Check out my list below to discover some of our favourite quirky & fun local Cape Town Restaurants. I decided to separate these restaurants from my main list for those who are looking for something a little bit more fun than a fine dining establishment – and Cape Town has loads of quirky, fun and eclectic restaurants!
Note that the quirky “hoods” are in flux. The rentals in the Bree street area have led to casualties and an increase in places opening in other areas. Kloof Street and Kloof Nek (Pulbik, Cause Effect, Kloof Street House) have become a wonderful new hood boasting lots of fabulous spots for eating and drinking. Woodstock continues to grow with a new centre opening soon called The Iron Works. Church Square in Cape Town is rapidly developing as a new “hood” (Fyn, Kleinsky’s) as is the Eastside district of Cape Town (Truth/Harringtons/Belly of the Beast/Naked Food/The Electric/New York Bagels) and now Salt River (Salt Circle – Table 7 & Food Jamming), Reverie Social Table.
KLOOF NEK/KLOOF STREET HOOD: Just above the city
Is a wonderful small wine bar selling lesser known wines from smaller estates. They support the smaller producers and as such it is great fun to head over there to try interesting wines. They have a small food offering – mostly some bar nibbles and charcuterie and cheese platters. Have a snack here and if you are still hungry there are lots of fun spots for eating across the road. 11D Kloof Nek Rd . Ps – do not miss out on having a taco across the road at the El Buro Taqueria – delicious taco’s and great vibe! Ps 2 – then head for a drink to the Power & The Glory (next door to Publik) – it is a quirky and fun bar. Ps 3 – if you head upstairs to The Moveable Feast – there is a hidden bar next to the restaurant upstairs. This is a great hood for drinks and dinner. Note that if you enjoy Japanese – Kyoto Sushi is wonderful!
Is a wonderful cocktail bar and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Make sure you sit at the bar counter!I have never come across people who are so passionate about making cocktails. It is a serious business and watching these alchemists at work is fascinating. If it is your first visit – sit at the bar and chat to the “drinks alchemists” – they will take you through a journey and match what you enjoy to their cocktails. The guys go foraging for local plants to add to the drinks. They search for unique flavours and try to focus on using small artisan producers products. Make sure you start with a Caperitif made by Adi Badenhorst – it is an excellent light drink to start with while you are negotiating the rest of the choices. They serve light eats to go with the drinks and it is possible to book a table. If possible try and go on a week night as it is magical to be able to chat to the team when it is quieter. I am in love with Cause Effect. Note that they are focusing on the drinks side first and then will concentrate on the food! I think they need someone as passionate as they are about drinks to head up the kitchen!
Is an old Cape Town favourite neighbourhood favourite spot. This is well worth booking to go to on a warm evening or during the day as they have a wonderful front outdoor courtyard with lots of ambiance (outdoor space is rare in our city!) The food is Mediterranean in style – they make their own pasta and breads. They cater for children during the day as the kids can be whisked off to go and make a ginger bread man or cupcakes or to simply watch the guys work in the bakery at the back. There are also colouring in books to keep them happy. This property has a slight air of eccentricity and fun and is a neighbourhood favourite as it is kid and dog friendly. 110 Kloof Street. Closed on Mondays and Sunday night.
this is a wonderful spot for a fun night out with a group of mates. The decor is fun and eclectic and almost feels a bit colonial. It is in a gorgeous Victorian house on Kloof Street which lends an intimate atmosphere to the spot. The food is fun, wonderfully presented and the food is always nice – it is good enough to keep everyone happy…….and not aiming to be a fine dining establishment – good and wholesome. We have had a variety of different levels of service – twice it was excellent – once it was mediocre and the waitress seemed to be untrained. Overall – I love this spot and will return often – it is not just about the food – this one is fun and vibey and great as a meet up spot for a group of friends or a birthday. 30 Kloof Street. It is essential to book – even for the bar area! Note that in summer – try and get a booking in their outside courtyard.
