Awesomely Cool Things To Do In Cape Town

Words: Dumi Mparutsa

Getting to know a city is a bit like that feeling you get on a first date when you’re unsure of how to approach meeting someone for the first time – it can seem like a daunting challenge. But a city as vibrant as Cape Town has so much to offer – from carefully curated clothing stores to sensational food, you just have to look in the right places. This guide to cool things to do in Cape Town will hopefully help you develop a long-lasting relationship with this wonderful place, affectionately known as The Mother City.


Cool Things To Do in Cape Town

Hang out and buy some new garms at the Corner Store

Cool Things To Do in Cape Town

If you have a deep affection for fashion and you’re quite particular about your style, you should pay a visit to Corner Store. The store is a redefinition of a traditional corner store where you’d hang out with friends, eat ice cream on a hot day and play arcade games like Street Fighter.

This gem is found in Woodstock and it’s the home of four South African brands namely, Sol Sol, Two Bop, Young and Lazy and I and I. The Corner Store shares a similar concept to a traditional corner store, however, these four unique brands put it in a completely different framework.

Aside from craftsmanship and quality being two characteristics that Corner Store embodies, it also serves as a hub for culture kids to congregate and connect.

If you’re lucky enough to be around when they decide to launch new capsule collections, you should go to the store for a free drink or two, listen to great music and experience what it’s like to be a part of the culture, even if it is just for one night.

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Chow down on Chicken and Waffles at Lefty’s

Leftys 1x5

Having a culinary experience when you’re in a new city is important; it exposes you to the culture of the city and shows you its true colours. Befriending the people who know the city is essential as they can help you find the restaurants, food trucks and dive bars worth going to. One dive bar that would make Guy Fieri proud is Lefty’s.

The low-key restaurant is located on Harrington Street and has grown immensely in terms of its popularity, due to their rendition of classic American dishes like slow-cooked ribs and fried chicken and waffles.

Have you craved Southern dishes but struggled to find an amazing early or late night dinner spot? Lefty’s menu boasts an array of tantalising dishes like their pulled pork sandwich, kimchi burger and their delectable falafels. If you plan to have dinner with your group of friends or a few after work drinks to unwind, this is a cool spot to do so.

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Chill and Plan Your Next Move at The Waiting Room

Cool Things To Do in Cape Town

The Waiting Room isn’t just a cool name. This is one of the few places in the city where the name describes the function. If you are looking for a spot to go to that doesn’t just look like the inside of a home but feels like one too, The Waiting Room is your best bet.

It’s easily one of the coolest clubs in Cape Town, although it doesn’t feel like your typical club, it feels like that place that your cooler older brother or sister mentioned in passing during one of their adventurous “night out” tales.

The venue always draws a diverse group of people, be it during the week or the weekend. Inside this treasure, there are comfortable couches scattered throughout, as well as wonderful lighting and a beautiful view of the mountain from the rooftop.

The idea of being on a rooftop with your friends (and it just so happens to have the perfect lo-fi lighting for an Instagram post), is pretty tight. However, if you feel like you have a score to settle, or a point to prove to your friends or a complete stranger, there is also a foosball table. A popular stomping ground that has seen many a heated battle – where an unbelievable amount of expletives have been thrown about, as well as heartbreak and pure joy.

If you’re after a hip-hop on your Friday night head down to  Uppercut: Hip Hop Golden Era or if you’re looking for a boogie where the hosts play a myriad of house, disco and funk that serves as the soundtrack for your Saturday night, check out Private Life. The Waiting Room provides an intimate setting for a memorable night out.


Support Local Design and Experience Something New at NOW SHOWING

Cool Things To Do in Cape Town

The NOW SHOWING building at 109 Waterkant Street is an ever-evolving space, so no matter when you visit, there’s always going to be something awesome to experience.

Downstairs is permanently dedicated to The Space’s first out-of-mall concept store, which showcases premier garments and accessories by esteemed local design icons.

Currently, the upstairs is The Light Side Café, as well as a second bespoke retail area (this pop-up instalment will be changed from the 1st February 2018, so get there before then to experience it). In terms of food at The Light Side Café (breakfast and lunch), expect an interactive menu with witty items such as “Bitches love FD Coffee” (the organically sourced African coffee on offer), as well as “No Glove, No Love” (bruschetta with coriander hemp seed pesto, coconut cheese and crushed tomato). There’s even a 4-course vegan tasting menu. Cookbook author Niel Rourke is behind the menu and says you should expect to have some “serious fun” when tucking into what’s on offer.

