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Where to eat on First Thursdays

We round up favourites in the city.

03 Sep 2015
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#FirstThursdays is a hugely popular event in Cape Town. On the first Thursday of every month art galleries in town open up and flocks of people move between them, stopping at restaurants and bars along the way for something to eat or drink. There are a couple of new eateries and bars to check out this Thursday and some long standing spots that are always worth stopping off at or spending the entire evening.

Here is our list of First Thursdays hangouts for food and drinks – go enjoy that Thursday fever!

For more First Thursdays info, click here.

SMAK Delicatessan

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(image by SMAK)

This lovely Italian deli on Bree serves some serious quality food. The young chefs behind the business have a real passion for the food they cook and it shows in the flavours and hand made quality of their dishes. Tonight they have a build-your-own meat and cheese board option, served with bread and a chef's choice of accompaniment. The meats and cheese include both local and imported items. 22 Bree Street.

Locanda (Villa 47)

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This is one to book if its not already booked up. Word on the street is that they've opened their courtyard behind the restaurant and tonight is certainly going to be one for al fresco dining. The Italian cuisine is incredible, and no doubt its going to be the new First Thursday trending dinner spot. See our review here. 47 Bree Street.


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This has become a favourite of mine with their unique salads made from scratch right before you. Tonight they will be getting into the First Thursdays groove with music and street food for their 'afterwork party' starting at 17:30. 7 Bree Street.

Bouchon Wine Bar & Bistro

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(Image by Bouchon)

This lovely French and Spanish inspired Bistro sits right in the Dorrance wine cellar. Food24 visited not so long ago and thoroughly enjoyed the tapas and cozy atmosphere. They also have a world class selection of wines and menu that is constantly changing. 95 Hout Street.


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Boston serve authentic American burgers. Thick juicy patties, between a Brioche bun, coated in sesame seeds. They are seriously good and each is named after a famous Boston national i.e. The Wahlburger, and The JFK. See our review here. 63 Buitengraght Street.


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(Image by Arcade)

This place is party central on First Thursdays. Since its opening it is constantly heaving with people. They serve burgers, pregos, pizzas and salads, and great cocktails. There's always a DJ on First Thursdays as well, playing a mix of house and commercial music. Get there early if you plan on eating, else its a a great vibe for drinks. 152 Bree Street.

Little Saint

Little Saint
(Image by Claire Dunn)

Little Saint serve unique dishes and stick to ingredients that are organic, unprocessed, locally sourced and free-range and all meat is from grass-fed animals. They recently started serving dinner and the menu is that of a fine dining experience. See it here and see our review here.

IYO Burgers

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Their burgers are as good as ever with exceptional flavour combinations. They cater to your veggie, banting, vegan, and gluten-free needs. We recommend the Umami burger for obvious reasons. Try it in a bowl on a bed of salad and of course don't miss them curly fries. 103 Breet Street.

Skinny Legs Luxury Café

Skinny Legs
(Image by Skinny Legs)

This Thursday Skinny Legs continue their guest chef dinner series with chef Neill Anthony of private Chef, the much anticipated Food Network show.  This requires a booking so email or call 021 423 5403. See the menu here.

Sexy Food

James Kuiper started making his Sexy Food vegetarian burgers a couple years ago at markets and is now launching a fully fledged Sexy Food café on Bree Street. Visit them this First Thursdays and feast on healthy, organic and wholesome food that really is both good for you and seriously delicious and inventive. Its all about the probiotics!  190 Bree Street.

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(Image by Sexy Food)

Chef's Warehouse

Chefs warehouse is an incredible culinary and fine dining experience provided by Chef Liam Tomlin. They serve tapas platters to share that are recreated constantly. You cannot book here so be sure to arrive early so you can sit outside and watch the people go by. 92 Bree Street.


They don't take bookings on First Thursdays so arrive early to secure a seat. The Peruvian tapas restaurant has been getting glowing reviews and judging by their colourfully curated, mouth-watering dishes, it’s obvious why. Grab a Pisco Sours, their signature cocktail. See our review here.  114 Bree Street.

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(Image by Charango)


An obvious and faithful choice, Clarke’s is always bursting at the seams on First Thursdays. Squeeze yourself in and get a drink because it's happy hour from 5-7pm. Clarke's also have the beer hatch now for easy access to a nice cold one. Sneak in a quick burger before or after checking out the galleries. 133 Bree St.

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(Image by Clarkes)


Publik has great wines that have been carefully selected based on sustainability of the wine farms, so the brands are still small but much appreciated. Publik also serves food but the menu changes, however they have been known to serve BBQ brisket rolls from The Hog House or The Southern Smoke. 81 Church Street.

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(Image by Publik)


Delicious, doughy Italian pizza as well as Italian bites like zucchini fries and arancini. They don’t take bookings but you can stick your name on the list while you walk around and view the galleries. Corner Bree and Wale.

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(Image by Bocca)

Tiger's Milk

Heading down Hout and towards Long, Tiger's Milk sits on the corner of these two streets and is new to the area. They serve American style bar food with a gourmet twist and have a great bar. 44 Long Street.

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(Tiger's Milk)

La Parada

La Parada is never short of a crowd. People seem to flock there even if they are forced to stand on the pavement. The ornate bar is always surrounded by a lively atmosphere of people eating tapas or stopping by for drinks. 107 Bree Street.

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(La Parada)

Door  221

Moving further toward the end of Bree Street, Door 221 serves contemporary style bar snacks like pulled pork and tacos. Also the cocktails are superb and no doubt the bar will be overflowing this Thursday. 221 Bree Street.

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Royale Eatery

Moving further away from the epicentre of the bustling First Thursday crowd, visit Royale for a supreme gourmet burger. They were voted as one of the Telegraph’s top 10 Burgers in the world and are the original gourmet burger spot in CT! 273 Long Street. Call 0214224536 to make a booking.

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South China Dim Sum Bar

Just a little further down from Royale sits South China. This place has some of the greatest Dim Sum, if not the best, in the city. Ingredients are fresh and prepared traditionally. 289 Long Street.

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The Cousins

A less hyped up restaurant, serving authentic Italian in the east city area. Pasta is fresh and made from scratch. Make a booking for this one as they could be super busy.  3b Barrack Street, call on 0832739604.

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Also situated away from the First Thursday hub is Chef Pon’s Sawaddee. They serve authentic Thai and sushi. They should be less busy than the restaurants around Bree Street, but its always good to make a booking - 021 422 1633. 10-12 Rheede Street

Nonna Lina

One of the City Bowl’s most loved Italian restaurants, mostly due to the home-style cooking and wood fired pizzas. The restaurant also stays true to the authentic style of Italian cooking, the clue being in the name: Nonna meaning grandmother in Italian. Another one to book 021 424 4966. 64 Orange Street.

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Another east city restaurant and bar: Lefty’s, a proper American style dive bar and smokehouse, known for their ribs, chicken waffles and all things pork. 106 Harrington Street.

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Read more on: drink  |  art  |  cape town  |  galleries  |  town  |  bars  |  eat  |  villa 47  |  cbd  |  restaurants

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