Quirky & Fun Restaurants in the Cape Town’s Eastside Hood (Buitenkant / Harrington Street)

Quirky & Fun Restaurants in the Cape Town’s Eastside Hood (Buitenkant / Harrington Street)

The combo of Buitenkant & Harrington Street is all being referred to as the Eastside District of Cape Town City.   The Eastside Dictrict is a hot spot for the opening of quirky & fun restaurants, shops, galleries, shared work spaces and the first CBD shop in Cape Town!  

Truth Coffee

This space is special!  It was the first building to be funked up on the run down Buitenkant Street on the side of the city. It set the wheels in motion for the others to start moving into the hood and start uplifting and quirking up the area!  Next to open was Haas (a gorgeous art gallery combined with an eatery & its own coffee roaster!).

Harrington Street was the next street to start funking up and is now the new hot spot hood of the city. The combo of Buitenkant & Harrington Street is all being referred to as the Eastside District of the City.

Truth was one of the first micro coffee roasters in Cape Town.  Coffee is at the centre of their soul. Fear not – if you are not into coffee – you can drink beer or tea or the most amazing apple juice in Cape Town!  The main thing is that this spot is not to be missed.   The decor is steam punk and it is a seriously fun space.   The staff wear wonderfully crazy outfits – they do insane gourmet breakfasts and serve them all day. In the evening – they have now opened a chilled dinner menu – with a South African flavours twist! 

The Art of Duplicity

Shhhhhhhh! Keep it a secret – there is a secret speakeasy in this area. You will only get in if you pre-book on the secret website for the speakeasy!   Click here to book the Speakeasy.  Buitenkant Street.  If you have any difficulty with the booking system – simply email roz@170120.co.za to book.  Light eats on offer – mainly a fun bar!

Swan Cafe

Is a French crêperie. The decor is blue & white, with a touch of red,  and everything from the wallpaper through to the tins of teas were specifically designed for them. It is gorgeous. The staff are also dressed in blue, red and white and they give you a wonderful warm welcome as you come in.   On my first visit I had a delicious sweet crepe with apple. It was on second visit that I fell in love with Swan Cafe ……………..I had a savoury buckwheat-based galette. I have never had a galette before.   It was one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted in my life.   If you are wanting to try something fun and want a place that is fun and reasonably priced – I would highly recommend you head here for lunch. 

New York Bagels 

Is the oldest and most famous producer of real bagels in Cape Town. They are also famous for the best Cheesecake!  This family have been selling bagels in Cape Town since 1940!  Chef Judy has worked for them for about 30 years…….she learnt all the family secrets on how to cook the best roast beef, to make schmears and many other traditional Jewish recipes.  This is a real Cape Town Institution.  The family originally owned a chain of restaurants – they later the reinvented themselves as New York Bagel in Seapoint. In later years the family sold the building that was home to NY Bagel  and one branch of the family decided to keep the name going and got a new small premises in Harrington Street. This started as a kiosk.  It was so popular that they soon added the building next door as the queues got longer and longer. Now one still queues to order – but one can settle in to enjoy your bagel once you have ordered.   The seats are not too comfortable – which means that they turn the tables over fairly fast!! Also – not having wifi is a good tactic to move people on!   

Belly of The Beast 

See our new restaurants in Cape Town section.  This is a wonderful fun fine dining option on Harrington Street.   They are well priced……………young innovative Chefs as owners……only 20 seats per dinner………so the whole of Cape Town is trying to get in to see what they are about.   Booking is on their website – so stalk them 6 weeks before you plan to eat there.


Stylish cocktail bar that features great local music – check out their facebook to see who is playing.   It is best to book before going.   Note that they do food here too – so you can stay for dinner and some music.   61 Harrington Street (upstairs)

Leftys & DownTown Ramen

Two completely different restaurants  – in one building.

Lefty’s is a dive bar downstairs. It attracts people who wish to drink as well as those who wish to enjoy dinner.  The food is great! They do fantastic ribs, great falafel, insanely good pizza, the waffle with chicken….which is interesting. Make sure you have a side of the Asian style slaw.   This is simple, good food. Chilled atmosphere.  Note I cannot find a website or even a facebook page for them!!  Trust me – if you like dark and dingy with fun staff and great food – this one is for you! It has character!  Best to phone to book on weekends.  Tel 021 461 0407

Downtown Ramen!!

We love this spot!  You walk through Lefty’s and head up the stairs. The decor changes completely and you have enter and uncluttered zen like space!  The ramen with the pork belly is amazing!    Start with Bao’s and then do the ramen – be warned – the Ramen bowl is HUGE – do not have a starter if you have a small appetite! 103 Harrington – walk through Lefty’s and head upstairs.  It is best to phone and book on weekends.    Tel no 021 461 0407

Nude Foods

Is just a few steps off Harrington Street.  It is Cape Town’s first packaging free grocer.   They have now opened their back courtyard for drinks and snacks – the vegan salome is fantastic!!  (This is a roti with curry inside it – we would call this the Cape Town version of a wrap!)   5 Constitution Street.