There’s no doubt that there is so much to do in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, CBD and Atlantic Seaboard, but we often forget that there is another side to the city that is just as magnificent but often left unexplored. From visiting the Durbanville winelands to ice skating, fabulous restaurants, and beautiful beaches, there’s so much to see and do in Cape Town’s northern suburbs and beyond. Here’s a list of 30 things you have to try in the northern suburbs of Cape Town!
**Disclaimer** For this list we looked at the northern suburbs of Cape Town as well as surrounding areas including the west coast area.
1. Visit Milnerton Beach and Maestros on the Beach
If you’re searching for the perfect way to spend a lazy weekend morning or afternoon then pop down to Milnerton Beach for a stroll and a bite to eat. Milnerton Beach offers stellar views of Table Mountain and is a great place for a walk with your special someone. And, if you’re hungry after your walk then book a table at Maestros on the Beach. With wall-to-ceiling glass doors and windows, Maestros boasts spectacular views of the mountain and ocean before you. They also serve a delicious breakfast buffet on weekends and their burgers are a must-try!
For more information on Maestros on the Beach click here.
2. Pull in for a burger and shake at Burger Fair
If you haven’t been to Burger Fair in Belville yet, then you are truly missing out on an exceptional experience. Jack Parow bought Belville’s Burger Fair back into the limelight with his music video for Cooler as Ekke and now hungry customers head to the spot in their droves whenever they feel like a retro burger and milkshake fix. The best thing about visiting Burger Fair has got to be that they still serve your food in an old-school food tray attached to your car window! The portion sizes at this spot are generous and diners can choose from a wide range of burgers, sarmies and shakes such as the Hawaiian Burger and chips (R27.50), Yankee Dog and chips (R28.40), strawberry or banana milkshake (R12.40 for R240ml), and Milo shake (R16 for 240ml).
For more information, visit Burger Fair Facebook page.
3. Embrace the Big Bay way of life at Eden on Big Bay
Those in the know visit Big Bay’s Eden on Big Bay every weekend because there is just so much to do at the shopping and social hub. Situated on the Big Bay beach front, Eden on Bay offers a variety of restaurants and shops where you can spend hours browsing, chatting, and sipping on delicious cocktails while marvelling at the view. Once you’re done chowing and shopping take a stroll on the beach, shoes in hand and soak up the sea breeze. This is also an excellent spot for dog owners who want to take their pet pooches with them as most of the restaurants are pet-friendly.
For more information on Eden on Bay click here.
4. Visit the Durbanville winelands
Forget trekking all the way to Stellenbosch or Constantia, the Durbanville winelands offers plenty for wine lovers to enjoy. With breathtaking views, excellent restaurants, and delicious wine, you can’t go wrong with a weekend excursion to one of these wineries. We love Nitida, Hillcrest, and Durbanville Hills but if you’re heading out there you might as well visit them all!
For more information on the Durbanville wine valley click here.
5. Get some culture at the Barnyard Theatre Willowbridge
If you’re looking for a good time you will find it at the Barnyard Theatre Willowbridge! This popular venue offers a fabulous line up of musicals, kids’ entertainment, and events that the whole family can enjoy. Current shows include a tribute to music of the 90s including pop, rock, alternative, old school and a collection of one-hit wonders as well as a modern take on the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. There’s also a bar and pizzeria on-site so you can munch on a yummy oven-baked pizza while you tap your feet.
For more information on the Barnyard Theatre click here.
6. Swoosh down the hill at Cool Runnings Toboggan Park
Cool Runnings is Africa’s only toboggan track – with no snow in sight! The curving stainless steel track allows young and old visitors to go whizzing down the hill in a custom-built toboggan while enjoying views of Tygervalley and beyond. Adrenaline junkies can reach a maximum speed of 40km per hour while making their way down the hill and it’s completely safe (as long as you follow the safety rules of course). Trust us, it’s loads of fun and is the perfect spot for a kid’s party, a corporate function or even a 40th birthday party!
For more information on Cool Runnings click here.
7. Go big or go home at Mega Putt
You’ve never seen putt-putt quite like this before! With 27 holes of adventure golf, Mega Putt dares to make putt-putt more than just a silly children’s game. The African themed course offers a challenge of note with out-of-the-ordinary obstacles that’ll you keep you entertained all day long. From bridge crossings to steeper-than-steep uphill putts, this course will challenge even the most seasoned putt-putter. The course is split into three colour coded 9 hole courses which are ranked from mild to difficult. The first 9 holes are perfect for little ones who like a little bit of a challenge and have grown tired of the local 9 hole putt-putt course
For more information on Mega Putt click here.
8. Have an authentic Mexican experience at Remex Mexican Cantina
This little hidden is sure to get your love of all things spicy fired up! And, the great news is they have two branches in the northern suburbs! This little Mexican dive first become popular when it opened its doors in Richwood and they have now expanded with a second eatery in Parklands as well. With decor that is nothing short of loco and food that is to die for, this eatery is a must-visit of note. For a real taste explosion try the Chilli Poppers (R49 for 4) and the Chicken Fajitas (R86.50).
