Cape Town, the tourism hub of South Africa, is a city full of great local secrets. Cape Town is situated on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. With the curves and turns, the city has many alleys with great food and destinations. Let’s learn more about Cape Town’s Secrets from a local.
Today we have with us, Mark Taylor. Mark is a South African from Durban and now living in Cape Town. He will share his favourite places, secret destinations and tips on South Africa.
About Mark Taylor
Growing up in Durban, East coast of South Africa, Durban is a green and humid place with a warm ocean and slow pace of life. Mark moved to Cape Town in 2013 to study at the University of Cape Town. The natural beauty, lifestyle, architecture and people of Cape Town won him over! After graduation, he decided to stay and work in Cape Town.
Mark loves scooters and motorbikes, so that is his favourite mode of transportation. He spends his free time exploring the city and surrounds, so he is well-versed in the best-kept secrets and local recommendation. Hence, with his knowledge and experience, he will share his favourite Cape Town secrets.
Where are the favourite restaurants you swear by in Cape Town?
I’m always on the hunt for good croissants. The best I’ve found aren’t at the famous spots like Truth or Jason, rather at the tiny Cafe Colombia in the centre of town.
Name: Cafe Colombia
Address: 109 Plein Street Cape Town, Western Cape
Another meal I keep going back for is the drunken chicken at the Raptor Room. It’s a tiny place on a busy street, and full of uber-trendy hipsters. But if you can deal with that, the flavour experience won’t disappoint.
Name: Raptor Room
Address: Shop 2, 79 Roeland Street Cape Town, Western Cape
Eat: The drunken chicken (Bourbon BBQ chicken w/grilled pineapple, green pesto quinoa, avo, lime & roasted macadamia nuts)
For the best all-rounder, I’d recommend the Woodlands eatery on the base of the mountain. Their “Mango, Coriander and Pork Belly Pizza” is pretty unique and their chocolate fondant is amazing.
Ps: that pizza is actually called Big Gus Pizza. It is caramelised pork in red pepper, red opion, soya sauce and honey reduction, topped with mango and coriander.
Name: Woodlands Eatery
Address: 2 Deerpark Dr W, Vredehoek, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Eat: Big Gus Gourmet Pizza
Where is a secret location destination in Cape Town, where it is simply gorgeous but with minimal tourists?
There is an amazing place near my house which should be way more popular than it is. It’s called the Erf 81 market in Tamboerskloof and happens from 11 on a Sunday.
The place is super quirky, with farm animals, broken down cars, strange sculptures and crumbling old buildings decorated by their informal residents. That may not sound so appealing, but the location on the base of signal hill gives it one of the best views in the city, the market has some great stalls with friendly vendors and the fact that it is surrounded by neat expensive homes is such a contrast that you feel as if you’re entering a dream world.
Name: Erf 81 Market
Address: Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Local secret: weekly fresh farmer’s market and the best view of the city!
Where is your favourite place in South Africa?
The South West Coast is really something with its turquoise water, long white beaches and cute fishing villages. It has a rugged, expansive and sun-bleached feel to it. I’d recommend Jacob’s bay for a visit in late summer.
The Wild Coast (Eastern Cape) is actually my favourite place though. I’ve camped and hiked there twice and experienced the same feeling both times. Firstly, time stands still. Life there hasn’t changed much for centuries and the trappings and influences of the modern world totally vanish, making 5 days feel like 5 weeks. Secondly, you feel humbled by the power and beauty of nature in a way I can’t quite describe, this may sound strange but I started to feel less like a modern human and more like just another animal in that environment.
Any other tips you’d like to share?
You can’t walk anywhere in the centre of Cape Town without being asked for money many times. Tourists should know that it can do more harm than good to give cash to individuals, no matter how compelling their story is. Rather give food or U-turn meal vouchers, support informal businesses or make a donation to organisations like U-turn or New Hope SA.
Check out our 10 Lifesaving Travel Tips in South Africa.
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie at beautiful destinations. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always dreamt of.