The Mother City may have a reputation for taking things slow, but its chefs and restaurateurs are, for the most part, a diligent and busy bunch, constantly looking for ways to impress their guests. Thanks to the plethora of fresh, interesting ingredients available, it’s no surprise that visitors are spoilt for choice. From the tastiest fish and chips to the best ice cream in town, we’ve rounded up our pick of some of the best Cape Town restaurants.
For dude-food fans: TIGER’S MILK
Thanks to its industrial chic interiors and robust, approachable menu, this fun Muizenberg spot is bringing a new sense of cool to the area. It’s packed on weekend nights, when you can rub shoulders with the crowds who’ve popped in for post- surf cocktails or live music at the rows of tall tables. Settle in for a pizza or any of the excellent meat options – we think the rock star burger with bacon, avo and cheese is brilliant. Must know… get there early and nab a seat at the window – it’s the perfect place to watch False Bay turn pink at the end of the day.
For the deli lovers: KLEINSKY’S
This Sea Point deli is the real New York- Jewish deal. From perfect bagels and lox served with just enough capers, to chicken soup and matzo balls, it’s wholesome, delicious and authentic here. Regulars swear by the Reuben – it’s suitably stuffed with just the right amount of smoked turkey, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese.
For all-afternoon lunchgoers: LA PERLA
This Sea Point institution is a summertime stalwart and with good reason. A view of the shimmering Atlantic awaits, along with al fresco seating aplenty and a menu tinged with old-school-cool classics. Order a chilled bottle of rosé from the white-jacket-clad waiters and settle in for an afternoon of relaxed Miami-esque vibes in the Mother City. Try the La Perla crayfish sandwich or the linguine vongole.
Tel: 021 439 9538
For the Bloody Mary-with- brunch brigade: THE POT LUCK CLUB
Did you know that the award-winning Pot Luck Club also does the best brunch in town? The dining format follows the lunch and dinner sharing theme and ramps it up to include signatures such as their fish tacos and the famed beef tartare. Best of all? The build-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar features hand-pressed flavoured tomato juices and accoutrements including crispy pancetta sticks and stuffed olives. Insider tip: R150 gets you a bottomless Bloody Mary or bubbles pass.
For the breakfast clubbers: LEKKER
This colourful spot on Kalk Bay’s main drag has become one of the village’s most popular breakfast spots and it’s no wonder – it’s all about rib-sticking fare. The flapjacks with bacon and syrup are seriously good and the vibe is chilled and welcoming. Take a seat at the window bar and watch the world go by, or venture in a little further to a table and settle in for a Kernel Benedict – doused in home-made Hollandaise sauce. Do get down here early – it fills up quickly. lekkerkalkbay.co.za
For the serial lunchers: GIULIO’S CAFE
If there’s a new lunch spot in the city you need to know about – this is it. Stylish all-white interiors set the tone for the menu of mouthwatering fresh salads and Med-inspired mains. Feast from the mangia table spread – a daily delight of just-made fresh offerings. facebook.com/GiuliosCafe
For sea-view seekers: HARBOUR HOUSE
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better table with a sea view in Cape Town. Bar an interiors tweak here and there, this Kalk Bay icon that’s perched on the rocks hasn’t changed its recipe much since it opened – and judging by the loyal fans, it works. Book ahead. And if there’s one thing you need to try it’s the tempura prawn and avocado tian – it’s sensational! Insider tip: A window table at full moon is unforgettable!
For gourmet picnickers: CAPE POINT VINEYARDS
Despite the name, you don’t have to drive to the ends of the peninsula for a country picnic, simply head to this estate in Noordhoek and enjoy a picnic basket while lounging on the lawns. Each basket (R395) is crammed with meats, cheeses, pâtés, salad, olives and artisanal breads and, with beautiful beach views and a laid-back family-friendly vibe, be prepared to settle in for the afternoon. cpv.co.za
For fresh food-loving wine tasters: BEAU CONSTANTIA
With its ridiculously beautiful Constantia valley views and tasty estate wines, it’s no surprise that this contemporary wine bar has proven a hit with locals and visitors alike. Chefs Warehouse rounds off the elegant experience perfectly. beauconstantia.com
● For fish-and-chips fiends
Place your order, take your place in the queue at this harbourside institution, then head for the harbour wall to tuck into it all. The combination of sea air, the sound of the gulls and the sight of families fishing off the walls (who knows if they ever catch anything!) makes for a thoroughly memorable al fresco eating experience. Must try: You can’t go wrong with freshly battered hake and chips, but the family platter with prawns and calamari added to the mix is outstanding. facebook.com/kalkys.seafood
● For modern Mex heads
The owners (of Bukhara fame) have made things absolutely authentic at this classy Mexican eatery – from the food (ceviche, adobo marinades and real-deal streetfood starters), to the custom crockery and delicious cocktails. Add a view of Camps Bay and you’ve got a winning spot. No wonder the city’s glossy posses are heading here in their droves. We love the attention to detail – they have no less than nine salsas to choose from! bukhara.com
● For the ice-cream aficionados
This delightful mint-trimmed parlour in Newlands (it also has a branch in Salt River and a stand at the Watershed market at the Waterfront) is a haven of creamy, dreamy ice creams made using the very best ingredients. Think the likes of sea-salt caramel, barley malt and 65% chocolate. And the waffles are wonderful! thecreamery.co.za
Edited by ANNETTE KLINGER