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  • Writer's pictureLauren Arnold

Exploring the Best Culinary Gems of Cape Town with Food Expert, Lauren Arnold

My name is Lauren Arnold and I went on the LEAD Program to Cape Town in 2021, the summer before my senior year at The University of Arkansas. This study abroad taught me that the other side of fear often brings the best moments. Spending 5 weeks so far from home can be scary, but it was the best decision I have ever made. I made an amazing friend group, and since leaving Cape Town we have taken many trips together to reunite (including going to Ireland to celebrate the new year last year)!

Traveling with LeadAbroad has taught me so much, including:

  • Take in every moment! It goes by so fast but these will be some of the best memories you'll ever make.

  • The food is just as good as the memories. Don't be afraid to venture outside of your comfort zone!

Cape Town has some of the best food in the world. From food markets to secret speakeasies, there is so much to discover. Ask locals or your drivers for recommendations. They know best!

Food Markets

  • Oranjezicht Market (O Market): Close to the waterfront and open on weekends! 

  • Mojo Market: Located in Sea Point and often has live music at night. 

  • Bay Harbour Market: Located in Hout Bay and has some of the best craft stands.

  • Time Out Market: Located at the Waterfront and has so many food stands. Just opened!

  • Old Biscuit Mill: My personal favorite. This market has shopping and food!  Royal Tea

  • company is one of my favorite stands.


  • Mulberry and Prince: One of the cutest breakfast/brunch places. 

  • Truth Coffee: Steampunk themed with great food and coffee. 

  • Mount Nelson: High Tea at the Mount Nelson (a pink hotel) makes for a fun breakfast/activity.


  • Wang Thai: Some of the best Thai food and is connected to Lagoon Beach. 

  • Fat Cactus: The best Mexican food with great margaritas. 

  • Tigers Milk: Several locations around Cape Town. Try the amazeballs. 

  • I Love The Dough: A pink pizza place!

  • Eastern Food Bazaar: Middle Eastern food market located in the city center. Also featured in the movie Safe House. Try a little bit of everything!


  • City Grill: Located at the Waterfront. An upscale steakhouse with great cocktails. Try the ostrich steak!

  • Baia: Located at the Waterfront. A more upscale restaurant. Try the trio of game which includes Kudu, Springbok and Ostrich!

  • Harbour House: Seafood restaurant located a the Waterfront. 

  • Kloof Street House: Brunch or dinner, you definitely can’t go wrong here!

  • Life Grand Cafe: Located at the Waterfront. My favorite pasta in Cape Town.


  • News Cafe: Fun cocktails with food downstairs and a club upstairs. 

  • Cause and Effect: The most fun drinks in all of Cape Town.

  • Art of Duplicity: Speakeasy located in Truth Coffee. You’ll need reservations to even find it. A must-do!

  • The Gin Bar: Speakeasy located in the back of Honest Chocolate Cafe. 

  • Silo Rooftop Bar: Great view of the waterfront. Make reservations!


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