50 Restaurants in Cape Town that Locals Love
You’ve seen our list of 50 restaurants to try and we received such great feedback on that one that we simply had to make a list out of all the local recommendations. Here you go – 50 restaurants to try as recommended by locals.
Although its speciality is seafood – and is regarded by many as one of the best seafood restaurants in the city – Lemon Butta has an extensive menu, ranging from vegetarian to various beef cuts. It also has an extensive kids menu. But we recommend you try their signature Whole Baked Line Fish, a Mediterranean inspired dish cooked to perfection on an open flame.
If it is meat you’re after, you need look no further than Hussar Grill a restaurant chain famed for its meat dishes. The original Hussar Grill first opened its doors in Rondebosch, but has since branched out into Green Point, Camps Bay, Constantia, Willowbridge, Paarl and Stellenbosch. The mains are all about the meat – although there is some fish and chicken on offer – with some serious options like the carpetbagger, filet moutarde and more destined to fill your belly. There is also an extensive wine list to complement the meat and to ensure you don’t go thirsty.
THE INDIAN CHAPTER
This family-run restaurant has made a name for itself with its warm, homely ambience combining brilliantly with a menu boasting authentic Indian cuisine. Regarded as one of the best spots in the city for curry, owner Prim Reddy is often on hand to interact personally with guests.
Set in a historical manor on the beautiful Vergenoegd Wine Estate – just 25 minutes outside of Cape Town – this fantastic fine-dining restaurant provides diners with a comfortable and intimate atmosphere, combined with superb service and fantastic food, prepared with an emphasis on simple, fresh fare with an undercurrent of modern techniques.
One of the newest and best burger joints in the city, IYO Burgers only uses the freshest – and greenest – produce for all its meals. The burgers are insanely good and you have a choice of ditching the bun in favour of salad (one of the best salads around, do it!) and the curly fries are among the best in the Mother City.
BACON ON BREE
Cape Town’s first, and only, ‘baconporium’, Bacon on Bree is your port of call if you like bacon and who doesn’t like bacon? You won’t find a bigger and more comprehensive menu of bacon offerings anywhere in the city from the BLT to the Smokey Joe, they got you covered.
With a host of tasty offerings from the Venezuelan born Chef, Orinoco’s tasty platters for two – fish, meat, or veg – found on the Winter menu, promise authentic flavours of Latin America.
Walking into Rick’s Cafe has the same feeling as walking into a friend’s home for dinner. The ambiance is comfortable to say the least with decor reminiscent of the movie classic “Casablanca” with its stylish colonial Moroccan tones accompanied by lounge music filtering through the 100 year old Victorian building. Immerse yourself in warm ambiance and eclectic decor in our 80 seater restaurant with its three fireplaces and bar, or enjoy the relaxed, vibey loft lounge and cocktail bar spilling out onto a roof deck with breathtaking views of the mountains.
5 ROOMS RESTAURANT
The 5 Rooms Restaurant at the historic Alphen Hotel is fine dining with a difference. Open Wednesday to Saturday for dinner and for lunch on Sundays, the menu offers simple, but sophisticated meals, with meat, fish and vegetarian dishes available. House within the old Manor House, 5 Rooms lends itself to an intimate and luxurious experience.
Unwind with a glass of wine and scrumptious French cuisine in front of a blazing fire at the quaint brasserie, Pastis, in Constantia. Situated alongside the vineyards of Groot Constantia, it exudes warmth and an informal vibe.
THE CONSERVATORY AT THE CELLARS HOHENORT
The restaurant at The Cellars Hohenort uses fresh produce from the gardens, which are then incorporated into its seasonal menu. Having been built around a 200-year-old oak tree and with a backdrop of Table Mountain and the camphor trees at its foot, The Conservatory exudes a comfortable and laidback ambience, which is paired wonderfully with its sophisticated menu.
