An up to date list of Cape Town’s favourite restaurants and foodie hotspots.
*Please note that no actual restaurants were harmed in the process of putting this list together – we encourage you to recommend your favourite place to eat in Cape Town in the comments below so that we can all discover them.Here are Food24’s top recommendations for eating out in Cape Town:
CAPE TOWN CBD & CITY BOWL
The Dog’s Bollocks & The Bitches’ Tits – Roodehek Rd, Gardens – AKA The Yard
It’s a hipster city, literally, with 3 totally stellar food loving concepts all tucked away on Roodehek in Gardens. And, Deluxe coffee, the pinnacle of an awesome roast, sports their headquarters there too. They’ve got Mucky Mary’s that serves a “hubcap” breakfast until 4. The Bitches Tits rocking classic sandwiches from around the world like the sexy meaty Philly cheese steak. And, if you are lucky (and punctual enough), the Dogs Bollocks serves a daily dose of 50 gourmet burgers (after 5).
Tip: The Yard actually looks like a low budget garage until you take a peek inside, but doesn’t that make the prize of finding it that much sweeter?
Food24’s top choice of dim sum and Asian Fusion. Small, laid back and fun. Wine list is designed to go with dim sum, but can be rather limited.
Tip: The whole menu (off a blackboard) can go down in one night! It’s awesome.
Takumi – Park Rd, Gardens
Sit down, order quickly, and get serious about your sushi, Takumi isn’t for the iffy. Papa San’s caricature sits jolly on the wall, while he slaves away to make you the most funky and tasty sushi in Cape Town. Beware: there are no substitutes, changes, or nonsense, his sushi is the real deal and if the master says it’s good, trust him, it’s damn good. Takumi’s creative genius inspires rolls with strawberry, rocket, banana, fresh rice and buttery fish.
Tip: Bring friends who like to share, you will want to taste everything, yes, you will.
The Black Sheep – Kloof Street
This is the place to be in Cape Town right now. A blackboard menu that changes daily and a nice bar area spilling out onto vibey Kloof Street provides a great setting for any lunch or dinner plans. Book. Book now.
Tip: If you want visitors to experience Cape Town vibe, take them to The Black Sheep, followed by a nightcap at the nearby Power & the Glory bar.
Clarke’s bar and dining room – Bree St, CBD
For burgers with a buzz or “the best breakfast in Cape Town” Clarke’s is a must if you don’t mind not being heard over the drum of other people having a good time.
Tip: Not called the best breakfast in Cape Town for nothing.
Weinhaus + Biergarten – Bree Street (Formerly known as &Union)
Home of the Bree Street Burger and let’s not forget their famous hot-diggety hot dogs. The buzz post-work is second-to- none. Home of the Brewers & Union craft beers. Best on a nice day to sit outside. Live music.
Hard Pressed cafe – Portside Building – Bree Street
Clever and creative and social media whizzes. You’ll most likely be tagged in one of their most awesome Instagams. Well worth a visit for breakfast or lunch and they play great music all the time.
The Miller’s Thumb – Kloof Nek Rd, Gardens
For a top-drawer selection of linefish this is the local’s recommendation. Not too poncey or pricey with wonderfully prepared seafood.
Woodlands Eatery – Vredehoek
Great for a chillaxed burger or pizza paired with a craft beer if you’ve just hiked up Lion’s Head or Table Mountain.
Tip: Seafood linguini.
Plant – Cape Town CBD
The premium vegan destination in Cape Town – a spacious, urban-chic, fresh location in the CBD. Now open for dinner and serving vegan wine and beer.
(The new) Bizerca – Heritage Square, CBD
A top end fine dining bistro. Set in Heritage Square with a large fairy light laden courtyard, this is a great place to go for amazing food and a lovely vibe. There is an ever-changing chalkboard menu and superb service by the maitre d’ Raphael who will woo you with his French accent.
Tip: Raw Norwegian salmon salad, braised farm pigs trotter parcel with scallops.
Tamboers Winkel – Tamboerskloof
It’s easy to go gaga for Tamboers Winkel: the fresh farm eggs, the smell of fresh bacon, the gorgeous red velvet cupcakes teasing you behind the display case, it’s all just a bit of magic. The burger night on Thursdays is a MUST DO.
Tip: Brunch it up on Sunday with a French toasted croissant topped with your choice of savoury or sweet, they are both equally as good and don’t worry because both have bacon, because what’s a Sunday brunch without it?
