Cruising Cape Town with Meredith Katz
A short guide to getting around Cape Town.
It’s hard for me to write about these my travels in a concise and helpful manner because I mess up so much EVERY TIME I TRAVEL that trying to put something service-y and informative together makes me feel like a total fraud. Truly, a lot of the trip I spent thinking “Shit, if I were a smarter, better organized person I would have done this, not this, saved tons of money and also ‘I’m an idiot.’” Which, clearly isn’t what you should waste time thinking to yourself while traveling. Despite all that, I still loved it and had the best time. So here are my thoughts on spending time in Southern Africa – the good and the bad.
I went to Cape Town to meet up with a few friends of mine from NYC – one of whom has a whole other life in Cape Town. I didn’t do very much research because I decided to put my vacation happiness in her hands and not read anything. I should have read stuff. Not because she wasn’t an impeccable guide, but because places are so much more enjoyable when you know where you are. I stayed in an affordable AirBnb in Tamberskloof. The ‘hood is very walkable with good cafes, restaurants, bars and grocery stores on Kloof Street. It’s also at the foot of Table Mountain so you have mountain views from everywhere, which is a nice touch.
I loved Llandundo Beach – low key beach with beautiful white sand, enclosed by the mountain so it’s not too windy, and excellent dog/people watching.
Toni’s is a super low key, delicious Mozambican-Portuguese restaurant. The chicken peri-peri there is divine, and the shrimp is great. It’s very inexpensive and has indoor and outdoor seating. We liked it so much we went twice.
88 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa +27 21 423 7617
The Dog’s Bollocks
This a restaurant in a garage with indoor/outdoor seating that doubles as a coffee shop called the Bitches Tits during the day. For dinner, they only make 50 burgers nightly starting at 5pm, plus other sandwiches. Great vibe. Great hang.
6 Roodehek Street, Cape Town Central 8001, South Africa +27 83 440 7843
MUSIC + NIGHTLIFE
If you get a chance to see the South African band Freshlyground while you’re there, do it! Zolani, the lead singer and Kyla the violinist have the most incredible energy and it’s impossible not to smile and admire African music and dance while watching them – pure joy.
I’m not a club person – but a new friend who lives in Cape Town suggested one night that we go check out a Congolese club on Long Street called Chez Ntemba. The way he described it was that everyone in there stands in front of a mirror and dances in it all night. It was different, weird and fun.
4C Buiten Street Corner Long Street +27 21 423 7575
We did an abbreviated day in wine country. Some really gorgeous vineyards there though and goddamn if I don’t think that South African wine is just the most delightful, drinkable wine on the planet. And cheap!
Welmoed Estate, R310 Baden Powell Drive, Stellenbosch +27 21 881 8062
Indochine at Delaire Graff Estate
This place mixes Asian touches with African – the grounds are breathtaking. It’s a little schmancy but the setting is beautiful, and the wine and food are great.
Dealer Graff Estate, Helshoogte Pass, Stellenbosch +27 21 885 8160
Boulders Beach and the Cape of Good Hope
On the way to the Cape of Good Hope – the southernmost tip of Africa - we stopped at Boulder’s Beach to see the famous African Penguin colony. We were rushed when we went – but take time to hike there and hang at the
various beaches. The restaurant there has a beautiful view, and was actually delicious and affordable.
Table Mountain National Par, Cape Point Rd, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa +27 21 780 9526
Things to do in Cape Town that I didn’t do, that I wish I‘d done:
Visit Robben Island
Hike Lion’s Head