Restaurants in Cape Town
Cape Town is a food lover's paradise. The Mother City has restaurants a-plenty, from traditional African fare to the more exotic such as Asian, Mexican and Italian, the sheer variety…
Cape Town is a food lover’s paradise. The Mother City has restaurants a-plenty, from traditional African fare to the more exotic such as Asian, Mexican and Italian, the sheer variety of choices on offer speaks to the city’s incredibly diverse heritage. Here we bring you 50 restaurants you NEED to visit in the city.
Easily one of the most popular restaurants in Cape Town, you would do well to book early if you want to enjoy this traditional Italian fare. A warm and welcoming atmosphere – generated in no short supply by co-owners Enzio and Franco – and a substantial number of pasta dishes on the menu, all prepared to perfection, make Magica Roma a must-visit before the big day.
This delightful Italian restaurant opened in Tokai and married an inviting atmosphere with a great menu to capture the hearts of Cape Town. The Newlands branch was recently opened and has continued the trend with patrons lining up for their gourmet pizzas and wide range of pastas. There is also a dedicated kids menu making it perfect for families.
Found in the busy, bustling Kloof Street, Bacini’s is a firm favourite and always busy. Owner Romondo and his family mingle amongst the guests giving Bacini’s a great family vibe. The food, of course, is top-notch and the menu offers a wide variety of choices.
This intimate restaurant found in Kenilworth has long been a staple for Cape Town locals. The venue was originally an old house – built in the 18th century – and the passageways leading into different rooms, before opening onto a courtyard at the back, lends beautifully to the atmosphere of the restaurant. The venue has an authentic, old, Italian feel with a menu consisting of delicious homemade pastas and pizzas.
You might call this Cape Town’s best secret, but judging by how busy Borrusso’s is, there are plenty of people in on it! Open seven days a week, this friendly, relaxed restaurant offers a wide range of pasta and pizza as well as some salad options. Guaranteed to be spilling over pre-Argus, you will need to book early.
THE COMPANY’S GARDEN RESTAURANT
The newly refurbished restaurant in the Company’s Gardens was clearly built with families in mind. Serving a selection of light meals and all the local teatime favourites, the new-look restaurant draws on the gardens around it with a number of quaint little hideaways for the kids to play in, while their parents enjoy their meals. Part of the city’s revitalisation project, the Company’s Gardens Restaurant is looking good.
This delightful eatery in leafy Newlands is a parent’s dream: from the wholesome Italian dishes to the magnificent views of Table Mountain and the ample parking (perfect for transporting prams) to most importantly, plenty of space for both youngsters and the family dog, it has fast become a well-loved establishment in its neighbourhood.
Owned by Anthony and Krista Bounds, who are parents to an energetic toddler too, Basilico offers a wide variety of child-friendly dishes, including pastas, beef fillets, risottos, sweet desserts and more. Best of all, it’s totally affordable with dishes from as little as and daily lunch specials.
And for the kids? The Piccola pizza, for which your youngster can choose his or her own toppings, and the fun ice cream and sprinkles for dessert.
CAFÉ ROUX AT NOORDHOEK FARM VILLAGE
The adults can enjoy breakfasts and lunches (and beer) from Café Roux while keeping a careful eye on the youngsters having a whale of a time in the playpark that borders the restaurant. It’s a win-win for everyone. The village shops are also open from 8:30am to 5:30pm in summer and from 9am to 5pm in winter.
DEER PARK CAFÉ
Deer Park Café in Vredehoek, on the slopes of Table Mountain, has a large park where children can play safely. Its menu includes a baby cappuccino – frothy milk with some chocolate sprinkles – and also offers all its meals in adult and child portions. The tables are even set slightly wider apart than other eateries, allowing for ease of movement for prams and wandering children. But the park is definitely the big draw, allowing parents to enjoy their meals, while knowing their kids can run around freely.
BLUE WATER CAFÉ
A relaxed atmosphere, a picture-perfect backdrop and most importantly a safe enclosed garden, jungle gym and neighbouring animal farm – all guaranteed to keep the little ones happily occupied while you get stuck into delicious New Cape style food and heavenly pizzas baked in a wood fired oven. The drive out to Kommetjie is well worth it I promise!
Anyone who love Mexican food needs to visit Pancho’s in Observatory. Just make sure you book first, because it is a local favourite of note! The restaurant is flamboyant and vibey, the portions are huge, the food is mouth-watering, and the margheritas come by the jug-full!
El Burro is considered one of the best Mexican restaurants in Cape Town. The authentic Mexican menu and distinctly fresh ingredients keep them coming back for more, while the space is hip and the staff is friendly.
