Your guide to the V&A Waterfront
Sure, the V&A Waterfront might not be a ‘neighbourhood’, but it sure is a massive hub of activity! Accommodation, restaurants, shops, entertainment, adventure, it has plenty of everything – there’s a reason it’s so popular after all. So, yes, it’s not strictly a neighbourhood, but with so much to do at the V&A we decided to include it as an honorary one.
Distance from Cape Town to the V&A Waterfront: 2.7km (around 10 minutes)
WHERE TO EAT AND MAKE MERRY:
V&A FOOD MARKET
Experience goodness at the V&A Food Market. The leading artisan retail store and street food experience with a distinct market feel has everything from craft beer and ciders to Mexican food and ice cream. Located in the historical Pumphouse building off Nobel Square. The market features over 40 vendors.
Trading hours: Open daily from 10h00 – 18h00
Closed on Christmas and New Years day but open on Public Holidays
ORANJEZICHT CITY FARM
A true farmer’s market, the Oranjezicht City Farm sells the products and produce of local urban farmers. Everything from seasonal fruit and veg, flowers and homemade goodies are on offer here. Vegans and vegetarians, this market is for you. The market is well-known for catering to all types of foodies, and customers who want wheat, gluten, sugar and dairy-free alternatives are well served. The market has recently moved to Granger Bay at the Waterfront.
Opening hours: Sat 09:00-14:00
Phone: +27 83 628 3426
One of two world-class restaurants found at the One & Only hotel in Cape Town, Nobu is the first of World-class master chef Nobuyuki ‘Nobu’ Matsuhisa’s restaurants in Africa. Here his classical Japanese cuisine is given a delightful local twist, with dishes such as Sake Roast Whitefish with Jalapeno or the Chocolate Bento Box; a dark chocolate fondant with green tea ice cream and a sesame seed tuile. You can also try the Japanese beer and a selection of Sake and Shochu based cocktails in the Nobu lounge.
CAPE TOWN FISH MARKET, WATERFRONT
The Cape Town Fish Market has become synonymous with fresh fish and the newly refurbished restaurant is quickly becoming the chain’s flagship venue. Having moved from the enclosed location – where it was ultimately hidden away – to the more logical location by the Old Clock Tower, the restaurant has a new lease on life by the water. The perfect place to enjoy sushi and seafood.
Named after one of the world’s most expensive type of caviar (think between R70,000–R100,000/kg), Sevruga is not in fact devastatingly expensive, although it is a major tourist attraction at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town’s tourist crown jewel. Serene views from the terrace make for gorgeous summer days, and the sushi or salmon is just as wonderful. Sevruga already has a reputation in Cape Town, you should experience what everyone’s talking about.
REUBEN’S AT THE ONE & ONLY
Set in the gorgeous One & Only hotel in the V&A Waterfront, Reuben’s has quickly become a local favourite thanks to the popularity of the Cape Town chef, Reuben Riffel. The menu is extensive and offers diners a taste sensation, no matter what they choose.
One of the oldest restaurants at the V&A Waterfront, the Greek Fisherman has been around since 1992. The menu includes Mediterranean and seafood dishes, as well as Greek meze specialties a seafood platter feast and a popular lamb in the oven.
A mainstay at the V&A Waterfront, Balducci’s has a great vibe and an extensive wine list to go along with its menu, which offers a huge variety, from steak to pizza and sushi to pasta.
Based at the Cape Grace hotel, Signal Restaurant is known for delicious Cape cuisine as prepared by executive chef Malika van Reenen. Pulling on the local heritage, the food is sourced from local farmers and suppliers to keep it fresh and is turned into beautiful dishes in the restaurant.
For more restaurants: www.waterfront.co.za/eat/overview
Located on the outskirts of the V&A Waterfront, Casablanca sits below the trendy Buena Vista Social Café and boasts extensive courtyard for good measure. Dance beneath the stars in summer and in winter enjoy a drink under Bedouin tents with a fireplace to keep you cosy. The party here kicks off pretty late with the doors only opening at 10pm, but fortunately it goes on until the wee hours to maximise your party time.
An elegant cocktail lounge at the V&A Waterfront, Alba Lounge provides you with a perfect location to relax, soak in the vibes and just kick back with friends as you sample their extensive cocktail menu. The Peroni deck on the water side is a favourite spot for locals with superb views of the harbour throughout the day, and particularly at night.
