Insider Guide to Cape Town

Insider Guide to Cape Town - V&A Waterfront - Butterboom
By Roxanne  /  January 3, 2014

South Africa is more known for its safaris, wine and beautiful landscape than as a shopping destination. However, this could not be further from the truth, as South Africa, and in particular the creative and trendy city of Cape Town has quietly taken its rightful place as a shoppers paradise. With a wealth of both local and international brands, we have the inside scoop on what this city has to offer.

Cape Town has recently been named World Design Capital 2014 and there are plenty of chic and fashionable places to shop and designers to check out.  From independent boutiques in the City Bowl (Long Steet + Kloof Street) area, to hippy-chic boutiques in sleepy Kalk Bay, mega brands at tourist hub the V&A Waterfront and local treasures within the city centre, there really is something to suit everyone’s taste and budget.

Where to Shop?

You’ll find the city’s best local shopping areas in the city center, in particular Long Street and Kloof Street and down to Woodstock (Old Biscuit Mill complex) – all in all a compact district within a 1.25-mile radius. You could spend a whole day exploring the city center and Kloof Street shops, and at least another half day in Woodstock. The V&A Waterfront is good for strolling but not such a great shopping destination if you’re looking for something unique and local as most of the shops are global brands, and those stocking ‘local’ goods are very pricey.

City Bowl (Long Street + Kloof Street ) 

Cape Town city center or ‘city bowl’ as locals refer to it provides an extensive range of independent boutiques that could easily keep you occupied for days.

Hit Long Street and Kloof Street in the center of the city for the best of local design. We suggest you ditch the car and go by foot to get the most out of the tiny alleyway’s and hidden boutiques. A must for any vintage enthusiast is Afraid of Mice which stocks a myriad of designer pieces sourced both locally and internationally. A treasure-trove of style, it is the place to pick up 1980’s leather Versace minis and samples from exclusive local designers.

Head to Adriaan Kuiters/Take Care and David West for the best of local design talent and expert minimalist tailoring, and while you’re there don’t forget to take a quick meander down the cobbled bustle of Church Street to check out the latest in sunglasses from local curator Pedro of Pedro’s Eyewear who stocks everything from vintage Persol to Tom Ford at a fraction of the price.

All this walking is bound to make any seasoned shopper weary so take a break at trendy Field Office for possibly the best coffee in the city or &Union for locally brewed craft beers and tapas style dining with a South African twist. Once your batteries have recharged head to British fashion legend Paul Smith’s stand-alone store and hip boutique/restaurant Loading Bay where you can pick up brands like Acne, Naked & Famous and APC.

Shops to visit in City Bowl Area (Long Street + Kloof Street ) 
Loading Bay – 

30 Hudson Street De Waterkant
David West – 113 Long Street
Afraid of Mice – Shop 86 Long street, corner Longmarket
Paul Smith – 137 Bree Street (Corner Wale Street)
Adriaan Kuiters/Take Care – 73 Kloof St
Field Office – 37 Barrack St
&Union – 110 Bree Street

Insider Guide to Cape Town - Adriaan Kuiters - ButterboomAdriaan Kuiters

Insider Guide to Cape Town - Loading Bay - ButterboomLoading Bay

V&A Waterfront area

If a good old fashion shopping mall is what you are after then look no further than the V&A Waterfront where you can find international brands like Topshop, Zara, Louis Vuitton, Diesel and Hugo Boss and some of the best restaurants in the city (head to Sevruga or Harbour House for their extensive wine list’s and sushi menu’s). This is not the place to look for independent designers, but its location on the harbor front, and close proximity to the city center makes it the perfect place to wind down after a long day. Alternatively, one could head out of the city center to the biggest mall, Canal Walk, which features a wide range of international and local brands with slightly lower pricetags than those found in the waterfront. If crowds are not your thing, don’t go on the weekend.