THE FAT CACTUS
Cape Town’s two Fat Cactus restaurants are regarded by locals as a fun place for after-work margaritas and chilli poppers, and once the evening is under way, huge portions of moresome Mexican favourites.
San Julian sets the tone for an unassuming and casual experience, and what makes it all the better is the inexpensive, authentic Mexican food that gets dispatched from the kitchen by the passionate Mexican owners. This is the most authentic Mexican experience in the city and it can all be washed down with the best margherita’s this side of Cancun.
MEXICAN ON LONG
Located in the boisterous Long Street stretch, Mexican on Long is a favourite spot for revellers looking for a bite to eat, while not slowing down on the party. With plenty of tequila and Mexican cocktails on offer, the vibe here might not be authentic Mexican one, but the food is solid fare and non-pretentious set-up is a welcoming one.
CHEF PON’S ASIAN KITCHEN
Drawing inspiration from Chinese, Japanese, Thai and other Asian fare, Chef Pon’s has long been a local favourite and never disappoints. Dishes like the Angry Duck and Cashew Nut Chicken are personal favourites, while for those of you with a sweet tooth don’t look further than the chocolate spring rolls. Warm and welcoming, Chef Pon’s has been around for more than a decade and shows no signs of going anywhere. Thank goodness for that!
ERAWAN THAI RESTAURANT AND BAR
Erawan is a hidden gem of a Thai restaurant in Little Chelsea in Wynberg. Warm and inviting, with a large menu full of delicious dishes, Erawan is authentic – all the servers are of Thai nationality – and down to earth, without losing any of its elegance. Just make sure you book beforehand because it’s quickly becoming a local favourite.
KYOTO GARDEN SUSHI
This unassuming eatery is easy to miss, but you will be the one missing out if you do. Voted by Eat Out as the best Asian restaurant in the country last year, Kyoto Garden Sushi in Kloof Nek Road offers far more than just sushi. It also serves delicacies hardly seen in Cape Town, including sea urchin, farmed abalone and Mozambican conch, as well as tempura scallops, and its shiitake mushroom salad contains moist, tender seaweed. Make sure you leave space for the sweet stuff with sesame seed ice cream or toasted tofu with ginger and cherry blossom ice cream, the perfect end to any meal.
NURI SUSHI FACTORY
It might not look like much from the outside – or the inside for that matter – but what Nuri is lacking in aesthetic value and ambience, it more than makes up for with the food. The quality of their sushi is right up there with more high-profile restaurant and for a lot less cash. The service is great and the owners are always welcoming. Parking can be a bit of an issue, but for those of you working in the CBD and willing to walk for you lunch, Nuri is a fantastic option.
One of two world-class restaurants found at the One & Only hotel in Cape Town, Nobu is the first of World-class master chef Nobuyuki ‘Nobu’ Matsuhisa’s restaurants in Africa. Here his classical Japanese cuisine is given a delightful local twist, with dishes such as Sake Roast Whitefish with Jalapeno or the Chocolate Bento Box; a dark chocolate fondant with green tea ice cream and a sesame seed tuile. You can also try the Japanese beer and a selection of Sake and Shochu based cocktails in the Nobu lounge.
CAPE TOWN FISH MARKET, WATERFRONT
The Cape Town Fish Market has become synonymous with fresh fish and the newly refurbished restaurant is quickly becoming the chain’s flagship venue. Having moved from the enclosed location – where it was ultimately hidden away – to the more logical location by the Old Clock Tower, the restaurant has a new lease on life by the water. The perfect place to enjoy sushi and seafood.
A favourite for visitors – and locals – this fantastic seafood restaurant is nestled just outside of town and on the way to Cape Point. The venue was once a whaling station, lending a sense of history to the establishment, and is a popular choice for lunch and dinner. Over whale season – early July to December – you can enjoy your meal and possibly catch some whales passing by!
Named after one of the world’s most expensive type of caviar (think between R70,000–R100,000/kg), Sevruga is not in fact devastatingly expensive, although it is a major tourist attraction at the V&A Waterfront, Cape Town’s tourist crown jewel. Serene views from the terrace make for gorgeous summer days, and the sushi or salmon is just as wonderful. Sevruga already has a reputation in Cape Town, you should experience what everyone’s talking about.
HARBOUR HOUSE, KALK BAY
Boasting arguably one of the best locations in Cape Town, Harbour House in Kalk Bay is quite literally sitting on the ocean. Built on the breakwater and situated in the Kalk Bay Harbour, the restaurant boasts incredible views of False Bay and is well known for its fantastic seafood dishes.
TWO OCEANS RESTAURANT
Another restaurant with killer views, the Two Oceans Restaurant at Cape Point offers the freshest sushi and an extensive seafood menu. Innovative, yet subtle, the design of the restaurant ensures all guests are able to take advantage of the unrivalled view while getting stuck into their meals.