Is a tiny cafe and wine bar just off Kloof Street in the city. It is warm and welcoming and really small. It is a local hole in the wall – and it looks like they have upped their game and are having special wine tasting nights on a Wednesday night. For details check out their facebook! They do pastries & light meals. They have a license for selling wine too! They are open Monday to Friday 7am to 10pm and close at 3pm on weekends. 3 De Lorenz Street Gardens
Stylish pavement cafe is open for breakfast and lunch. For breakfast enjoy soft scrambled eggs with Norwegian salmon …….complemented by delicious freshly baked breads and freshly squeezed beetroot and ginger juice. For lunch or a mid afternoon snack pop in for an array of Tapas and a glass of chilled wine. This is a favourite local spot for breakfast 151 Kloof Street. Tel +27-21-426-2413. Closed on Mondays.
This was the first gastro pub in Cape Town – and the locals fell in love with it. It has an upmarket bar feel – hands on owners – consistently good food – and as such it has a tribal following of locals. It is full every night and they have two seatings. It is best to book at least two days before. 104 Kloof Street
Following from the success of Black Sheep – the owners have opened a wonderful fun bar called Dark Horse. They do not take bookings. It does however have a tapas style menu that is quite good. I loved our visit here. They have a rooftop and a terrace on to the street – so for good weather this is a great choice. The decor is fab inside too. This is a great addition to Kloof street. The perfect spot to meet up with mates for a few drinks. 145 Kloof Street
Arguably the most delicious ice cream in Cape Town! Worth tracking down. Open fairly late! Note they have vegan offerings too.
Is a wonderful outdoor coffee shop, a bar and casual eatery – nice pizza’s, sandwiches & salads. Great coffee spot. Young, vibey and fun. Also a good spot for meeting for drinks and an inexpensive dinner in the evening. Tip – head upstairs early evening for drinks and dinner on their terrace. It is alongside a backpackers. So the crowd is young and fun. One comes for the vibe – not the liquor selection – which is a challenging offering for any wine lover as there is no choice! 73 Kloof Street . RECOMMENDED FOR THE FUN VIBE – day or night – great for people watching and chilling. Younger crowd. THEY HAVE OUTSIDE SEATING WITH LOTS OF PLANTS AROUND YOU.
Top Chef Liam Tomlin’s famous signature 8 course shared tasting menu with Indian inspired flavours – enjoyed while surrounded by Moroccan style decor. This is an absolute favourite foodie hang out – if you enjoy Indian flavours – head here immediately. Note that they do not take bookings. The concept is simple – 8 tapas dishes of the day to share between two people. Options – regular, vegetarian or vegan. RECOMMENDED FOR FOODIES.
CITY BOWL HOOD: BREE/LOOP/LONG & their cross streets!
Bree Street has been the hot spot for restaurant closures 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 was the “go to” area to explore. With the large number of openings and the hype and buzz on Bree Street – the rentals have been increased exponentially. It seems like the rental agents have become extremely greedy – as such there have not been a steady increase in places closing down on Bree Street. We were so sad to see Culture Club Cheese shut its doors and move to the Southern Suburbs and recent casualties include Bacon on Bree, Hass Coffee, and Olami. 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!
Bree Street “Hood” Favourite spots (including some that are just off Bree!)
UPPER BREE STREET:
This is our favourite restaurant in Cape Town for oysters. They are also a fabulous hook to table seafood bistro. If there is good weather – head to their shared outside table for oyster happy hour from 5 – 6pm – and order a bottle of bubbles or have a cocktail. This outside area is wonderfully vibey and fun. If you would like to come for dinner – make sure you put a booking in place – they have become a sought after spot for seafood lovers!
This spot is approaching cult status for their bread, pastries and sandwiches – it is also one of the best spots for people watching in Cape Town – plus the coffee is insane too. Note it is just a simple street side bakery and eatery – nothing fancy – but everything that comes out of there is a gourmet delight! This is well worth tracking down if you are exploring the city! 185 Bree Street. Facebook Open Mon – Friday 7am to 3.30pm – open on Saturday morning for breakfast only.
Bree Street – a stop at the first artisan bakery in Cape Town – Jason Bakery. This is a cult bakery and the starting point for the story of the evolution of the city of Cape Town.
Sexy spot with sexy decor. Intimate. Small plate concept of sharing dishes of interesting flavours. They call it “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. To note – as it is sharing dishes – the dishes come out randomly from the kitchen – so do not order to not share with others at your table – share all the dishes as one persons dishes that they order may only come out MUCH MUCH later. (Note it is slightly off Bree Street – so take a small detour into Pepper Street)
MIDDLE BREE HOOD:
- So Cal Bar – this one is above Charango on middle Bree Street – it is a California style bar with Californian style cuisine (ie Mexican influence). The bar is light, bright and perfect for summer. They are open on Friday and Saturday nights only after 7pm. The entrance is through Jarryd’s on 75 Church Street – just off Bree!
