A Coffee Roastery
Cape Town’s Truth Coffee Shop was rated one of the world’s best by The Telegraph in February 2016, and it was rated alongside several serious contenders. The Best list was comprised of vendors found in the world’s most popular cities.
After visiting the coffee shop (36 Buitenkant Street), I do agree that Truth is unique, but I’m not sure “Best” is the right fit. Not because of any inherent flaws but because there are too many great coffee shops in Cape Town alone to call any one of them the “World’s Best.”
More accurate descriptors might be: Interesting, worth the visit, worth a second visit, worth repeated visits, memorable, clever, appealing, enjoyable and really great food, but “Best” really gives little detail about the shop and is more sensational than helpful.
How To Find It
Sorry but “Convenient” is another word that doesn’t fit. We found Truth easily enough on Google, first page, but then needed a Garmin to get there. It didn’t seem like it was “on the way” to anything. Certainly not on the way for a tourist.
I can’t fault them on that, though, since Cape Town can be a little tangled at times. You learn very quickly that Capetonians never throw old buildings away. Tight fits are common and, I must say, can be very interesting if not a little maddening. Even Garmin gets confused occasionally.
But, if you’re in Cape Town, get out your Garmin and navigate to Truth. We loved it and would happily visit again. Following is what we found.
Decor Is Seriously Steampumk
The decor is seriously Steampunk. If you’re not sure what that is, think Mad Max and take away the militaristic side.
Waiters wore Steampunk styled waist coats, belts, buckles, metal fasteners, hats and took orders on iPads hung from Steampunk styled carry pouches.
That was just the waiters. Restaurant decor was high-ceilinged, with steam pipes, cages and excessive design work in metal fittings on everything. Even the table edges were designed to look like gear teeth or a saw blade, depending on how you perceived it.
There was also various collections of antiques here and there to give flavor to the theme.
We had the Steampunk Benedict and I was impressed. The bacon wasn’t as crispy as I like, but the portions were good. The toast was large sized, there were tomatoes aplenty, a tasty sauce and poached eggs, with a few herbs to top it off. It was priced fare (R75) and the presentation and taste didn’t disappoint.
The coffee was as good as I’ve found, but is it the best? Again, hard to say. Depends on the individual. I would never turn it down but I wouldn’t tag it “above all else” either. Too many good coffees around to call it best.
We arrived around 9 AM and the shop was 50% full, but within 15 minutes it was full and hopping with business.
The clientele were mostly gentrified hipster types, doing business, but there were a few Boomer holiday types as well. The vibe was upbeat but the music wasn’t loud.
We sat at a table toward the front of the shop, which was a little air-ish, but they had booths and/or couches further back. They also had a very fancy bar with stools and a long family style table that could seat 25 to 30, and not just for one group. Several different groups nestled together at the table.
There was a take-out window for those on the go and a few outside tables too.
The shop was a bit of a disappointment. More of an after thought or neglected thought than a real feature. I’m always on the lookout for bits and pieces for my espresso pots, and was in need of a new basket. It wasn’t on offer.
I’m also interested in new ways to brew coffee and, again, there was nothing much to look at, other than the usual coffee stuff you find everywhere.
Would I go again? Absolutely! And I recommend it to anyone visiting Cape Town. Is it the world’s best? Hard to say but it definitely gets 5 out of 5 stars from me.