It’s hard to believe that there’s a charming little village right next to the bustling City Bowl, but De Waterkant somehow manages to be both part of the centre of town and detached from it—a suburb hidden in plain sight that is home to some of the city’s most on-trend inhabitants.
Great restaurants and coffee shops, a friendly neighbourhood culture, and plenty of unique shopping experiences make De Waterkant an essential stop on your Cape Town itinerary.
The Cape Quarter
To call the Cape Quarter a mall is a bit of a disservice. The Cape Quarter is not a string of bland chain shops, but rather a curated retail quarter that is great for art-lovers, fashionistas, and those looking for unique design pieces.
Great live music on every day of the week is what this little tapas bar offers, and it consistently delivers on its promise. The place has an indoor area for those wanting to focus on eating the excellent tapas and listening to the music and a wrap-around terrace for those that are there to drink and socialise. A spot well worth visiting for the ambience alone.
You may notice that several coffee shops around Cape Town boast about serving Origin coffee. What you may not know is that many of Cape Town’s best baristas have been trained by Origin at their headquarters in De Waterkant. Visit them at their heritage building home in Hudson Street, learn more about coffee and then drink some of the best coffee you’ll ever have at their on-site café.
Down an unassuming side-street, you’ll find one Cape Town’s best Turkish restaurants. The décor and low-lighting and music set the mood, and the food completes the experience—a mezze extravaganza that makes it difficult to choose. Try to go with a large party and get a little of everything, it’s all good!
Il Leone Mastrantonio
Il Leone is one of Cape Town’s top Italian restaurants and offers an upper-class, cosy ambience, knowledgeable staff and hearty meals with a great selection of wine.
Café Manhattan is a Green Point institution. It’s one of Cape Town’s oldest gay bars and is in the heart of De Waterkant, making the perfect spot for locals and visitors to meet and chill before a big night out.
This hip yoga joint is full of beautiful people putting in the work on the mats. This beautiful and light studio is one of Cape Town’s best and offers a variety of styles including Bikram, Vinyasa, and Power Yoga.
The Charles is a boutique hotel right in the middle of De Waterkant and is the perfect place to stay if you want to maximise your time in the neighbourhood. There are rooms and cottages available and guests have exclusive access to the rooftops decks which offer an unparalleled view of the city.
There’s also a great little café that you can visit even if you’re not staying.