- The Botanical Bar (just off Bree on Longmarket Street) – wonderful artisanal gin bar – also have lovely light dishes for lunch or dinner. They have a whole wall dedicated to infusions and bitters that they have made themselves! It is well worth a visit or a serious gin lover.
- Jarryd’s – Middle Bree – 75 Church Street – just off Bree – these are the Seapoint guys who have opened a second smaller branch – with very sexy decor. This is a fabulous spot for breakfast or lunch in the city. Jarryd’s do great simple dishes (awesomely delicious) – like Eggs Benedict, earth rocking burgers and amazing salads.
- Cabron – fab hole in the wall tiny taqueria. This one is fun. The food was tasty and the little place is very vibey – 120 Bree Street
- Love thy Neighbour – great little Beer Garden in the middle of the city. Open for lunch and Dinner – serving Greek inspired food – sourcing locally and organically where possible. Snacks range from Halloumi Cheese through to pizza’s. It has always been one of my favourite spots. 110 Bree Street. Tip – this is still a beer garden – so have a drink and light dinner or a snack here and then head to the Whisky Bar next door called Hanks.
- Clarke’s Dining – Is chilled, funky diner style, hipster hangout…….. that started by serving great burgers. The burgers are made from free range beef and are really good. Over the years the food offerings got broader. So in addition to burgers there are lots of other options – I love their Caesar Salad. Everything they do seems to be delicious. They have now added a pizza side to their business in the back courtyard called Hail Pizza. It attracts a younger hipster crowd. 133 Bree Street. Ps – this has also become a hang out for people to meet for drinks!
- HQ – for Steak, Salad, Chips & vibe! This is a sexy steakhouse with only steak on the menu – sirloin steak with chips and salad. French style sexy decor in a wonderfully old building that dates back to 1771. Location on Heritage Square (entrance just off Bree Street). They also have a fun bar for cocktails early or late in the evening. Note the bar has a tapas menu and that HQ often has music later in the evening. Follow them on Facebook to see what is on. OPEN MONDAY NIGHT and very vibey on a Monday night! Two for the price of One special on a Monday. Book before going on a Monday!
- Roast & Co – owned by HQ – HQ does steak and Roast & Co does chicken and sides – both do it well and both are lovely restaurants! The Roast & Co sides are delicious!!! Order lots of them to go with the chicken. A simple offering in a wonderful hidden courtyard on Heritage Square (just off Bree) OPEN MONDAY NIGHTIt is fab outdoor option for 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 (Inside Heritage Square)
- Note the original Chefs Warehouse is also on the side of Heritage Square (Entrance on Bree Street) – this is a MUST DO FOR ANY FOODIE. It is quirky. They prepare 8 tapas dishes a day – you share the 8 dishes between two of you. If you are a vegetarian you need to let them know the day before. This is a no choice dining experience created by some of Cape Town’s best young Chefs. It is amazing and it is NOT expensive. Note that if you are a fussy eater/have dietary problems – rather stay away. They do NOT take bookings. You need to stalk them from about 17h30. Last orders are 8pm. OPEN ON A MONDAY NIGHT. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
LOWER BREE HOOD:
Nose to tail restaurant byChef Giles Edwards. La Tete opened on lower Lower Bree Street in the city and rapidly became a wonderful new part of the regenerating city’s food scene. Lovely clean modern interior. Talented Chef/owner. We have had some wonderful dinners here! It is advisable to pre-book by phone – +27 21 4181299 or email – firstname.lastname@example.org. Closed on Sundays and Mondays NB Snout to tail dining including Pigs Tails and Sweetbreads (menu changes daily!) – note that the Chef will make a plan for any vegetarian friends/partners that you bring along – simply brief him when you are there (or when you book) and he will come up with options for you if there are limited options on the menu on the night that you go. Note that some of the best dishes we have had at Le Tete were veg dishes – so don’t leave the vegetarian at home! 17 Bree Street. Closed Sunday & Monday.
