New Cape Restaurants – Cape Town and The Cape Winelands, South Africa

New Cape Restaurants – Cape Town and The Cape Winelands, South Africa

This section aims to be an update of new restaurants that I have tried or want to try in Cape Town and the surrounding wine regions.  It is not intended to be an exhaustive list – merely a list of what looks really exciting for this season.  We are blessed to live in Cape Town, a creative hub where new restaurants open all the time.  As such our aim is to keep working our way through the exciting offerings in our city! Note that this section is divided into two sections – the first section covers new restaurants in Cape Town and the second covers new restaurants in the Cape Winelands – simply scroll down to see this part.

Hottest New Restaurants in Cape Town for Summer 2017

There are an overwhelming amount of restaurants in Cape Town – so to cut through the clutter,  I am going to do a short list of the newest and hottest at the moment i.e. the list of the ones the locals are desperately trying to go out and try at the moment!

  1. SeaBreeze Fish & Shell – Great new addition to Upper Bree Street.   Seafood – fresh and simple!  This is owned by a couple who owned a seafood restaurant in a fishing harbour near Aberdeen in Scotland.   They sold their restaurant in Aberdeen, came on a sabbatical to Cape Town and fell in love with our city…..and stayed!   They aim to serve the freshest seafood in town – and are happy to reprint the menu a few times a day when new fish comes in.   They also have the best oysters in town.   Head to them for oysters and champers in the early evening at the long table on the pavement.   It has a festive atmosphere and is a great gathering spot.   Their happy hour is R10 per shuck from 5 to 6pm – so don’t miss it!
  2. The Sunnyside Inn – located in the old Rafiki’s spot on Kloof Nek Rd –  the team behind the successful Power & The Glory and Hallelujah have launched a new spot called The Sunnyside Inn.   The concept is old world hotel style fine dining – dishes to share among the family – uncomplicated and by a top creative chef.   Sounds intriguing!   I cannot wait to try it!  Cost R350 per person for a set three course menu.   There are vegetarian options.
  3. Lucky Bao – De Waterkant – opening 17 October 2017 – we love Chef Cheyne Morrisby’s food – he has Cheyne’s in Hout Bay – which is focused on fine dining flavour packed dishes with Eastern flavours and his tiny little Lucky Bao bar in Hout Bay – this is more of a street food concept with simple dishes packed with flavours.   As such we are really excited to have a Lucky Bao opening on the edge of the city so that we don’t have to drive so far to get his delicious morsels!  It is located on the corner of  Napier and Jarvis in de Waterkant.
  4. Roast & Co – new opening by HQ – HQ does steak and Roast & Co does chicken and sides.   Simple offering – sexy courtyard on Heritage Square.   It will be fun in the festive courtyard in summer.    I enjoyed the chicken – but think possibly I may have more luck getting a group of friends together to go and eat steak then chicken!  Location – 98 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town City Bowl
  5. Hokey Poke – picking up on the trend for Poke bowls that seems to be spreading abroad – they offer wonderful bowls of fresh ingredients mixed with fish.   This is a real hole in the wall tiny tiny little spot.   Worth scouting if you enjoy Poke bowls!  1 Church Street, Cape Town City Centre.
  6. Spirit Cafe Dunkley Square – SpiritCafe Constantia is opening a branch in Dunkley Square (top of the city) in October.  It will be great to have a new vegetarian/vegan eatery for the city.   For the rest of us – it will be great to have another wonderful spot for salads as summer is starting!!   I am looking forward to trying this one out!
