Guide to Cape Town

Cape Town is BEAUTIFUL! Obviously you’ll go to Table Mountain. You can either take the cable car up (check everyday to make sure that it’s not too windy because when it is, they close it), or hike. When we were just there a few of our friends got up early and hiked to the top—but it’s definitely a commitment. If you don’t climb that, but do want a fun hike, get up early and climb Lion’s Head it’s a tall and narrow hike with unreal views. There’s also paragliding, sky diving, shark diving, etc if you want to sign up for that kind of stuff. 

The beach is really nice, but can be ridiculously windy, so if it gets to be too much, go up to Bungalow, a trendy beach bar/lounge that’s great for lunch and drinks all day (you could technically go at night time also).  It has beautiful views of the beach and the sunset. If you want a beach bar with a vibe, go to Cafe Caprice. It’s nothing too special, but there’s a strong crowd there in December (not sure about the other months). There is a cool and emerging area “In Town” with a lot of bars on the street. When we were last there we went to Orphanage; they serve amazing drinks, but it can get quite packed, so only go if you’re in that kind of a mood. 

Restaurant wise, I would highly recommend Tasha’s at the Waterfront. It is one of my favorite restaurants anywhere—all the food is delicious and very fresh. Their breakfast and salads are particularly amazing. You should also order a Freezochino (it’s a blended coffee drink—similar to an ice blended at Coffee Bean, but SO much better). Another great restaurant is Mezzepoli, it’s Mediterranean tapas style. The One and Only Hotel has a Nobu inside, which I haven’t been to, but apparently it’s cheaper than American Nobu because of the exchange rate. There is also a sushi restaurant called Koi in Cape Town but I’m not sure if it just closed. If you want to try Daniel’s favorite restaurant, it’s called Nandos, it’s a food fast Portuguese restaurant know for their Peri Peri Chicken. If you want a quick bite you should try it. They have salads, wraps, and lots of different chicken dishes. 

While in Cape Town you should take a day trip to Boulder’s Beach—where there are penguins everywhere. Along the way stop and go to Houte Bay if you like fish and chips. There are little tiny food shacks, nothing fancy—but the South African’s are obsessed with it. On the way back to Cape Town stop by Simon’s Town if you’re in the mood for tea and rusks. It’s an old school Dutch town that’s really cute, but you don’t need to spend much time there. 

As far as Vineyards go you should definitely spend the majority of your day out in the Stellenbosch/Franschhoek/Paarl area. You have to go to Babylonstoren (website)! It’s my favorite winery of all time. It has incredible grounds to wander around as well as two amazing restaurants. You could honestly spend a few hours here if you’re down to just chill and have some good food and wine. If you want a more formal dinning experience go to Babel (but make a reservation now). Otherwise they have a beautiful outdoor garden Greenhousewith fresh everything (you don’t have to make a reservation there).  Another winery we really like is Spice Route.  It’s really relaxed with cute little shops at the vineyard as well.

You can’t go wrong—Cape Town is beautiful!

Other fun tid-bits:

Ordering in South Africa, especially Cape Town, requires patience. No one is ever in a rush and seems like they’d rather be on vacation. You will often times have to chase them down to order, and once you do they avoid you like the plague, so just expect it. 

Everyone customizes everything when they order, so don’t feel bad doing it there. 

If you want hot sauce, ask for chilies (it’s not hot sauce, but it’s delicious).

Everyone is obsessed with Biltong. It’s like beef jerky, but everyone claims it’s so much better. —I don’t eat meat so I can’t attest to it, but if you do, you should try it. 

The word for traffic light is Robot (sounds silly to say, but people will reference it when they give you directions). 

The word for BBQ or grilled food is a braii

There is no such reference to I’ll see you in a sec or in a few minutes. Everyone says “I’ll see you now” (which means soon—but no immediacy is made clear), or “I’ll see you just now” (which means at some point in the day). The closet you will get to asap is “I’ll see you now, now”. (I’m telling this, because I have gotten stuck waiting forever for people when they’ve said this). Now is a vague reference. 

If you are renting a car, there are these men called car guards who are almost never around when you are parking. But magically appear when you get back in the car to leave. They don’t know how to drive, and can’t really help guide you out of your spot, but it’s customary to give them a couple coins. 

They have Uber there. 

Be careful with nice things. Unfortunately, you have to be on a little bit of alert when you are there. I never wear any nice jewelry or cary anything expensive besides my phone

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