True Italic – Osteria del Capo
A wonderful rustic Italian Eatery that is owned by the Pasquale family – Chef Luca cooks and his sister runs the front of house. This is one of our favourite Italian eateries in Cape Town – you find most of the local Italian community here at night – which is always a good sign! They have parents from two different regions – and the restaurants reflects that by combining the cuisines of Emilia Romagna & Sicily mainly. 15 Bree Street – Tues to Sat from 6pm
LOOP STREET HOOD
Loop Street is a newer restaurant hub in the Cape Town city bowl area – 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!
Wonderfully fresh & healthy large poke bowls. (A Poke bowl is similar to a salad bowl – each ingredient is kept separately and there is often raw fish added to the dish) The vision of Andrew Flanagan is to do good – be good to your body, source locally and from NGO’s. Find your bowl of health at 90 Loop Street! Open daily 11 to 21h30. (Note he has opened a second branch in Seapoint and that one can have the bowls delivered on ORDER IN (The app) 90 Loop Street.
Is in a gorgeous old building at the top of Loop Street! It is all about freshness and flavour. I love the interior of this spot – it is a great little hidden foodie gem on Loop Street. This is a great spot for lunch or dinner. 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! Verdict – a fabulous addition to the offerings on Loop Street in the city. 168 Loop Street. Closed Sunday & Monday
Loud, fun and funky combo of a steakhouse, with a tattoo parlour and bar in one spot (I don’ think the tattoo parlour ever opened – but it sounds cool!) 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. Chef 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 on weekends it gets really busy (and loud and fun) – so you do need to book. We LOVE LOVE LOVE this spot. It is quirky and they offer later dining than anyone else in the city. Tip – they have a bar upstairs – so head to their roof after dinner (the bar is open from Thursday – Saturday). 112 Loop Street. Closed on Sundays.
This is a fairly new sushi & Japanese restaurant by the former Chef from Willoughby’s in the Waterfront (which has the best reputation for the best sushi in Cape Town). I love the decor. It is wonderfully clean and has a warm (Zen?) wonderful energy. The welcome you receive from the staff is warm and welcoming. The food was good and some dishes were excellent…….and others were average – a real mixed bag. I really enjoyed both visits to Tomo. 86 Loop Street. (Tip – head to the House of Machines around the corner for live music and a drink after dinner)
A fun upmarket gastro pub with great decor – open in the evenings during the week from 3pm and & for lunch and dinner on Friday & Saturdays. They focus on our South African braai culture (yes we are indeed meat lovers and we love to BBQ!) 32 Loop Street. #southafricancuisine
Note – Long Street is where the youngsters party and is a bit grungy………..it is great fun if you
Is an absolute foodie treat! Chef Ed and his team turn out amazing authentic Dim Sum and Noodle dishes – the atmosphere is fun, quirky and no frills. It is a great spot to meet up with friends. It is reasonably priced and the food is amazing, authentic and made with lots of love. Read my blog on them for more details. Note you do need to book as they have become very popular!! 289 Long Street. Call to book: 078 846 3656. Email email@example.com. Closed on Sunday & Monday nights. (Top of Long Street)
They are a local gelato producer that makes gelato that rock the rhubarb! They are Woodstock based – which was hard for us city slickers to access in the past – so it is wonderful that they opened an outlet in the heart of Long Street! Amazing gelato’s! Track them down!
Papa San (a legendary sushi chef and famous for having owned 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! OPEN ON A MONDAY NIGHT (Bottom of Long Street)
Is a quirky combo of a cafe, a coffee shop during the day, a motor bike workshop where you can have your custom made motor bike built, a funky biking merchandise store, a bar with cocktails matured in barrels and a live music venue. We love this little spot! They also have light eats. Pop in anytime of the day – this one is always fun! For live music pop in from Wednesday to Saturday nights to see local bands playing. (Note this one is very close to Heritage Square – so a good combo when doing dinner there)
Is open 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. Refined decor – works best at night – the pictures on the walls are made up of 1000’s of paper butterflies 88 Shortmarket Street (note there is no sign – look for 88 – next door to The House of Machines! The sign is on the pavement) * Fine dining
Has opened next door to The Shortmarket Club – it is a secret bar with fun gourmet bar food that you can enjoy either as a snack or get a couple of dishes and have them for dinner. They are open for drinks after work till about 10pm (owned by the Shortmarket Club) – look for the doorway next door to The Shortmarket Club. It is covered in graffiti – also 88 Shortmarket Street.