BOMBAY BRASSERIE AT THE TAJ HOTEL
If you’re looking for Indian food in a luxurious setting, then this is the place to visit. Expect mouth-watering dishes that will satisfy your craving for something spicy. Situated inside the old Reserve Bank, there are high ceilings and design that gives an overall feeling of luxury.
This fine-dining Indian restaurant offers up a taste of authentic Indian with a splash of romance thanks to the story of the Tajmahal, after which it is named. With premises in Hout Bay and Sea Point, it’s no surprise that some of the most highly recommended dishes are the sea food ones! The Tajmahal is also strictly halaal.
A relaxed family restaurant, Bombay Chilli is a well-kept secret that we’re letting you in on. With delicious food, a chilled vibe and an extensive menu that is sure to meet everyone’s taste, it’s a must-visit when the need for Indian food arises. There are two branches with the flagship in Muizenberg and a smaller one in Plumstead. Note that the Plumstead branch does not serve alcohol, but you can take your own.
Bukhara offers North and South Indian cuisines at an upmarket venue, specialising in succulent meats cooked in charcoal tandoor and aromatic curries. There are a few outlets so you have your pick of where to enjoy some great Indian food.
BIHARI INDIAN RESTAURANT AT THE SOUTHERN SUN HOTEL
Situated in the leafy Newlands, Bihari specialises in authentic Indian foods, offering an extensive menu of mouth-watering fusions from Northern India. This sit-down establishment has large wooden doors, hues of gold and red, wrought iron lanterns and plush seating. It is a comfortable Indian sit-in restaurant for the whole family.
Situated on the bustling Long Street, Fork is a quaint venue with a wide variety of delicious tapas on offer. This is the ideal place for after-work snacks and drinks. There is lovely outdoor upstairs seating for those who wish to look over Long Street.
THE TWANKEY SEAFOOD, CHAMPAGNE AND OYSTER BAR AT THE TAJ HOTEL
This one is for the seafood lovers. Twanky offers up a variety of seafood tapas that can be enjoyed in a luxurious setting. The building was the ground floor of the Old Temple Chambers and has been fully restored to be elegant and glamourous.
THE FOODBARN DELI AND TAPAS RESTAURANT
It’s actually the deli part of this establishment that made way for the tapas restaurant. In the evenings, the Foodbarn deli is transformed into a tapas restaurant and allows visitors to enjoy the vibey atmosphere into the night.
THE POTLUCK CLUB
One of the coolest places to be is the Pot Luck Club. Located in the Old Biscuit Mill, the Potluck Club is all about sharing their delicious food and encourages guests to order for the table and for everyone to dig in to the meal. This famous restaurant is a must-visit for locals and internationals.
LA PARADA BAR DE TAPAS
One of the many great restaurants on the ever popular Bree Street, La Parada is a celebration of the Spanish tradition of social eating. The long communal tables allow diners to sit close together for better interaction while enjoying the authentic Andalusian tapas that this establishment serves up.
THE TEST KITCHEN
Established by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts, the Test Kitchen has quickly raked in the awards and become one of Cape Town’s top fine-dining restaurants. Everything on the menu is carefully chosen – from the fine wines to the ingredients that go into every dish. This isn’t a place you can just show up to and grab a seat. It’s booked out months in advance so call now for a future reservation.
REUBEN’S AT THE ONE & ONLY
Set in the gorgeous One & Only hotel in the V&A Waterfront, Reuben’s has quickly become a local favourite thanks to the popularity of the Cape Town chef, Reuben Riffel. The menu is extensive and offers diners a taste sensation, no matter what they choose.
The draw card of Spasie is that you don’t know what you’ll be eating until you get there. You have to book in advance and you will be told the name of the chef on for your night as it changes every week. It’s only when you get there that you get told what type of fine food you will be eating and the wine that you will be drinking.
Setting the ambience for this restaurant is the fact that its premises is an old building that’s said to date back to the 1980s. Aubergine is an award winning fine dining spt that is known for the lightness and balance of its cuisine and the inventiveness of its flavours.
Another of Cape Town’s most impressive specimens, The Greenhouse has a number of awards on its shelves thanks to three sensational tasting menus alongside its a la carte menu, expertly paired with some of Cape Town’s best wines.
A popular one on Long Street, Mama Africa specialises in African food accompanied by live local music. Traditional dishes on the menu include Zimbabwean Dovi or chicken in peanut sauce; lamb curry and Game Potjie or a rich, chewy stew plus much more!
