Your Insta feed needs populating, and there are few better places for food porn than Cape Town. If you prefer your food on the chic side of shabby, but still quintessentially Cape Town, start here.
The Cape is world-famous wine country, so start your gastronomic tour with a trip to the V&A Waterfront to stop in at the world’s biggest wine-by-the-glass bar. That’s right, at steakhouse The Belthazar you can sample one (or three) of an incredible 250 different wines by the glass (the full wine list boasts 600 wines) while enjoying amazing views and a selection of grain-fed or grass-fed beef or blesbok, gemsbok, kudu and even crocodile.
From the same group (the Slick Restaurant Group), Balducci is running a lunchtime special with tempting pizza, sushi and steaks at supremely reasonable prices. Every time you eat, you have the option of donating R10 towards corneal transplants at Tygerberg Hospital, to help others enjoy the view you can enjoy. Eat good, feel good.
When you head out to the vineyards, a visit to Spier is likely to be a day outing – not because it’s far away (it’s not) but because you’ll be kept that busy when you get there. You can do a Segway tour of the vineyard, have a picnic on the lawns, pop in at Eight restaurant and see the art installations dotted around the farm. Spier is proud of its just-released Seaward Chardonnay and Shiraz, made from smaller-yielding, thicker-skinned but supremely delicious ocean-facing grapes. Try them and taste the coastal terroir.
facing grapes. Try them and taste the coastal terroir.
After-work drinks? The Kove Collection’s hotspots are all over this market. In Constantia, head to Incognito for sophisticated drinks and tapas-style nibbles that will leave you feeling as if you are on the streets of Barcelona. A DJ provides a Secrets session on Fridays and Studio 54 vibes on Saturdays 5-9pm.
Your Insta feed needs populating, and there are few better places for food porn than Cape Town.
The Bungalow in Clifton provides the same chilled kick-back vibes with a DJ-accompanied sundown view that is simply unbeatable. Down the road, Camps Bay’s Chincilla Café and Rooftop Bar has similar delights: chi-chi snacks, cocktails with contorted names, and that killer sunset, but the live music happens on Sundays, too. Fab.
For dinner, Bobo’s Brasserie proves old school style is cool. Indulge in Cape Town’s sudden penchant for retro at the Kove Collection’s French bistro-style fare in Mouille Point.
Moyo Blouberg at Eden on The Bay
On the other side of the bay as well as the casual-o-meter, eat crocodile tail pie with chilli pineapple salsa on a surfboard with your feet in the water at this tourist favourite. Moyo has had a significant departure from the earthy brown African décor vibe for its beach iteration. Music plays a large role with DJs on the central decks around the shallow pool slap bang in the middle of the restaurant. It’s an experience!
You may know the Tintswalo Atlantic on Chapman’s Drive was damaged in a fire. The rebuild is happening and the reopening scheduled for October. Be sure to pop in for a look then. In the meantime, Boulders Beach with its resident colony of endangered African penguins must be Cape Town’s most underrated delight. Just an hour or so away near Simonstown, there’s the Tinstwalo at Boulders Boutique Villa with direct access to the beach, as well as a concierge service available to take you snorkelling, sea cycling or sea kayaking.
The Shortmarket Club and The Commissary
Luke Dale-Roberts’ (LDR) range of restaurants are infamous, but now you can choose to go top-range and formal, or loose-limbed and freestyle, at either the Shortmarket Club on 88 Shortmarket or The Commissary right next door. At the younger sibling, you’ll find tunes, cheaper tapas-style dining, bold flavours and off-menu eating but you’ll be sure that the cheffing quality is up there with the grown-ups. So much fun to try both!
Athletic Club & Social
Bleeding-edge cool right now, this Buitengracht beauty is decolonising colonialism itself (hear that, Auntie Helen?) with its ironic interiors (think gentleman’s club wallpaper, tasselled upholstery and ball-and-claw furniture). Meat is ethically and sustainably sourced here and the menu blends North African and Mediterranean influences with the vleis. When there’s artisanal house-made vegan ice-cream and a wi-fi password on the menu, you know you’ve ascended to a level of Cape Town few can emulate. Immerse yourself.
Was being named the best restaurant in the (whole entire) world the best or worst thing that could have happened to this restaurant? Risking overexposure and guaranteeing long waits, the World Restaurant Awards in Paris in February 2019 bestowed this honour on this 20-seater, two hours away from Cape Town along the coast in Paternoster and named after a nearby cave. Chef Kobus van der Merwe forages many of the ingredients from Paternoster, which means you get seasonal, hyperlocal Strandveld produce and fascinating stories as a given. Van der Merwe incorporates local herbs and flora into his menus. Bookings online only – and super rare.
Author: Margot Bertelsmann