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The Tried-and-Tested Best 10 Restaurants in Cape Town

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2 weeks ago

Cape Town is known for many things, and one of those things – deservedly – is the incredible value for money and quality of food at the best restaurants in Cape Town and generally throughout the city. I don’t see how anyone could be disappointed with food and the dining experience generally in Cape Town. With world-class dining and stunning vistas to accompany your meal, it’s always a good time.

We take you through the hottest restaurants in Cape Town at the moment and give you all the tips you need to help you get a reservation. Get excited for some of the tastiest food you can find!

How to get a reservation

You should absolutely book restaurants in Cape Town as far as possible in advance. Cape Town is the place to be in December through March (with a particular peak in January and February), so restaurants get booked up quickly.

Local tip: If you can’t find a space online, email the restaurant directly and let them know you’re flexible on timing.

Restaurants in Cape Town go out of their way to provide great service, and that extends to trying their very best to find you a spot. Alternatively, higher-end hotels usually have some sway at some of the more well-known establishments; so if there’s somewhere you really want to go, it might be a good idea to ask your hotel concierge to pull some strings.

Restaurants with mountain views

La Colombe

La Colombe is no stranger to any list of the best restaurants in Cape Town. For many years, La Colombe has been a fixture of the Cape Town dining scene, having been awarded a number of accolades including finding itself on the World’s 50 Best List for at least three consecutive years.

La Colombe is located in Constantia, a wine-producing suburb of Cape Town on the other side of Table Mountain. It’s very difficult to say anything other than La Colombe truly deserves its place as one of the best restaurants in Cape Town – the food is exquisite in its taste and presentation, the views are stunning, and the service is impeccable.

Choosing between La Colombe and La Petite Colombe

You may have heard of La Petite Colombe, La Colombe’s sister restaurant located in the adorable town of Franschhoek, just under 1.5 hours away from Cape Town.

Local tip: If you’re struggling to choose between La Colombe in Constantia and La Petite Colombe in Franschhoek, we’ll make it easy: choose La Petite Colombe.

The scenery at La Petite Colombe is absolutely breathtaking. There are very few things that are as special as driving through Leeu Estates to La Petite Colombe and then walking around the manicured sculpture gardens following your meal.

No matter where you choose, you’ll get an extraordinary dining experience with excellent service and theatrical presentation.

What we will say is that La Colombe and La Petite Colombe are different experiences, so if you do manage to land yourself a reservation at both, it’s by no means a bad idea to dine at both of them (maybe with a couple of days in between to let the stomach rest, of course). Given the views, I would suggest you try for a lunch reservation (and plan to spend four hours eating).

Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia

If we had to choose the best of the Chef’s Warehouse group in Cape Town, it would be the Beau Constantia location. But you shouldn’t be misled into thinking that the others aren’t as good. The difference in quality between them is so small, but if you want amazing mountain views, then Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia is the right choice.

Expect a long, laidback lunch with each dish prepared skilfully and presented with pride. Delightfully, Chef’s Warehouse is incredibly affordable given that it is very much a refined dining experience. You won’t forget the gorgeous sunset across the valley. And be prepared for a number of culinary surprises that aren’t on the menu that they give you.

How to get a table at Chef’s Warehouse Beau Constantia

Chef’s Warehouse in Beau Constantia is notorious for being nearly impossible to get a reservation – whether online or otherwise. We have a tip for you that could change your fortunes:

Local tip: Call Chef’s Warehouse Beau Constantia at 10 am on the day you wish to go. It’s at that time that they decide whether to open their outside seating area.

If they do open their outside seating area (it’s entirely dependent on the weather), you can usually nab a table if you call early enough. In truth, if the weather is in your favor, a table outside is an even more elevated experience than dining inside; so you might actually want to try for an outdoor table anyway.

Restaurants with city views

FYN

The ultimate fusion restaurant, FYN combines Japanese and South African flavors in unexpected and daring ways. And where else are you going to get that combination? Sometimes fusion isn’t always executed right, but FYN’s countless awards might constitute sufficient confirmation that this marriage of Japanese and South African flavors does work – and it works really, really well.

If you’re looking to try the best South African dishes and flavors, FYN will deliver on every single one of them. The team’s use of local ingredients and flavors combined with Japanese flavors and cooking methods is exciting and means every dish will have something about it that you’ve never seen or tasted before.

