The Raptor Room is a paradise of pink neon lights and hip-hop beats, but it’s neither a club nor a theme park of resurrected dinosaur species. It’s a quirky eatery on Cape Town’s Roeland Street, and it’s both a feast for the eyes and the belly.
Address: 79 Roeland St, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, 7925 ( Look for pink. You can’t miss it).
Trading hours: Monday to Friday – 10am to 11pm
Saturday – 10am to 5pm
Sunday – 10am to 3pm
If you’re a fan of pink or pot plants, brace yourself because on stepping into the Raptor Room, you will have your mind blown. It’s as if its creators found a way to bottle the millennial zeitgeist and disperse it throughout their space with an essential oil diffuser. It makes for a remarkably cute selfie backdrop, and no doubt is crawling with wannabe influencers (and probably real ones too) on a daily basis.
Click through the images below to see some snapshots of my recent visit to the Raptor Room.
The menu caters to everybody (and can be perused on their website if you’re one of those that needs to know before you go). And while I haven’t tried everything on it, I have yet to be disappointed. Everything is made with a quirky South African twist, and clearly with a lot of passion, and it’s likely that even those who don’t usually photograph their food will feel the urge to snap a pic before digging in. They serve brunch, lunch and dinner, and at all of those times its recommended you order a coffee, even if it’s just to look at the adorable cups in which it’s served.
But the Raptor Room is so much more than just good food and instagramable décor. They’re pushing boundaries and leading initiatives that make a difference in their city. In September 2019, after a spate of femicide and rape reports (and the resulting protests) in Cape Town, the Raptor Room introduced a “come-in”policy, which gave Cape Town women a place to go (and wait for their friends/partner/Uber driver) if they felt unsafe out on the street. They’re also champions of Cape Town Pride, and have created a space that is comfortable and inclusive for everybody. On top of all that, they host events, such as comedy nights, and a storytelling event called “Raunchy Renditions” (follow their Instagram to stay on top of these) which are a great way to spend a night out.
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that makes this place feel like a magical, parallel universe. Is it the glowing neon? The tunes? The food? The friendly staff? It could be a fabulous combination of all of these things, OR it could actually be a portal into another realm. Either way, if you haven’t yet visited this establishment, I do highly recommend it, and it’s sure to go on your list of Cape Town favourites.
My only, and very slight criticism, is that the music might be a little loud for boomers, and your mum and dad may not enjoy and appreciate the vibe quite as much as you do.
Essential Millennial rating: 4.5 out of 5 avocados