The Best Restaurants In Cape TownWhere to eat, drink, and catch an incredible sunset in The Mother City.
Cape Town’s towering mountains, lush scenery, and unforgettable sunsets may be what bring visitors from around the world to the city’s shores, but we guarantee one of the first things you’ll talk about when you get back home is the food. And of course, the wine. No one ever forgets the wine.
Whether you’re searching for a sundowner spot overlooking the ocean or fine dining in one of South Africa’s best wineries, Cape Town has a lot to offer newcomers. Here’s where to start, and remember: as long as you make it a point to never miss a meal or a sunset, you’re doing it right.
Visiting the Brass Bell will make you want to build your entire identity around buying a fishing boat, even if you’ve never fished a day in your life. Stop here after taking a drive along Kalk Bay’s scenic coast for a lunch of fish and chips, creme brulee, and a couple of great drinks by the water. Spend the afternoon at the Pavilion or Oyster Deck, where views of False Bay are the main attraction, or check out the Cabin Restaurant, which is perfect for cozy dinners set to the sound of the ocean in the background.
High tea at The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel draws a mix of locals, tourists, and anyone who wants to cosplay living in an Agatha Christie novel for the afternoon. The hotel has been around since 1899, and the tea service is a fun way to enjoy a unique part of Cape Town’s history while eating as many elegant sandwiches, petit fours, and scones as your heart desires.
Located near the famous brightly colored Bo-Kaap houses, this nondescript streetside cafe serves Cape Malay favorites like koeksisters, a donut-like sweet coated in coconut, and masala mince shakshuka. At the center of a suburb with a storied and, at times, painful history, Bo-Kaap Deli is a reminder of the rich culture and cuisine the Cape Malay community brought to the city. Grab a spot at one of the many picnic tables on the curb and watch locals go about their day while an endless stream of tourists blocks the road to take pictures of the rainbow of houses.
We can’t exactly say what you’ll eat at Belly of the Beast—the tasting menu has no set dishes or number of courses—but trust that you'll be eating some of the best cuts of sustainably sourced meat in the city. (Past highlights have included antelope tataki and Saldanha Bay mussels with oyster emulsion and spicy vierge sauce.) Though inspired by South African braai, or barbecue, this 24-seat restaurant will also happily cater to vegetarians and pescatarians—just give them a heads-up when booking.
The Potluck Club sits on top of one of the tallest buildings in The Old Biscuit Mill complex in Woodstock and has some of the best views of Table Mountain from any restaurant in the city. The menu is inspired by the small plates of this and that that you’d typically find at a potluck, like fish tacos, homemade bread with babaganoush and garlic chips, and crispy squid with sweetcorn and nduja sausage. It’s buzzy and fills up fast, so definitely make a reservation in advance.
From the people behind La Colombe comes Pier. Expect a great view of the famous V&A Waterfront and a seafood-centric tasting menu, with dishes like tableside poached oysters and tandoori tuna. Several seatings throughout the day make Pier slightly more accessible to last-minute bookers, though that’s not to say walking in without a reservation is easy or recommended—the dinner service can fill up months in advance.
Fyn is one of Cape Town’s most popular fine dining restaurants, and for good reason: its take on Japanese African cuisine. Featuring braaied abalone and guinea fowl wontons, Fyn’s menu is dominated by unexpected pairings and exciting flavor combinations that you can’t find anywhere else in Cape Town. The dark, open interior sits in full view of the chefs’ stations, which makes eating here a particularly special experience.
The Lawns is a nearly entirely locals-only joint hidden in the forest at the foot of Table Mountain that unfortunately tends to fly under most first-time visitors’ radar. Don’t make that same mistake. Head here for spectacular views of Camps Bay accompanied by laid-back seating and a simple menu of South African fusion food—think deep-fried squid, Mediterranean chicken pizza, and Asian glazed buffalo wings. The sunset at The Lawns is spectacular, and you won’t have to elbow your way through a sea of people just to get a good view.
The wine and cocktails at SeaBreeze may draw a big after-work crowd, but this spot is also known for serving some of the freshest seafood in Cape Town—the menu is printed out daily, so you can be sure you’re getting fish they caught that morning. Staples include crispy fried hake and chips, Saldanha Bay mussels in Cape Malay curry sauce, and grilled king prawns. Don’t miss the oyster Happy Hour from 5-6pm every day.
Bouchon Wine Bar & Bistro is a cozy, intimate gathering spot for wine lovers, over-30 friend groups, and people who visited Spain once and now swear by the tapas lifestyle. Expect to share the space with the 9-5 crowd who flock here for the solid wine selection and some of the best bar food in the city. You’ll see dishes like freshly shucked Saldanha Bay oysters, beef tartare, oxtail gnocchi, and foie gras on the menu.
No visit to Khayelitsha is complete without a trip to Rands. Whether you’re on a walking tour or have teamed up with other travelers who are eager to explore, head to this outdoor bar for cheap drinks and local food you won’t find anywhere else in the city. Everyone in the township is at Rands for the first Sunday of the month, though any Saturday or Sunday spent here will be unforgettable. This is the spot to drink Castle Light, eat unbelievable shisa nyama, the Xhosa term for barbecue, and spend hours dancing to afrobeats.
