Top 15 Restaurants Where Locals Eat in Cape Town

March 2022 – We’ve rounded up some of the hot spots in Cape Town where locals hang out and we have a feeling you’ll want to try one or two of them during your next visit to South Africa’s Mother City.

ëlgr – Swedish chef Jesper Nilsson’s vision for ëlgr is fine food, great wine and inspiring cocktails, all served in a relaxed environment. The menu is designed to be shared and the charcuterie platters and raw-beef salad have fans all over the city.

Thali – working with Chef Nate Coe, Liam Tomlin has built a contemporary Indian restaurant around the concept of ‘thali’, a complete meal consisting of 10 or more regional Indian dishes. Due to the relaxed style and spacious dining room, they do not take bookings, so it’s first come first served.

Cabo Beach Club at the V&A Waterfront – spend the day relaxing on the beach for a sumptuous lunch or dinner soaking up the oceanside view, or enjoy the pool or lounge area with a signature cocktail.

Homespun at the Andros – one of the newer editions to the Cape Town restaurant scene, Homespun is located at the boutique Andros Hotel in Claremont and offers an adventure of flavours created by celebrated chef Matt Schreuder.

Kyoto Garden– an award-winning Japanese restaurant located in a trendy part of Cape Town bustling with a vibrant nightlife.

Il Leone – this bustling Green Point ristorante serves traditional and modern Italian dishes, and is always packed with loyal locals and tourists from the nearby hotels.  It’s great for people watching and make sure to book well in advance.

Hemelhuijs – this loved restaurant has been open since October 2010 and is a small oasis in the heart of Cape Town. The highly creative seasonal menu created by chef Jacques Erasmus is bursting with options.

Bao Down – this Asian-American 28-seater restaurant always seems packed to the brim with regulars looking for flavoursome dishes. Bao buns, moreish spicy chicken wings, and delicious beef brisket are just a few of the items on offer.

Grand Africa Café & Beach – with five bars, ocean-view decks, nine private function venue areas, and on-beach dining this corner of the V&A Waterfront embraces a free-spirited beach café culture that is fun for sundowners or an easy-going lunch.

Black Sheep – located on trendy Kloof Street this cool, contemporary space is where chef Jonathan Japha serves comfort dishes that change daily.

Aubergine – owned and run by German chef Harald Bresselschmidt, Aubergine is a sophisticated, intimate restaurant in Cape Town that has been serving creative dishes with innovation and classic service for 25 years.  An oldie but a goodie.

Asoka – a central hotspot tucked into a Victorian-era house on Kloof Street, where you’ll find vibey music, cool cocktails and a decadent menu: think chilli and garlic prawns, butter chicken curry, duck spring rolls, and Asian beef tartare.

Shoreditch House – a beautiful new local spot at the renovated Winchester Hotel in Sea Point is a smoke and fire based restaurant. Small plates run from seared tuna tacos topped with Mexican mole and fresh salsa, to a superb springbok tartare tossed in a fragrant Asian dressing and showered with shards of crispy leeks.

The PIER – situated on the first floor of the beautiful Pierhead Building with stunning views of the V&A Waterfront, this new restaurant within the La Colombe group celebrates the best of intimate, multi-course fine-dining experiences and it gets our rave reviews.

The Waterside – also in the La Colombe group, is on the ground floor below the PIER restaurant in the Pierhead Building, with such a delicious and sophisticated, but more casual menu that guests can enjoy both indoors, and on the outdoor deck. Perfect for summer lunch.

Be inspired!

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