Gin-making, tasting and pizza when you have your function at Distiller’s Union
Free, new and secret on Bree Street
The street you think you know
Last updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2023
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 a cookie store made out of kids’ dreams, a Mexican eatery with 500-year-old sauce and a wedding venue just to name a few. And of course, free First Thursdays events.
Bree Street | 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
A SLICE OF THE AFRICAN DESERT
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
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
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
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
View this post on Instagram
DISCOVER MORE GUIDES TO CAPE TOWN
Your guide to nightclubs and bars in the city.
Shop preloved items at these thrift stores.
Here are some shisha spots locals love.
Discover 7+ things to do this weekend.