Coolest Cafes in Cape Town

By Biance Bunge.

Living that cool café lifestyle is as easy as savouring a sensational cup of artisan coffee or indulging in a delicious baked good, but in a city as cool, vibrant and trend-setting as Cape Town, it’s something a little more. In the Mother City the cafe lifestyle is more than just coffee, croissants and colourful plates of food, it’s about the VIBE, and Cape Town certainly has the cool café vibe down pat! So, let’s skip the café chit chat and get right down to business, counting down the coolest cafes in Cape Town of course! Who will earn our cool café top spot, and is it who you’d expect? Well, it’s time to find out!

10. Power & the Glory: Kloof Nek Road


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Proudly proclaiming their status as the most welcoming hipster in town, Power & the Glory is cheekily known for their beards, beers and brownies and makes for the perfect hangout to be authentically alternative. It’s laid-back vibe, sidewalk stools and bearded staff will make you feel like you’ve escaped right into a trendy Brooklyn Café. Easily known as one of the coolest bistros on the Cape Town block, it’s no surprise that it attracts some of the coolest kids in the Mother City. Power & the Glory, or P&G as it’s lovingly known, is what every hipster hangout & bar-slash-bistro dream is made off. Being the perfect mix of everything means this trendy, yet completely unpretentious Cape Town cafe is buzzing with energy and the right type of people morning, mid-day and after-hours too! So, whether you’re in the mood for a marvellous morning cup of a brew paired with a cool vibe and delicious morning snack, a chilled out mid-day caffeine kick in the butt or an afterhours sloppily-deliciously signature P&G hot dog to help you soak up all the tequila shots and craft beers, Power & the Glory has your back!

9. Nourish’d: Kloof Street


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Tucked behind lush granadilla creepers and a bounty of gloriously hanging pot plants is where you will find the bohemian to our Cape Town café rhapsody and the perfect care-free café escape from the hustle and bustle. Nourish’d is a laid-back café & juicery that proudly proclaims their healthy, yet deliciously indulgent cool status to anyone who’ll listen, and trust us, you’ll be joining the cool Nourish’d health crowd in no time at all! Their simple, yet jam-packed with flavour menu selection is all about promoting health as a state of harmony between body, mind and spirit, and they hope to enrich each and every client with exactly that as soon as they walk through the door. That means that absolutely everything that Nourish’d creates is with the health of your body and the earth in mind! Boasting a selection of fresh juices, shots, smoothies, breakfast bowls (with their SUPER insta-worthy coconut dish making it onto many Instagram feeds and famous story highlights) and tasty toasts, all packed with fresh, homegrown ingredients, there truly is something for everyone to enjoy! At Nourish’d healthy food is good food, and with a cool laid-back vibe to match it’s no wonder it’s become a real Cape Town café fan-favourite!

8. Molten Toffee: Kloof Street


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If the name isn’t enough to get you hooked, or at least intrigued, the cool vibe, GREAT coffee and ‘everyone is welcome’ atmosphere of this trendy Kloof Street coffee shop sure will! At Molten Toffee they fully embrace their two favourite C’s – COFFEE & COMMUNITY – and believe that the two are intimately entangled in the very best way. And they definitely make a valid point, think about it, is there anything better than sharing your secrets, divulging your crazy night-out-adventures or discussing some epic business venture or plan to take over the world over a cup of really good coffee? We think not! Molten Toffee is therefore all about offering Mother City java junkies and inner-city working bees another cool meet-up coffee hub to share ideas and celebrate life. But don’t be fooled by their cool laid-back approach, super trendy interiors and chic yet edgy vibe, they take their coffee very seriously and therefore produce one kick-ass cup of brew! Their food selection is super tasty too boasting a wide variety of morning, lunch and somewhere in between treats. And if their EPIC music selection doesn’t knock your socks right off, we might just question your coolness entirely.

7. Origin: Hudson Street


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Some call it the godfather of speciality coffee in South Africa, and the fact that it is one of South Africa’s first artisan coffee roasters, and quite possibly the very first in Cape Town, means it just might be! In Cape Town coffee is culture & Origin coffee certainly was instrumental in planting the coffee seeds to what has today become a thriving and thrilling Mother City coffee scene that might just one day conquer the world one artisan roasted brew at a time! Situated in a historic brickhouse and courtyard, Origin Coffee is without a doubt a cool coffee trend-setter that’s known to draw quite a crowd. Due to their relationship with some of the world’s leading quality coffee-bean farmers and ability to source and roast the world’s finest coffee beans, Origin Coffee invites you to taste and experience roasted coffee from all corners of the globe right here in Cape Town.  The die-hard coffee-lover that is Origin is so dedicated to their coffee journey that they even set-up a Barista Academy to help build a foundation for the South African coffee industry. They therefore pride themselves on leaving a lasting coffee legacy and cultivating new South African coffee talent. It’s clear to say that Origin Coffee is passionate about their coffee and that means you can expect exceptional, quality roasted coffee from around the world as well as your choice of the widest selection of single origin coffees in South Africa. How epic is that?

