Coffee with a view

Private Property South Africa
Richard Holmes

There are few caffeine fanatics in Cape Town who wouldn’t list Truth Coffee in Buitenkant Street as the top roaster and coffee shop in the city. Here the coffee is the view, with tables offering a front-row seat to the huge retro-roaster known simply as The Colossus. At Truth Coffee, owner David Donde and designer Haldane Martin have transformed an old city warehouse into a steampunk-inspired fantasyland, where even the baristas look the part in leather waistcoats and jaunty Derby hats. Ask a waiter to explain Professor Jones’s Fabulous Coffee Bean Contraption before you leave.

Across the peninsula, Empire Cafe has become one of the most popular local haunts in fast-gentrifying Muizenberg. Get there early to bag one of the few tables with a view of the waves at Surfer’s Corner. The breakfasts are legendary in these parts; although the service can be slow, the coffee is always worth the wait.

There’s more great seaside coffee on offer at Newport Market & Deli, a longtime stalwart of the Mouille Point strip. The mezzanine section offers both sea and mountain views, with plenty of delicious weekend brunch options on the menu. Alternatively, grab a takeaway and stroll along the promenade or through the wonderful Green Point Urban Park.

One young, enthusiastic entrepreneur is taking artisan coffee beyond its hipster homeland. In 2012 Wogama Baleni opened the Department of Coffee opposite Khayeltisha train station, bringing the world of caffè latte and flat whites to the township. Customers can choose from a selection of bespoke bean blends, ranging from the Umlungu for new coffee drinkers to the full-bodied Runaway blend that’s best served as espresso. Such is the demand that a mobile unit recently began brewing outside the Khayelitsha Mall.

From the townships to the suburbs, Cafeen in Harfield Village is one of the few homely coffee shops in the area sporting a decent view. Situated across from a popular neighbourhood park, the terrace tables present a great view of Table Mountain. There’s free Wi-Fi and good food to be found here too.

Taste for yourself:

021 200 0440

  • Empire Cafe


021 788 1250

  • Newport Market & Deli

    Mouille Point

021 439 1538

  • Department of Coffee


    073 300 9519

  • Cafeen

    Harfield Village

021 674 6209

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times

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