The Noodhoek Cafe Roux guys have opened a live music revue bar, in the middle of the city, 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. 74 Shortmarket Street. Note it is best to book -but one can try and pop in on the night – sometimes there is space at bar. BOOK NOW
TOP of the city:
This is not a full restaurant ………….but is one of the most beautiful places for tea lovers to visit. This is 100% passion.When you go – do not order just one tea – order a couple of teas so that you caan taste the differences between his white, black, green and rooibos teas. Then settle in with some wonderful cake into their beautiful tranquil space. Make sure you head to the counter to see how they make the tea – wonderful gadgets used to produce the tea! Chat to Bruno and their team – their love for the teas is infectious! This is a wonderful space to meet up with a friend or to just to relax and exhale.………..there is something really special about the space. It is gorgeous and tranquil. Located in the heart of the city – just off St George’s Mall. 7 Church Street, city bowl. (Just off the top of St George’s mall)
Picking up on the trend for Poke bowls abroad – this hole in the wall spot launched on a side street in town. Worth scouting if you enjoy Poke bowls! Note we loved it – it made me feel like an angel – only putting goodness in my body! Ps combine it with a Ka Pa Tee after having lunch here! 1 Church Street, Cape Town City Centre.
This little gem can be found at the top of St George’s Mall near St George’s cathedral. It is the first restaurant of Chef Miles from Natal. He is doing fun breakfast options and focusing on doing a harvest table for lunch that one can chose from – a variety of salads and a meat or fish of the day. The focus is on freshness and food that is free from any additives. His aim is to build up people from his community in his kitchen and the front of house. We loved our visit to Free From for breakfast Chef Miles is hands on and a wonderfully welcoming host! Expect 100 degrees of passion!
Church Square Area Cape Town
About 10 years ago the city started regenerating. The regeneration spread from Bree Street and has slowly moved across the city. The two newest hubs for regeneration projects has been Church Square (the square behind the Groote Kerk) and The Eastside Hood (Buitenkant/Harrington Street) Over the last year Church Square has been renovated and a whole lot of new businesses have opened here.
There seems to be a trend towards the Seapoint restaurants opening a second branch in town – first Jarryd’s opened just off Heritage Square and now a small Kleinsky’s has opened. This spot celebrates the owners Jewish heritage with contemporary Jewish inspired delicious items. Small and fabulous little spot for breakfasts and lunches. Expect bagels, great schmears, salads and some great sweet items like NY Cheesecake.
Check out my new restaurant section to read more about this fantastic new fine dining restaurant located in the heart of the city. This is the most exciting new fine dining restaurant opening of the year in Cape Town. They literally constructed a double story glass cube on top of an old building in the city. Expect sweeping views, gorgeous design and one of Cape Town’s top chefs – Peter Templehoff. Also read this wonderful article written for the Daily Maverick by Christi Nortier. (Fine dining – It is only included here so that you can understand the dramatic change to this once run down square…… lots of places are opening around the square – from bagels – to fine dining – to coffee places – shared work spaces & a bakery)
EASTSIDE CITY HOOD (Buitenkant/Harrington Street)
This space is special! It was the first building to be funked up on the run down Buitenkant Street on the side of the city. It set the wheels in motion for the others to start moving into the hood and start uplifting and quirking up the area! Next to open was Haas (a gorgeous art gallery combined with an eatery & its own coffee roaster!). Harrington Street was the next street to start funking up and is now the new hot spot hood of the city. The combo of Buitenkant & Harrington Street is all being referred to as the Eastside District of the City. Truth was one of the first micro coffee roasters in Cape Town. Coffee is at the centre of their soul. Fear not – if you are not into coffee – you can drink beer or tea or the most amazing apple juice in Cape Town! The main thing is that this spot is not to be missed. The decor is steam punk and it is seriously fun. The staff wear wonderfully crazy outfits – they do insane gourmet breakfasts and serve them all day. In the evening – they have now opened a desserts only spot – yes when you have a hidden pastry chef upstairs that worked at Michelin star spots in France – you need to make sure he shares his talents with the locals! During the day you can taste his croissants & tarts. But the desserts at night is where you will find the most decadent treats!
