February 2022 – Cape Town’s food scene has gained a world class reputation, creating a food culture unique to South Africa. Chefs are foraging local ingredients, sourcing produce in season, and blending the diversity of the country into unique and exciting menus. Despite the challenges of the Covid environment over the past two years, with spacing tables, spritzing sanitiser and everyone wearing masks, restaurants in Cape Town are buzzing with innovation and you’ll find new openings around every corner. There is so much to discover, tables are full, and reservations are a definite must. It’s hard to keep the list short but we’ve put together our top 10 favorites right now – plus a couple of extras that we can’t help but mention.
Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia – one of Liam Tomlin’s restaurants celebrating global tapas, but with extra creative touches from chef Ivor Jones. We love the drop-dead gorgeous views of the Constantia Valley looking right across to False Bay. Make sure to order Beau Constantia wines which are available by the glass, and sample wines from other estates in the valley too.
Fyn – the brainchild of Peter Templehoff and co-owned with Jennifer Hugé and Ashley Moss, Fyn is a sleek restaurant described as a little bit of Manhattan in Cape Town. On the fifth floor of a city building, you’re spoiled with views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill, while you sample a kaiseki–style tasting menu that is full of Japanese ingredients and flavours but also fully African-inspired.
Salisfy – with 360 degree mountain and sea views overlooking breathtaking Camps Bay this spot is not to be missed. Co-owned by superstar chef Lake Dale Roberts and Ryan Cole (who served as LDR’s head chef at The Test Kitchen) the menu here has a strong seafood emphasis and focus on seasonally sourced ingredients from the Cape.
Kloof Street House – this is a hot spot for locals and tourists. The vibey atmosphere reminds us of a Parisian cafe with vintage furnishings, and it’s where you want to meet up for a cocktail or afternoon bite. The cocktails are out of this world and unique to Kloof Street House – try the Queen Mary or the Tree of Life. There’s also a full menu and bar bites, perfect to enjoy in the outdoor garden lit up with string lights.
La Colombe – dining here feels like a fine tuned theatrical event; it’s pure magic. At the end of a winding road on the slopes of mountains in the Constantia winelands, you feel like you step into a forest and leave the real world behind for a while. Headed up by award-winning chef-proprietor Scot Kirton and executive chef James Gaag, La Colombe has been globally recognized, and also now part of an esteemed stable of Cape restaurants including Protégé, Epice, La Petite Colombe, Foxcroft and the brand new Waterfront restaurants PIER and the Waterside.
Grub & Vine – chef Matt Manning from Essex, describes his restaurant as “small, vibey, honest, unpretentious” and has the feeling of a modern bistro on trendy Bree Street. The interiors are full of character with distressed floors, moody light fixtures and pot plants everywhere. You won’t want to miss the pork belly and braised apple or the rainbow trout.
Belly of the Beast – this is a wildly popular restaurant located on trendy Harrington Street. Everything’s open and on display in this industrial-style space including the kitchen. The menu is unknown until you arrive and dishes are served to tables all at the same time. It’s truly a gastronomic experience!
Pot Luck Club – on top of one of the Old Biscuit Mill’s grain silos you’ll love the mountain, ocean and city views from every table. Another Luke Dale Robert’s restaurant, the menu showcases a global tapas theme and you’ll want to order an abundance of small plates for the table, some of their signature cocktails or maybe stop in for the popular all-day Sunday brunch.
Beyond – also tucked into the Constantia winelands, Beyond is the newest restaurant by Peter Tempelhoff, Ashley Moss and Jennifer Hugé of Fyn, with floor-to-ceiling views of the Buitenverwachting vineyards. Every ingredient is sourced within the area, supporting small farmers and we love the surprise of a seasonally changing menu, in an unpretentious, comfortable atmosphere.
Himitsu – a dreamy setting in an exclusive hotel and private nature reserve, on a mountainside overlooking Camps Bay, Cheyne Morrisby’s restaurant is a winner. The small-plates menu, divided into four sections – Ichi, Ni, San, Shi – is a journey of pan-Asian deliciousness. Order the miso ice cream at the end and linger for a while as the sun sets over the Atlantic. (Sadly Himitsu closed its doors May 2022)
We haven’t made it to PIER & The Waterside yet but we want to add them to the list. The La Colombe group has just opened 2 new restaurants in the V&A Waterfront. In the Pierhead Building right on the water, PIER is on the first floor and The Waterside is on the ground floor. The Waterside is a smart-casual seaside eatery while PIER is a 40-seater multi-course modern fine-dining restaurant. We can’t wait to try them out for you!