City Guide: Why Observatory is the obvious choice for Cape Town's alternative crowd

2019-05-26 09:34 - Marisa Crous
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Locally known as 'Obs', Cape Town's most boho neighbourhood is defined by cheap prices, food and drinks specials, its large student population, and cool vintage scene. And you can find (almost) all of it in one street!     

READ: City Guide: Ice cream wrapped in French macaron shells and Victorian architecture in Durban's Morningside neighbourhood 

From festivals, to eating African food at the daily Obz Lifestyle Market under the bridge to browsing for vinyls, books and one-of-a-kind vintage clothing on Lower Main Road, this is the place for those seeking the alternative side of Cape Town. 

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Her fabness at the fab obz lifestyle ??

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By day its relaxed atmosphere is almost tangible, while at night the central hub of activity buzzes with energy. Yet, this is an area infamous for muggings, so it;s important to be wary of where you walk after dark.

Food and drinks

Go to the relatively unassuming, eccentrically decorated Ferdinandos for pizza. This is real Italian pizza made with passion. 

Trenchtown might need a slight revamp, but the food is good and the prices are legit. Get a R60 pizza and R20 double gin and tonic on Wednesdays. They also now have comedy nights on Wednesdays - so go take in some laughs!

You'll recognise Kind Regards by its pink neon sign. Can't miss it. On Station Road, it's brand new and has an exciting menu of Portuguese and Indian dishes. Try the Buttermilk Burger!  

READ: The world's best cities to live in - and where Cape Town, Durban and Jo'burg rank 

Another excellent spot on Lower Main Road is Timbuktu Cafe for Ethiopian food. The atmosphere is very laid-back, so don't expect a hustle. 

TIP: It doesn't have a liquor license so feel free to BYOB.

READ: Quick Guide to France: Say Bonjour to your next escape 

Grab a delicious coffee by Saint James Café, also situated on Station Road. It really has that just-around-the-corner neighbourhood coffee shop feel.


Check out

Go shop vintage at Better Half Vintage. Seriously, the best finds if you're a fashion lover. Or stop in at Pereira Vintage for handpicked items from eras past. 


During the year there is a range of festivals hosted by this 'hood. Be sure to check out Streettopia, a free community festivals with lots of street performances, food vendors and art. 

Go for a run, a walk with the dog or just meander by Liesbeek River. It is not only tree-lined runs through Newlands and Rondebosch, joining the Black River at Observatory. A peaceful place to unwind after work or over weekends. 

Then, for the creatives, head to the Drawing Room Cafe for art nights, food, drinks and some live entertainment. 

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