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The top places to eat in Cape Town

The top restaurants and foodie hot-spots in Cape Town.

06 Feb 2013
Lion's head

Food24 HQ is abuzz with all the cool new restaurants and foodie destinations popping up all over Cape Town – if you want to be in the know then just click on our Cape Town restaurant section where we load new restaurants and other interesting foodie events daily.

Because the Mother City is such a beautiful and popular destination all year round we’ve decided to put together a list of some amazing places to suggest to your friends and family when they are here. And if you haven’t tried them out yourself, then we think it’s time that you did.

*Please note that no actual restaurants were harmed in the process of putting this list together – we encourage  you to recommend your favourite place to eat in Cape Town in the comments below so that we can all discover them.

Here are Food24’s top recommendations for eating out in Cape Town:

The Dog's Bollocks & The Bitches' Tits – Roodehek Rd, Gardens - AKA The Yard
It’s a hipster city, literally, with 3 totally stellar food loving concepts all tucked away on Roodehek in Gardens.  And, Deluxe coffee, the pinnacle of an awesome roast, sports their headquarters there too. They’ve got Mucky Mary’s that serves a “hubcap” breakfast until 4. The Bitches Tits rocking classic sandwiches from around the world like the sexy meaty Philly cheese steak.  And, if you are lucky (and punctual enough), the Dogs Bollocks serves a daily dose of 50 gourmet burgers (after 5).
Tip: The Yard actually looks like a low budget garage until you take a peek inside, but doesn’t that make the prize of finding it that much sweeter?

Takumi – Park Rd, Gardens
Sit down, order quickly, and get serious about your sushi, Takumi isn’t for the iffy.  Papa San’s caricature sits jolly on the wall, while he slaves away to make you the most funky and tasty sushi in Cape Town.  Beware: there are no substitutes, changes, or nonsense, his sushi is the real deal and if the master says it’s good, trust him, it’s damn good.  Takumi’s creative genius inspires rolls with strawberry, rocket, banana, fresh rice and buttery fish.
Tip: Bring friends who like to share, you will want to taste everything, yes, you will.  

KOI at the Ambassador - Bantry Bay
Asian fusion with the best view in Cape Town. Dim Sum, sushi, Thai curries and a perfectly great wine list to accompany.

Go for sushi and a glass of wine and just enjoy the view.

Mondiall at the V&A Waterfront
The new collaboration between Cafe Dharma's Patrick Symmington and Chef Peter Tempelhoff is everything it has been hyped to be. A must visit is this beautifully crafted restaurant in a world class location.

El Burro, Greenpoint

If you want to have a fun night out with friends, or you want to feel the vibe with locals downing shots of premium tequila and enjoying good Mexican food then this is your place.

They have also recently opened the new Cabrito Bar - why not have a world class tequila there?

Tip: Try the Paloma cocktail.

Nu - Sea Point
Healthy, healthy, healthy and pumping! Rave reviews.

Tip: after a good run on the promenade pick up something healthy from Nu.

Clarke’s bar and dining room – Bree St, CBD
For burgers with a buzz or “the best breakfast in Cape Town” Clarke’s is a must if you don’t mind not being heard over the drum of other people having a good time.

Tip: Not called the best breakfast in Cape Town for nothing.

Il Leone - Greenpoint
Beautiful food. High-end Italian eating in a classical atmosphere.

Tip: Steak Fiorentina

The Foodbarn - Noordhoek
Get yourself out of the city and head out to Noordhoek Farm Village. Franck Dangereux, chef extraordinaire cooks up fine dining in a beautiful barn. There's a huge outside play area for kids, deli and plenty of cool shops to browse after your delicious meal.

Tip: Franck is a master of food and wine pairing and he always has special pairing menus.

Pot Luck Club - Salt River

The super-trendy and ultimate epicurian destination by Luke Dale-Roberts. It’s next door to it's closest rival on the SA food circuit, The Test Kitchen (also owned/run by Luke Dale-Roberts) but is much more affordable but just as delicious.

Tip: Absolutely anything on the menu – the celery leaf dish is being buzzed about at the mo. Oh, and BOOK EARLY!