SHIMMY BEACH CLUB
Shimmy offers an extensive variety of food and beverages to satisfy your every need. This restaurant turns into a vibey spot as the nights go on with great music and an extensive drinks menu to keep patrons hydrated. It doesn’t hurt that the view from Shimmy is breath-taking.
MITCHELL’S WATERFRONT BREWERY / FERRYMANS
You are always guaranteed a raucous atmosphere at Mitchell’s come game day and it makes for a great vibe to watch the games. Large tv’s, great food and plenty of beer on tap, you can’t go wrong with this Waterfront staple. And right next door – Ferrymans. Another staple at the V&A and for good reason. It was the first tenant of the Waterfront and is still going strong with a wide variety of beers, food and big screen TVs for the games!
One of the mainstays in the V&A Waterfront, Quay Four has been going strong for more than a decade and is a favourite with rugger crowd. There are plenty of screens – seven to be exact – so grab a meal, order some beers, and settle in for all the action. And keeping in with the rugby spirit, you can also visit the Springbok Rugby Experience, which is located just above the venue.
For more bars: www.waterfront.co.za/eat/overview
THINGS TO DO AND SEE
This is great for both the young and the young-at-heart. Everyone gets to choose a blank canvas and they select their seat and get given their painting tools. How you paint and the colours you choose to use are all up to you. You can dab, swish, flick or brush on the paint – it doesn’t matter. It’s all about being creative in the most fun way possible. The kids will love it!
Did you know that almost half of the world’s gemstones can be found in South Africa? Did you know that you could scratch for these gems yourself right here in Cape Town? The Scratch Patch and Mineral World at the Waterfront is a cool way to dig for your own beautiful gems. You get to immerse yourself in all the stones that quite literally cover the floor, then visit the gem exhibitions and shops afterwards.
Everyone enjoys a game of putt-putt. At the Waterfront you can enjoy this activity in a cave-like setting! It’s fun for the whole family and it’s right next door to the Scratch Patch.
THE JOLLY ROGER
What kid doesn’t want to be a pirate? The Jolly Roger pirate boat at the V&A Waterfront is the perfect port of call for the youngsters to play out the ultimate adventure on the high seas. Operating seven days a week, the Jolly Roger offers morning, afternoon and sunset cruises. Private charters are also available.
TWO OCEANS AQUARIUM
With more than 3000 marine creatures on view – including sharks, turtles and penguins – the Two Oceans Aquarium is one of the best aquariums in the world. Situated in Portswood Square at the V&A Waterfront, the aquarium showcases the unique marine life of the Atlantic and Indian oceans which lie on either side of the Cape of Good Hope. Make sure you check out the Predator Exhibit with the resident ragged tooth sharks fed daily at 3pm!
SUNSET BOAT CRUISE
You are in Cape Town, the most beautiful city in the world, take advantage of the location and charter a luxury yacht for a sunset cruise to Clifton 4th Beach or Table Bay. Top if off with some champagne and some oysters as you and your partner soak it all in. Enjoy the tranquillity of the scene as the sun sets over one of the most incredible backdrops on the planet. In the heart of the V&A Waterfront you’ll find the Sea Princess Luxury Catamaran, which you can board for a sunset champagne cruise or book for a private charter.
Waterfront Charters offers a number of different options on the water with everything from sailing on a Schooner to Southern Cross Fun Cruises for the kids available.
WHERE TO STAY:
Cape Grace has held pride of place on its own quay in the V&A Waterfront for the past 16 years, increasing its reputation for ultimate style, luxury and service in the perfect waterside setting.
Renowned for its comfortable and reliable service, the City Lodge hotel is centrally located at the gateway to the vibrant and dynamic V&A Waterfront and within walking distance of Cape Town`s CBD, close to the N2 motorway and 15 minutes from the international airport. A nautical theme runs through the hotel and a spa-pool is available for guests to relax in the warm Cape weather.
Dock House, offers discerning guests, visiting dignitaries & celebrities exclusive accommodation and personalised yet unobtrusive butler-style service in an excellent world-class setting.
ONE & ONLY CAPE TOWN
One&Only Cape Town is a destination unto itself- an urban chic waterfront resort providing an unprecedented level of luxury in South Africa.
PROTEA HOTEL BREAKWATER LODGE
Experience a rich piece of history balancing modern-day comfort when you stay at this hotel right next to Cape Town’s fabulous V&A Waterfront.
The Queen Victoria Hotel is set apart by the attention to detail given by the creative team responsible for its development, who achieved this through their unwavering passion for awe-inspiring design.