Shhhhhhhh! Keep it a secret – there is a secret speakeasy in this area. You will only get into that part if you pre-book on the secret website for the speakeasy! Click here to book the Speakeasy. Buitenkant Street. If you have any difficulty with the booking system – simply email firstname.lastname@example.org to book.
Is a French crêperie. The decor is blue & white, with a touch of red, and everything from the wallpaper through to the tins of teas were specifically designed for them. It is gorgeous. The staff are also dressed in blue, red and white and they give you a wonderful warm welcome as you come in. On my first visit I had a delicious sweet crepe with apple. It was on second visit that I fell in love with Swan Cafe ……………..I had a savoury buckwheat-based galette. I have never had a galette before. It was one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted in my life. If you are wanting to try something fun and want a place that is fun and reasonably priced – I would highly recommend you head here for lunch.
Is the oldest and most famous producer of real bagels in Cape Town. They are also famous for the best Cheesecake! This family have been selling bagels in Cape Town since 1940! Chef Judy has worked for them for about 30 years…….she learnt all the family secrets on how to cook the best roast beef, to make schmears and many other traditional Jewish recipes. This is a real Cape Town Institution. The family originally owned a chain of restaurants – they later the reinvented themselves as New York Bagel in Seapoint. In later years the family sold the building that was home to NY Bagel and one branch of the family decided to keep the name going and got a new small premises in Harrington Street. This started as a kiosk. It was so popular that they soon added the building next door as the queues got longer and longer. Now one still queues to order – but one can settle in to enjoy your bagel once you have ordered. The seats are not too comfortable – which means that they turn the tables over fairly fast!! Also – not having wifi is a good tactic to move people on!
See our new restaurants in Cape Town section. This is a wonderful fun fine dining option on Harrington Street. They are well priced……………young innovative Chefs as owners……only 20 seats per dinner………so the whole of Cape Town is trying to get in to see what they are about. Booking is on their website – so stalk them 6 weeks before you plan to eat there.
Stylish cocktail bar that features great local music – check out their facebook to see who is playing. It is best to book before going. Note that they do food here too – so you can stay for dinner and some music. 61 Harrington Street (upstairs)
Leftys & DownTown Ramen
Two completely different restaurants – one building. Lefty’s is a dive bar downstairs. It attracts people who wish to drink as well as those who wish to enjoy dinner. The food is great! They do fantastic ribs, great falafel, insanely good pizza, the waffle with chicken….which is interesting. Make sure you have a side of the Asian style slaw. This is simple, good food. Chilled atmosphere. Note I cannot find a website or even a facebook page for them!! Trust me – if you like dark and dingy with fun staff and great food – this one is for you! It has character! Best to phone to book on weekends. Tel 021 461 0407
Downtown Ramen!! We love this spot! You walk through Lefty’s and head up the stairs. The decor changes completely and you have enter and uncluttered zen like space! The ramen with the pork belly is amazing! Start with Bao’s and then do the ramen – be warned – the Ramen bowl is HUGE – do not have a starter if you have a small appetite! 103 Harrington – walk through Lefty’s and head upstairs. It is best to phone and book on weekends. Tel no 021 461 0407
Is just a few steps off Harrington Street. It is Cape Town’s first packaging free grocer. They have now opened their back courtyard for drinks and snacks – the vegan salome is fantastic!! (This is a roti with curry inside it – we would call this the Cape Town version of a wrap!) 5 Constitution Street.
Fun late night naughty Vegan restaurant. Most things are deep friend. Even a healthy vegan needs to have some naughty food every now and again. They open at around 12h00 each day and stay open really late…………..so if you need your sweet fix after a night hitting the Cape Town bars – find them in Harrington Street or Kloof Street!
