Cape Town is a foodie’s delight, but with almost unlimited choices, you’re bound to find yourself in a tizz trying to narrow down your dining options. From fine dining establishments with world-class menus to casual neighbourhood hideaways with homely hospitality, you’ll never be starved for choices.
Navigating the Cape Town restaurant scene can be a trying task, especially when you’re nestled between countless eateries that offer new, exciting dishes. Explore your tastes with our guide to local dining hotspots in and around the Mother City.
Nestled in the heart of downtown Cape Town, FYN Restaurant offers visitors a divine dining experience. With its distinctive New York-inspired ambience and fusion of Japanese-inspired dishes with local indigenous fynbos vegetation, you can expect a unique approach to fine-dining.
Looking over the historic Church Square, this culinary hotspot showcases incomparable views of Table Mountain and Lions Head to complement your delectable dishes. With a shorter tasting menu than the usual fine dining establishments, FYN offers a unique format that is fitting to its location and of course its delectable dishes.
At the helm is Chef Peter Tempelhoff who describes the food as, “ingredient-focused cuisine drawing inspiration from South Africa’s culture, lore and society, as well as my jaunts around the world; especially my many journeys to Japan.”
THE TEST KITCHEN
The Test Kitchen, based in the vibrant Woodstock area, is an artistic infusion of decor, atheists and electric energy. With food based on popular global dishes infusing South African ingredients and to suite the dining area’s light and dark areas.
The Taste Kitchen experience begins with distinctive small bites from around the world like ceviche and roti paired with cocktails in the quiet, darkroom. More classic-mod fare is served in the buzzy lightroom – such as Eiland (local game) carpaccio; local kingklip smoked with curry leaves and scallops with a Cape Malay sabayon.
The Test Kitchen is a combination of delicious food paired with design wonder, that absorbs you in an immersive sensory experience.
Foxcroft has been described as a foodie haven and is home to some of the city’s highest quality dishes. Foxcroft has received over 320 ‘excellent’ ratings on TripAdvisor, which is a testament to the selection of ingredients, flavour combinations and commitment to delectable dishes from Chef Proprietor, Glen Foxcroft Williams.
With a combination of seasonality and locality, ingredients are used to completely immerse one’s palate in a taste experience that oozes sophistication, finesse and utter culinary skills.
“At Foxcroft, we aim to cook with the same intensity and thoughtfulness as fine dining but in a more casual and approachable format. As a cook, deliciousness must come first, and anything not actively contributing to that must be removed.”- Glen Foxcroft Williams | Chef Proprietor
This beautiful French-inspired establishment lies in the heart of the Mother City, bringing some divine dishes for foodies to enjoy! Thanks to the return of Chef Giles Edwards from London after 10 years, the upscale eatery became a much-needed breath of fresh air in the scorching heat of the summer of 2016.
La Tête subscribes to a farm-to-fork principle guaranteeing customers fresh produce at all times. Your palate will delight in the daring ingredients served in every dish. It comes as no surprise then that the sophisticated eatery also serves up some intriguing dishes and delectable desserts. Sourcing local seasonal ingredients, guests should be prepared for changes in menus – which much to our delight – makes Cape Town ever in awe of these talents chefs.
THE CHEF’S WAREHOUSE
The Chef’s Warehouse and Canteen on Bree is a contemporary dining environment that offers beautifully curated tapas boards. The set menu of three courses served on small plates are created for sharing and feature seasonal dishes.
Ingredients are paired according to their seasonality and are always fresh, local and sustainably sourced. Favourites that are still on offer are the oysters and classic lemon posset.
With the relaxed canteen-style dining, the Chefs Warehouse Bree street does not take reservations, but if you arrive early, you are guaranteed to find your Cape Town gem either through a table or the wine bar.
The Restaurant of the Year 2019, is located in the beautiful seaside town of Paternoster and housed in a 130-year-old fisherman’s beach cottage. Two hours north of Cape Town, Wolfgat attracts tourists and locals alike for its daring combinations and ground-breaking take on the fine-dining scene.
Visitors are blessed with views of golden sands and a calm, rippling Atlantic Ocean – this is an eatery that engulfs all the senses. The menu is built around fresh catch and foraged goods and has a deep focus on the community, sustainability and genuinely gorgeous meals. Bookings are essential, and due to its rise in popularity, it is recommended to do so months in advance.
Welcome to Tjing Tjing House on Longmarket Street, where you are transported to Tokyo in all its modernity and tradition. It is a world, carefully curated around a food fantasy which instantly engulfs you. The 200-year-old renovated heritage building offers a unique experience of Japanese food and culture on each level of the building.
Torii is a funky, cosy, street-food-inspired space on the ground floor of Tjing Tjing House. There’s a traditional Japanese breakfast, bento and sando boxes, tempura temaki, steamed Hirata buns, yakitori, gyoza, ramen and rice bowls. On the sweet side, pick from a selection of mochi or Japanese cheesecake, fluffy soufflé pancakes and a fish-shaped cake called taiyaki.
On the next level, you will find the upmarket Momiji, where the atmosphere transforms into a calming, zen-like room. With smells exuding that of lemongrass and essential oils and music, décor and ambience transporting you to a world away, it the perfect spot for an immersive, captivating culinary experience.
TJING TJING ROOFTOP BAR
Voted one of the best new bars in the world by Condé Nast Traveler in 2012, Tjing Tjing Rooftop Bar has been a favourite Cape Town hang-out since 2011, and is still as popular as ever – and not just in summer. Expect divine cocktails and feel the pulse of the inner city with moreish bar snacks, divine music and funky decor.
JANSE & CO
This supremely stylish eatery is an absolute must-visit if you are looking for a perfect gourmet dining experience. The large space on Kloof Street is the conceptualisation of chef Arno Janse van Rensburg and pastry chef, Leizel Odendaal, who also happens to be his wife. The 110-seater eatery was designed with decor, ambience and food delicately complementing one another.
The earthly accents add a warm, pastoral tone to the area, while the vibe accentuates casual, relaxed dining. Janse & Co offer guests an authentic dining experience with each dish and is a must-visit when exploring the CBD.
Greenhouse is a vibrant, immersive culinary experience in Constantia, Cape Town. The setting is somewhat expected, as it is enclosed in a glass case, illuminating light that shines through, creating a beautiful airy atmosphere. The environment offers the illusion of the outdoors, with stunning views of the pristine garden right outside the glasshouse.
At the helm of the kitchen is chef Farrel Hirsch, who worked as the restaurant’s sous chef from 2014 to 2016 under Peter Tempelhoff. Chef Farrel’s dishes pay homage to the exemplary culinary language Greenhouse has always been known for seasonality, sustainability, diverse flavours and an immersive dining experience.
A theatrical experience awaits you when visiting Greenhouse with bursts of flavours in each dish. The flavour profiles are unique and are paired brilliantly. It is a must-visit spot in Cape Town.
Cape Town is a cultural hub of artistic expression and activity and arguably the creative capital of South Africa.
This creative metropolis is overflowing with venues that offer visitors the opportunity to view both contemporary and classic artworks..
Explore the most prominent galleries in Cape Town with a few suggestions here
Explore the latest and greatest in Cape Town by subscribing to our newsletter here or following us on our social channels,