Against the Grain is a green paradise in Bo Kaap

Experience luscious green plants with bagels + koesisters

Set against a backdrop of colourful houses in the Bo Kaap, Against the Grain – with its soul food and Instagrammable setting – has become a little haven in the community. 

Against the Grain offers over 10 different bagel filling options, from savoury to sweet. Bagels price ranges from R40-R95. Image: Lara van Zyl

The café is filled with lucious plants and offers a mixture of contemporary foods and traditional Cape Malay cuisine, with dishes like the masala scrambled egg bagel and the popular koesister.


The café is fully halaal with a variety of savoury and sweet options. You’ll find koesisters – made by owner Gesant Abed’s mother – as well as bagels, breakfast bowls and a range of sweet treats on the menu. And the best part: Everything on the menu is under R100. The café is super affordable and offers delicious foods and coffees. It’s a great spot for hanging out with friends or grabbing brunch. 

Indulge in homemade koesisters at Against the Grain. Image: Against the Grain

Hot tip: go get a koesister before 12pm. They sell out fast.


If you’re a plant lover, you’ll adore this space. The café is filled with plants between the tables and hanging from above. The aesthetic is green and black, with accents of wood. The decor includes black iron chairs, plush green chairs, wooden tables and industrial lighting. 

Inside you’ll find plants hanging from the ceiling and between tables. Image: Lara van Zyl

The café also houses an aesthetic view: Table Mountain and Bo Kaap houses. When you walk into the café you can spot Cape Town’s most beloved mountain and the colourful houses right outside the window. 

Against the grain has a new view for customers to enjoy – Table Mountain and the colourful Bo Kaap houses – perfect for an Instagram post. Image: Against the Grain


The café first opened at the beginning of 2020 in Buitengracht Street, but has since moved around the corner to Wale Street in the beginning of December 2021. 

Against the Grain has moved to a new location. The café is now situated on 102 Wales Street, Bo Kaap. Image: Lara van Zyl

Since opening, the café has created a distinct name for itself, both in terms of food and its brand on social media. The owner, Gesant Abed, grew up in the Bo Kaap community. He didn’t want the café to be like any other coffee shop, but rather a cultural hub that showcased the food and culture of the community he was raised in. 

The café moved to Wale Street in order to branch out in space and opportunity, but the menu has not changed. Image: Against the Grain


The café will be introducing a rooftop area in the near future. It is currently in development, and will be opened in 2022. 

102 Wale Street | Bo Kaap | www.instagram.com/againstthegraincoffeeco  

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 7am – 5:30pm; Sunday, 8am – 2pm 
Price: Bagels from R40; R5 a koesister; breakfast bowls from R70 

By Lara van Zyl



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