Sababa

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Sababa is one of the most delicious restaurants in Cape Town. I’ve only been there for lunch, I don’t think it is open for dinner or breakfast. It is located at the upper end of Bree Street (super pretty) in the CBD area.I had already seen the restaurant before but it wasn’t until I got Sababa’s book for birthday that I realized how delicious the recipes actually looked. When I went there ant tried the food it because a weekly thing to go there.  It sells a variety of fresh foods like: Mediterranean food, curries and salads. And everyday they have different dishes, so you really know it’s freshly made.

What I love about it is that you eat there very fast because the food is already made and then you just choose from the platters that are out. It is a bit hard to explain how you order the food but basically you just wait for one of the waiters to tell him what you want from the platters and then they’ll explain to you what you can choose. Don’t be turned-off by being confused, the food is really delicious. It is great to eat there and have a quick bite but it is also a great place to get take-aways, which we did countless times.

Really really great food at Sababa!

Sababa’s website (also images from here): http://sababa.withtank.com

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Big Route

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My favorite pizzas in town are here at Big Route!

I’ve never tried anything else in the restaurant (because I love pizza) so I can’t recommend this restaurant for anything else. We sometimes order pick-up but we sometimes come and dine here. I like it more to sit in the restaurant and have dinner there because it has a really nice ambience, you can seat in the tables but you can also sit in the lounge area which is really comfortable and fun as well. This restaurant is in Green Point next to a lot of bars, so what we’ve done is we go for dinner here and then go have drinks at Cabrito, right next door (a bar I wrote about before).

Big Route Facebook page (image also from here): https://www.facebook.com/BigRouteCapeTown

Giovanni’s Delicatessen

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I love Giovanni’s because it is a very local hangout in Green Point, with great food. Some people just don’t seem to get it for some reason and say they don’t like it.

Giovanni’s is not a restaurant per se it is definitely more a deli than it is a restaurant. But they have delicious pre-made food (like meatballs, salads, noodles, vegetables, curries and stews), fresh bread, imported foods (by foods I obviously mean chocolates and cookies 🙂 ), delicatessen foods, really good meats and cheeses. Although they have food they really don’t have tables to sit at, they have a few seats inside, next to the coffee bar (no alcohol) and then they have a few tall tables but no chairs. It is a place to eat good food, fast, or on-the-go (which is what I do most of the times, I take it home). What I like the most is that the food is cooked in a very Italian way and they have a lot of Italian dishes, I also like that I find products that I don’t find in any other supermarkets in Cape Town. My #1 thing to buy here is the “buffalo mozzarella” the authentic mozzarella cheese I also love the pre-made food and to make my own sandwich.

It is great but I should warn you, very very OVERPRICED! But if you are looking for great food to takeaway, cheese/meats, delicious croissants or coffee, then go to Giovanni’s.

(Above picture from: http://www.capetownmagazine.com/best-of-cape-town/10-top-delicatessens-in-cape-town/124_22_17277)

Bombay Brasserie

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Bombay Brasserie is one of the two restaurants at the Taj Hotel on Wale St. It is one of the most delicious Indian food I’ve had in my life (outside of India of course). The first time I went I didn’t like the menu as much but I think it was because I went during winter and the menu has less variety because they aren’t as busy. But then I saw online that the menu changed for summer and I went to try it out again and I loved it so much that I went twice in a week!

The food is delicious, the service is good, it gets really full now in summer (so make sure you call in advance to make a reservation). If you like Indian food this is the place to go. It is a bit pricy but it is worth it! I tried Bukhara and it doesn’t even come close to the quality of the food at  Bombay Brasserie.

Bombay Brasserie website (and image used above from): http://www.tajcapetown.co.za/blog/dining/bombay-brasserie/

Takumi Sushi

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Best sushi in Cape Town! Takumi is a Japanese restaurant on Park Road very close to Kloof Street. It has great food, great atmosphere and great location. Price is very reasonable especially because it’s good quality. I’ve tried many sushi places in Cape Town (Beluga, Willoughby &Co, Nobu, etc) and this is really the best in town. Takumi is quite “authentic”; it’s owned by a Japanese man, Papa San, who is also the sushi chef and who you sometimes see walking around the restaurant. I would reserve a table maybe a day in advanced during summer especially during weekends, winters maybe to be safe just reserve if you’re planning on going on a Friday or weekends.

*Note, if you order an “inside out roll” watch out because they are extremely big and with most of them one order of sushi is enough. First time I went I ordered two inside out rolls, BAD idea… too much food, but delicious!*

Favorites: San Diego Roll (veggie roll) and Nasu Miso (eggplant with miso sauce). Also order the Thai beer Singha if they have it 🙂

Takumi website: http://www.takumi.co.za

Oranjezicht City Farm Market

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One of the nicest things about living in Cape Town are the markets. When I first got here all I wanted to do was go to the Old Biscuit Mill because I thought it was the best in town (I still think it is one of the best). But the more I went the more annoyed I was at how busy it got and how impossible it was to move around and find a seat. So when I first heard about a smaller, and more genuine and farm-like, market I couldn’t wait for the next Saturday to arrive to see what culinary wonders awaited me. This market is the Oranjezicht City Farm market located in the city. When I went there the first time I didn’t quite understand it as much because it was much smaller market with less variety, but the more I went and the more I discovered the more I fell in love with it. Now it is my favorite market in Cape Town.