The Chefs Warehouse – Bree Street
Tapas style street-food eatery run by top chef Liam Tomlin and Eat Out Awards 2014 – Best Everyday Eatery.
Tip: Don’t leave without trying a dessert.
Bocca – Bree Street
Opened November 2014 to rave reviews. From the owner of Burrata comes more sophisticated Italian food in a trendy area with plenty of vibe.
Dear Me Foodworld – Longmarket Street, CBD
A whimsical and stylish day-time brasserie situated just a few yards from Green Market square. Breakfasts are wholesome with the choice of fresh juices and expertly made Espresso Lab coffee. The lunch menu (which changes daily), incorporates seasonal produce with ethically farmed meat. The restaurant prides itself on catering for those with food intolerance with items being offered as lactose/sugar/wheat/gluten-free for added convenience.
Tip: Eggs Benedict and interesting salads.
The White Room at Dear Me
Situated at Dear Me and only open on Thursday and Friday nights this food experience is perfect for celebrations and special occasions. A once-in-a-lifetime personalised food and wine experience.
Tip: You might want to take your notebook to write down the wines you try. Out of this world.
Hemelhuijs – a perfect lunchtime foodie treat. Beautifully decorated with original ideas and magnificently plated food. Take your camera!
Tip: The calamari is a must!
Sometimes hard to find an Italian where the pastas are as good as the pizzas. Many believe these are the best pizzas in town. We think they do a mean pasta sauce.
Tip:Try the Calzonicini.
Jason Bakey – Bree Street, CBD
Bree Street in Cape Town IS the new black. And Jason Bakery is the jewel in this crown. A local artisanal bakery serving freshly made bread daily. Follow your nose as the smell oozes out onto the street from baked goods cooking by people who love to make beautiful food. Their blackboard menu changes often for your palate’s pleasure and the beer flows for your daily dose of relaxation.
Tip: try the freshly baked original doughsant on Sat mornings! A treat!
Café Paradiso – Kloof St, Gardens
Lovely laid-back indoor and outdoor setting. Awesome breakfast venue. Very child-friendly but not restricted to families only. Popular for breakfast baby-showers and birthday parties.
Tip: Enjoy a nice bottle of wine with the Charcuterie platter and stare at the mountain before dinner.
WOODSTOCK & SALT RIVER
The Test Kitchen – Salt River
Book now, before you even finish reading this article, and you’ll be lucky to get a table in 2 months. Not South Africa’s Number 1 restaurant for nothing. This is where you will experience food Nirvana.
Tip: Top restaurant in South Africa for 2012, 2013 and 2014. A well deserved accolade.
Pot Luck Club – Salt River
The super-trendy and ultimate epicurean destination is located at the top of the Silo tower at The Biscuit Mill. The view is now just as noteworthy as the epic tapas style dishes you are served.
Tip: Absolutely anything on the menu – the broccoli mops being buzzed about at the mo. Oh, and BOOK EARLY!
The Dining Room – Woodstock
The name says it all – the idea is that you are sitting in the dining room of someone’s house, being served humble, flavoursome food in an unpretentious environment. Karen Dudley is very hands on – making her way from the kitchen to front of house, chatting to guests and literally being the ultimate hostess with the mostess. She oozes style and her edgy take on classic dishes is a real treat. More brilliance from Karen Dudley owner of The Kitchen (next door and also worth a visit).
A highlight: The quaint antique dessert trolley!
The Taproom at Devil’s Peak Brewery – Salt River
Gritty, urban, funky instagrammers heaven. Serve an awesome menu consisting of amazing burgers, ppulled pork sandwiches etc to go with their equally popular beers.
Tip: go for a beer & burger combo and on Tuesday nights they have a great special.
Chandani – Woodstock
A gem of an Indian curry restaurant in Woodstock. This is the real deal people, the dishes are beautifully balanced and the fragrance in the dishes is fantastic.
Tip: They have a great vegetarian menu and do a weigh your plate buffet lunch. Definitely try the butter chicken and the Aubergine curry.
GREENPOINT AND SEAPOINT
Il Leone – Greenpoint
Beautiful food. High-end Italian eating in a classical atmosphere.
Tip: Steak Fiorentina and the prawn pasta special.
El Burro, Greenpoint
If you want to have a fun night out with friends, or you want to feel the vibe with locals downing shots of premium tequila and enjoying good Mexican food then this is your place.
Also visit Cabrito Bar and have a world class tequila there.