For more information on Remex Mexican Cantina click here.
9. Have tea at the Durbanville Rose Garden
This stunning 3.5 hectare rose garden features over 500 different rose varietals and 4 500 rose bushes. Take a stroll around the garden and enjoy the layout of hybrid teas along Drakenstein Street, beds of miniature roses, a gazebo that includes the ‘Fairest Cape’ rose, antique roses, climbers and shrubs against the fence, and many beautiful roses. While you’re there pop into the tea garden for a spot of tea and a scone. The garden is also a popular venue for wedding photographs and brides and their grooms are invited to use the spot for free.
For more information on the Durbanville Rose Garden click here.
10. Go for a hike in the Tygerberg Nature Reserve
This popular hiking area covers an area of 309 hectares and boasts 562 different plant species. The reserve is also home to 24 different mammal species, 137 bird species, 22 different reptiles, 7 types of frogs, and numerous different butterfly species, so there’s plenty to see if you’re vigilant enough. The view from the top of the reserve’s hill is absolutely magnificent, boasting a 360-degree view of the city and beyond, views of the city don’t get much better than this. The reserve offers various well-signposted hiking trails as well as beautiful picnic areas, making it a great place for adventurous types to visit.
For more information on the Tygerberg Nature Reserve click here.
11. Enjoy pampering with a view at Mangwanani Spa Zevenwacht
If you need time to unwind and reset then spend a day or evening being pampered at Mangwanani African Spa at Zevenwacht wine farm in Kuilsriver. This spa boasts some of the most incredible views you will ever experience at a spa in Cape Town and after just one evening here you will leave feeling like a new person. Guests are pampered with decadent Mangwanani Treatments for total relaxation of body, mind and soul, all while taking in the views of the winelands. Go for the evening session and you can enjoy a decadent foot rub while marvelling at the sunset and sipping on a glass of champagne – it’s pure heaven!
For more information on Mangwanani Spa Zevenwacht click here.
12. Be one with nature at Intaka Island
Situated in the heart of Century City, this majestic 16ha wetland and bird sanctuary is a haven for bird lovers in the city. Take a stroll in these sprawling wetlands and marvel at the rare and popular birds and exquisite flora, and the fact that all of this is situated smack-bang in the middle of Cape Town! The centre also offers guided walks for those who want to know a little bit more. Let one of their experienced Field Rangers take you around the 9 stations, giving you added information about the inhabitants and different plant life you see. They will help you with bird identification, information on breeding habits and other unique insights into this very special island. These guided trails are included in the entrance fee, but it is advised to phone in advance as our rangers may be occupied with school or other groups.
For more information on Intaka Island click here.
13. Get out of town at Paarl de Ville Mashie Course
Situated between Durbanville and Wellington, on the R312, Paarl de Ville is the ideal place to get away from it all for a few hours. Boasting a 9-hole mashie course, a restaurant, conference facilities, lovely views of the Stellenbosch mountains, this little hideaway is just the escape you need. The Paarl de Ville Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and has a bistro-style menu, and offers seating both indoors or under-cover outdoors. A set braai menu can also be ordered by prior arrangement.
For more information on Paarl de Ville click here.
14. Visit Starlight Diner for a killer sundae
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, this 200 seater diner in Belville has been open for more than 13 years! The spot has a reputation for its good food, large portions, and excellent prices with special offers during the week. Their extensive menu includes everything from oxtail and curry to pizzas, burgers, wraps, steaks and, of course, good desserts. Weekly specials include happy hour, burger special, rib & wing special and kiddies specials. Menu must-tries include the Yankee Doodle Burger (a giant 500g beef patty on huge a sesame seed bun with lettuce, tomato, gherkins and onions – R87.95) and the Kitchen Sink Sundae Dessert (12 scoops of vanilla ice cream with brownies, chopped nuts, crushed pineapple, berry compote, hot fudge, hot caramel, bananas, Orea crumbs, whipped cream, four cherries and who knows what else – R94.95).
For more information on Starlight Diner click here.
15. Take in the waterfront views at the Tyger Waterfront
If it’s waterfront dining you’re after then head to the Tyger Waterfront in Tygervalley. We recommend dinner at Zibaldone – a fabulous Italian restaurant with plenty to write home about. This spot is popular for its delicious and uncomplicated food coupled with a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere. Choose from a selection of excellent pastas, fish, veal, steaks, poultry and more done the traditional Italian way. Try the Ossobuco and Spaghetti Gamberi if you really want a memorable meal experience!
For more information on Zibaldone click here.
16. While away the hours at the Willowbridge Slow Market
All products made and sold at this stellar market are grown, raised, caught, preserved or transformed by the producers themselves. You will find nothing but the best products and produce at this little market and that’s why locals keep going back for more each week. You’ll find high-quality specialty producers, food artisans, local and regional farmers, natural and organic merchants, seasonal goods, responsible and sustainable enterprises and fine-food purveyors – all within a stone’s throw of each other. Spend a few hours at this market stuffing your face and your basket to take home!
For more information on the Willowbridge Slow Market click here.