  7. Primal Eatery – new meaty spot – as the name suggests!  They have taken the old Charcoal Dining spot just above the top of Bree Street in New Church Rd and revamped it.   There is a renowned restauranteur behind it – so this one looks promising!  Decor looks glam!
  8. Lilly’s – fabulous new relaxed eatery in Greenpoint – sea views, contemporary light decor, lovely staff – this is going to be the new favourite spot for summer in Cape Town!   Vibey and fun – we loved our visit!
  9. Homage 1862 – wonderful new spot – gorgeous eclectic decor.   Delicious food.  It is all about freshness and I love that the sides of vegetables were as delicious as the main dishes.   For veg lovers – this spot rocks.  The meat and the fish were excellent too.   Price wise it feels more like a dinner spot!  However – it was worth every cent!   Fabulous new addition to the offerings on Loop Street in the city.
  10. Thali by top Chef Liam Tomlin is an Indian Tapas Restaurant.   As per his signature Chefs Warehouse – he will not be taking bookings – so you will have to stalk it for a table!   Find them at 3 Park Rd, Gardens (close to the fat cactus!). Concept Indian tapas for 2 with 8 dishes to share for R650 (note no choices) I loved this experience.   Highly recommended!   Note they also have a vegetarian menu option.
  11. The new Chefs Warehouse in the Constantia Winelands on Beau Constantia Estate has just opened.   This is a great combo – one of the most beautiful estates in the Cape combined with one of the most talented chefs – Liam Tomlin – and jaw dropping views and then add delicious wine – perfection!!!  They ARE taking bookings  – a move away from his signature – No Bookings Taken!
  12. The Stack – great old world charm, combined with contemporary decor and simple dishes done amazingly well
  13. Shio Contemporary Japanese has opened in De Waterkant- Chef Cheyne Morrsiby – is an amazingly talented chef.  Once he is on your radar – don’t miss his other two restaurants in Hout Bay!  Expect funky contemporary decor and a rocking taste bud experience.   Lots of flavours and spices – worth sharing everything to maximize the experience.   Great new intimate spot.   Loved our visit!
  14. La Tête – New nose to tail restaurant by Chef Giles Edwards has opened in the space where Orinoco was in Lower Bree Street.  Lovely clean modern interior.   Talented Chef/owner. Advisable to pre-book by phone – +27 21 4181299.  Closed on Sundays and Mondays NB Snout to tail dining including Pigs Tails and Sweetbreads (menu changes daily!) – do not take vegetarian friends with you! 
  15. Foxcroft – La Colombe’s Chef has opened a slightly more casual – yet still fine dining restaurant in Constantia.  Just awarded Best New Restaurant in South Africa by Eat Out
  16. Faber at Avondale – in the Paarl Winelands Region.   Hottest new opening for the Cape Winelands – top chef Eric Bulpitt in partnership with Avondale
  17. Marigold in Franschhoek – Great to have Chef Vanie Padayachee back in the Franschhoek Valley to launch Marigold a North Indian Cuisine restaurant owned by Mr Singh of the Leeu Collection.   I cannot wait to try this one out – I have heard great reports!
  18. La Petite Colombe – has opened a fine dining restaurant at Le Quartier Franscais Hotel in Franschhoek.   This is the sister restaurant of La Colombe – as such expect fine dining tasting menus.   Expensive – but talented Chefs – so worth the investment if you are here and holidaying on US dollars or pounds!   For locals – perhaps wait for the winter specials!