Shops to visit at the V&A Waterfront area
V&A Waterfront – Breakwater Blvd, Shop 7105 V&A Waterfront
Louis Vuitton – Shop 7231 Breakwater Blvd, V&A Waterfront
Canal Walk – Canal Walk Shopping Centre, Century Boulevard, Century City


Insider Guide to Cape Town - V&A Waterfront - ButterboomThe V&A Waterfront

Insider Guide to Cape Town - Louis Vuitton LV - ButterboomLouis Vuitton



The multi-cultural area of Woodstock has become one of the hippest and most creative areas within the city. From fashion,art to furniture – this is the place to pick up that once off piece, home-ware items, accessories, art or great clothes. They have a wide selection of shops and art galleries here and it is a great place to enjoy some of the best cuisine in the country. An institution within the city, the Old Biscuit Mill is where its all happening, as there is a market that runs every weekend that offers an extensive selection of artisan food and apparel, a favourite with the locals and tourist alike. Our secret tip, pop into Kat Van Duinen Design for divine totes and clutches from exotic leathers. Her clothes range is a bright and fluid collection of South African designs and the store is an equally arty venue for them to be housed in.  The Woodstock Exchange is the place shop for creative design things;  pop into Dear Rea for unique and intricate accessories and stunning hats at Kingdom.  For coffee, head to TRIBE Roastery to enjoy organic African coffee and we suggest you get a table at world-renowned chef Luke Dale Roberts’ restaurant The Test Kitchen upstairs for ‘accessible fine dining’ (the olive and raisin salsa hake is incredible).

Head there on the first Friday of very month for live music and art openings.

Shops at Woodstock
Old Biscuit Mill – 1 Albert Rd, Cape Town
Woodstock Exchange – 66 Albert Rd,


Insider Guide to Cape Town - Kat Van Duinen - ButterboomKat Van Duinen

Insider Guide to Cape Town - Old Biscuit Mill - ButterboomThe Biscuit Mill


Kalk Bay

Located on the southern end of the peninsula, Kalk Bay is an old fishing village that’s quaint and quirky and full of atmosphere. Its buzzing with tourists and locals on weekends who come for the interesting list of boutiques and excellent seafood. It’s a good idea to get there early to avoid the midday rush. For the best breakfast in town head to Olympia Café and make sure to try the extensive selection of home made breads. The Kalk Bay Co-Op is a fashion lover’s paradise with a carefully curated list of local and international designer ranges on sale. This is the place to pick up bespoke leather shoes, eclectic jewelry and unique home-ware. For some of the best seafood in town take a wander down to Live Bait and for serious ‘local flavor’ grab a fish and chip parcel from Kalky’s in the harbor.

Shops at Kalk Bay
Kalk Bay Co-op – 100 Main Road, Kalk Bay
Olympia Café – 134 Main Road, Kalk Bay

Insider Guide to Cape Town - Live Bait, Kalk Bay - ButterboomLive Bait


Where to stay?

15 on Orange

The 15 on Orange Hotel is located in a trendy area of Cape Town between Gardens and popular Long Street and offers a unique space for both the young, hip and happening and the contemporary businessman. The hotel reflects a quirky style, with distinctive furnishings and stand-out decor.

15 On Orange is located on Orange Street, Cape Town 8000, South Africa. Tel:+27  (0) 21 469 8000


Insider Guide to Cape Town - 15 on Orange - Butterboom15 on Orange

Villa Zest

Centrally located in Green Point suburb, this boutique hotel is perfectly placed to bring you everything the city has to offer; palm-lined beaches, the vibrant business district, Table Mountain, and a variety of up market restaurants, cafes, bars and nightlife.

Villa Zest is located at  
2 Braemar Road, 
Green Point
, Cape Town, 
South Africa. Tel: +27  (0) 21 433 1246

Insider Guide to Cape Town - Villa Zest - ButterboomVilla Zest


By Roxanne Wentworth


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