The restaurant is in an area that feels a little bit unsafe, so we recommend that you order an Uber to take you back to your accommodation when you’ve finished your multi-course degustation rather than walk around the area.

The Test Kitchen Fledglings

For those of you who aren’t strangers to the best restaurants in Cape Town, you’ll immediately recognize the name ‘The Test Kitchen’. It’s since shut down, but it was once considered one of the best restaurants in the world. TTK Fledglings is a different type of experience to The Test Kitchen in that it is a place for young, budding chefs to experiment with flavors and recipes.

But don’t take that to mean that you’ll be getting amateur chefs or food. The food is some of the best that you can get in Cape Town, and the vibe makes you feel like you’re a part of something special. Try to get a table overlooking the open kitchen – the chefs are always willing to chat.

Local tip: Check the website before you book because the menu changes frequently.

The Pot Luck Club

The Pot Luck Club consistently ranks as a local favorite. It’s the sister restaurant to the The Test Kitchen, which is now closed but used to be one of the best restaurants in the world, but has since been replaced with The Test Kitchen Fledglings (also on our list). The Pot Luck Club is a lot more laidback but has the most delicious food.

The Pot Luck Club is a great choice for dinner. You’ll love the fusion of international flavors but made with local ingredients to ensure freshness in every dish. The whole team is dedicated to making sure you have an excellent meal, and it shows in the level of service.

In a city where you have to book well in advance for a spot at the trendiest restaurants, it’s a relief that the Pot Luck Club keeps plenty of walk-in bar space for an impromptu lunch or dinner.

The Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town

Maria’s Greek Café

Maria’s Greek Café is one of our favorites on the list for its cool casualness. There is no doubt that Maria’s is a very local spot for Capetonians. It’s located right in the middle of a buzzy square in downtown Cape Town.

Don’t expect to have all the bells and whistles at Maria’s. The service can be a little bit slow, and you’re not going to get incredible ocean or mountain views, but you are absolutely going to get delicious Greek fare with local ingredients and a South African twist.

Kloof Street House

If you’re looking for the most charming restaurant on Kloof Street, look no further than Kloof Street House – and that’s saying something given the high concentration of restaurants and bars on Kloof Street. It’s buzzy, hip and trendy, but that doesn’t mean the food isn’t great. You’ll be absolutely delighted by the eclectic cuisine.

Make sure you dress up for this one. The restaurant is tastefully decorated with a high-end African aesthetic. Located in an old Victorian house, patrons generally dress to match the vibe. But this being Cape Town, it’s still got that attitude of not taking itself too seriously. Kloof Street House is one for vibes rather than views.

Kloof Street House also boasts one of the best bars in Cape Town for a pre- or post-dinner drink. The atmosphere is just wonderful – you won’t want to leave.

Restaurants with ocean views

Grand Pavilion

If you’re looking for local, fresh seafood and a super cool atmosphere, Grand Pavilion is the right choice. The menu is quite extensive so there is truly something for everyone here (as long as you like seafood). It feels great to be at Grand Pavilion during sundowners if you’re able to get a table on the roadside overlooking the beach.

The restaurant starts to become quite lively later in the week when the room in the back becomes more akin to a bar than a restaurant.

Salsify

You might be familiar with The Lawns at the Roundhouse which we think is one of the best places for sunset drinks (or sundowners) in Cape Town. There is another restaurant in the Roundhouse called Salsify which is more formal and offers an incredibly refined yet unpretentious dining experience. The food will not disappoint, and you’ll be glad you booked a table for sunset.

If you’re seeking something more casual, The Lawns is the better choice and still has unmatched views and a great vibe outside. Either way, the food will not let you down, and you’re guaranteed a stunning vista.

And for an experience: GOLD Restaurant

We’ll admit that GOLD is in the realm of a traditional tourist trap, but it is quite an enjoyable experience. The dinner and djembe experience is an interesting way to experience South African culture, and you’ll get to try tasty South African dishes and unique South African desserts as well.

It’s a bit of a theatrical experience but is electrifying and a lot of fun if you’re able to get past some of the cheesiness of the experience. This is also a great restaurant for families and huge groups. We’ll admit that the food isn’t the best (it’s so big that it feels like a factory) which is why this isn’t strictly one of the best restaurants in Cape Town, but it’s certainly a unique experience.

At the very least, you’ll get to try over a dozen dishes from all over Africa. It might not be the most refined versions of each of those dishes, but it’s a great way to get a glimpse into the many cultures of Africa and the wide array of cuisine.


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