(Image: The Bungalow Clifton)
Cucina Labia at The Casa Labia
In sharp contrast to the laid-back surfers’ vibe on the other side of the railway line, Cucina Labia presents a grand piece of 18th century Italy in Muizenberg. Initially, the three-story Venetian villa was built to be a home to Count and Countess Natale Labia but today lends itself to sophisticated functions, high teas by the sea, stylish brunches over weekends and lunch. The menu features a good dose of Italian-inspired dishes that cater to all preferences.
The Muizenberg branch, of Tigers Milk is perfectly suited to welcome wet and sandy beachgoers from across the road. The exposed brick walls, long communal wood tables and popping yellow bar stools all play together nicely, greeting the cool sea breeze that comes sweeping through the floor-to-ceiling doors. Surfers will appreciate the showers, changing rooms and even cages, to hold their boards while the aptly dubbed “dude food” – steaks, thin-based pizza, burgers and more grub – satisfy their post-beach cravings.
Ons huisie (directly translates to little house) and that’s exactly what it is – initially built to be a sea-side cottage and today holds a homey restaurant. Stark white walls, a spacious seating area with bare wood tables, chipped picture frames and lanterns on the wall all contribute to the overall quaintness of the place. It sits right on the Blouberg beachfront so naturally breathtaking views of the crystal blue waters can be expected. They served breakfast, lunch and dinner with the West Coast potjie being a hit.And for bonus points, pooches are welcome too!
Moyo prides itself on embodying Africa’s finest cuisines, offering visitors a taste of the continent and locals with South African classics with a twist. During Summer, this seaside Eden on the Bay eatery is quite a vibe making it the ideal spot to enjoy one of their cocktails practically on the beach.
Harveys at Winchester Mansions
Housed within the Cape Dutch-style Winchester Mansions, Harveys Restaurant and Bar offers a European-inspired menu with an African flair. The bar is known for being a favourite sundowner spot where guests can also enjoy the views of Sea Point beach.
Lilys is the pretty new, seaside eatery on the corner of Beach Road in Mouille Point. Being part of the Kove Collection, it would naturally follow in its sibling restaurants’ footsteps in being tastefully and elegantly designed. They served breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks and the menu features a healthy dose of salads, toasties, burgers, appetisers like grilled calamari, mains among the likes of fish and chips and lamb popsicles and also dessert. The space is quite airy and towards the front, it almost blends in with the road leading to the sea.
Part of well-established The Harbour House group, La Parada gets the chic beachfront eatery down to a T. Large, French doors allow for bounteous amounts of natural light to flood the space, equal amounts of white and wood adorn the floors, tables and chairs, while clusters of green and yellow pineapples add a burst of colour to accent walls. Go there to enjoy tapas and cocktails while taking in the views of the Camps Bay beach strip footsteps away.
An instalment of Melissa’s food group, Mantra Cafe serves breakfast classics, an array of lunch and dinner, options bakery fare, crafty cocktails, wine, champagne and more. Their outside deck offers panoramic views of the water, room to bask in the sun and space in the shade if you’d like.
Being brand new to the Camps Bay beachfront (and part of The Kove Collection) we bet that Billboa is going to be the place to be this Summer. The deck offers a shaded casual setting with striped umbrellas whereas inside there’s a more sophisticated dining area with beige, cushioned, leather seats, both areas offering envious views of the beach. The menu has a Mediterranean feel to it with lots of seafood dishes, greens here and there and meaty classics. They’re open for lunch and dinner and with their extensive drinks menu, they’ll make a good spot for after work drinks with a view.
Azure at the 12 Apostles
With the sweepingly breathtaking views at The 12 Apostles Hotel, there was no way we could have left Azure off our list. Their open-air deck sets the perfect scene for a romantic dinner when the ocean is within arm’s reach. They offer 4 different tasting menus and an à la carte menu which are updated seasonally.
The BungalowThe Bungalow is nestled right on the crystal blue Clifton beach, so diners are gifted with marvellous, uninterrupted views, cool sea breeze and the smell of the ocean. You can expect uncomplicated food with sushi, burgers and more seafood dishes being prominent on the menu.
Live Bait (also see Muizenberg)
Live Bait has a beach house nautical aesthetic to it with carefully placed rustic elements that give it a casual-chic edge.With large floor-to-ceiling windows, almost all spots offer views of the unspoilt coast. The menu is complemented by the space and you can expect deliciously fresh seafood, mezze-style light meals and grilled dishes.
This is a seaside eatery that is definitely worth its Salt in the sense that it has brought its own, unique flavour to the Kalk Bay strip. Spearheaded by a 24-year-old Nic Macleod, the restaurant focuses on health food in the form of small plates and features an eclectic mix of global cuisine inspiration. The deco is almost just as all-embracing is the menu and cannot be pinned down to one theme but rather a mix of homey elements that make the space resemble a cute coffee spot. The beach is just over the road and a seat at the window will give you a killer view.
Grand Africa Cafe and Beach
Following its revamp last year, this spot – housed in a restored warehouse – is one of the city’s hottest summer hangouts. The menu is almost as big as the private beach venue with a healthy dose of seafood and meat dishes, pizza, pasta, salads, desserts and not forgetting the impressive wine list. Now, with views of the Atlantic, Robben Island, Table Mountain and direct access to the sea, what more can one ask for?
Situated at the V@A, Maresol’s setting is truly minimalist, allowing for the Portuguese-Mozambican food to colour the wooden boards on the white table tops. Up close and personal views of the harbour can be enjoyed while you dine.
Fairly new to the Waterfront, Firefish’s menu focuses on seafood mostly with a few meat dishes, salads and desserts that are aptly named “Happy endings”. Like many other restaurants, they also offer a menu with sharing dishes like dim sum, skewers, bowls, wraps and the like. With both inside and outside seating. The interior is classically coloured in hues of cream and beige with the outside area offering views of the harbour.
Chapman’s Peak Hotel restaurant
After being around for roughly 25 years it goes without saying that this spot is a favourite among locals. And with views of the Atlantic, harbour and a terrace on which to soak up some sun it just keeps on giving. Seafood, especially calamari, is their speciality. They also serve some good steaks and there are salads on offer too.
Please note that bookings are essential and all establishments can be contacted for more info. Cavalli Restaurant, Somerset West For the first time ever, Cavalli Restaurant will open its doors for a festive six-course dinner on Christmas Eve. Set on the Cavalli wine estate in Somerset West, the restaurant offers magnificent views of the Helderberg mountain range and overlooks their picturesque waterside.