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Essential Cape Town cafes 2021

This article is a compilation of two Cape Town Cafe Guides, from Avo Maki Travels. If you’re visiting Cape Town , South Africa – or even if you live there – these are some of the best Cape Town cafes to check out in 2021.


Since I’ve been stuck here for while with very little income and quite a lot of time, I’ve taken it upon myself to scope out some of the cafes in Cape Town and its surrounds. It’s a lot cheaper to eat at home and just go out for coffee than it is to splurge on meals every time one leaves the house. Not to mention, a simple cup of good coffee in a lovely place is one of life’s most sublime pleasures. So, without further ado, here are a few of my favourite Cape Town cafes for you to enjoy while you’re exploring the city.

1. Swan cafe

This quaint bistro and creperie is located in Cape Town’s East City Precinct, and it single handedly transforms the sidewalk into a vibrant French street corner as if it’s been freshly transplanted from the heart of Paris.

Its friendly staff and VERY Instagram friendly decor are a treat almost on par with the crepes this spot is so well known for!

Pair your airy and delicious crepe (gluten free or vegan options available!) with a mimosa, a cup of tea, or a coffee as you please and let the atmosphere work its magic. Best to go early though! This is a spot that fills up fast!

2. Smitten in Franschhoek

While this isn’t technically in Cape Town, it’s a short enough drive away to make it the highlight of a trip into the winelands. Situated in the quiet town of Franschhoek (one of the oldest towns in South Africa) Smitten has shot right up to my list of favourite spots to grab a coffee.

Walking in feels like stepping into Jay Gatsby’s living room – It transports you through space and time, and seems to blur the line between real life and fiction. And, despite looking like the home of a mysterious millionaire with impeccable taste, the prices aren’t half bad!🤍

I’m obsessed with the colour palette, the friendly service, the bright, inviting atmosphere – and the fact that it’s nestled in the middle of magical Franschhoek is an added bonus. 🙌🏼

If I had to change anything, though, it would be to add some vegan-friendly options to the menu. Jay Gatsby clearly wasn’t into plant-based food.

3. Naked Coffee

Another seriously cute cafe, with a vibrant yet relaxed atmosphere, Naked is easy to spot just of Sea Point main road. it’s refreshingly green subway tiles make it stand out, and the open, well-lit space is great for meetings, coffee dates or work.

They have a range of tasty treats on offer, and unless you have an iron will, you may be tempted to get a snack with your coffee.

This is one of my favourites because despite being in such a convenient location, it always makes me feel like I’ve been teleported to somewhere else, and if that doesn’t speak volumes about the vibe of this place , I don’t know what does.

4. The Raptor Room

Can we please take a moment to appreciate the MAGIC that is this place? It’s everything I want my life to look like, and I wish I could move in here yesterday.

Plants on plants on pink on more plants, The Raptor Room’s energy is something else. The neon lights, the jams that pump through the speakers, the staff who treat you as if they’ve known you for years. It would be hard to find a more welcoming spot anywhere in the city.

On top of having the greatest vibe in the entire city, The Raptor Room also has some great food on offer, but a visit here is guaranteed to make your day even if you’re only stopping by for a coffee.

5. Lexy’s Healthy Eatery

The Cape Town branch of this chain of vegan paradises is situated in Sea Point, and if you need an amazing plant based brunch, this is the place to go.

I feel like Lexy’s is definitely the kind of restaurant we’ll see a lot more of in future. Unlike your average eatery, their menu is mostly plant-based, but items can have non-vegan additions added or substituted in.

The vibe is excellent, the menu is extensive and offers something for everyone. Yyou’ll never leave disappointed. This is the perfect place to impress a vegan date, or just to meet up with friends and take some cute photos of your lunch for your social media.

On top of all that, you’ll leave feeling satisfied that you’ve eaten more ethically, and that you’ve made planet-friendly plat-based choices which were, of course, extremely tasty!

But don’t take my word for it. Try it out and see for yourself!

6. Kloof Street House

Ok, so not technically a cafe, as you can splurge on a full on gourmet meal here too, Kloof Street House makes the cut just because it’s such an experience even if you are just grabbing a cup of joe.

Walking up the stairs and into this hidden wonderland on Cape Town’s Kloof street feels like going for tea at your aunt’s place – only your aunt is a wealthy duchess with a green thumb and a penchant for collecting chandeliers and throw pillows.

It’s definitely one of the most elegant spots to grab a coffee – or a brunch, or a dinner – and the fact that it’s almost always full is a testament to its success. It’s an excellent date spot, but if you’re planning to go for dinner, don’t forget to book and to budget for it! It’s also essential to try some of their stellar cocktails.

*Keep in mind, they don’t have any vegan items on the menu that aren’t sides.

7. Arthur’s Mini Super

This adorable spot adds a pop of colour to Cape Town’s Sea Point area, and while it’s not on the main road, it’s unmissable ( and if you have somehow missed it, you’d better go back and check it out!).

It offers tasty treats to enjoy right there and then, as well as a selection of fresh breads, locally crafted beverages and snacks, and other products for you to buy and enjoy at home.

It’s a popular spot for a morning coffee, so if you want to snag a seat you’ll have to go early in the morning or risk waiting in line. Once you’re in though, it’s a vibrant place to grab some content for your social media along with that caffeine hit.

8. Schoon

Sticking with the Sea Point spots, if you’re looking for something a little more laid back and neutral that’s ALL about the bread, Schoon has what you knead…get it?

Their display case boasts a variety of scrumptious pastries, and their shelves are lined with loaves of freshly baked bread.

This is the kind of place that makes millennials feel like adults. They’ve created a warm and welcoming space that’ll work well for a meeting, a coffee date, or just a quick catch-up with a friend. Whatever the occasion, you’ll feel right at home here as you bask in the peaceful environment they’ve created.

The best part? This is a chain, so whether you’re in the city, in Somerset West, or out in Stellenbosch, you won’t have to drive too far to get your fix.  Their Schoon “manufactory” in Stellenbosch overlooks their production space, where you can see the SCHOON bakery team at work on artisanal breads. 

9. Boston Coffee

As someone who grew up out in the humble Northern Suburbs of Cape Town, I’d be remiss if my cafe guides neglected to mention one of the best spots hidden out in the ‘burbs.

Boston cafe is perhaps the area’s best kept secret. While it seems to be known by all the locals – and is always packed with them – it’s very rarely mentioned by those city-dwellers who are so spoiled for choice.

Boston Coffee makes my list because their staff make you feel like you’re visiting old friends, or even family, every time you walk in the door.

Their selection of coffee brewing methods – you get to choose exactly how your cup is brewed – is unparalleled, and they roast their beans right there in the cafe for everyone to observe.

There are very few places like it in the area, so if you’re around Boston and don’t want to have to go into a mall for your cup of coffee and perhaps even a toasted sandwich for lunch, you’ll have to check them out.

As for me, it’s their marmite toastie every time – a simple guilty pleasure and an itch that only they manage to scratch.


If you’re planning a trip to Cape Town, or even if you live in the city and just want something new to do, I hope these inspire you to try a few more places! I promise I’ll do my best to make them Instabae as heck!


For more Cape Town travel content like this, visit the Avo Maki Travels website, or follow the author on Instagram @avo_maki .

You can also keep an eye on our own Travel Section for more exploration inspiration within South Africa and abroad!

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