Just above the city:
Started its life as a no frills gourmet burger bar in a garage – with attitude! You had to literally stalk them in the beginning to get a burger. Read my original blog on them about how they were when they started. Chef Nigel Wood formed a partnership with the wonderful Megan and the venture started growing in all sorts of directions – they serve “hubcaps” for breakfast – a flat bread with funky breakfast fillings, funky sandwich style options for lunch (at lunch it is called The Bitches Tits) and are still serving the burgers for dinner – the difference is that Megan has shrunk the burger a little and is adding less lettuce – now one can actually get your mouth around it!! In the last year she upped the offering and has opened a wonderful pizza spot where Deluxe Coffee was – so you can now chose between a burger and pizzas at night. There are four different styles of pizza – so this one caters for everyone from the thick crust to the chewy thicker crust pizza person. Address: 6 Roodehek Street Gardens, Mon – Sat 5pm – 10pm. Note there is no website – but if you would like to follow them on Facebook you are in for a rude and quirky treat! Following them is NOT for the fainthearted! TIP – you still need to try and be there in the early evening to get space. They now have table service! Larger tables can now book.
Spirit Cafe opened a second branch on Dunkley Square about a year ago (original branch at the Constantia mall). It is great to have a wonderful vegetarian/vegan eatery just above the city. We really enjoy visiting Spirit Cafe. They have the most delicious flavour packed salads.………everything is fresh and wonderful. You queue to chat to the ladies about the options and then they weigh your plate. You can sit inside – but we head to this spot so that we can sit outside under the trees on a sunny day. I would highly recommend a visit. 100% passion. 100% flavour packed. 100% fresh.
For a truly authentic taste of Durban Curry – track down Vandiars on Dunkley Square. They have the BEST BUNNY CHOWS IN CAPE TOWN. The restaurant has a lovely outdoor area under the trees for sitting in the summer. The decor inside includes a history of the family on the walls. A visit includes the history of the family and the cuisine! Great friendly service as well as one of the most delicious mutton curry bunny’s ever.
Located in a 160 year old building – the stack has great old world charm…..which has been combined with elegant, contemporary decor. The food is approachable and good. They also have a magical outside area for dining and fantastic service. Outdoor dining options in the city area are limited. Open Monday to Saturday. Note open for SUNDAY LUNCH
Is a local favourite in my “hood“. It is always full and buzzy as they offer great value for money dishes in a fabulously quirky comfortable setting. They are famous for their pizzas and offer a seasonal bistro menu with an Italian slant. This is a great spot for people watching – it attracts all ages and all levels of income……….with a 99% local following of regulars. They got even better at the end of 2017 as an Italian from Bologna bought it – and with it came his grannies recipes and a passionate hands on owner. 2 Deer Park Drive, Vredehoek (Just above the city!) Tel 021 801 5799 Open daily for dinner and for lunch over weekends
This spot has been in my “hood” forever – but it never had a soul in it. Then the Madame Zingara took it and waved a magic want and created an amazing quirky eclectic space that is both warm and fun. Their signature is fun innovative dishes with great flavours at great prices. This spot is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner or drinks, snacks or coffee and cake – settle in whenever you are walking the dog as you go past. The staff match the decor and service can be a little absent minded – but always good hearted! We love sitting on the odd angled pavement tables and watching the view of the city! Mon – Sat 8am to 10h30pm, Sunday breakfast & lunch. 33 Derry Rd, Vredehoek (Just above the city) 021 461 2839
WOODSTOCK/SALT RIVER/OBS HOOD – these are the arty creative fringe areas next to the city
Opening May 2019 in Woodstock! They have closed down in Obs. Follow the updates under New Restaurants in Cape Town
Head to THE KITCHEN to try Karen Dudley’s delicious love sandwich and salads….which were enjoyed by Michelle Obama on her visit to Cape Town!! On a serious note – if you are into funky delicious salads or a fantastically fun sandwich called the Love Sandwich, a quirky setting and a focus on delicious freshness – you have to head to this spot. Note if you get there after 12h30 – you will have to join the queue of creative people from the “hood” queuing out of the door – so be warned get there by 12h00 to get a spot to sit and have one of the most delicious salad meals of your life! Yes – I am serious – I love the Kitchen! Weekdays only 08h30 – 16h30 (note that if you go in the afternoon there will be very little food left!) Perfect for anyone into delicious salads and paradise for Vegetarians! Funky, fresh, hip and very local! 111 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock. No bookings taken. Ps Karen Dudley has written wonderful cook books.
De Waterkant/Greenpoint/Seapoint Hood
Chef Cheyne Morrisby – is an amazingly talented chef. He owns Cheynne’s in Hout Bay. At Shio – expect funky contemporary decor and a rocking your taste bud experience. He calls his offering at Shio – Modern Japanese cuisine. Lots of flavours and spices. Try to share as many dishes as possible everything to maximize the tasting experience. Shio is a wonderfully intimate spot for dinner – it is small & vibey with great decor and great dishes – which make you want to lick the plates. I love Asian inspired dishes. I would highly recommend this spot for anyone who enjoys Asian inspired dishes!
