South Africa Shopping
For Capetonians wanting to live in the city, Gardens is a sought-after address (one shared by the five-star Mount Nelson Hotel). It's a leafy neighborhood close to the buzz of the city center, and home to a great mix of trendy bars, shops, and restaurants—most of them lining Kloof Street. A leisurely stroll here will introduce you to antiques and vintage boutiques, as well fine food and wine shops. Melissa's Food Shop is where locals lunch, and Heartworks across the streets sells southern African crafts. Look out for Magda van der Vloed's handbags and wire brooches, as well as embroidered teddy bears made by a women's collective. If you're seeking great finds for the home, step into Lim for cutting-edge local design, including weathered wood sculptures, crocheted mohair, and leather ottomans. Continue down Kloof Street and you'll eventually hit Long Street, which is crowded with bars, clubs, and restaurants as well as book, music, and fashion stores.
Green Point is a trendy neighborhood on the slopes of Signal Hill, overlooking the V&A Waterfront. The locals here like to see and be seen, and you'll find plenty of delis, cafés, bars, and restaurants. An easily walkable area and a good place to explore is De Waterkant, a neighborhood within Green Point made up of narrow, often cobbled streets lined with terraced houses dating back to the 1700s. If you visit only one shop in De Waterkant, it should be Africa Nova, for contemporary arts and crafts. The shop is a riot of patterns and colors, with quirky ceramics, pink chairs made out of recycled plastic, and delicate silverwork by Nic Bladen. Hungry for a snack? La Petite Tarte is a snug French patisserie that serves divine tarts and quiches.
South Africa 6602
Tel: 27 44 534 8612
Langa Lapu means "sun cloth" in Xhosa, a fitting name for a company that uses light-sensitive dyes to make brightly colored fabrics imprinted with the shapes of local leaves, plants, and grasses. The popular prints are often exported before they can make it to South African shelves, but you can get your pick of the pretty at the company's store off the N2.
Open daily 8 am to 7 pm.
Tel: 27 44 534 8910
Porcupine Ceramics uses recycled clay, in the Japanese raku tradition, but the result is purely African. Expect playful sculptures of animals and fish, plates glazed with tribal patterns, and custom-designed wash basins. Visitors are invited to tour the studio before purchasing.
Open daily 8 am to 5 pm.
Tel: 27 44 535 9432
This roadside stall outside Keurbooms is a great stop-off for South African pies (more of the meat-and-veggie variety than American-style fruit pies); deep-fried, syrupy braids of dough called koeksisters; dried fruit; organic cheeses; and arguably the best seed loaf (a popular South African bread with sesame, sunflower, and other seeds) on the Garden Route. Thyme and Again, run by a former Johannesburg lawyer, also has one of the best selections of local wines available for tasting and purchasing.
Open daily 8 am to 6 pm.
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is an enormous pedestrian mall on the water, with wonderful views of Table Mountain. It's a tourist favorite, with boat trips around the harbor and lots of designer stores and outdoor cafés. Stop at Cape Union Mart for outdoor gear like hats and windbreakers and the Carrol Boyes Shop for pewter cutlery and accessories.
Open Mondays through Saturdays 9 am to 9 pm, Sundays 10 am to 9 pm.
42 York Street
South Africa 6530
Tel: 27 44 884 1883
The slightly misshapen crockery at Wonki Ware became world-famous when Nigella Lawson discovered it and worked together with owner Di Marshall to design a range the British TV chef now sells. On offer at the George store are rustic platters glazed with Battenberg lace patterns, sturdy dinnerware in pale oranges and pinks, and sweet gingham-patterned pudding bowls and fruit plates.
Open Mondays through Fridays 8:30 am to 5 pm, Saturdays 9 am to 1 pm.