The global hipster phenomenon quickly crossed the Atlantic and made itself quite comfortable all throughout Cape Town. But pop in to any of the city’s popular cafés and coffee shops, and you’ll realize that what you see there isn’t a mere imitation of a foreign aesthetic. South African hipsters are effortlessly imbued with a distinct local flair. There’s a reason Cape Town was named World Design Capital 2014 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design, and you can see evidence of local entrepreneurs’ creative spirit on display in numerous eateries throughout the city. Oh, and it definitely helps that the food is consistently great, too. Here are five popular cafés that embody Cape Town’s quirky design, fabulous food, and laid-back clientele. Art, sandwiches, and coffee all coexist in these lively spaces, and I’m pretty sure you’ll soon be wishing one of these could be your own neighborhood haunt.
This sliver of a sandwich shop on Long Street was so popular that a larger branch, complete with an open-air beer garden, opened last year. Stop by in the morning for a coffee and a chocolate croissant, or come at night for a beer with friends—this place is lively all day.
There is little reason for you to tread into the lovely residential enclave of Vredehoek… except this one. This shabby-chic café on Derry Street has long been a neighborhood favorite, and Capetonians converge from far and wide for its sandwiches—I love the flatbread with halloumi cheese, eggplant, and spicy harissa mayo.
The Power & The Glory
Sometimes it seems like all of Cape Town is a very distant suburb of Brooklyn, New York. This popular bistro-bar may well have been at the forefront of the city's hipster invasion, filled with a host of artsy regulars who swear by its hot chocolate and the roast beef salad.
Skinny Legs & All
A simple blue awning conceals a stark white space livened up by a scattering of bold canvases at this Loop Street spot. Pop by the café for their all-day breakfast, but be sure to get there early if you want to try their famous date scone. They almost always sell out.