A Guide to Cape Town’s Coolest Neighbourhood

During our recent trip to Cape Town we gave special attention to one of the city’s most happening neighbourhoods -Bree Street and the surrounding area. Here’s the lowdown of some of my favourite places, all in a handy little guide (they also all happen to be within about 3 blocks of each other so it’s nice and easy to navigate):

Brunch at Clarke’s Bar and Dining Room

133 Bree Street, Cape Town, 7490, South Africa
Located on Bree Street itself, this bustling little spot is one of those places you’ll see friends catching up over a flat white and creatives hammering away on their MacBooks. You can opt to eat at the counter and witness the food prep taking place, or take a seat at one of the tables and admire the understated interior adorned with a plethora of plants. Clarke’s specialises in your breakfast, brunch and lunch staples, with bread baked in-house or sourdough from Woodstock Bakery. I opted for their pressed veg sandwich on sourdough (yummy), and also tried out their pre-9am breakfast special of two eggs on sourdough, complete with a coffee or OJ for only R30 (that’s around €2 – madness).

Cape Town guide

Brunch time at Clarke’s

Shop at SAM

69 Shortmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
In Cape Town you won’t be short of market stalls selling traditional African wares, but if you looking for something that won’t lose its charm as soon as you step off the plane – look no further than SAM (South African Market). After all, we all know that feeling of getting home with a new wooden sculpture/ rug/ work of art, only to realise it looks completely out of place in your apartment. SAM, located on Shortmarket Street, is all about showcasing South African products that are a far cry from your average souvenir. Expect everything from bold printed cushions to gorgeous leather goods, along with small items of jewellery and contemporary prints that are easy to fit into your luggage. I was particularly enamoured with a photo portrait book about South Africans and their bikes, and the collection of bags by Freedom of Movement.

Alternative souvenirs at Sam

Alternative souvenirs at Sam

Dinner at La Parada

107 Bree St, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
I didn’t think I’d be recommending a gourmet tapas bar as one of my favourite places to eat in Cape Town, yet here we are. If you’ve read some of my older posts you might know that I used to live in Madrid, and La Parada is certainly on a par with some of my favourite eateries in the Spanish capital. For those who opt for wine to wash down their tapas you can’t go wrong with the vino offerings, but La Parada also offers a small selection of craft beers just begging to be tried. Highlights of the menu included the ever-so-succulent roasted pork belly, the salt and pepper fried calamari, and the beef shin croquetas.

Lights, camera... tapas

Lights, camera… tapas

Drinks at The House of Machines

84 Shortmarket St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Part bar, park cafe, part custom-motorbike workshop, The House of Machines is one of those unique places where the passion of the concept shines through. This in no way feels like a “themed bar”, and whilst motorcycle enthusiasts will no doubt be in their element, non-enthusiasts (like me) can also appreciate this curious space. Grab yourself a craft beer or a whiskey, then kick back and enjoy the good vibes and live music.

Ale please!

Ale please!

Sleep at 91 Loop

91 Loop St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa
Ideally situated on the corner of Loop Street and Longmarket Street, 91 Loop is is city’s best located boutique hostel. Featuring On Longmarket (a hip cafe in its own right), you don’t even have to step outside to get a decent dose of caffeine. There’s even a bar, laid-back courtyard and occasional in-house activities ranging from yoga to wine tasting. But for me the most interesting thing about this establishment is the unique — and rather fun — pod experience. Of course you can opt to rest your weary bones in a standard dorm or private room, but these pods are the perfect cosy retreat to retire to after a busy day in the city. I wanted to try out the pods for the novelty value but turns out they are spacious, the beds are comfy and you have your own light and plug sockets built in – what more could you want? Apart from super-speedy Wifi – and they have that too!

My cosy pod

My cosy pod

You don't even have to step outside the hostel to be in a hip cafe!

You don’t even have to step outside the hostel to be in a hip cafe!

Getting Around

All of the featured hotspots are within walking distance of each other. Click on the map below to find each location.

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