My Favorite Jozi Coffee Shops: Loof Coffee in Norwood

by | Feb 20, 2019 | Food and Drink, Johannesburg | 10 comments

This post, featuring Loof Coffee, is the seventh in an occasional series about my favorite coffee shops in Joburg

Many years ago I wrote a blog post called Norwood: Almost as Awesome as Melville. I continue to stand by my proclamation that Norwood is the second-coolest Joburg suburb. But that old post has become woefully out of date.

So I recently took a walk up and down Grant Avenue with Brett McDougall, Norwood’s informal ambassador, to refresh my Norwood knowledge. We started our tour at Loof Coffee.

Loof Coffee in Norwood
Outside Loof Coffee, on Iris Road near the corner of Grant Avenue, on a Sunday morning.

Breakfast at Loof Coffee

Loof Coffee has everything a great coffee shop should have: bright and cheerful atmosphere, friendly service, tables full of locals, dogs, delicious coffee beans roasted in Joburg, and nice food. I loved everything about it.

The busy counter filled with delicious-looking pastries and cakes.
Friendly (and very handsome) barista.
Cortado from Loof Coffee
My cortado.
Breakfast at Loof Coffee: Smashed avo on toast with poached egg.
Breakfast: Smashed avo on toast with poached eggs.

Basically Loof is perfect. If I lived in Norwood I’d probably go there every day.

What’s a Loof?

I actually met Loof Coffee’s owner during my breakfast but I forgot to ask him how Loof Coffee got its name. I googled the word just now and found some interesting definitions.

From Merriam-Webster: “chiefly Scottishthe palm of the hand”

From Urban Dictionary: “Fool backwards. You say loof because it sounds a lot better than fool. But, it basically means the same; that the person being CALLED a loof is an idiot.”

I kinda hope it’s second definition but neither one really makes sense for a coffee shop. Hopefully someone will chime in here and solve the mystery.

UPDATE: A reader just informed me that loof means “praise” in Afrikaans. Praise coffee! Amen.

Outside Loof Coffee, where every cup matters.
Loof Coffee, where every cup matters.

Loof Coffee is at 85 Iris Road, Norwood. Stay tuned for more blog posts about other cool places in Norwood.


  1. Expatorama

    Loof is awesome. I kind of like the palm of the hand definition, after all, it’s what you wrap around your coffee cup. When you’re back in Norwood, you should also check out Hashtag Escape just over the road. They have three brilliant escape rooms and then head to Loof afterwards for your debrief.

    • 2summers

      Thanks for the tip! For some reason I’m terrified of the idea of escape rooms but I probably need to try it one of these days.

  2. Momo Street

    Adding to my Jozi todo list!

    • 2summers

      You must ☕️☕️☕️

  3. Theuns Opperman

    Loof is great. I would love to read your take on Cosa Nostra across the road from them.

    • 2summers

      Oh yes, I’ve never been there but I wrote it down during my Grant Ave walk. It’s on my list to try

  4. autumnashbough

    I am going to start calling certain individuals “loof” now and I am not praising them.

    • 2summers


  5. Ronel de Freitas-Smit

    Loof is also an Afrikaans word for the non-flower greens in a flower arrangement

    • 2summers

      Oh, that’s so interesting!


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