A Guide To The Best Restaurants In Cape Town

Cape Town is a foodie’s delight. Lucky enough to be heading there soon? You won’t want to go without a list of must-eat recommendations, and we’ve got a few suggestions from local insiders to start you on a culinary journey into the city.

So whether you want a relaxed brunch or a fine dining experience that comes recommended by Heston Blumenthal, keep reading for our edit of Cape Town’s restaurants.

Breakfast on Bree

Clarke’s Bar & Dining Room at 133 Bree Street is best for breakfast (at any time of the day). Pick a spot in one of the sunny windows stacked with pot plants and order a freshly squeezed fruit juice or coffee while you peruse the menu – it’s not enormous, but everything on it sounds delicious!

We recommend The Hash Eggs – a reinvention of the traditional eggs benedict/royale – with toasted toasted cauliflower, parmentier potatoes, peppers and spring onion, topped with two poached eggs, asparagus, pea shoots, and smothered in hollandaise sauce. And, for extra protein, you can add bacon or haddock.

133 Bree Street, Cape Town

Relaxed lunch

Chefs Warehouse and Canteen is a rustic little eatery, kitted out with long wooden communal benches surrounded by bar-stools creating a lively social atmosphere.

On offer is a concise selection of daily-changing dishes with fresh, seasonal ingredients that are the stars of Chef Liam Tomlin’s imaginative productions. When it’s available, the Duck Confit with Lentils Du Puy that add a subtle nutty flavour is a must-try. Dinner is a Tapas For 2 affair and offers tastes of everything on the current menu – a great option to save you the angst of indecisiveness. In true canteen-style, diners also have the option of ordering meals made from items stocked in the on-site deli like potted shrimp, chicken liver parfait and crayfish tails.  

92 Bree Street, Cape Town

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Italian inspiration

A visit to Bocca Restaurant is like coming home to mamma’s house… with a bit of a makeover. Traditional Italian fare – think woodfired pizzas and fresh pasta – with a few genius twists, is served in a sleek industrial space that still manages to exude a laidback Mediterranean vibe – you simply have to experience it!   

Neapolitan pizza (with a variety of topping options) is the restaurant’s signature dish, and making it is something of an artisanal craft. The dough is stretched by hand (no rolling pins allowed!) and cooked at an eyebrow-singing temperature for only 60-90 seconds. The result is a magnificently crispy flatbread with pillow-soft centre. We love the indulgent Delre, with mozzarella, truffle spread, mushrooms and prosciutto.  

Cnr Bree ans Wale Streets, Cape Town

Fine(r) dining

La Mouette, according to its founders Gerrit Bruwer, Mari Vermaak and Henry Vigar, looks like fine dining but without taking itself too seriously. The setting is a grand old home once belonging to the mayor of Cape Town and fondly refered to by the team as the ‘Mayor’s Lady’. Antique, but by no means out of syle, she’s a little eccentric mixing her classic leadlight windows and classic mahogany flooring with bold coloured walls and bare-bulb lighting.

La Mouette’s cuisine is French (as you’ll have guessed from the name) having a bit of fun. The menu changes regularly and may include dishes like artichoke granola with wood sorrel. But, whatever the season, plates are always vibrant and beautifully presented with ‘cheffy’ flourishes here and there. Desserts are equally as playful, often turning tradition on its head. The G&T lemon curd is a light and refreshing end to a meal.

78 Regent Road, Sea Point, Cape Town

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Experience eating

The Test Kitchen is the culinary laboratory of chef and owner Luke-Dale Roberts, winner of multiple Chef of the Year and Restaurant of the Year awards, as well as consecutive listings on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. In the word’s of Heston Blumenthal, since there’s really no better way of saying it, “… he has this ability of putting seemingly incongruent ingredients together in such a way that they work amazingly well…” Look out for the Home Smoked Trout with beetroot, crème fraiche, parsley jellies, saffron pickled onions, and buttermilk trout crema.

The best way to get the full experience is to book for the set Discovery or Gourmand tasting menus, with optional wine or tea pairings. Make sure you’re seated at the bar counter next to the open kitchen and you’ll get to witness the magic happen.  

The Old Biscuit Mill, Woodstock, Cape Town

Main image courtesy of Bocca Restaurant

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