Noordhoek, Cape Town: The Official Guide
Noordhoek has a real village feel, with quiet beaches, delicious organic food, bareback beach rides, mellow live music, and artisanal shops. Life is a little slower and quieter here, and there are few better places to enjoy a little break from the energy of the city. Its a fairly small neighbourhood, and it mostly attracts locals, but there are a stunning number of restaurants, accommodation venues, bars, and attractions in the area that are well worth the detour.
Where to eat and make merry
The Red Herring is a great place to unwind with friends, and it’s walking distance form the grogeous Noordhoek Beach. It’s famous for the thin-based homemade pizzas, but the menu also includes seafood, steaks, and much more—including veggie and low-carb options. Downstairs, there’s cosy indoor seating with a fireplace, while the upstairs section contains the Beach Road Bar, with a sunset deck looking out over Chapman’s Peak and the sea. There’s also a sheltered garden pergola section for windy days. There are few better sundowner venues in the Deep South.
Jakes on the Common
Jakes has a few locations around Cape Town, but this branch offers pretty unique views. Take advantage of happy hour on their sun deck, overlooking the Alpaca farm across the road, or enjoy the patio overlooking the common where there are regular horse shows on weekends. It’s a funky, stylish venue and the cocktails alone make it worth a visit. The menu is large, and caters for all dietary requirements. They’re known for their big and tasty burgers.
The Foodbarn is located in the Noordhoek Farm Village, a hub of restaurants, bars, artisanal gift stores, and other establishments in the heart of Noordhoek. The Fooddbarn was opened by chef Franck Dangereux, of La Colombe fame, to fill the demand for a casual, relaxed fine-dining establishment in Cape Town. The food is simply superb. While the menu changes seasonally, they’re well known for their lamb dishes and fish tartare. You’ll also regularly find delicately prepared offal on the menu, if that’s your thing: liver and tripe sometimes grace the menu. They’re famous for their bold flavours and fresh ingredients, and no foodie’s trip to Cape Town should be complete without a visit. There’s also a playground right next door, so visit in the day time if you have kids. It turns out fine-dining can be family-friendly after all!
The Foodbarn’s sister restaurant is a gourmet deli, where you can hop for fine wines, organic grocery items, and hard-to-find ingredients. It’s also a charming little restaurant, with tables lined by the shelves of a second-hand book store. It’s a great brunch or lunch spot, with menu items including breakfast, salads, wraps, tramezzinis, and flatbreads. By night, it transforms into an intimate tapas venue, serving sharing plates of gourmet food.
Toad in the Village
The Toad is also located in the Farm Village, and is a popular spot for sundowners. They have a good beer selection, and they screen most big sports games. The pizza is fantastic too.
Village Sushi is tucked inconspicuously in the corner at the Noordhoek Farm Village, but don’t make the mistake of overlooking it. It’s run by a husband and wife team, Andy and Lily, who hail form North Beijing. They do, of course, offer a wide range of sushi, but they also offer pad thai, chow mein, sweet and sour dishes, and a red and green Thai curry, home made spring rolls, crispy tempura prawns, and dim sum. Call ahead for takeaways—perfect for a picnic!
Kristen’s Kickass Ice Cream
The name of this establishment is just about all you need to know! Head here for some of the best ice cream in Cape Town, or opt for the freshly made waffles. Flavours changes periodically, but you’ll find such delicious options as salted caramel, gin and lime, rocky road, berry cheesecake, and plenty more. There is always at least one sugar-free and dairy-free option too, so it’s perfect for those with special dietary requirements.
Thorfynns Restaurant, Monkey Valley
Monkey Valley, located up on the slopes of Chapman’s Peak, has truly unbeatable views of the mountains and sea. The restaurant features a deck where you can start your day with a wholesome breakfast. They also serve fantastic pizzas or burgers, as well as a selection of steaks and seafood. There’s also a fireplace inside, which is perfect for winter days.
Café Roux has now opened a second branch in the City Bowl, but the original venue here in Noordhoek remains a firm favourite with locals. They’re most popular for their Café Roux Sessions, featuring local live acts almost every night of the week.
Cape Point Vineyards
Cape Point Vineyards is located at the base of Chapman’s Peak, and they’re know for their amazing food market, which takes place every Wednesday during summer. The venue is gorgeous: sit outside, overlooking the ocean and sprawling lawns. You can also book a catered picnic in the summer months, visit the restaurant, or taste some of the delicious wines produced on the estate.
Wine and Swine
Wine and Swine is an absolute gem of a spot, known mostly to locals. The deli sells cheese, charcuterie, olives, and preserves, and they offer cheese-and-wine and chocolate-and-wine tastings. Almost all the deli items are made right there in the valley. They sell some interesting lesser-known wines too. Look out for their “whatever’s open” special, daily between 5 and 6 pm, where you get a glass of whatever wine they have open for only R25.
Where to play
Noordhoek has an expansive sandy beach, perfect for walks, swimming (if you’re willing to brave the cold Cape Town waters), exploring the dense milkwood forests, and clambering onto the large boulders to sit and enjoy the spectacular sunsets. There’s often a lagoon where children can play, and dogs are allowed off-lead. Just remember never to walk alone, and always go during the day when it’s busiest.
Noordhoek Farm Village
The Farm Village is a hub of activity right in the heart of Noordhoek. You could spend a full day here! There are a number of fantastic restaurants, a live music venue, a coffee shop, a deli, an ice cream shop, a fresh juice shop, and plenty more. There are even small clothing boutiques and gift shops. It’s also home to the Thursday night food market, which runs all year round and serves up fresh dishes in every style you can imagine, from casserole to sushi to fresh doughnuts! It’s a fantastic venue to takes kids to, with a fully equipped playground and plenty of other little ones to befriend.
Masi, as it’s affectionately known by locals, is a township on the outskirts of Noordhoek. There’s plenty to do and take in here. Take a guided walking tour or bicycle tour and visit local homes, eat traditional food, and experience the bustling, vibrant culture of the neighbourhood.
Noordhoek is a horsey haven, and there are a number of places catering for riders of all experience levels, from beginner to advanced. Ride along the 8 kilometres of beach, and enjoy the serenity of the area on horseback. The Cape Town Tourism certified options are Sleepy Hollow and Imhoff Equestrian Centre.
Noordhoek has some fantastic hiking, especially up Chapman’s Peak. It’s a moderate hike and should take two or three hours in total depending on your pace. It starts at the Day Pass ticket collectors, and is well sign-posted from there. There are steep sections, but the stunning views will take your mind off things!
Where to stay
Cape Villa Collection
Cape Villa Collection offers luxury apartments and villas in Noordhoek. Search their website for something that suits you.
Horizon Holiday Cottages
Horizon Holiday Cottages are self-catering units just 5km from the stunning Noordhoek Beach.
Monkey Valley offers some of the best views in all of Noordhoek! The premier lodge has a thatched roof and long wooden decks to enjoy sundowners on. They’re kitted out with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.
AirBnb has a big presence in Noordhoek, and some fantastic accommodation is available to suit most budgets.
Ask a local
Nobody knows Noordhoek better than a local. When you’re in town, head to our Cape Town City Bowl or Simon’s Town Visitors’ Information Centres for tips on enjoying this lovely area.
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