My perfect Cape Town weekend

Posted by Sarah Duff on 2 August 2011

When an old friend from high school contacted me via Blackberry Messenger to ask for tips on what to do in Cape Town over a weekend visit, my mind started working. I love nothing better than sharing my favourite places in Cape Town with out-of-towners. While thinking about what to recommend I realised that there was so much to say, it couldn’t be said over BBM. So I wrote this blog post. Here you go Lulama, and anyone else who ever visits Cape Town for a weekend break:



Start off your Friday night with chilled drinks either at Rafikis (beloved of art students and people with dreadlocks) or Neighbourhood. Both have great balconies on which to sit, sip a beer/cocktail/glass of wine and watch dusk fall on the city.


Neighbourhood and Rafikis both have food: at Neighbourhood I love the falafel burger with shoestring fries, and the pizzas at Rafikis are awesome. If you’re into more upmarket restaurants, my favourites for relaxed eating out are Sidewalk Café (unpretentious bistro food such as fish and chips, Thai curry and moussaka) in Vredehoek and El Burro (fresh, tasty Mexican) in Greenpoint.


Friday night partying really depends on what you’re into. You can trawl Long Street and hit whatever takes your fancy (I like the Waiting Room and Zula), or go to Assembly if there’s a band playing. Then there’s DecoDance on Main Road in Greenpoint if your party vibe is music from the 80s in a very dark club surrounded by very drunk people.

Post-partying munchies

No drunken night is complete without a visit to the 24-hour Woolworths at the Engen Garage on Orange Street. This place is pumping at 3 am on a weekend morning with people getting pies, pizzas, burgers and Woolies sandwiches.



Saturday morning breakfast in Cape Town “¦ you’re spoiled for choices. If you’re not hungover and an active type, go for a quick hike in Silvermine Nature Reserve (past Tokai on the M3) and then head for breakfast at bohemian-chic Olympia Café in Kalk Bay (I recommend scrambled eggs on croissants with sweet pastries for dessert).

For the babalas sufferers, a slap-up breakfast in town is the ticket. I love Arnold’s on Kloof St – it’s great if you get a crew together on one of the large tables outside to reminisce about last night’s shenanigans and ride out your hangovers over multiple cups of coffee. I always go for the chef’s special – R35 for eggs, fried potatoes, baked beans, sausage, bacon, toast, orange juice and a cappuccino. By the way, the best hangover cure in town is the freshly made vegetable and fruit juices at Health for Life in the Gardens Centre (I always go for the sundowner – beetroot, carrot, orange with extra ginger).

On a beautiful day, another awesome breakfast spot is the Roundhouse, above Camps Bay. Tuck into scrambled eggs on a croissant while sitting on the lawn looking at one of Cape Town’s best views: of the Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay. The restaurant’s resident pigs and bantam chickens provide the entertainment.

Weekend food markets

Now, a lot of people would recommend that visitors head to the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock to check out Cape Town’s biggest food market. I used to love Neighbourgoods, but it’s just got too busy for browsing to be a pleasant experience. If you don’t mind jostling crowds, definitely make a stop here for brunch/lunch and some microbrewery beer, but if you like your markets a bit quieter I would go to the City Bowl Market in Hope Street in Gardens. It’s small, cheerful and friendly and there’s some delicious food and produce on offer: super cheap fruit, a salad bar, sushi, oysters, paella, seafood potjie, falafel, Malay curries and loads of treats (dark chocolate cheesecake brownies, salted caramel truffles, pasties de nata) for dessert.

Chilled afternoon

Afternoon calls for either shopping – I would suggest the second shops and boutiques on Long Street and Kloof Street if, like me, you’re not a mall person – or a movie. The Labia on Orange Street and Kloof Street shows arty films in its grungy theatres which are frequented by the grungy-arty-hipster crowd.


