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Text and Photographs Charene Labuschagne
Where does one find a rustic beer garden and restaurant, craft gin and beer bar, and a fabulous food truck all in walking distance from the soft sandy beaches of the Skeleton Coast? You guessed it! Swakopmund is all the rage, and rightfully so. Great food, gobsmacking gin and good company are all synonymous with the coastal town. We’ve explored the newest hotspots for scrumptious grub and sundowners, all of which are very Instagram-worthy.
Altstadt Restaurant is a new hangout that can seat a village. Should you choose to sit at the bar, a unique beer tap inspired by a car engine will keep you company. Weather permitting, you can sit outside around a boma and soak up the sun. Or alternatively, find a cosy corner in the historic building with original wooden floors and glance through the antique windows. Beautiful images of the legendary architecture of Swakopmund adorn the barn-style walls, all magnificently captured by Xenia Ivanoff-Erb. Regardless of where you choose to park your party, good times are guaranteed. With a hearty menu to satisfy the hungriest of customers and beer on tap, Altstadt is sure to be the new hangout for locals and tourists alike.
Craft distilleries have been popping up on our coastline recently. One of which is Stillhouse Atlantic. In a secluded industrial park, down an unassuming alley, you’ll find the loft space where magic is made out of 14 selected botanicals – 10 of which are locally sourced. They’ve even collaborated with Two Beards to craft an aromatic coffee liqueur dubbed Umber. As they’re just starting out, tastings are exclusive. Visiting the edgy space where the small-batch spirits are produced is a breath of fresh air.
Drinking sundowners tops the list of Namibians’ favourite things to do, so, naturally, a kiosk-style spot serving craft gins, beers and South African wines opens along a quaint walkway in Swakop. The owners had back and forth debates on what to call the place, and finally decided on Bar Zonder Naam (bar without a name). How fitting, since its odd location and grunge decor adds to the mystery. Order an icy G&T, Skeleton Coast Amber Weiss or peachy dry rosé. Either way, you’ll get lost in their wide selection and probably stroll off mesmerised and slightly tipsy.
Food trucks are finally up and coming in Namibia, the original, however, is Fork ‘n Nice. Double parked next to the beach on Strand Street, this renovated yellow school bus is the stuff foodie dreams are made of. Food blogger fanatic, Ashley Dubé (The Humble Palate) says his single favourite food experience in Namibia is freshly prepared, tucked in a paper blanket and served by the friendly folk at Fork ‘n’ Nice. Standing on my tippy toes to reach the counter, I had no idea that the Cuban I was about to consume would change my life. If the rest of their menu items are as delicious as that pulled pork perfection (which the owner biasedly claims it is), I might have to pitch a tent right next to their van and eat my weight in fish and chips.
This article was first published in the Summer 2018/19 issue of Travel News Namibia.