15 must-visit restaurants in Cape Town
Where to have dinner when staying in Cape Town? We have created our preferred places for an excellent meal in the city!
Soon we will be covering the best restaurants in the Greater Cape Town area, including the Winelands. Because we are very aware how amazing the food is in this part of world! Think only of the recently awarded Wolfgat, based in Paternoster, 90 minutes drive north of Cape Town. This small beach restaurant (24 seats only!) was awarded the best ‘off map destination’ and the coveted ‘restaurant of the year’.
For a lot of restaurants, it is essential to book ahead, especially during the busy months. We suggest it is better to book and cancel days in advance than look for a nice restaurant days in advance.
A lot of restaurants do require a deposit to be paid. Remember that in most cases a 100% refund will be returned for any cancellation or modification made by the guest no later than 24 hours prior to your booking.
1. Potluck Club
This restaurant is our old time favourite and is situated on the top floor of the Silo of the Old Biscuit Mill. It has been dubbed the coolest place to be in Cape Town and its success is based on innovative cuisine, served in a relaxed yet edgy environment in a part of Cape Town that has never attracted an evening dining crowd.
The Pot Luck Club is headed by chef Freddie Dias, whose exciting menu is designed to showcase all five flavour profiles (salty, sour, bitter, sweet, and umami). Plate-sharing is encouraged, so that diners can experience a gastronomical gamut of tastes. Situated on the top floor of the Silo at The Old Biscuit Mill, the ambient eatery boasts killer city views, especially at night.
2. Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia
Chef Ivor Jones, who co-owns Beau Constantia, likes to keep things fresh and fun for both their clientele as well as their chefs with a seasonal and produce-driven menu that changes regularly, with their famous and signature experience being tapas for 2. The executive chef, Liam, has concocted a delectable array of imaginative global tapas whose flavours will remain in your mind long after you’ve taken your last bite. Coupled with the stunning setting, chic interiors and panoramic vistas at the Constantia Valley, this is a dining experience you won’t soon forget. Go here with sunset and watch the valley change colours..
3. The Cousins
The Cousins honours its name because of the fact that it’s started by two cousins from Italy who make their fresh pasta every morning. If you ask us, this is the best Italian restaurant in Cape Town. Get a lavish experience by getting your pasta swirled in a wheel of a Grana Padano melting cheesy goodness, at your table! Tip, combine this restaurant with a visit to the nearby Fugard theatre and do as the locals do!
4. La Colombe
La Colombe is one of South Africa’s most iconic and internationally acclaimed fine dining establishments. With impeccable service and an award-winning winelist, La Colombe is a truly unforgettable experience. High up on the slopes of the Constantiaberg mountains, Silvermist Wine Estate is a veritable jewel in the Constantia Wine Valley’s crown. The stylish restaurant’s pared-down interior is the perfect canvas for James and his team to conjure creative French-Asian dishes using foraged ingredients that they magically finesse into immaculately plated dishes.
The extensive Japanese-inspired tapas menu makes deciding what to order a challenging enterprise. In fact, it’s probably best to order some snacks to nibble on while you tackle the task. Edamame beans in a tangy dipping sauce and glorious, golden duck fat fries with truffle salt and ‘bull’s eye’ mayo make good candidates. Portion sizes vary depending on the dish, but the food is so full of flavour that two plates – or a maximum of three – should be more than enough per person.
6. The Commissary
This no-fuss casual eatery where gourmet street food is the order of the evening is located in the loft area of the space next to The Shortmarket Club, the colourful, contemporary restaurant hosts just 45 diners at a time, and its busy, convivial atmosphere is well-suited to modern diners who have things to do and places to be.
On the menu, expect casual, flavour-packed dishes such as wedge salad, fig-leaf baked ricotta, an octopus slider, beef tartare, Korean-fried chicken, Massaman lamb-curry roti, pork katsu slider, and panna cotta with peaches.
No reservations possible
7. Kloof Street House
Kloof Street House is rather an institution on Kloof Street, with Victorian charm and a magical fairy-lit garden. The menu will please a variety of palates with small plates, sharing platters, interesting starters and generous main courses. If you’re the sharing type, there are all sorts of meze platters for vegetarians and carnivores alike. Starters like the roasted chilli and garlic prawns or gorgonzola and wild mushroom arancini with aioli are well-executed options to start a meal. The bar is excellent to visit for a drink only as well!