Tip: Try the Paloma cocktail.
La Boheme – Seapoint
You might get to this unassuming place to find there are no tables available. Most popular with locals. Good honest food, wonderfully priced set menus and a fluid wine list.
Tip: the wine list constantly changes to feature amazing South African wines.
Nu – Sea Point
Healthy, healthy, healthy and pumping! Rave reviews.
Tip: after a good run on the promenade pick up something healthy from Nu.
The Grand Beach Café (Granger Bay)
The most popular and most searched for (on the internet) restaurant in South Africa. Sports a home-made beach and ideal setting for any sundowner opportunity.
Tip: Don’t let an indifferent waiter get on your nerves. Just have another of their awesome cocktails.
La Mouette – Sea Point
With arguably the most dedicated and friendly service team in Cape Town, this lovely court-yarded restaurant is popular with locals, and also visitors to this busy part of the Atlantic Seaboard. On any balmy evening the buzz is awesome with Chef Henry always coming up with new flavour combinations.
Tip: Every month they have a new tasting menu with wine. Try it.
Erawan – Chelsea, Wynberg
Lovely Thai restaurant in the cute village of Chelsea, Wynberg. A beautiful interior and is always full to the brim as it is great value for money. You can control the heat of your dish from mild to smoking hot.
Tip: definitely try the dumplings followed by a stir-fry.
Tip: Definitely pop in for a coffee and a huge slice of cake too.
A cosy and cute French-style daytime café in the heart of Chelsea Village, Wynberg.
The décor is adorable and one cannot leave without taking home a sweet (and perfectly cooked) pastry. The chocolate brownie cookie is to die for and you will want to go back just for that! Perfect spot for a lazy weekend brunch with your significant other or a small group of friends.
Warning: they are SUPER busy on weekends so go early as they don’t take bookings.
The Greenhouse at Cellars-Hohenhort
Another real foodie destination. If you are serious about a serious dinner with serious food, you can’t beat chef Peter Tempelhoff’s food.
Tip: Voted Number 1 restaurant in SA by Eat Out in 2011.
The location and venue are like something out of a movie. Fantastic estate wines and bubbly are accompanied by a seasonal pop-up restaurant, craft beers and ciders. This season’s pop-up restaurant is The Sushi Box.
Tip: Take someone if you want to show off.
The Foodbarn – Noordhoek
Get yourself out of the city and head out to Noordhoek Farm Village. Franck Dangereux, chef extraordinaire cooks up fine dining in a beautiful barn. There’s a huge outside play area for kids, deli and plenty of cool shops to browse after your delicious meal.
Tip: Franck is a master of food and wine pairing and he always has special pairing menus.
The Chapman’s Peak Hotel – Hout Bay
If you like prawns, clamari, fresh salad and a view then this is the place to go. Also a nice bar inside serving beers on tap if you fancy a pint of Stella while you wait for your table.
Tip: The prawn and calamari combo with Greek salad.
Kitima – Hout Bay
A celeb favourite (Halle Berry went there) and known to be one of SA’s top Thai restaurants.
Tip: Their Happy Duck is happy-making.
Massimo’s – Hout Bay
Voted by our readers the Best Pizza in Cape Town. Truly awesome pizzas in a lovely setting. So worth the drive to Hout Bay.
Tip: Every single pizza on the menu is worth trying, and a magnificent specials board if pizza is not your thing.
Food markets worth visiting
And if that isn’t enough foodie fodder then you absolutely must go to at least one of the markets Cape Town has on offer…
Tip: The nutella crepes and live music are a highlight.
The Biscuit Mill – immensely popular and quite touristy now, but still an incredibly cool must-do Cape Town experience.
The Hout Bay Harbour Market – becoming a hugely popular Friday night destination with amazing food, live music and craft beer.
Hope Street Market (CBD/Gardens) – funky, laid-back and new and “the” place to go on a Thursday evening.
And coming soon to a waterfront near you…
The V&A Market on the Wharf – located at the beautiful and easily accessible V&A Waterfront.
And keep your eyes peeled for the Cape Town food trucks – they can be found at Oudekraal on Wednesdays and sometimes at the Hope Street Market on Thursday… they are well worth tracking down, and lots of fun! Follow them on @CTFoodTrucks for updates.
The Eastern Food Bazaar off Adderley Street is teeming with authentic, amazing, cheap and cheerful Halaal food. Awesome for takeaways or just sit and enjoy the hectic stream of busy people.