6. Ground Art Caffe: Strand Street


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At Ground Art Caffé it’s all about showcasing coffee, food and art in the very best way all while highlighting each element in its own unique way, because at the end of the day, it’s all art anyway! Situated in the quaint, yet vibrant area of De Waterkant, this Cape Town café gem is about creating the perfect peaceful café paradise to escape the hustle, bustle and fast-paced pursuits of the city. And their beautifully laid out space, all-day natural light and spectacular view of  Table Mountain, creates the perfect coffee-date or in-between-meetings-break spot to do just that! But just before you’re all charmed-up by the stunning space in which you find yourself in, don’t forget about the coffee and spectacular menu items on offer! Ground’s own unique African Arabica coffee is sourced and roasted by their dedicated artisan roaster, using only top scoring beans and micro-roasting methods to create healthy, low caffeine, naturally sweet and most significantly, fresh coffee. With all of that mad coffee skills they’ve got going on, it’s no surprise that Ground Art Café is fast becoming one of Cape Town’s appreciated favourites and certainly one of ours too! The menu is simple and focuses on fresh, healthy ingredients of local and European origin and boasts quite the selection. But besides the incredible coffee and really good food, the art display is truly out of this world! With a dedicated wall for the art they exhibit it makes for the most magnificent focal point that will have you head-over-heels as soon as you walk inside.

5. Clarke’s: Bree Street


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If you don’t get even a little excited when you see the famed white canopy and copper sign of Clarke’s, then dare we say we might have a problem, or in the very least a café battle on our hands! Proudly positioning themselves as one of the coolest spots on the Bree Street block as well as one of the original hipster haunts in Cape Town’s inner city, it’s no surprise that Clarke’s has become a real café fan-favourite for locals and travellers alike! Besides its cool status, Clarke’s has become well known for their epic burgers, all-day breakfasts, awesome cocktails & jam-packed, flavour-filled menu. Besides a jam-packed and delicious menu, Clarke’s cool interiors of pared-down wooden tables and lush indoor plant display is pretty captivating in itself and is certainly guaranteed to catch your eye! It’s street-facing outside tables are also perfect for a fan-favourite Cape Town past-time of people watching and soaking up all the sun rays you can handle, and even if the Cape Town sun isn’t out to play, the people watching on its own will do. But whether it’s the sensational coffee, unique drinks or variety of delicious morning, afternoon or dinner meals on offer, or captivating the cool Cape Town café vibe that has you hooked on Clarke’s, it’s safe to say this is one local fan-favourite that’s not going anywhere anytime soon, or at least if we have anything to do with it.

4. Truth Coffee Roasting Café: Buitenkant Street


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So, we’ve made it pretty clear that a good cup of coffee forms an integral part of any Capetonian’s staple diet, but with such incredible coffee roasting gems on offer for all our coffee-indulging-pleasures, how can we possibly resist? And we’re pretty sure all our fellow coffee-lovers and caffeine-enthusiasts would agree that the Truth Coffee Roasting Café, and our number 4 cool Cape Town café pick, is without a doubt a Mother City coffee gem that requires no real introduction. But we’re going to give you one anyway, because we’ve got your back! Plus, we just love sharing the TRUTH love as far and wide as we can. At Truth you can say goodbye to mediocre cups of instant coffee, and say hello to a sensational, gourmet home-roasted cup of liquid greatness, YES, it really is that good. And with the slogan of ‘Taste the joy of the extraordinary’ you better know you’re in for a cup of coffee that promises to knock your socks right off! Their coffee is so good in fact that Truth Café was actually voted the world’s best coffee shop by The Daily Telegraph for a second year in a row, pretty impressive right? But guess what, the interiors are equally as impressive! The award-winning Steampunk-themed home of Truth Coffee Roasting, as well as their vintage Probat coffee roaster with all of its modern electronics, will make you feel like you’ve stepped foot inside a Sherlock Holmes-era laboratory, where writhing machinery collides with industrial-chic décor. YES, it’s every bit as epic as we’re making it sound! It’s authentic, chic, edgy, lavish and minimalist with a touch of grungy flare all at the same time. Besides sensational coffee and super cool interiors, they also offer wine, craft beer, various tea selections (they even have High Tea) and a really delicious food selection. And the staff are truly EPIC and only too happy to share their coffee love with whoever will listen, so feel free to pick their coffee-cultured brain to your heart’s content. We also included this stop as part of our Cape Town Sights & Bites tour.