ADDIS IN CAPE
Addis in Cape provides you with a unique Ethiopian dining experience right in the heart of Cape Town. The restaurant has traditional furnishings and a classic Ethiopian coffee ceremony to the serving of food. It’s a truly unique experience.
If you’re looking for great African food with a township culture, then Mzoli’s is for you. Situated just outside Cape Town in the township of Gugulethu, is known for its vibrant parties, diverse patronage and, of course, its signature meat. You choose your meat from the Mzoli’s butchery and you braai it right there.
MARCO’S AFRICAN PLACE
Based in the culturally rich Bo Kaap area, Marcos serves up indigenous African and Cape cuisine with live music. Expect dishes such as springbok and kudu for those who like game meat or tripe, savoury chicken and, of course, samp and beans.
Owners Portia and Jason De Smidt opened this eatery with the idea of creating food that would celebrate Africa’s diversity and rich tapestry of tastes and aromas. Expect a variety of dishes from all over Africa including Malawi, Bostwana and Congo.
A Madame Zingara restaurant, Café Paridiso is the perfect restaurant for the family looking for a Mediterranean dining experience. Expect delicious food such as Morrocan pulled pork with minted tzatziki and grilled nectarines or smoked salmon, horse radish cream cheese, grilled artichoke and cucumber spaghetti plus much more. Café Paridiso is also pet-friendly.
MEZEPOLI MEZE AND WINE BAR
Ideally located on the gorgeous Camps Bay strip, this restaurant is great for those who want a Mediterranean experience close to the ocean while sipping on cocktails. The restaurant serves up Greek tapas that are fresh and flavourful.
MARIA’S GREEK RESTAURANT
Situated on charming Dunkley Square in the old part of the city, Maria’s is popular among locals for its great atmosphere and great food such as souvlaki, baklava, chunky Greek salads and a wide variety of tapas including spanakopita, stuffed calamari tubes and roasted aubergine.
One of the oldest restaurants at the V&A Waterfront, the Greek Fisherman has been around since 1992. The menu includes Mediterranean and seafood dishes, as well as Greek meze specialties a seafood platter feast and a popular lamb in the oven.
Based in the sea-side town of Hout Bay, Spiros is popular for its hot and cold mezes, souvlaki and other tradition Greek dishes. For those who want to take their family along, there is a fully equipped children’s playroom with a full time child minder
THE BANTING KITCHEN
Situated in the Cape Royale Luxury Hotel & Spa in Green Point, the Banting Kitchen strives to offer a delicious guilt-free dining out experience. The menu is extensive and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner. Expect meals such as braised pork belly with sweet potato mash, wilted baby spinach and onion relish or wild mushroom caulisotto with parmesan, crispy shitake and truffle oil and much more!
65 ON MAIN LIFESTYLE FOOD AND BANTING CAFE
Started by Whitney Wentzel, a young graduate from the Cape Town Hotel School, this banting restaurant has quickly made a name for itself as an establishment that offers simple, healthy meals that those following a LCHF lifestyle can easily enjoy. Wentzel used dishes from the Real Meal Revolution cookbook by Tim Noakes as the basis of the food that gets cooked here. Meals on the menu include burgers with a flaxseed or almond flour bun, cauli-based pizzas, parmesan-crusted deep fried chicken strips with banting mayo and a side salad or sweet potato, plus much more.
Not a traditional banting restaurant with pizzas and pastas on the menu, Col’cacchio knows that even banters crave the odd slice of pizza. As a result, the Italian chain offers gluten free bases with all their pizzas and cauliflower bases with a selection. The cauliflower bases are made with cauliflower, psyllium husks, egg, parmesan and seasoning and can be ordered with a margherita (tomato base, mozzarella and herbs), regina (ham and mushroom), foresta (salami, black mushroom, garlic, green pepper and feta), nacho libre (jerk-spiced chicken, home-made guacamole, tomato chilli salsa, coriander and sour cream) and a morituri (seasoned chicken, bacon, avo, feta and roasted red peppers). Col’Cacchio’s also has a variety of salads and other dishes that will suit the LCHF lifestyle.
While not a strict banting restaurant, Dear Me uses fresh, seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients and adjusts its menu according to what’s available. This eatery caters for every type of diner – celiac, diabetic, lactose- or wheat intolerant, vegetarian or vegan – they can make meals to suit it all. The Dear Me pantry also offers a variety of banting-friendly products while raw almond milk and almond yogurt can be made to order.
Taking Cape Town by storm after recently launching the Waterfront, Constantia and now Canal walk branches, Tashas has something for everyone. The café is known for its delicious cakes, yes, but those needing something LCHF won’t be disappointed. The salads on offer are wholesome and filling, while starch options can be swapped out on most meals.