17. Make a splash at the Milnerton Waterpark
If there weather’s nice head to the Milnerton Waterpark for a fun day in the sun! You and the kids can enjoy a day swimming and sliding on the many waterslides and then take some time out to enjoy a little bit of mini golf, giant chess, or even some exercise on the paddle boats! The park also has picnic and braai facilities for families who want to make a day of it.
For more information on the Milnerton Waterpark click here.
18. Tuck in at the Meerendal Farmers Market
Shop for the best fresh produce money can buy at the monthly Meerendal Farmers Market. Taking place on the second Saturday of each month at Meerendal Wine Estate in Durbanville, this market offers a wide selection of foods including fresh farm bread, pesto and olives, homemade pies, preserves, honey, waffles, biltong, rusks, cakes, fudge and more. The market is open from 09:00 – 14:00 and adults can enjoy a bite to eat while the kids enjoy pony rides and the jumping castle.
For more information on the Meerendal Farmers Market click here.
19. Appreciate the arts at the Sanlam Art Gallery
Did you know that Sanlam has an extensive collection of works by South African artists? That’s right, the collection comprises paintings, drawings, graphics and sculptures and selections from the vast collection are exhibited regularly in the company’s art gallery at its head office in Bellville. The gallery is open to visitors on weekdays from 09:00 – 14:45 at the Sanlam Head Office (2 Strand Road, Bellville, Cape Town).
20. Connect with the earth at the Durbanville Nature Reserve
This reserve, in the heart of Durbanville, is unique in that it is situated in an entirely endangered veld type. Nature lovers will find species of Renosterveld Coastal fynbos and Mountain fynbos side by side and rare and endangered species like Aristea lugens and Serruria Brownii are found here. The reserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with unusual species thriving in this combination veld. Picnicking is allowed and guided walks can be organised if you call ahead.
For information on the Durbanville Nature Reserve click here.
21. Pay homage to a Cape Town institution at Blue Peter
You haven’t truly experienced Cape Town until you’ve had sundowners at The Blue Peter Hotel. Perfectly situated on the Blouberg beachfront this characteristic establishment has an at-home coziness that instantly relaxes you. Diners at the Blue Peter restaurant enjoy unmatchable views of Table Mountain from the restaurant’s lawns and tables. The Lower Deck Bistro offers a casual environment for a family meal or some ‘just-off-the-beach’ relaxation. Whether it’s the weekend’s sports game on TV, the lure of lunch with friends, a romantic night out, or some quiet time alone, this is a charming spot to while away long hours.
For more information on The Blue Peter click here.
22. Enjoy the best pork schnitzel in town at Bar-B-Que
This place might not look like much from the outside but trust us, it’s worth a visit because the food is *mwah*. Bar-B-Que is famous for their massive portions that taste just as good as they look. Ask the locals and they will tell you that you can’t visit without ordering a famous Bar-B-Que schnitzel – the portions are very generous and are so big you can share it between two, maybe even three people. The ribs are another house speciality and once again the portion sizes are almost too big for any mere mortal to handle. The menu at this steak joint is simple but covers all the comfort food bases – but vegetarians be warned, this definitely a meat lover’s paradise! Expect to pay between R40 and R70 for starters and R80 – R200 for mains.
Find it: Directly opposite the Sanlam/Parow Center at 331 Voortrekker Road. For more information on Bar-B-Que click here.
23. Break a sweat at Jump Around trampoline park
This spring-loaded urban playground for free jumping opened its door last year and has been a firm favourite with kids and adults ever since. At Jump Around hard surfaces are replaced with circus-grade sponge and spring and bouncers are encouraged to get active and have loads of fun while they’re at it. At this unique gym, the wall becomes the floor and every surface is reachable – it’s a world where a slam-dunk is within your grasp and the rules of gravity no longer apply. Jump Around promises visitors a space that is jam-packed with things to do – whether you are a kid or an adult. The trampoline park takes the rush of being airborne and adds a bunch of new dimensions – from aerial manoeuvres and slam dunking to wall running and dodgeball warfare there’s lots to get you sweating it out.
For more information on Jump Around click here.
24. Get active at Montague Gardens Action Sports Arena
This indoor sports arena offers action cricket, netball and soccer to sports lovers during the week and on weekends. Join the weekly league and play against other like-minded sports fanatics on weekday nights or organise a corporate function and play against your work colleagues during the work day or on weekends. The sports arena also has a bar where you can enjoy a few post-game drinks with your mates. On weekends the sports arena is transformed into Bounce World – a safe indoor play place for kids.
For more information on Montague Gardens Action Sports click here.
25. Hit the ice at The Ice Station
The Ice Station at Grand West offers avid skaters an Olympic-size skating rink all year round. With bright lights and music adding to a festive vibe, The Ice Station offers hours of fun for kids, teenagers and adults alike. The indoor skating stadium offers plenty of seating space and is the perfect venue for kid’s parties as well as corporate functions. Rent your skates at the venue or bring your own and skate to your heart’s content. The Ice Station also offers skating lessons and a junior rink for little skaters.
For more information on The Ice Station click here.