Empire was named after the eponymous Empire Theatre, long an old run-down relic of another era, but now it’s the two-storey cafe that’s become synonymous with the step-back-in-time atmosphere of this old Victorian holiday town, the site of one of the most popular hippy cafes in Cape Town. For some, it’s the sudden sense of having time traveled back to the Fifties that makes Muizenberg – and Empire – such a memorable outing, but we rather appreciate the opportunity to gel with (or simply observe) the wetsuited, dripping wet surfers that makes this Muizenburg favorite such a delight. Sit upstairs, and you can keep an eye on the water, watching the surfers with whom you’ve just had coffee with catch a few waves. Food’s good, too, thanks to an owner-chef who’s committed to making delicious wholesome meals – no soppy health-food labels here, it’s all about the taste. That, and a vibe that’s typical of this city community.