New Cape Town Restaurants:

This section contains some that you may not have tried – so it is keeping the ones that are fairly new and those that are still new enough to be hot and must try spots!

  1. Bree Street has been the hot spot for restaurant openings in the last year.   This “hood” has transformed rapidly from business district to a haven of quirky artisan restaurants and bars.   It is upmarket and attracting the over the 30’s crowd.   As foodies, this is the “go to” area to explore.   With the continued large number of openings and the hype and buzz on Bree Street – the rentals have been increasing exponentially.   The only cheaper rental space was left at the lower part of Bree, in the business district.   As such you will see that the latest crop of openings has been concentrated on that end.   However as this new “lower Bree hub” is now also exploding,  rentals are steeply increasing down there too!   So the next new area that the restaurant openings will move to is Loop Street, which is still quite undeveloped and is mostly a business district!   Some of the new spots on Bree that have opened:
    • #upperbree: Not so new – but not to be missed – artisan bacon at Bacon on Bree, artisan Cheese at Culture Club Cheese, & Mothers Ruin Gin Bar for drinks.
    • The Hungry Herbivore – just off Bree – a great vegan venue.   Sexy decor and great food.   They are open for lunch and breakfast and have just started with dinners from Thursday to Saturday nights.   Well worth going.   Great to see an explosion of vegan places in Cape Town!!!  This is chef owned – Amy is passionate and a really warm and welcoming host.   Closed on Mondays. 11 Orphan Street
    • Mulberry & Prince – Sexy spot with sexy decor.   Intimate.  Small plate concept of sharing dishes of interesting flavors.   They say it is “new American cuisine”  – I am not too sure what that means!  This spot is gorgeous and the dishes were all delicious.   I loved our visit there and would highly recommend it.  (Note it is slightly off Bree Street – so take a small detour into Pepper Street)
    • #middlebree – not so new but really awesome – Charango – great funky decor featuring a mural of one of South Africa’s top street artists – Faith47.   Fabulous chef – Peruvian cuisine – hip and delicious – I would highly recommend it.   Don’t miss the pisco sours.   Other legends in this part of Bree are: Clarke’s for burgers & hipsters,    La Parada – Spanish vibey tapas bar – perfect for drinks before or after dinner or a snack as you work your way up and down the strip!
    • Mink & Trout – this is a revamp of the old Birds Cafe – so same owner/chefs.   Looking gorgeous and wonderful food as Kevin is a really good chef!
    • Ash Charcoal Dining– Just a small detour off Bree Street is Ash Charcoal Dining.  This spot was originally a joint venture between Franky Fenner Meat Market and the Publik Wine guru Guys who were sharing a retail space – with a fabulous chef called Ash who is now serving their meat and their wine with wonderfully cooked meat.   Great contemporary decor – wonderfully prepared meat – it is a great space and a great combo – I would highly recommend a visit.  Note Franky Fenner is no longer part of the consortium – as a result there is more balance on the menu in terms of non-meat dishes.   However there is still great meat to be had here!  81 Church Street – small detour off Bree – across the road from Love Thy Neighbour.
    • Gate 69 – a fab  new revue bar theatre – glam and burlesque – tickets include dinner.   This looks well worth trying out!!!  Current cost R550 per person for the show and dinner.
    • Love thy Neighbour – another name change!  This one was &Union and then Biergarten and now it is Love Thy Neighbour!  Now open for lunch and Dinner – serving funky looking Greek inspired food – sourcing locally and organically where possible.   It has always been one of my favorite spots.  110 Bree Street.  Tip – this is still a beer garden – so have a drink here and then head to the Whisky Bar next door called Hanks.
    • La Tête – New nose to tail restaurant by Chef Giles Edwards has just opened in the space where Orinoco was in Lower Bree Street. They advise booking by phone – +27 21 4181299. Closed on Sundays and Mondays.  Talented Chef – make sure you try it!! Simple decor and chef owner!
  2. Loop Street is the next new hub in Cape Town – if offers cheaper rentals than Bree Street as this street was pretty undeveloped in the past.   It is such fun watching the city transform from a  business district to a space where we eat, live and play!   Openings on Loop Street include:
    • Homage 1862 –  wonderful new addition to Loop Street!  It is all about freshness and flavour.   Gorgeous old building.
    • House of H  –  112 Loop Street – loud, fun, funky combo of fresh eatery, with a barber,tattoo parlour and bar in one spot.    Chef Heinrich Koen (known as H) has been  cooking since age 13 and has worked with UK celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Aldo Zille.   He was also executive Chef of the Madam Zingara Group locally.   This spot is quirky – H presides over the small menu of great cuts of meats and the salad area – which feels like a market area at the back of the shop.   It is self service – get your card and then come through and chat to H about what you want to eat.   H is there to advise you and to show you the different cuts of meat that they can do on the grill for you.   The meat rocks, the burgers rock and so do the salad combos that you can chose.   Note that especially on weekends it gets really busy (and loud and fun) – so you do need to book.
