Welcome to Cape Town. The most beautiful city in the world. As with every city, it has a side that is well known to the locals and yet unfamiliar to tourists. After chatting to Capetonians, they revealed what they enjoy and where they love to hang out. Here are some of the top choices.
In the words of a local, ‘Just by turning your head you can see that Cape Town has everything: mountain, sea and city.’ And to be honest, he was right. One way to enjoy the urban-meets-beach lifestyle is on a train ride from Muizenberg to Simon’s Town, along the False Bay coast.
Also known as ‘Surfer’s Corner’, Muizenberg beach is one of 11 Cape Town beaches to hold Blue Flag status. Start your journey off at one of the cafes along the beach front, then once on the train, you can enjoy the scenery; the colourful houses of Muizenberg on one side, the golden stretch of sand and sea on the other.
The train passes through Kalk Bay (where we stop off for the next recommendation) and continues on to Simon’s Town, with the ocean lapping next to the tracks. Home to South Africa’s navy, Simon’s Town has been an important base and harbour dating back to the late eighteenth century. To conclude the trip, why not do the historic mile walk along St George’s Street. Also don’t miss the colony of penguins on Boulders Beach. Although this is a tourist attraction, it’s a must-see if you’re out that side of the peninsula.
If there’s a place every local loves, it’s Kalky’s. Situated right on the harbour at Kalk Bay, this fish and chip restaurant could go unnoticed to the untrained eye, however scores of locals will recommend it. The dining is far from fancy, but the fish is fresh and portions are huge. At the weekend, on a sunny day, all the tables are full. Locals and tourists sit next to each other enjoying the view from the informal and relaxing atmosphere, while tucking into fish and chips, fried calamari and crayfish. Kalky’s is an institution. Families make it a tradition to eat here and for young folk it’s a cheap and tasty solution. Attention: the payment is only cash in this no frills eatery.
With over 22 hectares of ground, Wynberg Park is a hidden gem. On the corner of Klaassens Road and Trovato Link Road, the park is free and open all year round. There’s something here for everyone, with a play area for children, footpaths for walkers and dog owners, a duck pond and conifer garden. At the weekend, the air is permeated with the smell of braais from the picnic spots. Groups of friends and families enjoy this garden while the size of the park also offers peace and quiet for those who want to read a book or catch forty winks.
In South Africa, people love to braai. Mzoli’s (or KwaMzoli as some locals call it) is the place where braai culture blends with township spirit. Situated in Gugulethu, this vibrant meat-fest caters for both locals and tourists. Opened in 2003 by Mzoli Ngcawuzele, the restaurant is extremely popular for its food and atmosphere. From 11am it’s filled with festivity.
You buy your meat and then take it to the back to be cooked on the fire. Depending on when you go, you can queue for some time but rarely does the wait (around two hours) seem a problem. African music (live on Sundays) and DJs get folk ready for a groove and the friendly atmosphere makes it easy to meet new people. As locals say, ‘In Mzoli’s, it doesn’t matter where you come from, but only who you are.’ Attention: you need to bring your own beverages and cutlery. Vegetarians might leave hungry…
Federica likes reading, playing sports and watching movies. She also has a passion for food from all around the world.
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