The Best Restaurants in Cape Town

From the cool cafés on Bree Street to the refined dining rooms along the V&A Waterfront, you’ll find Cape Town’s food scene almost as thrilling as its dramatic setting. The freshest ingredients—harvested from surrounding farms and wine estates and from the Atlantic itself—give every tasting menu or just-baked croissant an almost unfair advantage. With every bite, you’re tasting South Africa.

Shop 6132, 19 Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
While South Africa isn’t known for its sushi, you can easily satisfy your craving in Cape Town at Willoughby & Co. The menu at this waterfront restaurant is encyclopedic—there’s everything from Boston clam chowder and spaghetti marinara to prawn curry and teriyaki chicken ramen, but sushi is the star. Try the chili-seared tuna sashimi or the tuna roll with caviar sesame seeds.
Beach Rd, Chapmans Peak, Noordhoek, 7979, South Africa
The Red Herring in Noordhoek is a local pub that is a nice place to dine in all seasons. In the summer, you can toast the sunset over Noordhoek Beach from the rooftop balcony (but arrive early to ensure you get a seat). In the winter, you can dine downstairs next to this cozy fireplace. Their pizza is a delicious, too. Their large, crispy pies and rival that of the nearby pub The Toad. The setting and menu are varied enough that you can eat there more than once.
71 Waterkant St, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
Hemelhuijs is a stylish and intimate oasis in downtown Cape Town, perfect for a leisurely breakfast or lunch. The menus here are seasonal, featuring modern South African dishes made with fresh ingredients. Diners can look forward to everything from ricotta-and-Swiss-chard ravioli to vanilla baked guava with double-cream yogurt. Friendly and efficient service, good house wine, and excellent coffee make Hemelhuijs a real find. Seek it out and join discerning Capetonians at this relaxed venue, tucked behind the historic Lutheran Church.
7 Weltevreden Street
Located in the 160-year-old Leinster Hall, The Stack has to be seen to be believed. Its recently refurbished interiors are both outrageous and sublime, with emerald and sapphire walls, a leopard-print couch, and a rainbow of velvet chairs. There’s a beautiful garden out front, a brasserie and bar downstairs, and a private club on the top floor. Dining here feels like you’ve gained entry to a private, Old Cape Town world, but with a modern menu. Standout dishes include the duck rillette and the onion tart with king oyster, shiitake, and shimeji mushrooms.
70 Keerom Street
Carne SA is unapologetically about meat, meat, and more meat! Every cut of beef, lamb, or venison will be paraded in front of you with pride before it’s cooked to perfection. Most of the meat comes from the Nieu Bethesda farm of owner/chef Giorgio Nava (whose Italian background accounts for the Milanese touch in many of the dishes). Even though there are now three spots in the city , the original, on the Keerom Street cul-de-sac remains a favorite.
107 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
A once quiet downtown thoroughfare, Bree Street now has so many eateries that it is a sort of restaurant row. The feeding starts with breakfast and goes through lunch, afternoon snacks, drinks, and dinner at places like Bacon on Bree, Folk Coffee, the Culture Cheese Club, Café Frank (a must for breakfast or lunch), Clarke’s Bar & Dining Room (very popular for weekend brunches), Chefs Warehouse and Canteen (where it is essential to arrive early because the kitchen closes at around 8 p.m.), and the always packed (especially for drinks) La Parada. Just off Bree Street are many other options, such as the Hungry Herbivore and the House of Machines, whose customers often overflow onto the narrow side street.
22 Cobern St, Green Point, Cape Town, 8005, South Africa
A Cape Town favorite Italian restaurant that is always packed, with families, lovers on a special date, friends, even though it’s not cheap Italian food by any means. The pastas are divided into long and short varieties – corta and lunga – and you will find the standard dishes plus many variations. Take a table on the verandah on balmy summer evenings.
Noordhoek Farm Village, Village Ln, Goedehoop Estate, Cape Town, 7979, South Africa
Chef Franck Dangereux (formerly of La Colombe, a celebrated Cape Town institution) runs the Foodbarn Restaurant out of a lovely old barn in the village of Noordhoek. Here, you’ll get all the flavors of a fancy restaurant, without the fuss. You may dine on artistically presented dishes like pépé goat cheese beignets, but a glance around the revamped space, with its rustic-chic decor and colorful knickknacks, will remind you that you are, in fact, feasting in a barn. At night, the place transforms into a tapas bar.
111 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa
On a visit to Cape Town in 2011, Michelle Obama made quite an impression at The Kitchen, a local eatery in Woodstock. It’s easy to see why she—or her staffers—chose this homey spot, stylishly cluttered with an array of retro knickknacks. The former first lady is known for championing a healthy lifestyle, and The Kitchen owner Karen Dudley is no different. Made with fresh, seasonal ingredients, Dudley’s salads and sandwiches promise to deliver wholesome goodness to your taste buds. For a healthy meal followed by a sweet treat, pair the Love Sandwich (filled with avocado, pesto, tomatoes, and onions) with one of Dudley’s divine brownies.
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