The latest venue from the Harbour’s House Group, Tiger’s Milk has quickly become one of the most popular spots to hang your coat at for the night in Muizenberg. Offering top-notch ‘dude food’, pizzas, burgers, ribs and craft beer, a second venue has just opened in Long Street.
96 WINERY ROAD RESTAURANT
This inviting countryside venue is best known for its excellent service and inspired seasonal menu. True to its name, the restaurant also boasts over 320 vintages. So there’s that…
Welcoming brasserie in the successful ‘Societi’ mould, this time with an appealing French twist. Ambience is friendly and unpretentious; hearty seasonal menus and daily specials reflect the best produce available from local artisanal suppliers. Savour classic brasserie fare like croque-monsieur and soupe à l’oignon gratinée; tuck into best-selling steak au poivre, risotto and home-made pasta. Large selection of bespoke local beers and well-priced winelist.
Classy and sophisticated, but warm, friendly and unpretentious, Il Leone is a Cape Town favourite. As would be expected, pasta is the name of the game here, but there are also a number of meat dishes as well as fish and risotto if you aren’t seeking out Italian fare.
The Hout Bay restaurant is well known for its pizzas – which are out of this world – but there is far more on offer with plenty of pasta dishes – including a wheat-free option – to tantalize your taste buds. There are also some seriously decadent desserts, including a chocolate fondue and sweet pizzas.
Ristorante Posticino first opened its doors in Sea Point in 1998 and such was its popularity it had to expand to accommodate all the patrons lining up to sample Enrico and Gioacchino’s fabulous dishes. The duo has since opened up a second store in Hout Bay and continue to serve meals with simple, fresh ingredients. The menu has a wide variety, while both restaurants are child friendly with a warm atmosphere,
One of the best seafood restaurants in the city, Codfather is something of an institution. Fantastic seafood and sushi are further complemented by a warm inviting ambience and epic views of the ocean.
A relaxed and casual vibe awaits you at the Taste Bistro, whether you choose to dine in the inside space with its open-plan kitchen or in the secluded covered courtyard garden, of this non-pretentious favourite. Offering a bistro-style menu from 11am to 10pm, all produce used is fresh and seasonal, prepared by Chef Anton. If you have any dietary requirements, just phone ahead, and you will be well looked after.
With one of the best views in the Helderberg, both sea and mountain, Steffanie’s continues to rank amongst the best – and most loved – restaurants in Somerset West. Enjoy a light lunch on the terrace – space is limited – or something more substantial from the main menu like the Crispy Duck or Grilled Kingklip. Cap it off with some decadent dessert as you soak in the views and vibe of Steffanie’s.
DE GRENDEL RESTAURANT
A fine dining experience in a refined setting overlooking the De Grendel wine farm vineyards and Table Mountain. Many of the items on the seasonal menu are grown and sourced from the farm, while the De Grendel wines are available at cellar door prices. Popular for Sunday lunches, the De Grendel Restaurant is a perfect escape from the city hustle.
A mainstay at the V&A Waterfront, Balducci’s has a great vibe and an extensive wine list to go along with its menu, which offers a huge variety, from steak to pizza and sushi to pasta.
BLONDE AND BEARD
This quirky little gem of a spot if a local favourite with superb service and a friendly vibe making it a perfect spot for a quick coffee or a bite to eat. Choose from their variety of gourmet sandwiches or burgers – the handlebar moustache burger is a winner – and wash it down with a heavenly chai tea.
A favourite of the Southern Suburbs crowd, Fat Harry’s is a relative newcomer – having opened in February, 2015 – but already making waves with its reasonably priced craft beer offerings. Sure, you are still going to fork out more for the CBCs and Devil’s Peak brews than your mass-produced beers, but at Fat Harry’s you won’t necessarily be breaking the bank. The menu is also impressive with tapas and some seriously hearty main meals combining nicely with the liquid refreshments.