Haiku - CBD
For the best dim sum in Cape Town. Hands down.

Tip: Order dim sum.

Erawan -  Chelsea, Wynberg
Lovely Thai restaurant in the cute village of Chelsea, Wynberg. A beautiful interior and is always full to the brim as it is great value for money. You can control the heat of your dish from mild to smoking hot.

Tip: definitely try the dumplings followed by a stir-fry.

The Chapman’s Peak Hotel – Hout Bay

If you like prawns, clamari, fresh salad and a view then this is the place to go. Also a nice bar inside serving beers on tap if you fancy a pint of Stella while you wait for your table.

Tip: The prawn and calamari combo with Greek salad.

The Miller’s Thumb – Kloof Nek Rd, Gardens

For a top-drawer selection of linefish this is the local’s recommendation. Not too poncey or pricey with wonderfully prepared seafood.

Woodlands Eatery – Vredehoek
Great for a chillaxed burger or pizza paired with a craft beer if you’ve just hiked up Lion’s Head or Table Mountain.

Tip: Seafood linguini.

Kitima – Hout Bay

A celeb favourite (Halle Berry went there) and voted best Thai restaurant in South Africa.

Their Happy Duck is happy-making.

Chandani – Woodstock
A gem of an Indian curry restaurant in Woodstock. This is the real deal people, the dishes are beautifully balanced and the fragrance in the dishes is fantastic.

Tip: They have a great vegetarian menu and do a weigh your plate buffet lunch. Definitely try the butter chicken and the Aubergine curry.

(The new) Bizerca – Heritage Square, CBD
A top end fine dining bistro. Set in Heritage Square with a large fairy light laden courtyard, this is a great place to go for amazing food and a lovely vibe. There is an ever-changing chalkboard menu and superb service by the maitre d’ Raphael who will woo you with his French accent.

Tip: Raw Norwegian salmon salad, braised farm pigs trotter parcel with scallops.

Tamboers Winkel –  Tamboerskloof
It’s easy to go gaga for Tamboers Winkel: the fresh farm eggs, the smell of fresh bacon, the gorgeous red velvet cupcakes teasing you behind the display case, it’s all just a bit of magic. The buger night on Thursdays is a MUST DO.

Tip:  Brunch it up on Sunday with a French toasted croissant topped with your choice of savoury or sweet, they are both equally as good and don’t worry because both have bacon, because what’s a Sunday brunch without it?

Eat with Emma - Loop Street

Unfussy, unpretentious healthy food and unbelievably great value for town.

Tip: The carrot cake and the R10 flat white before 10am.

Dear Me Foodworld -  Longmarket Street, CBD
A whimsical and stylish day-time brasserie situated just a few yards from Green Market square. Breakfasts are wholesome with the choice of fresh juices and expertly made Espresso Lab coffee. The lunch menu (which changes daily), incorporates seasonal produce with ethically farmed meat. The restaurant prides itself on catering for those with food intolerances with items being offered as lactose/sugar/wheat/gluten-free for added convenience.

Tip: Eggs Benedict and interesting salads.

Mitico -  Kloof Street, Gardens
Sometimes hard to find an Italian where the pastas are as good as the pizzas. Many believe these are the best pizzas in town. We think they do a mean pasta sauce.

Try the Calzonicini.

La Boheme - Seapoint

You might get to this unassuming place to find there are no tables available. Most popular with locals. Good honest food, wonderfully priced set menus and a fluid wine list.

Tip: the wine list constantly changes to feature amazing South African wines.

Gourmet Boerie - Kloof Street, Gardens
Brand newly opened. Every visitor must try a true South African boerie at least once. And here they have an amazing array of flavor combinations.

Tip: The Mexicano is a must: tomato slasa, sour cream, jalapenos, coriander and guacamole.

Jason Bakey - Bree Street, CBD

Bree Street in Cape Town IS the new black. And Jason Bakery is the jewel in this crown. A local artisanal bakery serving freshly made bread daily.  Follow your nose as the smell oozes out onto the street from baked goods cooking by people who love to make beautiful food. Their blackboard menu changes often for your palate's pleasure and the beer flows for your daily dose of relaxation.