    • Yours Truly – 63 Loop Street – I love Yours Truly!   This is a fun bar and cafe with a great simple menu – where there is such attention to getting the right bread, parma hams and ingredients that everything is delicious and really inexpensive.   During the day they function as a coffee bar & light eatery with a vibe and at night the Loop Street and Kloof street venues turn into bars.   They attract a young hip and quirky crowd.  Both venues are festive and fun with staff that have a great energy and vibe.   The Loop Street venue is in a gorgeous Victorian building.   The Kloof Street venue is in front of a back packers and in the evening they have a fun bar until 10pm that is located upstairs – it is called Up Yours.   If you want to find summer fun in Cape Town – head for a drink at Up Yours – it is great for people watching, cocktails in jars and pizza in the evening.
    • The Village Idiot – 32 Loop Street – fun upmarket gastro pub – open in the evenings during the week & for lunch and dinner on Saturdays.
    • Bar Dough by Jason has shut down on Loop Street – they are looking for a new venue
  3. Long Street now has more of a grungy feel and is attracting the youngsters.   There are however some legendary eating spots on the strip – such as South China Dim Sum.   Newest openings include:
    • Obi Restaurant– Papa San (a legendary sushi chef and famous for having had Minato Restaurant and for being in the Douglas Green Wine advert) has teamed up with a wonderful young chef Ben Bettendorf to open Obi in lower Long Street.  This is a great combo as both can work in the kitchen – which frees Papa San to come out and chat to his Cape Town fans!  We loved our visit to the restaurant – we were warmly welcomed by Ben and as we were early, we ordered the early bird special  – three courses including a Miso soup,  a lovely large plate of sushi and delicious ice creams to end (a scoop of a fancy green tea ice cream that was sublime!!!) .   Simple decor, warm welcome, honest Asian style food…….fantastic!
    • Moro Gelato Moro Gelato – has opened – This is one to look out for – they are a local ice cream producer that makes ice creams that rock the rhubarb!   They are Woodstock based.
  4. Shortmarket Street is home to some funky spots that have been opening there.  These include:
    • The House of Machines that has been open for some time – quirky combo of a cafe, a motor bike workshop where you can have your custom made motor bike designed and made, funky biking merchandise, a bar and a live music venue.  They have just launched a secret doorway in the venue that opens at 4pm.   …..find the lights with the sausages – and you will have found The Sneaky Sausage.  84 Shortmarket Street.
    • The Shortmarket Club – opened for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  Chic and glam and well worth booking!  Joint venture between famous Chef Luke Dale Roberts, his wife Sandalene Roberts, Chef Wesley Randles (original Pot Luck Club Chef) and manager Simon Widdeson.  88 Shortmarket Street (note there is no sign – look for 88 – next door to The House of Machines! The sign is on the pavement)
    • Cafe Roux Sessions – This is the Noodhoek Cafe Roux that have opened a live revue bar featuring musicians and comedians.  You book online and head there for dinner and a live session.   The tickets are for the performance and all proceeds go to the musician/comedian.   Dinner/drinks are an additional cost on the evening.   It is a gorgeous intimate venue.  I love their decor.  Great addition to Shortmarket Street.
  5. De Waterkant:
    • Shio Contemporary Japanese – new spot to open in De Waterkant (close to Seapoint!).  Talented Chef Cheyne Morrisby offering guests the chance to feast on Asian inspired dishes.  We loved our dinner here!
  6. Seapoint also has loads of new spots that have opened:
    •  Three Wise Monkeys – funky little ramen and sushi restaurant – very vibey – and takes no bookings.
    • Baked Bistro– have moved from Bakoven to Seapoint.  98 Regent Rd.  Strong community following.  A local favorite.
    • Sundoo Indian Tapas Bar  – funky Indian tapas restaurant with a great vibe.   I loved everything on the starter menu – so head there for drinks with friends and order an assortment.   Loved their mini bunny chows.   77 Regent Rd
    • For those with a sweet tooth – there are two gems on the strip – Crumbs and Cream (home of the cookie sandwich!) & My Sugar (insanely passionate chefs behind this one – a must visit!)
    • I am loving Jarryd’s and Kleinsky’s.   Note that Jarryd’s is now open for dinner
  7. Nooka Vegetarian Restaurant and Cafe – Another vegetarian restaurant for Cape Town – looks lovely!  20 Roeland Street.   Open Mon to Sat for breakfast and lunch.

