(Known as the V&A by locals!)
- Harbour House V&A Waterfront – The Harbour House in Kalk Bay is renowned for providing a fine dining seafood experience combined with excellent service. This has been carried through to their Waterfront branch. This is now my new favourite restaurant in the Waterfront – we have spent many many many hours on the roof here over Xmas. Upstairs is the drinks bar – think “champers & oysters” or vodka and sushi – yes – this is decadent and fun and you can lurk all afternoon or evening up here for drinks and boat watching – I love it!! Should you wish to have a proper meal the main restaurant is downstairs – design is slick, white and gorgeous. Make sure you book for outside on the terrace. Note – make sure you book in the summer in order to get the outside tables. To book call 021 418 47 44 Cost: $$$
- Balducci’s – This is the best restaurant to visit if you feel like just simply relaxing. They specialize in uncomplicated lighter meals in a chic environment. They are renowned for their pizzas, their salads, their burgers and their great wine list. In addition they offer great value for money – so expect to find the locals beating a path to their door. Main Mall V&A Waterfront – faces the water if you sit outside. Tel no: +27-21 421 6002. Open daily. Cost $$
- Willoboughby & Co – This spot is located inside the main mall at the Waterfront – however this is its only fault! Willoboughy’s has the reputation for offering the best sushi in Cape Town. This reputation is well deserved and we tend to head down there at least once a month to do the pilgrimage! If you are into sushi, make sure you make it to this spot. They also offer an extensive seafood menu – we however have never tried it as we are hooked on the sushi! V&A Main mall. Tel no: +27 21 418 6115. Open daily for lunch and dinner – no reservations taken. When you see the queue heading out of the restaurant, you know you have found the right place! Don’t be deterred – the queue moves very quickly!
- Den Anker – This is a Belgian restaurant in the V&A Waterfront. It boasts one of the nicest locations as it is in the middle of the Waterfront campus – ie it overlooks the boats and it is a magical spot for lunch or dinner as the view is fantastic. House specialties include fresh West Coast mussels, served with pomme frites and Belgian Beer – a fabulous combination! V&A Waterfront. Tel no: +27 21 419 0249 Open daily.
- Belthazar – This is the best spot for steak in the Waterfront. I went and ate there last week after boycotting it for more than a year as I had had bad feedback from people who had been. We not only had the most fantastic steak, but managed to meet the head chef. He is a butcher by trade who has reinvented himself as a chef. His passion shone through and the quality of the meat is now once again outstanding. It is definitely worth a visit. In addition Belthazar offer the largest number of wines available by the glass in the Southern Hemisphere. They have introduced a technology using nitrogen to preserve the wine – so if you are into wine and great meat – this is the spot for you. V&A Waterfront. Tel no: +27 21 421 37 53 Open daily for lunch and dinner.
- Baia Seafood Restaurant – Portuguese inspired upmarket seafood restaurant in the V&A Waterfront. A winning combination of excellent seafood with impeccable service. The prices are steep – but it is worth it as you will enjoy every mouthful. If the weather is good book an outside table. Note that it is essential to book in summer as they are very popular. Tel +27-21-421-0935. Open daily for lunch and dinner
- Si Cantina Sociale – this is a lovely addition to the Waterfront. It is located in the new design quarter in the Clock Tower District of the Waterfront. It is a relaxed and vibey spot – a combo of a pub and a tapas bar (with a couple of mains). This recommendation is for the vibe and the atmosphere. The staff are also really lovely here. Prices are reasonable and it is perfect for a lunch before a trip to Robben Island or before heading into the Zeitz Mocaa Art Gallery. Tip – if you are there in the evening – combine this with a drink at The Silo Hotel (you need to be well dressed to be admitted) or on the rooftop of the Radisson Red Hotel (younger crowd – vibey and they have a truck as a bar)
- Panama Jacks – Has relocated from the working part of the harbour to the New cruise terminal. Panama Jacks is an institution in Cape Town – locals love it and the prices are great! There are absolutely no frills and if you are a seafood lover – I would highly recommend it! In addition, just getting there is an adventure. This spot is also great for people watching – it attracts everyone from the well off, through to the staff that come in from the working boats that are in the harbour, sometimes with working girls with them!! There is not much in terms of innovative dishes or presentation of the food – but somehow this spot is just a great seafood meal done with no frills. Address Quay 500 Cape Town Harbour. Open daily for dinner & lunch – but closed for lunch on a Saturday. Tel no: 021 448 1080 or 021 447 3992 (moving to the new Cruise Terminal in the harbour once it opens)
- Nobu at the One & Only Hotel – literally blew me away – each morsel is a masterpiece and a complete taste sensation. This restaurant is beautiful and you actually feel like an evening is a special sensation – to a foodie it is a mind blowing treat. For locals the prices are high – for those who know the Nobu group – they rate this as one of the cheapest they have ever visited. I would rate the evening I spent here as one of the top dining experiences I have ever had in my life. Some background: “World-class master chef Nobuyuki ‘Nobu’ Matsuhisa expands his eponymous empire with the debut of his first restaurant in Africa – his third for Kerzner International. No stranger to worldly culinary influences, Nobu gives classical Japanese cuisine a contemporary twist. Diners can indulge in fresh South African seafood and indigenous spices in mesmerising dishes such as Sake Roast Whitefish with Jalapeno or the Chocolate Bento Box; a dark chocolate fondant with green tea ice cream and a sesame seed tuile.”