On the top floor of an otherwise average-looking building is the Persian Peacock, a carefully guarded secret among locals. The stars of the menu are undoubtedly the lamb tah-chin (an upside-down lamb and rice casserole) and lamb kebabs that are so juicy you’ll run out of napkins before you do food. This spot is family-run and feels like scoring an invite to your friend’s house whose parents are way better cooks than yours.
Giovanni’s Deli has been a local favorite for as long as most Capetonians can remember. Still a family-run affair three decades after it opened, this spot specializes in the kind of Italian food you’d expect to find, well, in Italy. Cape Town’s European delis are nearly as common as the local spaza, or convenience store, but Giovanni’s is in a league of its own. Stop by anytime to pick up pre-cooked pastas to go, or arrive before 9am to grab an espresso or cappuccino, plus a pastry before they’re gone—the deli fills up fast, and sells out just as quickly.
Two types of people frequent The Dog’s Bollocks: those that visit despite the name, and those that visit because of it. Either way, it only takes one meal to understand why this restaurant is one of the best places to start or end a night out. The menu is filled with feel-good comfort food, like juicy beef and chicken burgers topped with chili con carne and buffalo chicken wings with a side of cheesy deep-fried potato skins.
If Lisa Frank grew up to become a vegan yoga instructor who lives in a treehouse, that treehouse would be Nourish’d. There’s a lot of glitter, plants, and a sign that reads “unwind, get naked, relax” (please don’t). They serve delicious, inexpensive smoothies and bowls that have been put together with more care than most people put into getting ready in the morning. Don’t expect a leisurely breakfast, though. Nourish’d draws a crowd, so plan on sharing a table or taking your food with you.
Neighbourgoods Market—or “that market at the Old Biscuit Mill”—is the place to be on weekends, with a lively mix of vintage clothing stalls, a well-stocked bar, and dozens of food vendors selling everything from vegan cakes to steak sandwiches big enough to feed five. It’s a touristy spot, but the live music is fun and the food is genuinely good. Plan to come early if you want to avoid the crowds that roll in by noon.
Weekend brunch at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market is a rite of passage for any Cape Town first-timer. Take a lap around the entire place before making a decision on what to eat. Our favorite stalls are Sepial’s Kitchen for Korean fried chicken and rice, Golden Brown Waffles (the name is pretty self-explanatory), and The Karoo Prick, where you can pick up a bottle of locally made prickly pear gin. OZCF started as a small urban farm produce market, but despite its recent growth, you can still stock up on the freshest seasonal produce in the city.
Stellenbosch and Franschhoek may be the undisputed champions of Cape Town’s surrounding wine country, but some of the best wine actually comes from Constantia, a small, green valley just 20 minutes from the city. All of that makes this spot the perfect entry point for trying world-renowned wines like Van Wyk Riesling, Constantia Saddle Rosé, and Constantia Glen Sauvignon Blanc while snacking on an overflowing charcuterie platter.
Ask any local where to find the best wine and fine dining restaurant in Cape Town and the answer will always be La Colombe at Silvermist. The tasting menu changes seasonally, but past highlights include Cape Malay-style snoek, truffled cherry parfait, and mushroom tortellini with smoked Stanford and sherry. La Colombe is located in a renovated treehouse on an organic wine estate, and pairs each of its courses with the best offerings from South Africa’s wine regions. Booking in advance isn’t just recommended—it’s likely the only way you’ll get a seat.
If you’re looking for a spectacular lunch or dinner in Cape Town’s wine country but are less interested in formal service, go to Chef’s Warehouse at Beau Constantia. Located on a working vineyard, Beau Constantia produces a range of boutique wines, including sauvignon blanc and viognier varieties. Do the interactive tasting, then stay for the four-course set menu—we've eaten delicious things like North African tuna with cardamom yogurt jelly, parmesan risotto, and pressed venison tartare. The restaurant can cater to vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians if you give them a heads-up when you book.
Babylonstoren is one of Cape Town’s most popular vineyards and is great for a lunch break between tastings around Stellenbosch and Franschoek. There are two restaurants, Babel and the Greenhouse Restaurant, that are both located on its working farm. Babel does fine dining and offers family-style platters for group bookings and a seasonal à la carte menu for smaller parties, while the Greenhouse Restaurant is more casual, situated in the middle of the farm’s produce gardens, and serves dishes like spiced garden pot pie and Spanish cured pork loin.
Don’t miss out on the farm’s expansive wine tasting menu, featuring Babylonstoren’s flagship wines like the Nebukadnesar and Sprankel. If you’re hoping to eat at Babel, make sure to book a spot—it’s one of the most popular stops along Cape Town’s wine routes, and reservations open nine months in advance.
Arkeste is another relaxed fine dining restaurant that skips the frills and formality. It’s located on the Chamonix Wine Estate in Franschhoek and is a perfect lunch stop along Cape Town’s wine route. The menu mixes Mediterranean and Continental classics with a distinct South African twist—think red wine-glazed springbok with pommes croquette, confit duck with sunflower seeds and beetroot, and for dessert, orange buchu ice cream and almond parfait.