Ever come across something you've never seen before in an area you lived for years? It's surreal and the same time overwhelmingly exciting, to discovers something you never knew existed. That's the feeling the Lion Roars online team got when one day we decided to take to the streets and really uncover the secret gems in the Mother City. We didn't want to go to the mundane and "it" places in Long Street or Bree Street, we wanted to look for places so real but yet to be discovered that any discerning traveler would be curious about.
So, we ordered an uber that took us from the office in Kloof Street to the Eastern Food Bazaar, where we grabbed a quick bite. This is a well-known buzzing Eastern cuisine eatery, perfect for budget travelers and backpackers. After our wholesome meal, we made our way to the streets of the CBD, in the direction of the Company's Gardens. There, next to the St George's Cathedral, we were met but the chants of young boys and girls singing and dancing to melodious traditional songs. It is really amazing how these little souls are passionate about traditional music and dance.We were also enchanted by the art and crafts markets located along the pathway to the Company's Gardens.
From the Company's Gardens; we made our way to St George's Mall Street where we walked through and discovered more arts and crafts. Here we found the Gifts, Curio and Souvenir shop. It's incredible how we always pass by but never really think of popping in just to have a look at what the shop offers. So we decided to have a look, and it was unbelievable. With merchandise ranging from South African apparel, stuffed animals, different woven and colorful fabrics to real springbok skins and amazing cosmetics made of buchu, it sure was a rare find.
Our search continued and we found ourselves in Strand Street, at The Alexander Bar and Theater. This unique place is a "Conversation Bar" as the owners like to call it. Beautifully decorated with charming antiques, the bar is exactly the place you will want to relax on the patio during the day or enjoy a meal indoors as you listen to ranges music, from jazz to funky lounge, soul and jazzy disco on busy nights. Sip on a cocktail, one of their craft beers and a range of fine local wines. If you are into plays and theater, this is also a place to be because there is a theater upstairs.
We wondered around and we eventually found ourselves in Long Street again. Although we had planned not to venture much into this trendy street, we could not resist what we saw - Loaves on Long. At this is stunning bakery, we were met but the smell of freshly baked breads, cookies and other delicacies. With simplistic decor and artwork on the walls, a quick stop here to enjoy a cup of coffee or a sandwich is harmless. They also host cooking classes and private functions on balcony upstairs. Going up Long Street, we almost missed one special place - Madam Taitou, a restaurant specializing in Ethiopian Cuisine. If you don't know it better, you would mistake it for a crafts market, but we were amused seeing one patron sipping on a castle lite and we thought we should have a look. The decor is charming, almost looking like a tree house at the same time achieving a shabby look with the mismatched furniture. Their menu has a range of offerings, definitely a place for carnivores but also a variety of veggie options are available.
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