I didn’t know what to expect so I was happily surprised to find a burgeoning cafe scene here. I was also surprised that there were no Starbucks in the city (they are opening in September, 2016) which is becoming a rarity these day to visit a city with no Starbucks.
I have met a few digital nomads who have spent considerable time in Cape Town, but I was still wondering if there was a cafe working scene here and if it was safe to bring your laptop to a cafe. Most of the cafes I went to had wifi and I saw laptop workers at nearly all the cafes. At the time of my visit internet access was expensive (at least it was when buying data for my phone) so wifi at some of the cafes I visited was either slow or limited by time.
In this post I’ve listed the cafes I visited, and I have made a Google and Foursquare map for easy reference.
Cape Town cafes map
Google Maps: Cape Town cafes map
Foursquare: Cape Town Cafes List
Hard Pressed Cafe
This was the first cafe I visited in Cape Town and one that left a good impression on me and the city. The cafe is also a vinyl record store and the seats have classic lyrics and album covers on them. Usually cafes that are also shops don’t work, but this one is more cafe than shop and the coffee is great.
Location: 1 Bree St, Cape Town.
My first coffee in South Africa was from a stall at a market in Johannesburg serving Origin coffee. It was a great relief to know that South Africa served good coffee. In Cape Town, Origin have a cafe between the city and Green Point in a beautifully converted brick warehouse.
Location: 28 Hudson St, Cape Town.
Yours Truly have a few branches around town including a small cafe on Long Street. My favourite was the cafe on Kloof St, which has garden seating out the front.
Location: 73 Kloof Street, Cape Town.
Truth Coffee Roasters
As I was walking to Truth I saw two well-dressed gents standing outside. I thought “wow the hipsters of Cape Town take their dressing-up seriously”. It turns out that these guys work here, and the cafe is a steampunk theme cafe. The cafe is in an old warehouse and it is decorated just how you would think a steampunk cafe should be decorated. All the staff are fabulously-dressed with goggles, top-hats, brass-buttoned vests, and coat-tails.
They have wifi there so I brought my laptop. While there were some others there with laptops I still felt a bit out of place. What I really should have been using was some kind of steam-powered typewriter.
Location: 36 Buitenkant St, Cape Town.
Batavia is in Bo Kaap, which is the district that was home to Cape Malays; immigrants and slaves from Southeast Asia (mostly Malaysia and Indonesia). While the district is well on the way to being gentrified, the spirit of the area lives on with Batavia (the name of old Jakarta). This district is famous for its colourful small houses, and Batavia does its bit with a bright blue paint job.
Location: 114 Church Street, Cape Town.
Shift Espresso Bar
Gotta love a cafe whose tagline is “death before decaf”. Shift is in the fashionable Green Point area, so if you are staying in the CBD this is a good excuse to visit Green Point.
Location: 45 Main Rd, Green Point, Cape Town.
Bootlegger Coffee Company
This cafe is in a heritage building on Regent Rd in the trendy neighbourhood of Sea Point. The area reminds me of a seaside Sydney suburb and when I visited the cafe was filled with people working away on their laptops.
Location: 39 Regent Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town
There were three branches of Deluxe at the time of my visit. I went to Roodehek St which is filled with cycling gear and has a great hipster vibe.
Location: 6 Roodehek St, Gardens, Cape Town.
This cafe is in the same building as a tour office right in the middle of town. Not really a place to work from but ideal if you are planning your sight seeing.
Location: 29 Shortmarket St & Long St, Cape Town.
Latitude 33 (named after the latitude Cape Town is on) is a surfer-themed cafe on Bree St.
Location: 165 Bree St, Cape Town.
Bean There serve fair trade coffee and have a selection of cozy couches and tables.
Location: 58 Wale St, Cape Town.
Tribe Coffee Roasting
I didn’t go to their main cafe at The Foundry (160 Albert Road) but I went to the one on Buitengracht Street. This cafe is inside a motorcycle show room serving real coffee.
Location: 112 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town.
Motherland Coffee Company
While I have listed independent cafes here I still like to visit chain stores to see how they compare around the world. Motherland is a South Africa chain and they have a branch on St Georges Mall.
Location: Mandela Rhodes Place, Wale St & Georges Mall, Cape Town