7 Best Coffee Shops in Cape Town

Katherine Pannell | 10 April 2020

It’s no secret that I’m an avid lover of coffee and all things related. The question is: are you? Because if you are, then you are in exactly the right place! Cape Town has a badass coffee culture and I am so excited to share my favourite spots. Although I am obsessed with coffee that has been crafted to perfection with skill, I also enjoy the particular atmosphere created by a coffee shop. Personally, I don’t think you necessarily need the best coffee on the block to excel in giving people that experience. So here is my list of the best coffee shops in Cape Town, mostly due to outstanding coffee, with a few that make the list because of the overall feeling you have when you take that first sip.

Origin Coffee Roasting

These guys are no strangers to the coffee industry. They’re a big name and for good reason. Unlike some coffee shops that can be really hyped up and just don’t deliver, Origin smacks the ball out of the park with quality. This classic coffee joint is hands down my favourite place to throw back a black americano. Their food is also delicious, maybe a little pricey, but for Cape Town prices it’s nothing unreasonable. Overall, Origin is just a fantastic place for a coffee, whether you’re meeting friends, grabbing a meal or spending an afternoon working. 

Deluxe Coffeeworks

I cannot rave about Deluxe enough. It is the best combination of “no-bullshit” and “everyone is welcome”. They just do coffee, nothing else, and they absolutely nail it. The flat whites are insanely good, the staff are friendly in the most sincere way and it is dog friendly (priorities). Also, Friday mornings are such a treat (if you know, you know). 

I wouldn’t really spend an afternoon working there because they don’t have WiFi, at least they didn’t the last time I was there. I also wouldn’t invite a friend who doesn’t drink coffee because their options will probably just be water and well…water. But all of these things that you would expect to take away from the incentive to go there, make Deluxe the beautiful gem that it is. The fact that they remove all the distractions means that you fall in love with the coffee shop for the exact reason that you should. The coffee. If you’re a simple human who just wants a mighty fine cup of the good stuff, this is your place.

Photograph from @rosettaroastery 

Photograph from @deluxecoffeeworks

Photograph from @clay_pigeon_trading

Clay Pigeon Trading

Clay Pigeon is just one of those places that immediately makes you feel like you can breathe again. Not only is the coffee outrageously delicious, but they have also created an atmosphere that oozes class and makes it impossible to feel anything but happy when you’re there. The whole room is flooded with the most beautiful natural light and it is tucked away in 117 on Strand, making it nice and quiet. If you struggle to work with lots of noise around you or if you’re sick of screaming across a coffee shop table just to hear how your mate is doing, this place is perfect.

The food is incredible, made with only the best quality ingredients and I seriously can’t recommend the grilled cheese enough! I also love how personal it is. The owner is super friendly and will happily chat away if you’re interested in learning more about his craft. The best part is that the company is the first coffee roastery in Africa to be 100% transparent and traceable. If you want to learn more about why traceability and transparency are so important, check out their website here.

Rosetta Roastery

Rosetta is another name that you have likely heard a lot in the coffee buzz. Started by a band, literally, of three digsmates; the roastery strives to impart the beauty of speciality coffee to its customers with every cup. Personally, I think they succeed – nay – they excel in their mission. Every coffee that I have had at Rosetta has been nothing short of exquisite.

You can find their main café in the Woodstock Exchange Building, which is quite aesthetic in its own respect. The space is really sleek with awesome dark tones and a beautifully sunny outside area. Really a must-try for anyone who loves their coffee!

Houtbay Coffee

I’ve actually mentioned Houtbay Coffee before in Best Food and Coffee Along the MyCiti Bus Routes so I won’t go into too much detail. They make a banging coffee and the location is really beautiful. It’s right next to a little stream and has a wonderful rustic vibe. It always feels like a much-needed escape, as if it’s in a completely different world. 

The Strangers Club

Strangers Club is one of those places that I love more for the sum of its parts, rather than any one thing in particular. The space is just really nice and open, the WiFi is fast, the food is delicious and while the coffee might not be anything mind-blowing, I still really enjoy it.

It is also away from the main road which makes it quieter than most places and even when it’s full, it doesn’t feel like you’re too close to anyone. It’s definitely one of my favourite places to spend an afternoon working. They also have a shop which stocks all sorts of local clothing and jewellery, which is definitely worth checking out. 

“Coffees are orchids. Not aspirins” – Rosetta Roastery

Folk Café

This is a dear coffee shop that basically got me through my second-year university exams. I used to study there all the time and absolutely loved it! They have an extensive menu so everyone is covered and this includes the drinks. They go beyond just your usual coffee drinks and hit you with some awesome options like their Bitter Sweet. It’s a wonderful cold brew served with coffee ice blocks and some muscovado caramel sugar.

It’s also one the few café’s that gets you excited to order something other than coffee, for example, they serve a mouth-watering lavender white hot chocolate. I can’t say that I love their coffee as much as other places that I have mentioned but it’s still delicious and in general, you really can’t go wrong with Folk.

There are so many awesome coffee shops in and around Cape Town. I’m sure there are ones that I haven’t mentioned or don’t know about, but those are the ones that I have personally loved for years. It’s also worth mentioning that whenever I was in the Newlands/Claremont area, I really enjoyed going to Importers.

I also loved spending time at Our Local on Kloof. Our Local has some awesome food but the main attraction is the inside decor. Just picture the most beautiful mix of old antique furniture and plants hanging everywhere! Although I could never really figure out what the situation with their coffee was. On some days I would have a truly incredible coffee and other days it wasn’t as good. As far as I could tell, the awesome coffees were made by a young guy who was still a trainee there so if you ever come across this elusive unicorn magician barista, you should definitely grab a coffee!


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