Massimo’s – Hout Bay
Voted by our readers the Best Pizza in Cape Town. Truly awesome pizzas in a lovely setting. So worth the drive to Hout Bay.

Tip: Every single pizza on the menu is worth trying, and a magnificent specials board if pizza is not your thing.

Starlings Café - Claremont
A beautiful café with a gorgeous outside garden on Belvedere in Claremont. Perfect for breakfast and lunch with really delicious and interesting menu items.

Tip: Definitely pop in for a coffee and a huge slice of cake too.

The Grand Beach Café (Granger Bay)

The most popular and most searched for (on the internet) restaurant in South Africa. Sports a home-made beach and ideal setting for any sundowner opportunity.

Tip: Don’t let an indifferent waiter get on your nerves. Just have another of their awesome cocktails.

The Bungalow
It has everything you would expect from a touristy Cape Town restaurant.  Huge menu, epic location and a pool to dip your feet in whilst you sip a drink and watch the sunset.

Tip: if it’s a nice day – there's no better view, and it's walking distance from the Clifton beaches.

La Mouette - Sea Point
With arguably the most dedicated and friendly service team in Cape Town, this lovely court-yarded restaurant is popular with locals, and also visitors to this busy part of the Atlantic Seaboard.  On any balmy evening the buzz is awesome with Chef Henry always coming up with new flavour combinations.

Tip: Every month they have a new tasting menu with wine. Try it.
The Greenhouse at Cellars-Hohenhort
Another real foodie destination. If you are serious about a serious dinner with serious food, you can’t beat chef Peter Tempelhoff’s food.

Tip: Voted Number 1 restaurant in SA by Eat Out in 2011.

Knead - Kloof Street and Wembley Square
Knead knows no boundaries when it comes to making delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Their open face sandwiches are jammed packed full of veggies and delicious.  Their oven fired pizza is crispy, their coffee bold, and their bread freshly baked.  Knead is always pumping day and now night.

Tip: Check out Knead at Night when their menu turns to R40 and Jack Black beer can be purchased for R10.

Vovo Telo – V&A Waterfront
An absolute must for coffee and breakfast before you hit the shops. It’s certainly not the usual touristy breakfast you are likely to get at a mall.

Tip: Best pastries, breads and coffee.

Café Paradiso – Kloof St, Gardens

Lovely laid-back indoor and outdoor setting. Awesome breakfast venue. Very child-friendly but not restricted to families only. Popular for breakfast baby-showers and birthday parties.

Tip: Enjoy a nice bottle of wine with the Charcuterie platter and stare at the mountain before dinner.

Food markets worth visiting

And if that isn't enough foodie fodder then you absolutely must go to at least one of the markets Cape Town has on offer...

The Biscuit Mill - immensely popular and quite touristy now, but still an incredibly cool must-do Cape Town experience.

The Hout Bay Harbour Market - becoming a hugely popular Friday night destination with amazing food, live music and craft beer.

Hope Street Market (CBD/Gardens) - funky, laid-back and new and "the" place to go on a Thursday evening.

And coming soon to a waterfront near you...

The V&A Market on the Wharf - located at the beautiful and easily accessible V&A Waterfront.

And keep your eyes peeled for the Cape Town food trucks - they can be found at Oudekraal on Wednesdays and sometimes at the Hope Street Market on Thursday... they are well worth tracking down, and lots of fun! Follow them on @CTFoodTrucks for updates.

The Eastern Food Bazaar off Adderley Street is teeming with authentic, amazing, cheap and cheerful Halaal food. Awesome for takeaways or just sit and enjoy the hectic stream of busy people.

If you feel this list is missing something special then let us know what and why in the comments below and we'd love to add it to the list if it deserves a mention.

- The Food24 team -

Follow @food24 @CaroFood24 @chocky33 @CathyMarston @inkontoast and @MilkandCookieSA on twitter for up to the minute foodie tweets.

Read more on: markets  |  cape town  |  restaurants


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