THE COMMODORE HOTEL
The Commodore Hotel situated in the V&A Waterfront – where Table Mountain and the Sea meet… with views of Table Mountain, Robben Island, the Harbour and the Atlantic Ocean is the Commodore, Legacy’s flagship hotel in Cape Town.
THE PORTSWOOD HOTEL
Originally built as a Convict Station, today The PortsWood is the type of place where you’re far more likely to want to extend your stay. Located a mere 22km from Cape Town International Airport, the elegant PortsWood hotel not only offers superior accommodation and a relaxed atmosphere, but a uniquely personal approach to service.
TABLE BAY HOTEL
Between Robben Island and Table Mountain you’ll discover the famed Table Bay Hotel. During the day the cool Atlantic Ocean breeze eases the heat of the Africa’s mother city: Cape Town. Cosmopolitan, gracious and relaxed The Table Bay is the sum of all that is good about its home town. And at dusk the hum of V&A Waterfront’s restaurants, bars and clubs beckon you from your luxurious room. Be it business or pleasure, The Table Bay is a journey like no other.
VICTORIA & ALFRED HOTEL
You can feel the ambience of colonial Cape Town as you step into the foyer, sense the past of shipwrecks and storms that colour every corner, then relax in the elegant contemporary bedrooms… and savour the atmosphere of the world’s most famous working harbour. Built in 1904 as the North Quay Warehouse and converted in 1990 to a luxury hotel, it is named in honour of the Queen of England and her son. Prince Alfred visited the Cape in 1870 and officially opened the Breakwater basin, today’s Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
TSOGO SUN SOUTHERN SUN WATERFRONT
Wonderful sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean assist in making the Southern Sun Waterfront Cape Town a preferred business and holiday destination. A mere 15 minutes’ drive from Cape Town International Airport, a 5 minute walk from the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and within walking distance to the V&A Waterfront, this hotel is superbly located to offer every guest easy access to the sights and sounds of Cape Town.
Enjoy the privacy of your own luxury waterfront apartment with 5 star service and facilities in the best location in South Africa. Mountain Marina offers a collection of one, two and three-bedroomed luxury waterfront apartments and penthouses in Cape Town with spectacular views over the yacht basin in the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront Marina Residential.
LAWHILL LUXURY APARTMENTS
Lawhill Luxury Apartments offers a luxurious ‘home-away-from-home’ experience to the discerning traveller. Located at the V&A Waterfront, in the heart of the city’s historic harbour, it offers privacy, yet is within walking distance from the Waterfront shopping malls, cinemas, the Aquarium and the Cape Wheel, museums and other tourist attractions, including some of Cape Town’s finest nightspots and restaurants.
VILLAGE & LIFE: WATERFRONT VILLAGE
Waterfront Village, situated on the water’s edge in the picturesque V&A Waterfront Marina, next to the Cape Grace Hotel and One&Only, offers guests luxury serviced apartments offering superior services and facilities.
Keen on taking to the water? Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a rookie wanting to learn the ropes, Adrenalised Boardports based at the Waterfront offers lessons for SUP, surfing, kiteboarding, wakeboarding and runs certified diving courses. They are also a one-stop shop for all your gear needs.
If you’re looking for a healthy, practical and green way of seeing the Mother City, Up Cycles – the city’s first drop-and-go bike rental company – needs to be your port of call. Cape Town has long been a city deeply committed in its love of bicycles and part of Up Cycles plan – beyond providing a fantastic service, obviously – is to help push and promote the bicycle culture in the Mother City. UP Cycles has a pick-up point right by the Clock Tower and it is a great starting point for wherever your bike ride might take you.
HISTORICAL WALKING TOUR
Step back into a bygone era with a historical walking tour that will enlighten you of the history of the Cape’s oldest working harbour. Booking is essential with the tour including the Clock Tower, Swing Bridge, Bertie’s Landing, African Trading Port and many more historical check points.
CHAVONNES BATTERY MUSEUM
This early Cape Town Historical Visitor Attraction showcases a unique Cultural Tourism journey commencing from the original shoreline which has been buried for 140 years where the ruins of the Chavonnes Battery rest. Built in 1724, the first in a range of VOC coastal defences to deter sea-borne aggressors and named after the Governor, its stable firing platform with 16 large cannons enabled gunners to bring accurate fire to bear on hostile ships from its perch as watchdog of the bay.
Nobody knows Cape Town better than a local. When you’re at the Waterfront be sure to pop into the VIC where you will get the lowdown on all you need to find out.