Prepare yourself for a veritable feast, akin to the culinary extravaganza of the Grand Mughals, at Chandani. While the menu sports a range of meat and chicken dishes, vegetarians will delight in a variety of paneer dishes as well as tandoor-grilled, marinated mushrooms and cauliflower, and a variety of dhal dishes.
Known as Mucky Mary in the morning for a variety of breakfasts until late in the day, the Bitch’s Tits for lunchtime and by night (from 17h00) as the Dog’s Bollocks, this quirky venue serves up something for everyone. Think breakfast hotdogs, philly cheese steaks, gourmet burgers and craft beer. Deluxe Coffee Works also has its HQ here so great coffee for all!
New to the Cape Town restaurant scene, Open Door is quickly making a name for itself with dishes such as lemon butter poached crayfish tail with kale, parsnip puree and preserved lemon butter. This stylish new eatery is situated in the beautiful Constantia Valley and is both stylish and modern in décor and ambience.
Catharina’s, aptly named after the original owner of the land, is headed up by award-winning chef Garth Almazan and has a relaxed atmosphere that guests can enjoy. There is locally made custom furniture and sweeping views of False Bay and the vineyards from this restaurant.
SOUTH CHINA DIM SUM BAR
Don’t let the name fool you, this restaurant offers up cuisine that comes not only from China, but also Singapore, Vietnam and other Asian countries. It’s Asian street food at its best with dishes such as Winton Mein, danta (a Hong Kong-style egg custard tart) and different types of bao (a steamed bun with various fillings).
THE BLACK SHEEP
Located in the city, the Black Sheep has constantly changing dishes that get written up on the blackboard on a daily basis. Even with three dining levels, the space is intimate and comfortable and the perfect place to enjoy the delicious meals on offer. There’s also a side-street bar should you only wish to pop in for a drink or two.
CLARKE’S BAR AND DINING ROOM
Serving all-day breakfasts, and renowned for their decadent burgers, this is where you will find local craft beers such as Jack Black Lager and Darling Brew Native Ale. It is also a perfect spot for people watching.
WEINHAUS AND BIERGARTEN
Formally known as &Union, Weinhaus and Biergarten is possibly where the Cape Town craft beer craze all started or, at the very least, gained popularity. Here you will get modern pub grub such as Hot Beef on Rye which is thinly-sliced, beer-braised pastrami, pink ‘slaw, gherkin and dijon mustard all on freshly-baked rye bread. This is of course, with some beer on the side.
This vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the city centre serves up fresh meals, juices and smoothies. Plant prides itself on offering up clean and healthy foods without taking away from the delicious taste.
THE CHEF’S WAREHOUSE
A Bree Street favourite, the Chef’s Waterhouse is known for its tapas board that changes on an almost daily basis. Chef Liam Tomlin is great at what he does and all the food on the menu is innovative and delectable. The space is small and relaxed and there are various cooking ingredients and utensils on sale as well.
A popular Bree Street restaurant, Bocca has a small, but diverse menu, with pastas, Neopolitan pizza and more. Perfect for a quick lunch or dinner with friends, Bocca is also a great place to gather for after-work drinks.
This Kloof Street Italian restaurant is known for its simple Italian cooking that is full of flavour. They use home-made pasta and fresh ingredients to carve the Italian pastas and they make delicious pizzas for all to enjoy.
LOAVES ON LONG
Situated just a two-minute walk from our head office, we’re regulars at this new Long Street café with its amazing java selections and even better selection of things to eat. They have everything from ciabatta breads to croissant and butter pudding to various forms of gluten-free goodness. Their daily breakfast and lunch specials can be enjoyed upstairs with a great view of Long Street.
Want to dine underneath the stars? You can do so at the Planet Restaurant at the Mount Nelson Hotel. This fine dining establishment is known for its ceiling that looks like the night sky, along with a galaxy themed carpet and a sparkling chandelier. Ched Rudy Liebenberg serves delicious meals to pair with the intimate setting.
