Woodstock, Woodstock, Woodstock…. How do we even begin to pay homage to such a richly diverse foodie paradise and trendy hotspot? 10 Years ago, Wikipedia would have described it as an industrial bordering on somewhat run-down residential area located adjacent to Cape Town’s Foreshore. Today, however, Woodstock is an “edgy, evolving neighbourhood where hipster cafés, veggie eateries, and art galleries occupy old factories covered with vivid murals.”
That sounds awfully cool doesn’t it? It’s no wonder that hipsters are flocking here like it’s SO not mainstream. Let’s take a closer look at what there is to eat and drink in Woodstock.
Woodstock is a veritable foodie paradise. Few other places in the city, save perhaps for Bree Street, boast this number, variety, and concentration of cafés, lunch spots, and restaurants. The crowning jewel has got to be Chef Luke Dale-Roberts’ The Test Kitchen, which has been voted South Africa’s best restaurant more times than any other restaurant owner cares to recall. It even landed a spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list and, with a waiting list of months, it damn well should have!
The Potluck Club, another of Luke Dale-Roberts’ creations can also be found in Woodstock. With a slightly more (but not by much) approachable waiting list, this trendy yet laid-back tapas eatery sprawls out on the sixth floor of the Silo at Woodstock’s artsy, industrial Old Biscuit Mill offering panoramic city, harbour, and mountain views.
Moving slightly away from the uber high-end dining scene, Woodstock is packed to the rafters with truly quality and affordable places to eat: Bones Kitchen & Bar serves delicious Mediterranean/European fare in a stylish but chilled restaurant, bar, deli, and lounge; The Ceviche Bar, located on Sir Lowry Road, is a Peruvian-inspired eatery with one thing on its mind: great ceviche; Home Town is the place to head for Lekker Kaapse cuisine, which you can slosh down with a wide variety of enticing beverages and banging beats; and Burrata at the Old Biscuit Mill serves gourmet pizzas and other Italian-inspired fare in a modern rustic wood-and-brick room with open kitchen.
Head to Pesce Azzurro Osteria di Mare for gorgeous Italian seafood dishes and tapas; the Woodstock Grill & Tap for succulent steaks and craft beer from their partner, the Woodstock Brewery (also on the premises); and Jamaica Me Crazy, a colourful Caribbean hangout with rooftop terrace, for seriously good pizza and a cocktails.
Craft Brewery Scene
The Woodstock Brewery is considered by many to produce some of the best craft beer the Mother City has to offer. The brewery itself is a fine place to spend a few hours to go on a tour and do a beer tasting. The Devil’s Peak Brewing Company, which is technically in Salt River, is an incredibly popular hangout with wrap-around views of historic industrial Cape Town, good food, a bright and cheery atmosphere, and, of course, celebrated craft beers.
On a slightly smaller scale, but no less awesome is the Brewer’s Co-op, a humble venue consisting of a co-operatively owned microbrewery and bar. Aspiring and established brewers are invited to make small batches of their own unique beers and then sell them to the public at the small bar out front. This philosophy really embodies the soul of the craft beer revolution, which is one of experimentation and artistic expression.
Woodstock is also home to the Drifter Brewing Co, the world’s first brewery to age beer in the ocean, which offers the perfect light and temperature conditions for a unique fermentation process. The result is their one-year Atlantic Ocean-aged Belgian-style “tripel” or strong pale ale, which you can enjoy on their lovely balcony bar.
Neighbourgoods Food Market
No account of Woodstock’s culinary scene would be complete without a mention of the renovated Old Biscuit Mill’s weekly Neighbourgoods Market. The Old Biscuit Mill on Albert Road is a vibrant and warm-hearted little village consisting of a collection of designer fashion stores, creative workshops, African handicrafts, and high-end restaurants. The award-winning Neighbourgoods Market takes place here every Saturday, 09:00 to 15:00, come rain or shine. It not only offers visitors a delightful array (over 100 specialty traders) of fresh produce, artisanal coffee, craft beer, and internationally inspired food options, but also serves as a vital platform for the nurturing of crafty artisans who are turning their passion into prosperity.
Hungry? You know where to go!
Woodstock boasts a staggering variety of restaurants that cater to every taste and every pocket; a smattering of breweries where people can appreciate the art of beer brewing; and a weekly market that tops just about every list of must-see attractions in Cape Town. This is not even to mention the smaller, hole-in-the-wall cafés, coffee shops, and take-away joints (and we’re sorry about that but it’s getting late). Truly, if Cape Town were a flesh-and-blood living thing, Woodstock would be an essential organ, pulsing powerfully with the heartbeat of cuisine, culture, art, and history.