Quirky & Fun Restaurants in central Cape Town – Bree/Loop & Long Street Hoods

Quirky & Fun Restaurants in central Cape Town – Bree/Loop & Long Street Hoods

I AM GOING TO PUT A NOTE NEXT TO THE RESTAURANTS WITH A DATE THAT I HAVE CONFIRMED THAT THEY ARE STILL OPEN.   The pandemic has resulted in a large number of casualties in our restaurant community.

Upper Bree Street:

SeaBreeze Fish & Shell


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!

 Mulberry & Prince 


Sexy spot with sexy decor. They have changed themselves to a brunch only restaurant.   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.  Note that they are currently still NOT open at night (in 202o they were mainly a dinner spot!).    Updates on 12 Feb 2021 – They are open Wednesday to Friday from 8am to 3pm for walk ins and on a Sat & Sunday from 10am to 2pm for brunch – BOOKINGS ONLY

Middle Bree Hood:

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.  They also offer a whole fish cooked in the pizza oven.   Seriously good. 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 teetered with closure over the lock down – but it looks like they will pull through and that the community are showing them their support.    133 Bree Street.

Just off Middle Bree:

Tjing Tjing

Tjing Tjing  re-invented themselves and went Asian in a big way!   I love Asian – so this is my idea of heaven.   We popped in a  to try out the casual Asian spot downstairs and to have a drink upstairs.   I LOVE the quirky decor downstairs.   It is so much fun.   We had a booth and in my normal style I just ordered a bunch of random goodies for us to share.   I loved every bite!   They initially told us that we were limited to either House White or House Red for the wine – I almost exited!  When I looked closely the House White was by David & Nadia – from the Swartland!   I love their wine!     This venue is called Tjing Tjing Torii – it is open from Tuesday to Saturday and does not take bookings.   On the middle level they have launched Tjing Tjing Momiji.   Everything is smarter on the middle level.  Lovely decor.  They are focusing Japanese tasting menus that can be paired with drinks.   The third spot here is the rooftop bar – which is a great secret bar to know about in the city for summer.   (Located in the city bowl).  Closed Mondays

Feb 2021 opening hours update:

Tuesday – Saturday from 12pm – 10pm, first come, first served.
{The kitchen closes at 9pm}

** MOMIJI RESTAURANT: Friday & Saturday evenings. Reservations essential, via e-mail or Dineplan. You can also order and collect our Omakase at-home box for 2 people via info@tjingtjing.co.za.

Tjing Tjing downstairs – Asian Streetfood

Just past middle Bree Street:

Zanne’s Fare

This is a great new city cafe offering the opportunity to try some favourite local South African dishes & treats.   The restaurant is owned by Zanne.  For many years she had a restaurant at the top of town in the legal district, she then moved to the lower part of town to the business district and then took 10 years off.

Zanne is proudly Afrikaans and has a menu that allows you a “taste” of her culture.   For us locals this is such a treat as many of these dishes are part of the fabric of our upbringing, with each dish bringing back childhood memories.  Location – 94 Loop Street.  Open 07h30 to 19h00.

Bobotie! Traditional Cape Malay/Afrikaans community

Milk Tart! Hertzoggies! Koeksister! Traditional South African Afrikaans desserts.

St George’s Mall (On the pedestrianised rd in the middle of town)

The first Design Hotel to launch in Cape Town has taken two heritage buildings in St George’s mall – combined them to create a gorgeous boutique hotel and a fabulously glam rooftop called GIGI ROOFTOP.   Here you can head up for interesting cocktails and a menu designed by Executive Chef  Guy Bennett – (Ex Grande Provence, Delaire, One & Only, Buitenverwachting…………….).

Sitting up on their rooftop makes me think that we have been missing a trick as a city – we have not utilized our city rooftops.   We have been missing out on maximizing our urban inner city views and vibe!

This is highly recommended for dinner and drinks.   Tip – make sure you phone in for a booking to make sure you get an outside table.   Dine Plan bookings will only give you a table outside if you are three or less people.    This is now a firm favourite.

Great spot to meet for lunch or dinner with a group of friends

Loop Street Hood:

The Poke Co

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.

Tomo Japanese

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)

The Village Idiot

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

Long Street:

Note – Long Street is where the youngsters party and is a very grungy………..it does however have some gems on it!  

South China Dim Sum Bar 

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!! (It is always listed among the chefs of Cape Town as their favourite spot for dining out!)  289 Long Street. Call to book: 078 846 3656.  Email southchinadimsumbar@gmail.com.  Closed on Sunday & Monday nights. (Top of Long Street)

Moro Gelato

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 in either Long Street or in Sea Point.


Obi Restaurant – SUSHI

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)   Great sushi  – we highly recommend it!

Shortmarket Street:

The House of Machines

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)


The Athletic Club & Social

Is my new favourite spot for a fun evening with friends!   We needed the equivalent of a comfortable gentleman’s club for Cape Town!   Picture wonderfully comfortable couches and armchairs – sport pics on the wall – marvellous decor where you feel like you have stepped back in time……..squash racquets on the wall – yes – it sounds odd – but it is indeed marvellous!   This spot seamlessly combines comfort, great service, good food, great decor, an outside terrace, an eatery and a downstairs club.    Sound too good to be true?   Head there for an evening of relaxation!!   Note that the upstairs is supposed to be for drinks only – the ground floor level is for eating – so if you wish to eat – then book a table for downstairs for later for after you have  met up with your friends for drinks upstairs.    Closed on a Sunday  –  otherwise open from about 11am for drinks, lunch & dinner.  35 Buitengracht Street. To book  –  info@theathletic.co.za or  021 012 5331