Based at the Cape Grace hotel, Signal Restaurant is known for delicious Cape cuisine as prepared by executive chef Malika van Reenen. Pulling on the local heritage, the food is sourced from local farmers and suppliers to keep it fresh and is turned into beautiful dishes in the restaurant.
GREENHOUSE AT THE CELLARS HOHENORT
Another of Cape Town’s most impressive specimens housed in the valley, Greenhouse has a number of awards on its shelves thanks to three sensational tasting menus alongside the a la carte menu, expertly paired with some of Cape Town’s best wines.
ZEPI GRILL & BAR
At home at the Tsogo Sun Square, Zepi is a modern restaurant in the Gardens suburb of Cape Town. Favourite dishes include Bazaruto chicken and fillet, rump steak and lamb chops grilled to perfection. There are also daily blackboard specials to enjoy. Arrive early for some drinks on the terrace.
LEFTY’S + DOWNTOWN RAMEN (CBD)
At first, this may look like a bit of a dive bar. And we suppose it is a bit with its grungy look and feel. Chef and proprietor, Ryan McDonagh, knows his stuff when it comes to cooking up the best burgers, ribs and chicken wings in the city. In addition to the selection of American-style diner food and wood-fired pizzas on offer, you can head upstairs to Downtown Ramen, the noodle bar where you can get a small taste of Japan.
POPLAR’S RESTAURANT AT D’ARIA
This is a popular stop along the Durbanville Wine Route and is a cosy fine dining venue. The restaurant has various rooms that can be used for smaller, private functions. For the evenings, there are blazing fires in beautiful open fire places, while in summer, guests can enjoy the shaded garden area or the backyard braai area where there is often live music. On the menu, you will find Italian inspired dishes and an array of mezze boards. Arrive early for some delicious breakfast options, with light lunches available later on.
KE-MONTE RESTAURANT AT SIGNAL GUN
This great little eatery on Signal Gun Wine Farm has fun themed evenings to suit all tastes. Tuesdays are Indian themed, so think curries and spicy treats, Wednesdays you get tasty Italian food, while Thursdays are Mexican-themed. Each of these come paired with recommended wines to compliment the food on offer. The free-beer-Fridays sounds great with a free 350 ml beer with any pizza and on Saturdays you get two standard pizzas for just R120.
BAKESH FOOD AND WINE
With a relaxed atmosphere and food for every craving, Bakesh has become a local favourite in the Durbanville area. Situated in a heritage building, Bakesh has comfortable inside and outside eating areas and can host varies types of functions.
Making a statement on the corner of Oxford Street and Wellington Road is Soet Bistro with its stylish exterior. Soet offers great coffee, delicious baked cakes and sweet treats as well as fresh foods such as homemade burgers.
While a fine dining establishment, Charcoal Dining manages to come off as relaxed and elegant. With food that is Mediterranean and South African inspired, the menu is filled with tasty dishes that will impress almost everyone.
Olympia is one of the better known places in Kalk Bay and it’s easy to see why. This bustling eatery keeps their menu simple with a chalk board with the day’s food on it. Everything is prepared from scratch and portions are large. The setting is rustic and the staff are friendly. The space is small and popular so get there early to secure a table. Around the corner from this eatery is the famous bakery with the red door. Here you can buy all the yummy pastries served at Olympia plus pick up some delicious Truth coffee.
DUTCH HAVEN BISTRO
Looking for an authentic Dutch experience? Look no further than Dutch Haven Bistro. Here you can pick up a real Dutch Krokketen and bitterballenm with a Grolsch beer. They have a special menu for babies, a play area for the 0 to 3-year-old children, plus a larger jungle gym. Plus there are screens for live sporting events.
FRED & MAX
This trendy Somerset West spot is where all the trendsetters of Somerset West hang out. With gourmet burgers, a variety of drinks and an overall relaxed and chilled atmosphere, Fred & Max has made a name for itself in the local community.