Is a wonderful jazz bar where you can book to go for jazz and dinner. This is a great vibey little spot in De Waterkant. The building has a wrap around balcony that is great for drinks anytime. Check out their line up and make sure you book here if you enjoy jazz! I love this area – and Piano Bar really gives you a wonderful introduction to De Waterkant as it is located in the heart of the “hood”.
Is my new favourite healthy retreat. I love the energy here. It has the most amazing energy. It is outdoors – and we have a scarcity of outdoor spots that are not on a road. This one is located in a suburb – in what looks like an old house that has been converted into an African Art and Curio shop on one side, on the other side it is a tranquil health food almost Zen like restaurant and courtyard to relax in. You can have everything from fresh juices to ginger shots, salads, yummy parma ham toasties, great coffee, turmeric lattes……….and great wifi. You can meet in the courtyard to relax with friends or to do a few hours work or to have a meeting. This is my new office. I love it. Note that there is also a wonderful store at the back with locally designed clothes, jewellery and odds and ends. It is gorgeous. Location – on the edge of the city in Greenpoint.
Jason – the legendary baker has opened a second bakery (the original is on Bree Street). This one is where he is now doing his baking. It is open for breakfast, lunch, coffees and pastries all day. On a Saturday he is open for breakfast. This is also a great spot to buy artisan breads and croissants. 83 Main Road Greenpoint
This is Cape Town’s best deli. It is owned by an Italian family and they make most things on site and serve them fresh. This is a local favourite for coffee and pastries in the morning and a deli style lunch. It is also one of the best spots to stock up with goodies from all over the world to pop in your fridge! They also prepare a lot of hot and cold dishes that you can buy to take home for lunch or dinner. Pricey, but amazing! Worth every cent! Highly recommended deli. Legendary among Cape Town’s foodie community!
This one is fun!!
- Mojo Market – wonderful little food and shopping market – open 7 days a week – vibey and fun – well worth popping in for lunch or dinner!
- Syriana – this one had been on my radar for a while – definitely want to get there – hearing good things about it! Syrian Cuisine!
- Three Wise Monkeys – funky little ramen and sushi restaurant – very vibey – and takes no bookings.
- 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 still loving Jarryd’s and Kleinsky’s.
- La Boheme
Foxcroft – La Colombe’s Chef has opened a slightly more casual – yet still fine dining restaurant in Constantia. I think anything that the La Colombe team touch turns into a gourmet delight! We loved our Sunday lunch here. The only oddity is it is in a little mall at the entrance to Groot Constantia Wine Estate. So when you sit outside you are literally sitting in the car park. Don’t let that phase you – each dish is a taste sensation of note and I wanted to lick the plates! Note this spot is now almost a year old – but it stays on the hot list for summer as it is fantastic!
Chefs Warehouse – Beau Constantia Estate – now a year old – but still a hot spot for summer 2018. 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 and you do need to book well in advance!
Quirky spots on the Peninsula:
Olympia Cafe – One of the Cape’s best kept secrets. Location: Kalk Bay If you looked through the window you would walk right on past. Very little has been spent on decor or the kitchen. The chef prepares your food on a little gas stove behind the counter. The imaginative Mediterranean menu changes daily with offerings chalked up on the wall. Each menu is dependant on what is fresh on the day and on what Bernie is in the mood to prepare. The restaurant has its own bakery and supplies the best bread, croissants and pastries in the Cape. Be sure to take a loaf of the ciabatta bread home with you – I am addicted! Note: No booking offered. If the restaurant is full on arrival, write your name on the chalk board next to the door immediately. The next table that becomes available will be given to the next person on the list next to the door. 134 Main Rd, Kalk Bay. Tel: +27-21-788-6396 Note: This is about a 45 minute drive from the city centre. NOTE- the Olympia cafe has opened a deli around the corner from the restaurant. It is also good to visit if you simply wish to go and have a picnic in the Kalk Bay Harbour. Open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check out these lovely photos of the Olympia food on the Huffington Post’s blog on them