Student Foodie Fuel On Roeland

The East precinct of Cape Town, South Africa consists of many amazing streets, each offering a mix of culture, great food and interesting heritage. One of these streets is Roeland Street, tucked neatly under the splendid view of Table Mountain.

Walking down the street, you realize that it is home to two colleges – at the top of the street is the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, where students studying photography, journalism and public relations attend classes. At the bottom of the street is City Varsity, a private institute that caters to students studying photography, graphic design, film, art and sound.

Roeland Street is always bustling with students in search of relaxation and the most important element of any day, food. For a student, especially a budgeting one, it can be hard to find places with affordable, yet nutritious and delicious food. That is why I, a student myself, decided to visit each and every restaurant or café that Roeland Street has to offer. After looking at their prices, sourcing some of their food and getting a feel of the vibe of the place, I listed the best restaurants and cafes for the Student Foodie on a budget in Roeland Street:

Design Garage

Established in 2015, the Design Garage doubles as an art shop and coffee pit-stop. It was founded by students from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and boasts with a variety of arts and an impressive coffee selection. Their coffee starts at R15 and with the artsy vibe and great services it provides, what’s not to love? Tamlyn Christians, a journalism student from CPUT, enjoys the comfort of the shop. “It’s right next to my class, so it’s easy to pop in for a quick hot chocolate – they make the best ones. It’s also a great place to hang out before or after class.”

The entrance to the Design Garage off Roeland Street
Tamlyn Christians enjoying her famously favorite hot chocolate from the Design Garage


Food Lovers Market/Fruit and Veg City

This franchise food store offers a wide variety of food – it houses a bakery, grill shack, fruit stand and other convenient foods. The outside of the building has a dated feel, but the store itself looks appealing and welcoming. Tried and tested recommendations are their freshly made pizza, fruit salad and muffins. Foodies and students should definitely make a stop here, as it serves really great food at reasonable prices. It’s the all-in-one stop for a hungry, budgeting student.

Vida e Café

Vida is a popular franchise café found around South Africa. They have a wide variety of coffee available, as well as delicious teas and smoothies. Their food menu includes yummy-looking sandwiches, croissants and bagels. Having personally tried their muffins, they come highly recommended. Jarita Kritzinger, a trained chef from Cape Town, enjoys the vibe of Vida. “I personally love the music they play, and I always feel amped to buy from them. What I also love is that they offer a ‘babychino’, which is like a cappuccino for babies – it’s made with milk froth and hot chocolate, and it’s adorable.” The café itself has an awesome vibe, and with friendly staff blasting groovy tunes you can’t help but feel transported to a tropical paradise, coffee and muffin in hand.

Patrons enjoying coffee at the Vida cafe

The Raptor Room

This quirky restaurant is a hipster’s paradise. Although an average meal would cost more than the average prices, an ice cream float is the ideal student fuel. The staff is really friendly and the overall feel is hip and retro. Caylen Barendilla, a photography student from City Varisity, loves going to the Raptor Room. “It feels like it belongs in Jurassic Park, it’s awesome.”

The pink neon sign of The Raptor Room is unmissable from the street
The Raptor Room offers a variety of retro-inspired eats and drinks



Grabbing a bite on Roeland has never been easier, or more affordable. Whatever your budget, and whatever your fancy, Roeland Street’s got what you’re looking for.

Whenever you find yourself in Cape Town, head over to Roeland Street for affordable meals that foodies, students on a budget and travellers alike will approve of.


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