Two of the Cape’s fine dining gurus have launched a new eatery at The Roundhouse Restaurant. At this beautifully styled sea-facing eatery, Luke Dale Roberts has handed the reins to one of his trusty protégés, Ryan Cole, whom he describes as “a quick-minded natural talent; one of the best technical chefs I’ve ever worked with”.
Fish features prominently on the 29-year-old’s à la carte menu (a nod to the setting, and Ryan’s father who was a professional fisherman), exquisitely prepared and plated, as do the seasons – or what Ryan calls “the micro seasons”, which yield produce that’s only available for a few weeks at a time.
9. South China Dim Sum
Arguably the best dim sum in Cape Town, South China is located in the vibey Long Street. The menu of this charming Asian-style eatery boasts everything from beef pot stickers, char sui bao, har gow to braised beef shortrib.
10. Black Sheep
A stylish and laid-back bistro on Kloof Street with a small set menu of comfort fare and an array of adventurous blackboard specials. Tip: once items are scratched off the blackboard they’re done for the day – so come early to avoid disappointment. The Black Sheep also has a beautiful bar where you can hang out with friends enjoying a well-made classic cocktail. The Black Sheep is trendy but comfortable. It’s vibey and festive, but without being overbearing.
11. Janse & Co
Janse & Co’s menu consists of a choice of around 20 dishes, which allows guests to curate their own three to seven-course tasting menu: a brilliant concept that puts the individual in charge of their dining experience. The menu is varied, yet well balanced, effectively catering to all palates and preferences, which only leaves one with the challenge of deciding which dishes to choose. Walking into the restaurant, one leaves the bustle and honking traffic of Kloof Street and becomes immersed in the peace and simplicity that is this gorgeous venue. Here, the décor is contemporary, minimalist – almost Japanese-inspired – and favours a dark, sultry colour palette with the occasional pop of colour, such as the floral wall art mural by Cape Town artist, “Care One Love”.
12. La Tête
Located in Cape Town’s trendiest restaurant strip, Bree Street, the award-winning La Tête (the head) restaurant serves up nose-to-tail dishes inspired by British, French and Spanish bistro cuisine. Although the menu changes daily depending on what’s fresh and available – if you’re lucky, give the ox hearts, crispy pig tails or the famous fish sandwich a whirl. The madeleines have a fanbase of its own, too.
It’s been 22 years in the making, and it shows! Not a stone has been left unturned at Peter Tempelhoff’s brand-new 60-seater urban eatery, which he co-owns with Jennifer Hugé (general manager) and Ashley Moss (executive chef) – a dynamic and assured threesome. FYN’s menu (and decor) is African-inspired, with an overarching Japanese aesthetic, making for an utterly seductive (and delicious) combination of tastes, flavours, textures and styles.
The restaurant’s fast-paced innercity location informs the menu – a condensed five-course kaiseki–style experience – with some of the most original wine pairings, courtesy of Jennifer (who spent 17 years at La Colombe as sommelier and manager).
As for the setting, the restaurant perches on the fifth floor, boasting sky-high views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. The interiors are sophisticated, warm, up-to-the-minute, with the kitchen in the centre of the space.
No stranger to international culinary influences, Nobu gives classical Japanese cuisine a contemporary twist with a Peruvian influence. Diners can indulge in fresh South African seafood and indigenous spices in mesmerising 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. A sweeping fan-like staircase leads to the 104 seat dining area and sushi counter, which is framed by a textured, translucent origami light that glides along the ceiling. The upper-level Nobu Lounge features a selection of Sakes including Japanese beer and Shochu based cocktails.
Umi is a modern Japanese restaurant in prime position on Camps Bay’s trendy beachfront. For lovers of fabulous Japanese fare, a vibey buzz and edgy yet elegant décor, look no further. Umi’s cuisine is authentic contemporary Japanese, with innovative, inventive twists. The menu abounds with fresh, healthy dishes you won’t find anywhere else in Cape Town.
The décor, too, is modern and original. Walls are clad in Japanese material and Japanese flowering trees provide interest and colour. The lighting is imaginative: two huge yellow crystal chandeliers, myriad glass pendant lights and Asian-inspired light shades make for atmospheric illumination.
The expansive outdoor terrace overlooks the world-famous sweep of Camps Bay beach – a cosmopolitan meeting place for trend-setters and beach lovers. Umi has it all and then some – the ultimate restaurant for discerning foodies.
Has this whet your appetite? Want to explore Cape Town’s foodie scene? Get in touch with me here and let’s satisfy your wanderlust (and taste buds).
Keep an eye out on our website and social media pages for more of our favourite restaurants.