What is unique about the market is that the Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) is a community garden that is open all week long and where you can volunteer. On Saturday they have the market on a small park on the side of the farm (they used to have a tent but the wind blew it down about two weeks ago). It is a very beautiful market with a lot of wholesome and “artisanal” foods, a lot of the stands offer gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, healthy and organic options. I love to go to buy my groceries of the week from there because they sell the fruits and veggies that grow in the garden, so not only do you get very fresh and organic foods but they also use the money to pay for staff. Another plus to OZCF market is that is a local Saturday morning hangout, so if you go you will not see as many tourists as you will at the Old Biscuit Mill.

The OZCF market is one of the hidden treasures that Cape Town has to offer, it is a very special place where you can discover local foods and talent.

So my favorites are: OZCF vegetable and fruit stand, Spades and Spoons Deli (try the gluten-free & sugar-free chocolate or carrot cake!), Sababa (falafels), Wilde at Heart (cordials), O’Ways (vegetarian buns), Woodstock Bakery (sourdough bread) and stand with the gluten-free crepes.

ENJOY! it is one of my favorite places.

OZCF website: http://www.ozcf.co.za

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Hiking Adventures

So I this is one of the post that has been way overdue. I live in the city with some of the most amazing hikes. As an avid hiker myself, hurting my knee has not been pleasant. I love to hike and although my knee is hurt, I still try to hike as much as I can, trying to stay more on the easy hikes. So the following are hikes that I’ve done and that I recommend:

1. Lion’s Head– This is the most obvious and typical hike besides Table Mountain, but don’t underestimated, it is famous for a reason. It is a beautiful hike. It is semi-easy, if your an beginner-intermediate. Just the hike by itself (with no stopping to see the view above) is like 50 min total, up and down. There are a few parts that are scary and the last part which is a bit of a climb with big rocks, but overall it’s one that mostly anyone can do. And at any point in time you can stop and the view will still be breath-taking, you don’t have to reach the top to get a beautiful view. I do recommend this hike, not too easy not too hard. If you are here on a full moon, make sure you hike Lion’s Head then (if it’s a pretty day), that way you can reach the top to watch the sunset and then you see the moon rising on the other side and then you go down with the light of the full moon. Although the full moon really lightens the night up make sure you still take a head lamp to go down when it’s dark!

LEVEL: Medium-easy

VIEW: 360 view of the city

HIKE TIME: 50 min total (beginner/intermediate)

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2. Devil’s Peak– I did this one with a hurt knee, so that means that it is also a medium hike. It took us about 3 hours in total (excluding our break on top to take in the view and get something to eat). It is a beautiful hike, I would recommend you to do this hike in the morning (I started 9am) that way you do go up with the intense African sun hanging over your shoulders which can make the hike very hard. Definitely take snack to eat at the top, as it is a longer hike it does require a bit more planning. But overall it is a great hike, like I said, not easy but also not hard.

LEVEL: Medium

VIEW: 360 view of the city

HIKE TIME: 3 hours total

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3. Pipe Track– Pipe Track is a small trail that goes along the bottom of the Twelve Apostles. It is more of a walk than it is an actual hike. It is very easy, but you still feel like you exercise. It loops around but the last bit to get back to the beginning spot you have to go by the street so what I do is when I get to 30 min into the walk I turn around and head back. That way I do a 1 hour walk. Because it is so easy (a bit of a rocky terrain but it is mostly flat-ish) a lot of people run it. It is pet-friendly so you see a lot of the people walking/running with their dogs. It’s nice to go like at 4pm or 5pm because that light is always beautiful then, which makes the scenery even more worth it.

LEVEL: Easy

VIEW: Twelve Apostles and Camps Bay Area

TIME: The entire loop about 1hr and 20 min

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4. The Glen – This hike is on the side of Camps Bay, you can start at different points but I normally start at the entrance on Chilworth Road. This is a beautiful hike because it is in the forest. At the beginning you see a picnic area with tables underneath huge African trees; it’s a lovely place to plan a lunch at. It is a quick and easy hike. It has a bit of a slope so yo do exercise but it’s not at all as intense as Lion’s Head or Devil’s Peak. Some people start this hike and then connect through the street to other hikes like Lion’s Head, Pipe Track or even Table Mountain. At the end of the day most all hikes are somehow connected.

LEVEL: Easy but with a hill

VIEW: Forest

HIKE TIME: 45 min total

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5. Table Mountain – So there are a lot of trails and ways to get up to Table Mountain. The first time I came here I did the one that is known to be the easiest which is called Platteklip Gorge. I must say it was hard, but worth it. To come back down we decided to do it via the cable car because it looks a bit dangerous to go down because you have to climb over big rocks, but many people do it. When you hike any mountain, but especially Table Mountain because the view is like none other, make sure that clouds, or the “table cloth” as they call it here, isn’t covering the summit of the mountain otherwise you won’t get the views at the end, which is kind of your reward and the point of the hike.

LEVEL: Hard-Medium

VIEW: During the hike city center. Above a 360 view.

HIKE TIME: 1 hr 50 min to go up.

*Word of advice, don’t do any of these hikes by yourself. For starters in case of an accident it’s always good to have someone else. And second of all, there have been a lot of muggings in Lion’s Head, the Glen and Pipe Track so if you go with someone it lessen’s the probabilities. Also check that it hasn’t rained the day before or that it’s not misty so you don’t get a wet or slippery hike (which can be dangerous). But don’t let that scare you and just enjoy the hikes that this lovely city has to offer. Remember to take lots of pictures and lots of water as well!*