What's New in Cape Town

Michele Falzone / Getty Images

Cape Town is about to grab the global spotlight with a major new museum—along with a surge in great places to eat, sleep, and drink.

Cape Town was in the public eye was 2010 for soccer’s World Cup. Now, however, the city on the Atlantic has a new addition that’s putting it at the center of culture: the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, which, as of press time, is scheduled to open in September at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Created through a partnership between V&A Waterfront and entrepreneur Jochen Zeitz, Africa’s first major museum showcasing contemporary art is housed in a dormant grain silo that was redesigned by British architect Thomas Heatherwick. At 100,000 square feet, it’s the biggest museum to open in Africa in more than 100 years.

Cohabitating with Zeitz MOCAA is the Silo Hotel (rooms from $925), Cape Town’s newest luxury stay. Built in the grain elevator section of the silo complex, the hotel was decorated by owner Liz Biden in her signature lavish, eclectic style. Service is top-notch.

Courtesy Honest Chocolate

The new building is helping to raise the bar for the surrounding neighborhood. The Gin Bar showcases a number of South African gin distillers—it’s a thing here—in a speakeasy-style spot. It’s nestled behind small-batch chocolatier Honest Chocolate on Wale Street. Stop in before dinner for the Heart cocktail, a rosemary infusion with Inverroche gin. After dinner at the nearby Shortmarket Club—try the cured duck—request entry via a secret back door to Outrage of Modesty, a hole-in-the-wall with Cape Town’s best drinks.

Courtesy Michael Le Grange

As for restaurants, sure bets include the seasonally focused Restaurant at Waterkloof in Somerset West and the innovative Test Kitchen as well as its sister establishment, the tapas-style Pot Luck Club, in Woodstock. Some of the newest places on the scene are La Tête, a nose-to-tail eatery in the heart of the city, serving ox heart, pig’s tail, and pork cheek; Asian-street-food hub Hallelujah; and new-American luncheonette Mulberry & Prince