Cape Town’s rainy winter weather is unlike anywhere else in South Africa, where winters are dry, dusty, and freezy cold. While winters in the Mother City may not be the coldest in the country, after a couple of rainy days the chill can start to creep under your skin. In winter Cape Town’s eateries go into full winter-mode, with cosy fireplaces and hearty meals to warm your toes and your tummy. Here’s a look at a couple of restaurants where you can get cosy during the winter chill.
Be sure to ask about winter specials.
The 41, Camps Bay
The 41, based on the Camps Bay strip, offers unsurpassed vistas across the white sandy beach and glistening ocean. With an extensive, multifaceted menu, the restaurant offers a diverse culinary experience. The chic, minimalist setting with dark hues and illustrious Mumm Champagne bar fountain creates an atmosphere of understated opulence.
Sophisticated food for a sophisticated crowd in a cosy atmosphere, Asoka in Kloof street is as popular in winter as it is in summer. The menu includes dishes with bold flavours, inspired by cuisine from around the world. With live music over weekend and jazz on Tuesday evenings, they encourage you to come for dinner and stay for the drinks.
Rick’s Café Américain, Gardens
With its three fireplaces and Moroccan-themed decor inspired by the film Casablanca, Rick’s is cosy personified. The kitchen serves predominantly Middle Eastern inspired comfort fare, but there are also burgers, tapas and grill choices.
The Odyssey Gastropub, City Bowl
Situated towards the narrow end of Bree Street, The Odyssey Gastropub is an elegant, upmarket pub that combines gourmet pub food with a selection of top-shelf tipple. Their log burning fireplace makes it a popular after-work spot for locals.
Azure, Camps Bay
As far as views go, nothing comes close to Azure at the Twelve Apostles as it looks out over the Atlantic ocean, especially during a typical Cape Town winter storm. The restaurant offers an indulgent fine dining experience in their luxurious dining room that features two grand fireplaces.
The Wild Fig Restaurant, Mowbray
A stone’s throw from the CBD, and set in a beautifully restored 18th-century Victorian building, is The Wild Fig Restaurant. The restaurant’s large open fireplace provides a warm, cosy atmosphere, while the kitchen serves up hearty home-style fare. The restaurant’s bar, Annie’s Arms, offers more than 35 single malt whiskies to savour with your meal.
Societi Bistro, Gardens
A local favourite, Society Bistro’s warm, cosy atmosphere (and three fireplaces) is the perfect place to spend a cold winter’s evening. Societi serves hearty classic Italian cuisine with a touch of local flavour — their mushroom risotto is legendary. On Mondays and Tuesdays, they run a special with the Labia Theatre just up the road where you score two pasta dinners and two movie tickets for R110. What a bargain!
Caffe Verdi, Wynberg
A long-standing Southern Suburbs favourite, Caffe Verdi in Wynberg is a cosy English pub that serves delicious pizzas from their wood fired oven in a friendly atmosphere. In winter their fireplace keeps visitors warm while they enjoy a slice, a drink, and the game on the big screen.
The Thirsty Oyster Tavern, Gordon’s Bay
This restaurant is the toastiest in the whole of the Helderberg area, with a fireplace heating both the restaurant and bar sections. Whether you want a tasty seafod dinner or live music and beers, the Thirsty Oyster is a fantastic option.
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