Cape Town's Best Coffeehouses

truth cafe and origin cafe
coffee beans typography
knead cafe and yours truly cafe

After I wrote my last post about coffee culture in Cape Town, I realized I should have pointed out that visiting a Vida e Cafè in Cape Town is akin to visiting a Starbucks in America. It's perfect for a quick espresso on the way to work but doesn't give you a real sense of the neighborhood like a local cafe does. Judging Cape Town cafes based on the quality of their coffee and the ambiance, here's where this American orders her americanos:

Truth Coffee

 - 36 Buitenkant Street

I love the steampunk vibes of this cafe and their coffee is close to perfect - no need for sugar or milk.

Origin Coffee

- 28 Hudson Street

Origin is another favorite, and also quite close to what I'd consider perfect.  Their cafe is small and usually quite busy, so food service can be a bit slow. The Nigiro tea room in the back is a nice escape from the crowd (but I'll save tea in Cape Town for a separate post)

Bean There

- 58 Wale Street

A fair trade coffee shop roasting African beans in small batches.  They have a lighter, more airy decor than the other cafes listed here, and they also sell some gadgets like presses.  It's worth a visit if you're planning on brewing at home.


- 175 Long Street

A cozy interior and a rich cup of joe.  This cafe that is always buzzing with activity and is a great place for people/tourist watching on Long Street.

And, here are some of my favorite chain cafes, with more than one location in the Western Cape:


The smell of baking bread always lures me into this restaurant/cafe. With menu items like brioche french toast, breakfast pizza, and bircher muesli, this cafe is always my default for weekend brunch. Try the almond croissant - the filling is just the right amount of sweet to offset the bitterness of their coffee.

Seattle Coffee Company

When I say 'iced latte', they always know what I mean, and I appreciate that.  The tiny Cavendish shop has a small number of seats, but access to Exclusive Books' magazine rack makes it worth lingering longer.

Mugg & Bean

Mugg and Bean is a sit-down restaurant and is usually located within shopping malls.  I'm a fan of their bottomless filter coffee refills, and their oversized, just-out-of-the-oven warm muffins served with a bit of cheddar cheese and jam are out of this world.