3. Yours Truly: Loop Street


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Yours Truly on Loop Street is the newest edition to the Yours Truly family and has certainly captured our café-loving heart in record time. Boasting ALL the same cool vibes as its Kloof Street counterpart, it’s sure to capture your heart too, or in the very least, your attention. And yes, for all the doubters out there, Yours Truly really is every bit as cool as people say it is, and maybe even a little more, thereby earning themselves the number 3 spot on our cool Cape Town café countdown list. Situated in a beautiful three story Victorian building, surrounded by galleries and design centres, Yours Truly on Loop Street has been lovingly crafted in a way where visitors to this Cape Town café gem can look out over the beautiful Mother City soaking up the vibe and savouring the view all at the same time! Besides sensational coffee, on-tap beers, wine and a delicious food menu bursting with choice and flavour, the captivating and down-right-all-consumingly-cool vibe and interiors of this Cape Town cafe utopia is definitely a big part of what makes it so alluring! Fully immersed in greenery, decked out with wooden accents, thin black lines and cool low-hanging lights left, right and centre, we can’t help but be completely captivated and consumed by the Yours Truly magical charm as soon as we step foot inside. What can we say, we just can’t resist a good pared-down wooden table and lush indoor plant display. And if that isn’t enough to send this Cape Town café’s cool factor off the charts, it also transforms into a vibey bar at night. Yes, it definitely has it all going on. They even have live DJ’s every Thursday and month-long exhibitions hosted by their sponsors VANS, thereby helping support local artists. Yeah, Yours Truly really is the whole package.

2. Blue Café: Brownlow Road


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A real Mother City hidden gem and number 2 on our cool Cape Town café countdown list, we can’t help but be charmed by the Blue Café. It’s therefore not only earned itself a top spot on our list, but in our hearts too! This neighbourhood heirloom has been trading as a café and deli since 1904 and has undergone quite a journey of transformation and name changes over the years, only to return to its Tamboerskloof neighbourhood’s beacon of blue and renamed it “The Blue Cafe”. Together with its proud blue status, the Blue Café also places a massive emphasis on heritage and supporting the local community. The café therefore buys fresh produce grown by Tamboerskloof residents, trades on account with its patrons and delivers it to their doors, pretty cool don’t you think? Besides a strong sense of heritage and community, the Blue Café takes immense pride on serving up meals that are freshly prepared, filled with flavour and a hefty dose of home-cooking family love. By proclaiming that ‘the way we cook for you, is the way we cook for our family’, you better know you’re in for something truly spectacular cooked right from the heart. Thereby making the Blue Café experience extra special! And with a menu boasting so much choice and sensational options, the only thing you’ll have trouble with is deciding, but that just means you’ll keep going back for more, asks us, we just can’t resist!

1. Loading Bay: Hudson Street: #1 Our coolest Cape Town café!


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Proudly claiming our number 1 cool Cape Town café spot, we can’t help but say we’re ALL about that cool Loading Bay feeling! Yeah so… if it isn’t clear yet, we’re all about spreading that Loading Bay café love as far and wide as we can! Situated in the culturally rich and diverse district of De Waterkant, the Loading Bay offers a space for exploration and curiosity and certainly urges your imagination to run as free and rampant as it desires, because that’s exactly what they’re all about. This trendy Hudson Street space is an eatery AND selected menswear and Aēsop Skin care shop, talk about being marvellous and multi-functional! They are so cool in fact that even the New York times had previously declared them as one of the top twelve fashion, food and design spots to visit in Cape Town. And with a raw urban feel, boasting chic industrial interiors with splashes of yellow and a trendy vibe and cool ambiance that’s almost palpable, it isn’t hard to understand why. The Loading Bay truly is the ultimate Cape Town hub for coffee, really good food and trendy design and commit themselves to an ethical, conscious movement of daily habitual activities. Their short and sweet sustainable-focused menu is therefore all about showcasing fresh and seasonal produce in the very best way to serve up a sensational meal that is every bit as captivating as your cool surroundings. What are you waiting for, it’s time to take the LOAD off at Cape Town’s coolest cafe  – the LOADING BAY!

By Biance Bunge.