Living in the City Bowl is awesome. There’s something magical about waking up at the foot of Table Mountain, surrounded by vibrant energy and a vast array of amazing places to eat, drink and be merry.
Yet this strikingly beautiful part of the city has been infiltrated by a strange and dangerous new species. Discernable from homeless people only by their iPhones and stupendously bad haircuts, the common hipster is a plague on this otherwise idyllic environment.
And their numbers are growing. Whether due to their dazzlingly bright skinny jeans or their inexplicable penchant for scarves in summer, these mainstream hobos are slowly converting the masses to their nefarious ways.
Nobody is safe. While today you might display a few minor symptoms, like the compulsive urge to Instagram pictures of food, tomorrow you might find yourself buying a fedora, or scribbling indiscernible ‘art’ in a moleskine whilst sipping on a flat white coffee (cappuccinos are like, WAY too milky).
So it’s important to make sure that, before you find yourself slipping uncontrollably into full-blown hipsterdom, you take suitable precautionary measures. The first step is to avoid the city’s many hipster hot spots. This is easier said than done, as a venue’s hipster cred can very easily be lost to a more exotic and unorthodox rival at a moment’s notice.
Vigilance is key, as is your ability to travel in groups of fellow unafflicted people, but you should be safe if you make a point of avoiding the following establishments:
This is the epicentre of all things hipster and should be avoided at all costs. Cleverly hidden under the city’s renowned stoner hangout, Rafikis, this is the mothership of the skinny jeans brigade.
This is a truly terrifying place, boasting hideous atrocities like evening chess matches and ‘gourmet’ hot dogs, and will at all times be heaving with an unspeakable cross-section of humanity.
It’s neither a bar, nor a restaurant, nor a coffee shop, rather choosing to exist as some sort of unsettling mutation of the three, without actually offering anyone much of anything.
Should you be lucky enough to actually acquire a seat in this den of iniquity, it’ll likely be on a bench, bizarrely placed squarely in the centre of the main floor – tables be damned. I suppose this is appropriate for a place that doesn’t really serve anything, but I do feel that the old table/chair combo is a fairly reliable one, having served humanity sufficiently well over the years to earn representation in all establishments purporting to offer food.
Tjing Tjing Bar
Whilst you might be mistaken for thinking that this uber-trendy little bar in Long Street could be a suitable location for after-work drinks, you’d be well advised to think again. Tjing Tjing is a hipster’s wet dream, boasting expensive cocktails, insubstantial ‘tapas’ dishes and a ‘cosy’ New York style interior.
As the average hipster only emerges fairly late in the evening, Tjing Tjing is relatively safe during the outrageously uncool ‘happy hour’ period, but make sure you get out early. A quiet night out with friends can quickly degenerate into a dismal, heaving clusterfuck, leaving you trapped in a sea of fedoras that you’ll find almost impossible to escape. You have been warned.
Other Honourable Mentions
Hudson’s – Has usurped its now-too-mainstream predecessor Royale as the hipster hamburger haunt of choice
I Love My Laundry – Dim sum while you do your laundry – could it scream hipster any louder?
The Orphanage – Yes it’s located on Orphan Street, I get it. Funny joke. Still, you really can’t trust an establishment that names itself after a refuge for parentless children.
&Union – Craft beer is the nectar of the common hipster and this Bree Street bar punts this as its major selling point – ‘nuff said.
So city dwellers, consider yourselves warned. I have braved these establishments to bring you these reports, risking both my humanity and sanity in the process. You’re welcome.