Summer in Cape Town is pretty dang exceptional. There’s a major buzz in the air, the streets are always milling with tanned locals and visitors from around the world and the extra long days mean more time for activities! Whether it’s your first visit to the Mother City or your annual return to the mountain, I hope my guide to having the best time in Cape Town this summer will help make this one to remember.
My Guide to Having The Best Time in Cape Town This Summer
Here’s my list of all my favourite spots to hit up for a really great time in Cape Town and surrounds. I hope you have an amazing time in this little city! I’ve included only my personal spots, so it’s not an entirely subjective guide to the city.
The Best Coffee Shops in Cape Town
The coffee culture in Cape Town is alive and thriving. We have some seriously great local roasters and very Instagrammable coffee shops where you could easily spend the day working or just grab a breakfast on the go.
- Tribe in the CBD is located in the BWM Motorrad showroom and conveniently located near Bree Street
- Deluxe Coffeeworks on Church Street still makes the very best coffee in the city. It’s small with limited seating but it’s the original (and best in my opinion). They also have locations on Kloof Street, in the Bo-Kaap and on Buitenkant Street
- Jarryd’s in Sea Point has the best breakfast menu in town and makes a mean latté. They are absolutely packed on weekends so either get there early or be prepared to stand in line. There’s limited parking so take an Uber if you need to drive
- The Field Office in Woodstock is my favourite spot for a co-working day. They serve Deluxe and there’s a great energy and there are normally a few street parking spots available
- Bootlegger in Sea Point has a great menu and is always a vibe
- Loading Bay is beautiful and has a uniquely fancy menu. They do fresh juices and superfood lattés with all kinds of milk alternatives
The Best Markets in Cape Town
The market scene is huge in Cape Town. They all get pretty packed in summer, so the earlier you can get there, the better.
- The Oranjezicht City Farm Market in Granger Bay is open on Saturdays and has a huge variety of organic and local fresh produce. It’s really busy and there are millions of dogs and strollers to weave your way through but it’s lovely
- The Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock (open Saturdays) is Cape Town’s original and best market. It is world-famous and frequented by locals and visitors alike. Tip: Luke’s Rosti is the best breakfast around and my personal death row meal
- Mojo Market in Sea Point is open every day and has a massive variety of great food on offer. On weekends they have live music too, and their open till late
The Best Spots for Cocktails in Cape Town
Whether you’re looking for views or just a reason to wear lipstick, the Cape Town cocktail scene has you covered.
- The Radisson Red Rooftop Bar has mega views and delicious drinks
- Hail Pizza (behind Clarke’s) makes my favourite cocktail in town – the Mishaq Shushaq – which contains Mozambican rum and fresh raspberry
- The Secret Gin Bar is the worst kept secret in town – but you can’t keep something this good from the public
- Planet Bar at Mount Nelson is fancy!
- Upstairs at Yours Truly is probably the most culturally diverse and vibey spot in town on a summer evening
- The Stack has a daily half-price cocktail special from 3pm-6pm at a beautiful bar within a quiet inner-city courtyard
- Outrage of Modesty is a hidden speakeasy that takes cocktails to a whole new level. It’s tiny, so be sure to book ahead
- The House of Machines is one of the coolest spots in town and they happen to serve a mean Old Fashioned
- Hanks is officially a whiskey bar (although they serve everything from beer and wine to cocktails) and another one of the coolest spots in the city. Remember to bring your Oregon fake ID if you are traveling from the States and are hoping for an alcoholic beverage!
The Best Summer Restaurants in Cape Town
There’s no way you could come to Cape Town and not eat your way through the city. These are some of the very best restaurants for a bite to eat on a summery evening.
- Hallelujah is a tiny restaurant that serves Asian street style from a whole-in-the-wall with flamingo wallpaper (it’s also my favourite restaurant in town)
- Obi serves by far the best sushi in town. They have a daily early dinner special that you shouldn’t miss – miso soup, vegetable tempura, a sushi and sashimi platter and ice cream for 2 for R350
- El Burro is always a vibe! By far the best Mexican you’ll find in town. Book ahead and see if you can get a table on the balcony
- Maria’s is a small little Greek restaurant that serves up some delicious authentic food in a cobbled courtyard. Think fairy lights and dolmades
- The Creamery makes the most delicious ice cream and they do it all from scratch. Have the roasted marshmallow topping on your ice cream – trust me
The Best Breweries in Cape Town
Craft beer has been having a moment in Cape Town since 2010.
- Devil’s Peak in Salt River makes the best burger in town and offers a tasting flight of all their beers
- Woodstock Brewery offers tours and tastings of about 10 different beers
- Cape Brewing Company is located within day-tripping distance from the city at Spice Route in Paarl. There’s loads to eat and drink while you’re there, so you might as well make a day of it
- Triggerfish in Somerset West has some unusual suspects like coffee beer and some delicious food
The Best Wine Farms in Cape Town (and surrounds)
While there are too many great wine farms to enjoy in one summer, these a few of my favourites to take visitors to.
