Table Mountain is easily the most iconic part of Cape Town; something that most of us drive around and use as our navigation system regularly. It’s also likely something that you ventured up as a child, with your parents or as part of a school trip. But that’s probably where most Capetonian’s interactions with Table Mountain end. We mostly have no desire to go up again, because it’s touristy and we are locals, after all.
The café at the top of Table Mountain got a facelift and has been transformed into quite a remarkable set-up. Getting there is also much easier now: The cableway famously underwent a huge makeover, so they’re no longer those creaky, swinging cubes of peril. The new cars are large, sleek and run like well-oiled machines.
Table Mountain Café’s concept is simple: There’s an extensive buffet offering where you can order everything from tomato bredie to lamb stew and an array of smaller mezze-style dips and accompaniments. There are also pizzas, muffins, cakes and snacks. Though the food is not necessarily the reason to get on a cable car and venture your way 1 085 meters up a mountain, the full experience definitely is.
There’s a full bar and the wine list is appealing, featuring Steenberg’s MCC, De Grendel rosé and some easy-drinking varieties from Fairview. They also stock local beers such as CBC and Castle Lite. Though the café is nearly all-glass for the full viewing experience, you can also sit out on the terrace with a crisp glass of bubbly when the weather is good.
There’s also a dedicated WiFi lounge that serves a high tea (pun perhaps not intended, but appreciated nonetheless) with MCC on arrival, so you have the added option of a stellar venue to celebrate your next special event.
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If the million-dollar view isn’t enough to compel a visit, maybe the cafe’s commitment to sustainability will. Not only are there plenty of recycling bins along the mountain, but Table Mountain Café also has a dedicated recycling system, and any plastic used is fully recyclable. They’ve also reduced their waste – and the risk of littering – by utilising fully compostable coffee cups, plates and food containers. And, with the cableway’s partnership with Kuyasa Housing Project, they’ve offset over 1500 tonnes of annual carbon emissions by installing solar power panels and energy-efficient lightbulbs in RDP houses in Khayelitsha.
There’s something special about being a tourist in your own city, especially when there’s a decent glass of wine and snacks involved. So if you’re looking for a unique date spot, the loftiest pre-dinner drinks or just something a little different, a trip up Cape Town’s iconic mountain could be just the answer.
Have you been to Table Mountain Café and Bar yet? Write a review now.