There's a vibrant coffee culture brewing in Cape Town (pardon the pun) with a slew of quirky independent coffee shops popping up all over the city. Fair-trade, single-origin, freshly roasted—these are the catchphrases you’ll hear throughout Cape Town, which is quickly becoming known for its thriving artisanal coffee scene. Whether you’re on the lookout for a café with funky steampunk-inspired décor, searching for a rare bean from Ethiopia, or simply craving some tantalizing treats to pair with your caffeine fix, you’ll find a one-of-a-kind coffee shop to suit your taste within the city limits. There’s a reason Starbucks hasn’t made its way into the South African market yet—the Seattle chain likely won’t stand a chance against the homegrown heavyweights. So grab your brew to go or sit down and stay a while. Here are my picks for five of the best coffee shops in Cape Town.
Origin Coffee Roasting
Bootlegger Coffee Company
This new addition to Cape Town's extensive list of coffee offerings opened late last year along a lively stretch of Regent Road in the Seapoint neighborhood. The décor of this perennially packed joint is simple and stylish, with slate gray walls and a black-and-white tiled bar. Get there early for eggs Benedict with a cortado, or swing by late for a post-date cappuccino—this is one of the few coffee shops in the city open till 10 p.m. (11 p.m. on weekends).
This tiny roastery in the heart of the Central Business District has a cult-like following for its brews, using beans sourced from Kenya, Ethiopia, Brazil, and beyond. You'll also find Deluxe coffee on offer at popular restaurants throughout the city, or stock up by buying a few bags to take home with you.
The artsy Woodstock district has its own booming coffee scene. My pick in the neighborhood would have to be Rosetta Roastery, on the ground floor of the hip Woodstock Exchange complex. Browse furniture, skateboards, and art in the neighboring stores, then pop in to refuel with a single-origin, micro-roasted espresso.