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The Best of Cape Town’s Waterfront Restaurants

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2 weeks ago

Sitting on the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Town’s waterfront restaurants offer some of the most desirable (and relaxing) views for a lunch or a sunset dinner. There are so many incredible restaurants to choose from in Cape Town, but every trip to Cape Town must include lunch or dinner at one of Cape Town’s waterfront restaurants so you can experience the best of the laidback Capetonian lifestyle.

Many of these restaurants are very popular, particularly in the summer season, so make sure you book well in advance. Luckily, most restaurants offer a permissive cancelation policy, so it’s worth making a reservation and then cancelling if need be.

Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic

From the very first moment you drive into Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic, you know it’s going to be a very special experience. Once you are shuttled down to the waterfront, you’re greeted with a breath-taking view of the Atlantic and its crystal-clear blue water.

There are a lot of stunning waterfront restaurants in Cape Town, but Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic ticks every box: fresh food, amazing service, incredible views, and a relaxing vibe. You really can’t go wrong at Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic, whether for lunch, sundowners or dinner.

As the Chefs Warehouse team describes it, the restaurant is “a natural spoil for the senses“. You’ll be treated to a five-course menu filled with the freshest and most diverse produce of the Cape with an emphasis on local growers and ethical fishmongers.

Their menu changes with the seasons and the available produce, but it’s likely you’ll get the chance to sample some of South Africa’s amazing foods, including snoek. The restaurant is designed to pay homage to the setting, and it’s clear that the sweeping views of Hout Bay take centre stage. There is a certain kind of artistry in balancing incredible flavor profiles with beautiful ocean views, and the team here has done it just right.

If you had to choose a time to go, everything about Chefs Warehouse at Tintswalo Atlantic is perfect for sundowners.

Harbour House

Harbour House is a resounding favorite of locals and visitors alike. The food is spectacular in every way, and you’ll be treated to a gorgeous view of the V&A Waterfront as well. If you don’t have a reservation, don’t despair if you’re told that they only have upstairs seating available: in the right weather, it’s the better place to sit because it’s open air and feels like a casual beer garden.

Harbour House also has a second waterfront location in Kalk Bay which boasts uninterrupted views of the False Bay in case you’re tired of the Atlantic Ocean. If you’re going to see the penguins at Boulder’s Beach (and you should), enjoy a sunset at Harbour House in Kalk Bay.

PIER

If you needed the tick of approval for why PIER is one of the best waterfront restaurants in Cape Town, need we say more than it is part of the same group that gave us the gift of La Colombe, one of the best restaurants in the world? If that isn’t enough, I firmly believe you can judge a place by the bread, and the bread at PIER is baked to perfection.

Given the waterfront location, there is an emphasis on seafood – and a particular emphasis on freshness and quality of seafood. The team will go out of their way to get you as close as possible to the water so don’t be shy about letting them know your preference.

Local tip: If you’re vegan or vegetarian, let the team know in advance (read: before you arrive) so that they can prepare an incredible meal for you.

What we love about PIER is that the dining experience is consistently good, so you know you’re going to experience the same level of attention to detail and freshness every time – but the dishes will be different.

The Waterside

The Waterside is just across from PIER and is also part of the La Colombe group. It carries that same air of an upmarket restaurant with a laidback attitude, but is closer to casual on the spectrum of fine dining. But that doesn’t meant you won’t get a spectacular meal. The team has turned the dining experience into a culinary spectacle, emphasizing the best of what Cape Town has to offer.

The Waterside is definitely more reasonably priced than PIER, and it’s probably got the better view of the V&A Waterfront (if you were being really picky).

If you’re looking for the best of Cape Town’s waterfront restaurants with a view in the evening, The Waterside is the right choice. It faces the buildings on the V&A Waterfront which light up in the evening.

Special Mention: Time Out Market at the V&A Waterfront

Okay, yes: the Time Out Market isn’t exactly one of Cape Town’s waterfront restaurants, but it is at the V&A Waterfront, which is a lovely place to spend an afternoon or evening. The Time Out Market is one of the best places in Cape Town to try South Africa’s interesting foods and unique desserts.

A quintessentially Cape Town experience is a walk through the V&A Waterfront and a snack at Time Out Market. There is just so much to choose from, and you’ll get your pick of the exciting fusion flavors which make South African food so special.

Make sure you try the poochka from Kapoochka – and get yourself a koesister (or a koeksister (yes, there’s a difference)) from the market.

Die Strandloper (Outside Cape Town)

If you’re willing to drive about 1.5 hours north of Cape Town along the water, you’ll be rewarded with Die Strandloper, an incredibly Afrikaans dining experience that is a microcosm of the lifestyle of Western Cape locals. Pack a boardgame to enjoy with your friends, family or partner while you wait for your next course to be called.

Die Strandloper is set perfectly on the beach and epitomizes everything about beachside lifestyle. It’s relaxed, fresh, welcoming and serves tasty food just for good measure. If you’re going to make it to Die Strandloper, it might be best as a day trip from Cape Town to Langebaan.


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