New in the Cape Winelands

  1. Hoghouse Brewing Company at Spier Wine Estate – I love this spot!!!  Simple concept – everything is cooked on the smoker.   You chose a variety of meats and sides to share and sit and have a feast!   A combo of a micro brewery and a top Chef – simple and delicious.   Beer & meat = happiness!  It is located on Spier wine estate.   They have a lovely large terrace under the oak trees.   This is the perfect spot for an afternoon of relaxation with a group of friends.
  2. La Petite Colombe -opened winter 2017 – this is the sister restaurant to the famous La Colombe Restaurant.   It promises a talented team of chefs offering fine dining tasting menus.  La Petite Colombe has taken the space at Le Quartier Franscais that was home to legendary chef Margot Janse for many years.
  3. Reubens – Chef Reuben has moved to a new spot – he has bought his own building and has opened a fresh new restaurant in Franschhoek – just off the main drag.   The new venue is fresh and gorgeous – this will definitely be worth a try when I am next in Franschhoek!
  4. Orangerie at Le Lude Champers estate – fabulous small restaurant next to the new tasting room at Le Lude Estate.   Small conservatory style with wonderful light and small outside area.   This is a family owned estate – one daughter did the gorgeous decor and the other daughter cooks.   One can either do a tapas style platter with the champers tasting or stay for lunch at the Orangerie. Small delicious sounding menu!    Tip – this estate is walking distance from the centre of Franschhoek (15 minutes).  To book call +27 87 754 9925
  5. Foliage – Not so new anymore – but wonderful and not to be missed!  Chef Chris Erasmus has left La Motte and opened his own spot on the main road of Franschhoek.  The theme is to forage in the mountains for ingredients and to play with local ingredients.  As such the menu is short and will change regularly!  I cannot wait to go and play there – Chef Chris is full of passionate and great fun to chat to!!  Location- on the main road in Franschhoek opposite Le Quartier Franscais – 11 Hugeuenot Rd. Tel – 021 876 2328  Closed Tuesdays – open for lunch on all other days!  Closed for dinner Tues/Sunday night!
  6. De Grendel Restaurant (Durbanville Winelands – about 20 minutes from Cape Town central) – I cannot recommend this highly enough – gob smacking views of Table Mountain and the city makes this one to make sure you get to for an early booking to see the sun set.  Combine this with a fine dining experience that is great value for money – R255 for 2 courses or R300 for 3 courses.  Some background on those behind the food: Diners sensing Michelin-star excellence on the palate will be spot-on as De Grendel Restaurant is a culinary collaboration between De Grendel and Crown Hotels and Restaurants who owns the Michelin starred The Crown at Whitebrook (voted 2011 Best Restaurants in Wales) and Celtic Manor. My verdict: Book immediately – this is a really special treat!! I am in love with this spot.  The dinner blew me away, as did the view, the dishes, the presenation and one of the nicest sauvignon blancs on the planet!   Info: Tel +27 21 558 7035.  Directions: Head out of Cape Town on the N1 Paarl direction, Leave the N1 at exit 18; continue left down the Plattekloof Road for another 5 km, De Grendel is on the right (it has its own traffic light and is signposted)
  7. The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap Wine Estate– Chef Pieter de Jager has moved across from Pierneef à La Motte to run The Rotisserie kitchen.   The concept is simple – they have imported Rotisserie equipment from France and will be doing chicken and pork in it.  This will be accompanied by a delicious array of funky seasonal salads which are prepared from their own gardens (Hanneli Rupert owns La Motte and Leopard’s leap).  The salads and the meats will be sold by weight.  This sounds fabulous to me as for a long time I have not been able to understand why everyone seems to want to serve only hot food in a valley that gets to over 40 degrees celcius in summer.  This promises to be a wonderful fresh feast!  Leopard’s Leap is on the left hand side on the R45 as you head into Franschhoek.  It will be open from 10am from Wednesday to Sunday Tel 021 876-8002.  Open Wed – Sunday for lunch.
  8. Camphor’s at Vergelegen Wine Estate – fine dining restaurant at Vergelegen – . Chef  PJ Vadis is moving on – we await an update on the replacement chef!