Cape Town’s Top Coffee Spots
WHERE TO GET YOUR CAFFEINE FIX
Coffee is deeply ingrained in Cape Town’s culture. In fact, it’s hard to walk a few metres without stumbling upon a trendily-named, quirkily-decorated coffee shop.
You’ll soon notice that Cape Town has swopped out the big franchise names (Starbucks is not even on the map) for independently-owned local brands. South Africans have an expression – “local is lekker” – and this filters into our caffeine habits too.
Cape Town coffee is strong and almost always accompanied by some delicious treat or pastry. If you’re exploring the city, there’s nothing like a caffeine kick to keep that pep in your step. Here are a few coffee shops we recommend you try, most of them are worth visiting as destinations on their own.
1. Truth Coffee
Truth Coffee features first because it is in fact another gem in Cape Town’s crown – it is the number one coffee shop in the world. One visit and it’s easy to see why. Truth is Steampunk-inspired – from the décor and the menus to the outfits of the baristas and extremely charismatic doorman. It is an extraordinary and exciting culinary and caffeine experience. The coffee itself is worth that number one title – strong and flavourful without being bitter. And the pastries? Just sweet and tart enough to complement the coffee.
2. Deluxe Coffeeworks
Deluxe Coffeeworks started off as a small coffee spot in Cape Town’s city centre. It has since grown to five stores (one in Namibia) serving up their freshly roasted coffee. They have a no-fuss approach – their focus is on the coffee and that’s it. It’s one of the rare spots where food is not served. But the locals don’t mind, in fact, their coffee is so loved it is available online. They even have their own coffee capsules and merchandise.
3. Bean There Coffee Company
Bean There was South Africa’s first roaster of Certified Fairtrade coffee. They are all about supporting African coffee producers and personally source all of their beans. The coffee is always single origin and unblended. Their prices are reasonable, the faces are friendly and the coffee is delicious. The atmosphere speaks to the relaxed, friendly South African spirit. It is also perfectly located next to Honest Chocolate, so you can chase your coffee with a hot chocolate, or your hot chocolate with a coffee – whichever takes your fancy.
This is the perfect spot if you plan on doing the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour (which we highly recommend!). Next to the Long Street meeting point for the bus, Kamili is the perfect place to grab your morning or afternoon brew. Kamili means ‘perfect’ in Swahili and that’s what they strive to achieve with every cup. The décor is modern, industrial-inspired but the atmosphere is warm with that ever-present African vibe.
5. The House of Machines
Possibly one of Cape Town’s most unorthodox coffee shops, the House of Machines serves great coffee by day and amazing cocktails by night. It’s worth going for the experience. It is an eclectic combination of café, bar, clothing store and live music venue. The coffee is brewed from their exclusive brand ‘Evil Twin’. The beans are 100% arabica, single-origin and certified organic. It is worth stopping by late afternoon and then sticking around to taste the craft beers and barrel-aged cocktails while listening to the live music.
6. Bootlegger Coffee Company
Bootlegger Coffee Company is the closest you will come to a coffee franchise in South Africa. They have over 12 coffee shops from Cape Town to Johannesburg. The décor is pared-back modern industrial and each store features a neon sign of a different ACDC song title. The coffee is sourced from Guatamala and Costa Rica and roasted using their unique roasting method. The flavour is more subtle, with hints of hazlenut, caramel and dark chocolate. The food is locally-sourced, no-fuss and delicious.
7. Origin Coffee Roasting
Origin Coffee Roasting was one of Cape Town’s first coffee shops to focus on exceptional quality. They were pioneers in using artisan roasting over commercial roasting. Origin may be one of the original Cape Town coffee in-spots but they’re still popular for a reason – they are continuously experimenting to discover the full potential of the coffee and express the hard work of the farmers. Every day, a minimum of eight single-origin coffees are served. The artisans are in front of house, so you can meet them, watch the roasting and enjoy a perfectly brewed fresh cup of coffee.