Where to Eat in Cape Town

So – after traveling nonstop for nine months, you finally have an entire month where you’re staying put in the same city. You have no real plans, job, or commitments. Do you:

A. Jump right into a healthy routine – hit up the local grocery store and get to cooking

B. Go for a healthy balance of making your own meals and eating out at restaurants

C. Eat out so often that you get physically ill one night from overindulging and need to grocery shop the next day to maintain sanity and regain health

If you asked me before our time in Cape Town, I would’ve said – option B, of course! Well, plans changed…and yes, as you might’ve guessed, option C happened. Not wasting any time, we hit the ground running hard and ate every single meal out during our first week. (And then, on that fateful Friday night, we decided on a Tex Mex place after already drinking some cocktails and tequila-flavored ciders. Let’s just say we’ve learned that jalapeno poppers are never a good idea, and if your frozen margarita comes with a ladle, you probably should just say no.)

I promise I’m getting to the point…

Cape Town is a “foodie” city, which we obviously appreciate. Not only are there an overwhelming number of fantastic restaurants in the city, but dining out is, well, much cheaper than we expected. As in, we can totally stuff our faces at some of the nicest restaurants in town, including bottles of wine drinks and starters, for $20 each. Without further ado, here are our favorite restaurants in Cape Town.

For restaurants with an asterisk*, I strongly recommend that you make a reservation for dinner.

Kloof Street House*

If you only have one night to dine on Kloof street, make it be this place. Sure, the service isn’t impeccable, but the funky, Victorian atmosphere mixed with the great food makes for a night you shouldn’t miss.

Goat cheese salad…you won’t regret it

Where: Kloof Street

What to order: Goat cheese salad (it’s divine); cheeseburger

Cost: $$$

Protip: Go there for a very early dinner late lunch to sit wherever you like outside without a reservation

Miller’s Thumb*

This is one of Pete’s favorite’s. It checks all the boxes: cute, homey ambiance; fantastic service; and of course, incredible food. Focused on fish, their menu isn’t too extensive, which I actually appreciated (analysis paralysis queen over here). We were actually a bit annoyed when we found out (after eating there) it’s ranked as the #2 restaurant on TripAdvisor, but we can’t hold that against them.

Top: Kingclip; Bottom: walnut & blue cheese salad

Where: Right off Kloof Street

What to order: Calamari starter, Kingclip (with wasabi sauce for some crazy flavor)

Cost: $$$

Cafe Paradiso*

Get a seat on the patio for some phenomenal views of Table Mountain. We weren’t totally in love with the food, but the atmosphere was really enjoyable.

Where: Kloof Street

What to order: Drunken camembert starter; lemon meringue pie dessert

Cost: $$$

Black Sheep*

With its weekly-changing menu, chill-yet-sophisticated atmosphere, and incredible food, this place easily became another favorite. Alas, it’s another one that ranks highly on TripAdvisor, so reservations are recommended.

Top: Marinated silverfish; Bottom: Pork belly

Where: Kloof Street

What to order: The menu changes every week, so ask your server for suggestions! You can find the weekly menu online every Monday evening.

Cost: $$$

Cousins

We went here one of our first nights in Cape Town and immediately vowed to return ASAP. Their homemade pastas are out of this world, the service was phenomenal, and the setting was very homey.

Where: Central Cape Town (Barrack Street)

What to order: Ravioli (pictured above on the far left)

Cost: $$

Lola’s Cafe

While we weren’t too impressed by the service, the freshly-squeezed apple juice and perfectly cooked eggs benedict hit the spot.

Both eggs benedicts, but the top one has bacon & mushroom

Where: Central Cape Town (Long Street)

What to order: Eggs benedict (but pretty much everything on their breakfast menu looked on point)

Cost: $$

El Burro*

Finding good Mexican food abroad has been a struggle. So when I saw that Cape Town has a highly regarded Mexican restaurant, I called up and made a reservation right away. El Burro did not disappoint with its great service, cute ambiance, and above all – fabulous margaritas.

Where: Green Point (they also have a taqueria near Kloof Street that looks cute & casual)

What to order: House margarita; taquitos; fish tacos

Cost: $$

Posticino’s*

This family-run, Italian restaurant offers authentic Italian fare at an extremely reasonable price. Only downside – it’s right on a busy street. Make a booking to get a seat on the patio. However, Sea Point is a 20 minute drive from where we lived on Kloof Street, and we wouldn’t recommend going out of your way just to go to this place.

Top: chicken liver; bottom: carabinieri

Where: Sea Point

What to order: Their authentic, thin-crust pizza, of course! Feeling experimental? Try their salmon, cream cheese and caviar. If you have room, try their homemade tirimisu for a real treat!

Cost: $

Mantra Cafe

With great ocean views, great food, great service, and reasonable prices, this place checks all the boxes.

Where: Camp’s Bay

What to order: Pete and I got the Mantra Burger and the Mantra Salad (respectively) and weren’t disappointed. Plus, a bottle of their cheapest rose is a steal at $6!

Cost: $$

Honorable Mentions

Fat Cactus

Would we totally recommend this restaurant? No. But if you’re looking for a casual place with pretty decent Tex Mex food (think Chilis with a slightly more funky/trendy vibe), this will hit the spot.

Da Vincis (on Kloof)

This place has very meh food, but a pretty unbeatable happy hour. From 4-6, all starters, beers and house wines are half price.

Devils Peak Brewing Company

Sweaty brews post hike

A ten-minute cab ride from Downtown Cape Town, this taproom has great vibes, incredible beer, and pretty good pub food, too. We couldn’t get enough of their Juicy Lucy IPA!

Bombay Bicycle Club

While we weren’t huge fans of the food, we suggest going there for a drink to enjoy the funky decor.

What are some of your favorite restaurants in Cape Town? 

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