The V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa
The V&A Waterfront is the epicenter for tourists in Cape Town. Fancy hotels, plenty of shopping, and fantastic views of Table Mountain and the ocean, as well as being the gateway for Robben Island, make for perfect tourist conditions. Though I tend to shy away from areas where tourists congregate, I can’t help but return to the V&A Waterfront for all that it offers.
The Watershed Market
Between the food market and the aquarium is a newly constructed massive open air warehouse full of craft shops. For all the great art, jewelry, clothing, and other craft goods without the chaos of Greenmarket Square, the Watershed is a great option to get your African souvenir fix. The second story of the Watershed contains a co-working space, some offices available single-use rent, and a coffee shop. Free and fast internet make it a great option for weekday working in the hustle and bustle of the city. Grab yourself a fresh juice, coffee, or even a glass of wine and utilize the working area with great views to go with it.
V&A Waterfront Food Market
South Africa is craft food market crazy, with a different offering seemingly on every day of the week throughout the city. The food market at the V&A is open most days of the week so you can get your market fix any time. Do yourself a favor if you are a tourist in the area – avoid the overpriced and hokey restaurants at the Waterfront, don’t even dream of eating fast food at the mall – eat at the V&A Food Market. For relatively cheap you get multiple choices for a diverse food offering, from sushi to traditional African and everything in between. Grab a glass of wine at the bar, peruse the offerings, and enjoy your meal by the water with Table Mountain as your backdrop. Although slightly pricey, the conveyor-belt sushi place in the market is some of the best sushi I’ve had in Cape Town. The one restaurant not in the Market that I do recommend is Den Anker and all its craft Belgian beer offerings – a hard to find treat in Cape Town. Den Anker has Mussel Mondays – 1 kilo of Mussels and an Anker brew for R130.
Vaughan Johnson Wine Shop
A must visit at the Waterfront is the Vaughan Johnson wine shop. Seemingly out of place in the modern Waterfront, the dark and wooden interior reminds me of a tiny village wine shop somewhere in Europe. Grab a bottle of wine or a craft beer and go catch the sundowner at nearby Clifton beaches.
Overall, the V&A Waterfront is a great place to go and relax, enjoy great views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic, eat good food, and get your shopping done.