A day in Kalk Bay promises beautiful views, tasty food, and a stroll through some of Cape Town’s most character-filled streets.
There are few places as quintessentially Cape Town as the seaside village of Kalk Bay. With its working harbour, tidal pools, sweet cafés and quirky shops, it’s a place that brings together so many of our city’s best elements. It’s an easy day trip from the suburbs and makes a great outing for a breath of fresh sea air and a bite to eat.
A personal Kalk Bay favourite, Kalky’s is located at the harbour (have a look out for the resident seals who hang out nearby). The no-frills restaurant is not much to look at, but the seafood is fresh, and the casual atmosphere is just right for weekend-mode. If, however, you’re looking for something a little more indulgent, Olympia Café and Salt are definitely worth a visit. They’re both local favourites and for good reason — the space is unpretentious, and the food is simple but delicious. The menu at both of these hang-outs change often, you can expect wholesome salads, pastas and soups made with passion, as well as tasty seafood dishes.
A new spot in the village, Dalebrook Café is located just opposite the Dalebrook tidal pool, and a short walk from both St James and Kalk Bay itself. Headed by Charmaine Lilje of Chardonnay Deli in Constantia, the café boasts a small, but tasty menu, and serves breakfast and lunch daily and dinner from Thursday to Saturday.
And then, of course, no trip to Kalk Bay is complete without popping into Ice Café for some homemade ice cream after lunch. Grab a scoop (you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to flavours like peanut butter, coffee and coconut), and stroll down the street for some window shopping.
The Brass Bell is a Kalk Bay institution, and the location simply couldn’t be better — it’s set right on the ocean with beautiful sea views. Secure a spot by the window and have a drink as the waves literally crash beside you. Keep an eye out for their live music events on the weekends.
Another laid-back option is Cape to Cuba, a quirky cocktail bar on the beach. Pull up a seat on the sand and enjoy views over the harbour with your drink — you may just be tempted to sample one of their mango and chilli mojitos.
If you’re in the mood for a glass of wine in a really classy spot, visit Harbour House where you can enjoy perfect ocean views in a pretty blue and white space. They offer an extensive range of bubbly and wines, which you may be tempted to pair with their selection of sushi and seafood.
The art scene is alive and well in this seaside town, and if you feel like browsing, have a look at the Kalk Bay Modern Gallery. The space exhibits a broad range of work, from photography and textiles to contemporary art and jewellery. The Artvark Gallery is another great spot to soak up some local talent, and you can also buy ceramics, prints, and other artworks at their shop.
The Kalk Bay Theatre (inside the beautiful old Dutch Reformed Church) makes for a fun night out. They host shows regularly, and there’s a restaurant that serves up a small but good selection of wines and a simple dinner menu.
The town is packed with little shops, and it’s easy to while away an afternoon browsing books, antiques and boutique clothing. Quagga Rare Books and Art is one of the oldest and is worth a look just for a glimpse at some of the unusual treasures that line its walls. For something a little more contemporary, check out the Kalk Bay Co-Op, which showcases products by local designers and includes jewellery, homeware and clothing collections.