte menus and wine to canapés and cocktails. Or pop in for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a late night cap at Between Us. 

Hours: Monday, 8am - 4pm; Tuesday to Saturday, 8am - 11pm


176 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | @betweenus.ct | Image: Lara van Zyl

BOURBON MILKSHAKES AND A HIDDEN CLUB

Just off Bree Street you'll find Safehouse, a treehouse-looking eatery with cheese steak sandwiches and milkshakes that will even get adults excited (think bacon and bourbon). The vault door at the back of the eatery holds a secret – it reveals a full-blown club. If that’s not cool enough – the restroom has a party button, turning the room into a disco dance floor.

Hours: Thursday to Sunday; 12pm - 2am


75 Church Street | Cape Town City Centre | @safehousecpt | Image: Andy Turner-Dauncy

A FRESH CUT WITH A SIDE OF FUNK

This old-school barbershop comes with a modern twist (and aesthetic). Hidden inside a church built in the 1800s, Barnet Fair Barber has all the trimmings of a friendly local barber, with big comfy chairs, vintage portraits and old-school rock and funk playing in the shop. You can get any cut you like, or go for a traditional hot shower shave. 

Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am - 6pm; Saturday, 9am - 2pm


98 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | @barnetfairbarber_cpt | Image: Barnet Fair Barber

EVERY THURSDAY IS A GREAT ONE HERE

Stroll through the gallery, fill up on sushi and pop some bottles, because it’s almost Friday. Susa Restaurant and Youngblood Gallery are bringing some midweek magic with the Every Thursday event. It’s like First Thursdays, but every week. There are great deals like 2-for-1 drinks and a live DJ playing on the deck. Plus, it’s free entry. Just book a table to secure your spot. 

Hours: Every Thursday from 6pm


70 + 72 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | @youngblood_cpt + @susa.restaurant | Image: Susa Restaurant

THE CORNER THAT WAS AND IS

Long story short: One corner used to be Chefs Warehouse and is now Hacienda (read above), and the corner across the road is now Chefs Warehouse and The Bailey. Not that that matters. We actually just want to tell you about the 124-year-old building in which it’s set. The three-storey building gained a new life with its new occupant, boasting a fine-dining tapas experience, champagne bar and a whiskey lounge

The Bailey hours: Monday to Saturday, 12pm - 11.30pm
Chefs Warehouse hours: Monday to Saturday, 12pm - 9pm


91 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | @thebaileyonbree + @chefswarehouseatthebailey | Image: The Bailey

FREE ROOKIE RIDES IN THE CITY

Capetonians know that when it’s a new month, it can only mean one thing: First Thursdays. This isn’t your ordinary gallery or dinner though. Rook Cycles, a bike shop with coffee and beer, hosts a monthly Rook Ride through the city. Bring your bicycle and join for a sunset mission (it’s completely free). Meet up time is usually 6pm at the store. 

Hours: Every First Thursdays; from 6pm


173 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | @rookcycles | Image: Lara van Zyl

WHAT IF THE WORLD…

Part question, part purpose and part statement. Founded in 2018, Whatiftheworld is a contemporary art gallery just around the corner from Bree Street. Passersby are drawn in by the cascading staircase, which reveal a host of projects that promote curiosity and thought with a strong focus on the African diaspora. It’s free to enter and explore this wonderland in the city. 

Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9am - 5pm; Friday, 9am - 4pm; Saturday, 9am - 1pm


First Floor | 16 Buiten Street | Cape Town City Centre | @whatiftheworld_gallery | Image: Lara van Zyl

HOLE IN THE WALL WITH SHAWARMA

Well, it used to be a hole in the wall. And it still is, kind of. Hidden on the corner of Bree Street, just two doors down from its original location, is Nish Nush. This ​​intimate café is known for its unreal falafels and shawarmas (no thanks to the self-described “inimitable falafel king”, owner Ofer Hollinger). It’s a Middle Eastern flavour trip with a “no drama, just shawarma attitude”.

Hours: Monday, 10.30am - 4pm; Tuesday to Thursday, 11am - 9pm; Saturday, 12pm - 9pm


100 Bree Street | Cape Town City Centre | @nish_nush_sa | Image: Lara van Zyl

A TASTE OF WEST AFRICA

Wakanda African Restaurant seems unassuming from the outside, with neutral colours, a sunny window nook and a few tables scattered around a sleek room. On the inside, you’ll find jollof rice, egusi and cat fish pepper soup – authentic West African foods. It also caters for events, and you can get takeaway food at Wakanda. 

Hours: Daily; 11am - 10pm

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