The CBD is the heart of Cape Town, and Long Street is its major artery. Running all the way from the Cape Town Convention Centre, cutting through the middle of the CBD, and ending at Kloof Street, Long Street is a major part of the city’s street culture.
During the day the street is a full with people visiting the interesting shops and café that line the street, and when the sun drops behind the mountain the activity intensifies around the street’s many restaurants, bars, and clubs.
If you’re looking to get a headstart on exploring Long Street, then here is what you need to know.
Royale is a legendary burger joint that serves some of the best gourmet burgers and milkshakes that Cape Town has to offer. It’s unique in that it also caters for vegetarians and vegans—with a lot of care and thought put into their veggie burger options.
The Waiting Room
A lounge and rooftop bar situated above Royale Eatery, The Waiting Room is a trendy part of Cape Town’s nightlife. It hosts a mix of live music and DJs, and the rooftop has spectacular views of the city and mountain. It can get pretty full so prepare to wait a while for drinks.
At Galbi, Korean BBQ comes with a South African twist. Tucked away down a side alley, Galbi has a bright and cheerful ambience and a menu that fuses Korean flavours with South Africa game meats like Springbok and Zebra.
Hookah pipes, belly dancers, and Kurdish folk music—dining at Mesopotamia transports you instantly to the Middle East. The meze-style menu is great for sharing and features some delicious Kurdish delicacies. There is also a belly dancing show on most evenings so your after-dinner entertainment is guaranteed.
Mama Africa is a raucous African experience right in the heart of Long Street. There’s an African band playing every night, a menu that incorporates some wild taste experiences (fancy a bit of crocodile, anyone?) and a busy bar where locals and tourists mingle on every night of the week.
Lola’s has long been a favourite spot to grab a late breakfast after a long night out. It has a ton of options for breakfast and lunch–including some great vegetarian fare–and also offers stellar smoothies, coffee, and craft beer.
Fiction is a busy club on Long Street that hosts local and international DJs. They promote a variety of musical styles, and have regular nights that cater specifically to select genres, so no matter what music you like you’ll find something that’ll give you moving. If you’re looking for a party then Fiction shoulder be number one on your list.
You’ve got 99 problems, but beer ain’t one. The Beerhouse has 99 different types of local and international beer and is one of the best places to go in Cape Town if you’re a bit of beer connoisseur. They offer tasting trays, so you can try a bit of everything, and a fantastic menu that is designed to complement the brews.
The Dubliner is a comfortable, old-school Irish bar at the top of Long Street. It features live music on every night of the week but is particularly busy on weekends, when it becomes a late-night destination for locals and tourists to converge and drink and dance the night away.
Second Time Around
Second Time Around is an iconic vintage fashion shop on Long Street. The shop has been around for ages but consistently manages to source amazing vintage fashion–everything from retro jewellery to fur coats. It’s a little more pricey than your average secondhand shop, but if you’re looking for something unique and don’t mind paying a little more, then this little store is a goldmine.
The Long Street Antique Arcade
The Long Street Antique Arcade is a small labyrinth of antique shops catering to both serious collectors and the casually curious. You can find African and Asian art, maps, historical military gear, coins, and vintage clothing.
Afraid of Mice
With the tagline “The clothes you wish your mother had kept for you”, Afraid of Mice is another secondhand gem on Long Street. The clothes are a carefully curated collection of vintage items that you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re looking for something eye-catching and unique then check this shop out.
Merchants on Long
Merchants on Long is a concept store that features cutting-edge African fashion and accessories. It’s a unique space that stocks designers from across the continent. If you’re looking for bold patterns, interesting fabrics, and statement accessories, then Merchants on Long is the place to shop.