We'll help you discover the top places to eat out in Cape Town
South Africa Specialist
06 Sep 2018
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In the shadow of Table Mountain with stunning Atlantic Ocean vistas, Cape Town is an awe-inspiring city with a culinary scene to match. Cape Town features a wealth of restaurants offering gastronomical delights firmly placing South Africa on the foody map in terms of creativity and quality.
Here are some of the best restaurants in Cape Town:
1. Azure Restaurant
Sit back and enjoy the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean as you eat your meal at Azure Restaurant, which changes its menu to suit the seasons. This Cape Town restaurant prides itself on using the freshest produce possible, with popular favourites being delicate oysters, prawn stroganoff and a double baked cheesecake – a delicious combination!
Run by a German chef, Harald Bresselschmidt, who has worked with some of the best chefs in South Africa and Europe, Aubergine feels exclusive tucked away in the leafy suburbs. Their classically creative menu features local game, seafood and locally foraged mushrooms...tasty treats indeed. Sophisticated and romantic, it's a great place for either lunch or dinner.
An exclusive location overlooking Camps Bay creates a welcoming and contemporary setting for Bilboa Restaurant, the place to go if you're looking to dig in to some inspiring Mediterranean style dishes. Of course, the enviable views of the Atlantic Ocean compliment the fresh seafood dishes - try the baby squid, Moroccan spiced swordfish and white chocolate mousse with added strawberries!
4. Café Paradiso
Soft glowing fairy lights transform the Café Paradiso into an ethereal paradise. A favourite with locals and travellers alike, it has been labelled a Cape Town institution. Eating al fresco is a good bet with views of the iconic Table Mountain, what more could you want from a Cape Town restaurant? If you are travelling with children, the pizza making course is a fun activity to have a go at, one where you can eat the results!
5. Kloof Street House
Located on the gorgeous Kloof Street, in a classic Victorian House full of quirky rooms, this Cape Town restaurant sources its ingredients locally. The décor is elegant with chandeliers suspended from the ceiling, yet it avoids being stuffy and overbearing with several contemporary touches. Swing by for a Sunday jazz lunch, a romantic candlelit dinner or just cocktails beneath the trees in the garden, and enjoy a convivial feast and a cosy ambiance. Just book well in advance, because it's popular.
6. Janse & Co
Also located on Kloof Street, Janse & Co is the definition of a casual yet gourmet dining experience. The tasting menu focuses on fresh local ingredients, and the wine list showcases boutique wineries from the Western Cape. There are several dining areas and a courtyard for al fresco dining, as well as the fashionable view of the working kitchen.
7. Catharina’s at Steenberg Wine Estate
Catherina's at Steenburg Wine Estate allows you to experience the Winelands without having to venture too far out of Cape Town. There is a key focus on letting the ingredients speak rather than overcomplicating dishes. The restaurant pays homage to Catharina Ras, who was the first female land owner in Africa, and the interior of the hotel references her exuberant life.
8. The Test Kitchen
Among its many awards, The Test Kitchen has been named the 'Best Restaurant in Africa'. This is a place that should be firmly on your list of Cape Town restaurants if you're looking for a multi-sensory experience. Here dining is turned into theatre, with a Dark Room (where guests huddle close, sharing inventive finger food and conversation), and a Light Room (a more formal airy space with a light floral freshness where guests finish their meals). It's all rather mysterious and deliciously magical.
9. Pot Luck Club
Eating here definitely shouldn’t be pot luck since reserving a table can be a struggle. The restaurant features glass walls, so you can see Table Mountain in its full glory, and has been dubbed the coolest place to eat out in Cape Town. Cuisine is innovative, with an emphasis on sharing. Platters are based on basic tastes such as salty, sour and sweet and guests are encouraged to try each flavour on its own before combining them to enjoy the whole experience.
10. Bombay Bicycle Club
The Bombay Bicycle Clubis a bit bonkers, but that's a decidedly good thing. This Cape Town restaurant describes itself as a 'wonderfully wacky bohemian love den where everything is possible'. The dining experience is informal and guests are encouraged to let their hair down, as well as stay up way past their bed time! Expect to be eating things like chocolate chili steak, drunken camembert and lavender creme brulee whilst admiring the eclectic decor.
11. GOLD Restaurant
GOLD Restaurant is an opulent dining experience which serves traditional African dishes. The 14-plate tasting menu is a great way to try a variety of regional dishes, which are brought to your table where the origin and cooking techniques are explained. There's live music and entertainment too which makes for a great evening out in Cape Town.
12. La Colombe
Iconic and internationally acclaimed La Colombe has been recently refurbished and sports a clean cut and contemporary aesthetic. No detail is forgotten about regarding service and mind-blowing creations are served straight from the kitchen. With breathtaking views over the Constantia wine valley and Hout Bay, La Colombe offers a fusion of Asian and French cuisine using uncomplicated flavours and an impeccable wine list.
13. Harbour House
Often labelled as Cape Town's most popular seafood restaurant, Harbour House has two locations to choose from, Kalk Bay and on the V&A Waterfront. Both are brilliants choices. Enjoy calamari steak and pan-fried sole in elegant settings with superb views over the bustling Victoria Basin and the quay. A firm favourite with locals and tourists alike, Harbour House manages to offer a creative menu whilst staying true to their ethos of fresh seafood with a gourmet flourish.
Away from the busy hub-bub of central Cape Town, the Roundhouse enjoys an enviable and relaxing location amongst the greenery of Table Mountain above Camps Bay, with views that will make you forget you're there to eat. The restaurant is classic and classy, with unfussy fine dining and generous portion sizes.
In Cape Town you are truly spoilt for choice regarding gastronomy. I don't envy the deliberation you'll have to do to make the decision on the first restaurant you'll visit on your stay in the South African coastal gem.