- Constantia Glen has stunning views and great platters (and is close to the city)
- Fairview is a total crowd-pleaser with seriously awesome cheese platters and cute goats
- Cape Point Vineyards looks out onto the sea and is the best place around for a long lazy picnic in the sunshine
- Peter Falke is open until 7pm, with a rolling lawn, bean bags for chilling on and great platters
- Spier has lots to see and do, including picnics, wine tasting, a farm-to-table restaurant and beautiful grounds to walk through
- Boschendal is picture perfect and one of my all-time favourites. Their restaurant, Die Werf, is a highlight
- Babylonstoren looks like it was made for the pages of a magazine. My favourite way to enjoy the farm is with a walk through the garden (insanely stunning!) followed by a wine tasting and platters in the wine tasting room for best value
The Best Things to Do in Woodstock
My neighbourhood is a rough diamond. While it might look kinda grubby from the outside, it’s shiny and beautiful underneath.
- Burrata makes best pizza in Cape Town and has a killer wine list to go with it
- A walking tour with local guide Juma or my friend Zach (who you can book with through Juma) is a must
- The beautiful Superette is the ideal spot for breakfast and good coffee
- The salmon burger Ocean Jewels is sooooooo good (and all their fish is sustainable, too)
- The hike to Woodstock Caves is worth the effort for the views
The Best Spots on Bree Street
Cape Town’s hippest street is jam-packed with amazing bars and restaurants. These are a few of my personal favourites.
- Love Thy Neighbour is famous for having possibly the best location in town but what not everyone knows is that they serve seriously amazing food. It’s a mixture of authentic Greek and Cypriot food, all locally sourced and seasonal. The aubergene fries served with date mollases, whipped feta and fresh mint are next level amazing
- Publik Wine Bar is seriously cool with a really unusual selection of fine wines
- Everything at Clarke’s is good but their breakfast is only R30 before 9am
- La Parada is always jumping on weekends
- Chef’s Warehouse is one of my top 3 favourite restaurants in town. They serve small plates of huge flavours. They don’t take bookings, so arrive early
- The top of Bree Street is a hub of great spots. Jason Bakery for Saturday morning breakfast with the cool kids, Culture Club for cheesy treats, Orphanage for cocktails and Sea Breeze for oysters and other seafood
The Best Spots on Kloof Neck
- Power & The Glory for beers and the best hot dog in town
- The Sorrows is always pumping on Friday nights
- Taqueria serves delicious tacos and Mezcal margaritas
- Beleza has a great breakfast vibe
- Kyoto Garden Sushi makes pure, authentic and delicious sushi
I hope you find a few of your own favourites on this list. If you have any suggestions, please drop them in the comments!
More about summer in Cape Town
The weather in Cape Town is, in a word, unpredictable. Which makes packing for your first visit kind of confusing. Add to that the fact that many visitors think it’s not-stop safari as soon as they land in South Africa and you’ve got way too much khaki and not nearly enough cute dresses on your hands. The reality is that Cape Town is a cosmopolitan city, with a diverse fashion scene and lots of different things to do. There’s a laid-back approach to fashion and makeup, but that doesn’t detract from this city’s style. With my guide to what to pack for summer in Cape Town, you’ll be covered for almost anything.Read my guide for what to pack for summer in Cape Town here.
Nice little summary. Agree and disagree with some of the comments, but these types of things are subjective so thats alright.
The article is absolutely RIDDLED with typos though, eeek.
Thanks for your comment Steve! I always have my boyfriend (who is a copywriter) proof-read my posts for me, but I have a feeling he’s not giving them his full attention 😉 Thanks for the heads up – I’ve given the post another edit and hopefully all the typos are fixed.
Also, I’m curious to know what you agree and disagree with. Would love some new tips!
LOVE this post! Where are your outfits from (first pic)? BEAUTIFUL!
Thanks so much Charn! The dress is from Poetry (www.poetrystores.co.za) from their 2016 summer range.
What would be the best staples and basics to pack for CT’s unpredictable weather when one would follow this guide?
This got me excited for summer in Cape Town.
Such a nice collections of things to do with nice images.
We recently also wrote about this topic, Cape Town has so much to choose from!!
Such a great guide Natalie.
What a gem Cape Town is!!
There are such great spots open and we have so much choice.
Would also add the following:
Life Unframed – Yummy ice cream
Raptor Room – Love the decor but have great sweet potato fries
Shift Espresso Bar – best coffee
Nourish’d cafe – vegan eats.
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