I love a good curry, especially on a Saturday night post-hangover, and Chandanis in Roodebloem Road, Woodstock for Indian, and Chef Pon’s Asian Kitchen in Gardens and Sawaddee in Rheede St (just off Kloof Street) for Thai are my favourites. Alternatively, pizza and beer with some mates can’t be topped – here’s our editorial assistant Sarah Keevy’s six best pizza restaurants in Cape Town if you need some inspiration. My favourite pizza places are Limoncello in Gardens for authentic Italian pizzas with crispy bases and just the right amount of topping and cheese, Da Vincis in Kloof Street for their variety of tasty toppings, and Woodlands Eatery in Vredehoek (the current pizza plek du jour in Cape Town).



Sundays are about sleeping in and long lunches. And wine. Take a short road trip out of the city to Franschhoek or Stellenbosch for wine tasting and lunch (there are so many to choose from, just take your pick). Otherwise, make a mission out to Kalk Bay and plonk yourself down at a table right next to the sea at the Brass Bell for calamari and chips. It’s not gourmet food but that’s not the point – it’s about chilling with your mates and some beers (the wine list is not that great) and soaking up the great ocean vibe, dude.


Get back to town, go for a relaxing stroll on the promenade, which stretches from Mouille Point to the end of Sea Point. Grab an ice cream on the walk and hang out with the Promenade’s cosmopolitan mix of everyone from bergies, families, joggers, wannabe writers tapping away at their laptops, to people playing soccer and grannies power walking …

Afterwards, head to Sotano in Mouille Point for a Sunday wind down. There’s a DJ playing some mellow tunes, yummy mezze platters and great cocktails. Located on the pavement just across the road from the Promenade, it’s a super place to watch the sunset.

There you have it: my perfect Cape Town weekend.

What’s your idea of the best things to do in the Mother City over the weekend? What do you Capetonians recommend to visitors? Add your tips in the comments section below.



13 Kloof Nek Road, Tamboerskloof
Tel 021-426-4731

163 Long Street
Tel 021-424-7260

Sidewalk Café
33 Derry Street, Vredehoek
Tel 021-461-2839

El Burro
81 Main Road, Greenpoint
Tel 021-433-2364

The Waiting Room
Above Royale Eatery, 273 Long Street
Tel 021-891-3937

196 Long Street
Tel 021-424-2442

61 Harrington Street, District Six
Tel 021-465-7286

120B Main Road, Sea Point

24-hour Woolworths
At the Engen on Orange Street
You will not need to call – it is open 24 hours and there are pies, pizzas, burgers and sandwiches. That is all you need to know.

Silvermine Nature Reserve
Ou Kaapseweg
Tel 021-780-9002

Olympia Café
134 Main Road, Kalk Bay
Tel 021-788-6396

60 Kloof Street, Gardens
Tel 021-424-4344

Health for Life
Gardens Shopping Centre, Mill St, Gardens
Tel 021-461-1450

The Roundhouse
Roundhouse Road, off Kloof Rd, towards Camps Bay
Tel 021-438-4347

Neighbourgoods Market
373 – 375 Albert Road, Woodstock
Saturdays from 09h00 to 14h00
Cell 082-370-4075

City Bowl Market
14 Hope Street, Gardens

The Labia
Orange Street and Kloof Street, Gardens
Tel 021-424-5927

85 Roodebloem Avenue, Woodstock
Tel 021-447-7887

Chef Pon’s Asian Kitchen
12 Mill Street, Gardens
Tel 021-465-5846

10 – 12 Rheede Street, Gardens
Tel 021-422-1633

8 Breda Street, Gardens
Tel 021-461-5100

Da Vincis
70 Kloof Street, Gardens
Tel 021-424-7504

Woodlands Eatery
2 Deer Park Ave West, Deer Park, Vredehoek
Tel 021-801-5799

Brass Bell
Main Road, Kalk Bay Station, Kalk Bay
Tel 021-788-5455

121 Beach Road, Mouille Point
Tel 021-433-1757

Find accommodation options for Cape Town here.


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tcat - Restaurants
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