The Mother City, home to some of the best third wave coffee around the globe. Every time I return to Cape Town, new cafés have opened up all over the city. There’s now so many great independent coffee shops in Cape Town; you are totally spoilt for choice.
While the majority of coffee lovers flock to the old, hip suburb of Woodstock, there’s been a growing trend of amazing spots in and around the CBD. I’m fortunate enough to spend my days travelling the globe in search of the best coffee one can find. Here are my favourite coffee shops in Cape Town:
1. Origin Coffee Roasters
View this post on Instagram
Want to be able to drink really, really good coffee even when you're at home? Then here's your chance. Join Winston (current Western Cape Barista Champion) at one of our two upcoming Home Barista Courses in #johannesburg 26 March & #capetown 1 April #coffeelover #upyourgame #homebarista #workshop #coffeelove Get tickets www.originroasting.co.za
From cold brew to pour overs to a classic flat white, coffee at Origin is always second to none (regardless of how busy they might be). Something which many people are not aware of is Origin’s emphasis on connecting with the coffee farmers that supply their roastery. Origin believe in working towards not just Fair-trade but a relationship model, where everyone in the process feels involved and benefit from an overall greater quality coffee.
Why is it such a special café? Origin is what it is because it’s filled with really great people. The baristas are not only knowledgable about coffee but are excited to share what they know with you. At the end of the day, they love coffee and for me, that is what makes a good café, great.
Best for: Quality coffee, ethical coffee sourcing, great people
28 Hudson St, De Waterkant
Jarryds has been open for a little while now but I’m really impressed with what they’ve achieved. It’s on the expensive side for breakfast in Cape Town but it’s a firm favourite and this place is always ridiculously busy and buzzing with locals. It’s pretty rare to find somewhere with great coffee that seems to specialise in food. The barista’s are seriously knowledgable and super friendly, serving beans from Espresso Lab, a superb café and roasters based in Woodstock. Ask for their coffee in a cone.
Best for: Expansive breakfast and lunch menus combined with great coffee
90 Regent Rd, Sea Point
3. Rosetta Roastery
Rosetta Roastery is located in the Woodstock Exchange and usually has wide selection of single origin coffees, with beans sourced from farms around the world. Coffee is served at the highest quality and the baristas at Rosetta are more than happy to talk you through the different coffees and flavour combinations. Best known for their phrase, “Coffees are orchids, not aspirins”, the people at Rosetta are passionate about where they source their coffee and finding the best way to carefully extract the most flavour from each blend or bean. This is definitely a café dedicated to perfecting the art of pour-over coffee.
Best for: Incredibly talented, knowledgable baristas and roasters
66 Albert Rd, Woodstock
4. Uncle Bear Coffee Company
View this post on Instagram
We just love having other coffee professionals pop around to visit and share ideas around coffee. Shout out to @stanleybiggs from @vintagecoffeersa in Pretoria and our local homie @imile_dv Barista trainer and coffee champ 👊🏽🐻❤️ Photo cred 📷:@dylan_perring #unclebearcoffee #thirdwavecoffee #capetown
Uncle Bear Coffee Company will make you re-think the art of the ‘take-away’. It’s no longer a ‘means to an end’ and there is finally a take-away bar in Cape Town that can compete with some of the best coffee shops in town. Uncle Bear is relatively new to the city and is without a doubt the smallest café you’ve ever seen but don’t be mistaken; the standard of coffee will blow you away. The owner is super passionate about the coffee they serve and as word is spreading, this little bar is becoming increasingly popular – for a very good reason.
Best for: Takeaways
112 Long street. AAA house building
5. Loading Bay
I recently discovered Loading Bay by accident because it happens to be located right next to Origin. I’ve been really impressed with every dish I’ve tried; portion sizes are decent and there is a great atmosphere. There beautifully designed restaurant is open and bright, with high ceiling, hanging lights and huge windows. There is even an option to sit on the outside decking in the heart of De Waterkant. Perfection!
Best for: Quality food in a bright & open space
Hudson Building, 30 Hudson St, De Waterkant
6. The Blue Café
A well kept secret of Cape Town, Blue Café has actually been around a long time but I’ve only just discovered it. With long opening hours, even at weekends, it’s a great spot particularly if you don’t want to venture into town. Being situated up in Tamboerskloof, Blue Café has the feel of an old neighbourhood café which I really love. There’s nothing pretentious about it, just simple but well done coffee, food and delicious juices.
Best for: Local spot
13 Brownlow Rd, Tamboerskloof
7. Jason Bakery
I love Jason’s. Like Jarryds, it’s got a busy, ‘hustle of the city’ vibe and their focus is not in fact on coffee but on the bakery. Located in town, it’s a popular spot post sunrise hike for one thing in particular: croissants. Their pastries are freshly baked every morning and have been known to sell out within hours of opening. It’s no wonder since they are without a doubt, the best pastries I’ve ever had. If you happen to visit on a Saturday, you’ll find anything from peanut butter and bacon croissants to Nutella ‘doughssants’. Do yourself a favour and try both.
Best for: Pastries
185 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre
8. Ground Art Café
Ground Art Café is located just off Strand Street and is run by two best friends, creating such a warm and welcoming atmosphere from the minute you walk in. I’ve come to realise that, as in most walks of life, first impressions make the world of difference in a coffee shop. At this café, you are sure to receive the warmest of welcomes from the minute you arrive. The café doesn’t claim to have the best coffee in Cape Town but if you are looking for a great spot outside of the city centre where you can sit, work or read, this is a perfect option.
Best for: Chilled, relaxed environment with super friendly and accommodating staff
160 Strand St
Written by Dan Carter
Dan is a blogger, photographer and coffee connoisseur from the UK.
South Africa is one of his favourite all time travel destinations, so it is no surprise he knows all about the Mother City.
He shares his travel adventures with the world on dancarternow.