Go Vinyl Diving at Revolution Records, Observatory

There is something irresistible about the way we as people gravitate towards music. It’s always a point of conversation and it can also become the basis of a friendship. Looking for music digitally is fun, and once you really start to dig it becomes enthralling but nowadays it’s difficult to find a brick and mortar store that elicits the same feeling. Revolution Records, located in Obs, is one of the best places to go crate digging in the city. If you’re a beat maker/musician who spends time hunting for amazing records to sample, or a fan with a real passion for patiently rummaging through records, this is one spot you might like.

Revolution Records specialises in collecting and curating vinyl records across various genres from Jazz and Jazz Fusion to Rock, Soul and Bossa Nova. The store consists of vinyls made in the 1950s right through to the early two thousands.

It’s extremely easy to lose track of time in this space; it’s well organised, the music is categorised correctly and navigating the space is a breeze.

If you’re an avid collector of vinyl or a music lover who appreciates having a record on vinyl, bust a move down to Observatory and spend a day browsing through records while listening to some amazing music.


Catch a Movie at The Labia Theatre

Cool Things To Do in Cape Town

Watching a film for some means streaming a flick online, while lying in a warm bed, in the comfort of their own home. For others, it means going to the nearest cinema and catching the latest offerings on the big screen. The Labia, located on Orange Street,  is an alternative offering that has become a Mother City stalwart. If hitting a shopping mall for the full body throttling 3D or 4DX experience doesn’t grab you, then you’ll probably love the laid-back style of the Labia.

The cinema showcases documentaries and nouveau films which are beautifully directed and passionately performed from meticulously crafted scripts. These are interspersed by blockbuster films on a slightly later schedule than mainstream cinemas.

The Labia also provides a slightly different experience, in that it’s more intimate and serves alcohol. If you’re a film fanatic that would like to have a non-commercial experience make your way down to The Labia. Check their schedule to see what movies are on show and make move there for a refreshing movie-going experience. 

Greet the Morning with Secret Sunrise

Cool Things To Do in Cape Town

If you’re an early riser and love connecting with others, then you’ll love dancing up a storm at Secret Sunrise. Follow their social media channels or sign up to receive their newsletter to make sure you’re in the know when the next one is happening. The location changes every time and is always somewhere beautiful and usually outdoors. It starts at 06h00 in summer and you’ll don a pair of wireless headphones and tune in to the guided dance session. It’s all about letting loose, connecting with those around you, having a laugh and enjoying yourself. Leave your pretences at home.

Party Quietly with Sunset Silent Disco Beach Parties

Cool Things To Do in Cape Town

If you like the idea of a silent disco but don’t want to get up with the sparrows (see Secret Sunrise above), then Sunset Silent Disco Beach Parties are for you. Silent discos happen with at cool venues like Clifton beach, pop on your headset, choose your channel and shake your shimmy.  Guest DJ’s provide the beats and you bring the vibe. Leave your stilettos at home.

View Spectacular Artworks at the What If the World Gallery


Picture courtesy of Michele Mathison and WHATIFTHEWORLD

If you have a penchant for visiting art galleries on your travels, then you should make a point to visit the What If The World gallery. Situated in Woodstock, the gallery celebrates young and established South African artists who use humour and embrace materiality as key components of their work. Definitely one of the coolest things to do in Cape Town.

Listen to the Best Local Talent at Sunday Edition

Cool Things To Do in Cape Town

Sunday Edition is an eight-event series that happens once a month. It features some of the most talented musicians from around the country performing at the Old Biscuit Mill. It’s a lovely way to spend a Sunday – the event strikes the perfect balance between DJ’s who play the beats that will get you into the groove and live performances that will captivate you. If you’re a fan of print, design or fashion, you’ll be able to find art zines, prints, as well as clothing made by budding creatives in the city.

Grab a Meal or Support Local at the Neighbourgoods Designer Market

Cool Things To Do in Cape Town

The Old Biscuit Mill is home to one of the most enjoyable markets in the city – the Neighbourgoods Market. Located in the heart of Woodstock, the Neighbourgoods team continues to create a welcoming social space for visitors to enjoy some of the best product that local speciality traders have to offer. Start your Saturday morning off by strolling around the Old Biscuit Mill with a cup of coffee and a delicious meal in hand. An oldie but a goodie.

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