One of the most picturesque shopping areas in Cape Town, flanked by the Atlantic on one side and Table Mountain on the other. African Trading Post (Pierhead, Dock Road) In the old offices of the Port Captain (on the way to the Clock Tower), spread over three stories, this is an excellent selection of sculptures, jewelry, tableware, textiles, ceramics, and furniture.
Caroline’s Fine Wine Cellar (KWH8 Victoria Wharf) The best wine boutique in the city; Caroline is passionate about finding those out-of-the-way gems and will arrange all shipping. Tastings on Thurs & Fri evenings (also 62 Strand St in town). Carrol Boyes (6180 Victoria Wharf) Her pewter, stainless steel and chrome homeware items are stocked all around the world, but they are a great deal cheaper here.
Cape Union Mart (142 Victoria Wharf) Unpretentious safari and camping gear, from cool clothing and climbing boots to torches and light-weight tents (the latter ideal if you decide to kit up for one of the weekend trance parties [see Party]).
Christoff (7217 Victoria Wharf) Top-end, top-quality jewellery, classier than the better publicized Shimansky. Everard Read Gallery (3 Portswood Rd) One of the best galleries in the country, with serious investment-value artists. Bring a gold card.
Exclusive Books (6160 Victoria Wharf) Yes, it’s a chain, but this outlet has a great selection, with plenty of books on and about the continent and the country for tourists as well as usual airport tat.
Extreme Eyewear (Victoria Wharf) Someone stolen your sunglasses? Get a new pair here; best selection of funky eyewear in the city.
Fabiani (272 Victoria Wharf) All imported menswear collection, but the best in the Waterfront and a must stop shop if you’re looking for a shirt that will make you look and feel like a million dollars.
Joubert & Monty (next to Vida, Victoria Wharf) This is a chain of reliable biltong suppliers, the traditional healthy SA snack (strips of meat, spiced, cured and air-dried) – ask for a piece of beef with a slight bit of fat, slightly moist, and have it sliced.
Love@the Waterfront (Victoria Wharf) Funky local stuff. Out of Africa (125 Victoria Wharf) This is the best selection of African arts, crafts and furniture in the Waterfront. Gorgeous but pricey.
Pure Solid (6248 Victoria Wharf) For Eastern-inspired curiosities and clothing. Red Shed Craft Workshop, A large indoor market open 7 days a week. This is where you get locally produced stuff in the Waterfront, but selection is hit and miss;
Sun Goddess (243 Victoria Wharf) 100% authentic African designerwear, worn by local politicians and new-money BEE wives.
Woolworths – This is the best grocery chain in South Africa (you’ll see the large W everywhere in the city) and the best place to stock up on food (wine selection is poor). Clothing and shoes at the Waterfront Woolies aren’t bad either: Look out for the W Collection as well as Country Road and Trennery labels – the latter imported from Australia but very South African.
YDE (225 Victoria Wharf) Young Designers Emporium is just what it says (small lines; young designers), but since swallowed by the big WoolTru group not quite as cutting edge as it used to be. Still, worth rifling through the racks.