Visitors and locals alike are very spoilt when it comes to eating out in Cape Town. Besides a wide variety of beautiful locations and access to fresh produce, some of the best chefs on the continent choose to live in the Mother City.
Many established favorites have survived Covid, and have re-invented and energized their offering. And then, a sprinkling of hot new spots are creating a buzz on the restaurant scene.
Here’s a list of fabulous Cape Town and Winelands restaurants to get your mouth watering over as you get excited about your upcoming visit to the finest wining and dining destination in Africa.
Among the vineyards
Set among the vineyards at Buitenverwachting Wine Estate which is steeped in history, and loved and supported by the local community. Chef Peter Tempelhoff was drawn in particular to the authenticity of the property and the feel of a working farm. Templehoff’s enduring food philosophy is one that centers on provenance – a philosophy that ensures that the concept never eclipses the importance of the ingredients. At beyond, special attention has been paid to sourcing a diverse range of special raw produce.
Where: Buitenverwachting, 37 Klein Constantia Road, Constantia
In the heart of the city
Meaning ‘moose’ in old Norse – a nod to his Swedish heritage, ëlgr chef Jesper Nilsson has created a modern, casual and multi-cultural dining experience. At ëlgr the food, drinks, music and hospitality all work holistically to create the perfect ambiance in an inspiring setting. Subtle forest elements are reflected in calm sage green and charcoal tones with abundant indoor foliage.
A newly installed bar is the focal point of the sunny, spacious courtyard. In collaboration with Sip Exclusive, great cocktails will be served all summer long, occasionally accompanied by local DJs.
Where: 75 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
ERNIE ELS RESTAURANT
In the Winelands of Stellenbosch
Known for their generous, hearty, modern farmhouse cuisine in a charming open-plan space that extends out onto a terrace with picturesque views of Stellenbosch and the Helderberg mountains.
Ernie Els Restaurant‘s farmstyle decor echoes the hearty cuisine made from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. Executive Chef, Saskia Nel has a deep fondness for the very essence of cooking and believes that “fresh, homemade food is always best”. She enjoys getting back to the basics and building dishes from scratch, like making her own pasta and ice cream, in particular.
Where: Ernie Els Wines, Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
PILCROW & CLEAVER
Bustling urban ambience
Pilcrow & Cleaver is the delicious brainchild of Chef Judi Fourie; a Cape Town restaurant fierce with bold, modern flavors.
With no service staff, and no doors, windows, or walls to the kitchen, Pilcrow & Cleaver puts you in direct contact with the chefs and cooks that make your food. They invite you to smell and anticipate modern Europe with inspired menus of small plates, mains and desserts.
Swirl a glass of proudly South African wine over dinner or unwind with a perfectly tinctured gin at their separate bar section. You can even talk to the chefs as they prepare homemade flavors right in front of you.
Where: 3.2 Piazza, Parliament Street, Cape Town
LA GROTTO RISTORANTE
Fabulous for families
A Constantia local’s favorite! Serving hearty and deliciously authentic Italian food – made by hand and using organic ingredients, this picturesque restaurant is both inviting and spacious, with plenty of space for children to play!
La Grotto is most known for their pizzas, pastas, seafood and veal, and serves Constantia Uitsig wine exclusively.
Where: Spaanschemat River Road, Fir Grove, Constantia
Here’s our list of fabulous Cape Town hotels that are home to great restaurants
Tintswalo Atlantic Boutique Hotel: Chef’s Warehouse
Liam Tomlin and chef Braam Beyers invite you to enjoy splendid views and stunning fare at the ocean’s edge. Their familiar Chef’s Warehouse set menu format of contemporary tapas – sharing – in 4 courses draws inspiration from the endless Atlantic ocean views and spectacular local seafood.
Ingredients are sourced from a selection of small, sustainable local suppliers with a focus on marine produce — an homage to the ocean that gently enfolds this exceptional boutique hotel at the foot of Chapman’s Peak Drive.
Where: Tintswalo Atlantic Boutique Hotel, Chapman’s Peak Drive
Kloof Street Hotel: The Sanctuary Restaurant
New Kid on the Block: This uber trendy alfresco dining spot on the rooftop deck will wow you with its breathtaking ‘up close and personal’ view of Table Mountain and the cosmopolitan cityscape. Elegantly natural décor is infused with a vibrant heartbeat that’s undeniably ‘Cape Town’.
Whether you’re lounging on the pool deck with sundowners and friends, or savouring a gourmet pizza and glass of local wine, this urban restaurant retreat is worth escaping to!
Where: 8 Rheede Street, Gardens, Cape Town
The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel: Greenhouse Restaurant
The Cellars-Hohenort and its famous Greenhouse Restaurant are located in ‘Cape Town’s Vineyard’ — the historical Constantia Valley with panoramic views of the iconic mountain and 9.5 acres of magnificently manicured gardens.
Head Chef, Farrel Hirsch, and his team look long and hard at what we eat, and where it’s from. They look to the sea and the garden, to the fields and orchards; they open old cellars and pantries to find ingredients that have meaning.
“I love finding new ‘foreign’ flavors and combinations that I’d never imagined would go well together. It’s not just about coming in for dinner at Greenhouse, it’s about the experience and how you feel during the meal – and long after you leave the dinner table.”
Where: Brommersvlei Rd, Constantia Heights
Taj Cape Town: Bombay Brasserie & Mint Restaurant
Newly transformed, the Taj Hotel’s Bombay Brasserie redefines sumptuous and alluring with exotic yet contemporary décor and exquisitely layered fine Indian cuisine. It offers a delicious diversity of cooking styles from all across India, with truly ‘Cape Town’ flair and flavor.
This is just a taster …. the choice of unique and interesting eateries in Cape Town, out in the Winelands and beyond is actually quite remarkable. Let us know what your palate and mood feels like and we’ll endeavour to match you with the perfect dining experience.
Where: 1 Wale Street | Corner St Georges Mall
Twelve Apostles Hotel: Azure Restaurant
Azure Restaurant at the Twelve Apostles Hotel is uniquely positioned between heaven and the sea on Cape Town’s Atlantic Seaboard, just beyond Camps Bay – with uninterrupted views of blushing sunsets, breeching whales in season, playful pods of dolphins, and the power of thundering waves.
Essentially a seafood restaurant, Azure is elegantly decadent. With bold, modern swathes of blue, plush leather seating and starched white tablecloths, Executive Chef Christo Pretorius deftly combines international inspiration with home-grown flavours with a menu that celebrates seasonality, sustainability and the bountiful fresh produce of the Cape.
Azure was voted South Africa’s Best Hotel Restaurant at the 2020 World Culinary Awards.
Where: Camps Bay, Atlantic Seaboard
The Silo Hotel: The Granary Café
The Silo is Cape Town’s most iconic 5-star hotel — a celebration of art, cutting-edge architecture, modern luxury, and Afro-cosmopolitan design.
Towering above the V&A Waterfront, The Granary Café’s spectacular views of the vibrant ‘Mother City’, Table Mountain and Table are the perfect backdrop for fabulously contemporary, playful cuisine. Surrounded as you are by tongue-in-cheek African art, opulent textures and jewel-bright hues, dining at The Granary Café is an undeniably unique experience with its menu infused with the same comfortable, eclectic, and avant-garde style as the hotel’s interiors.
Where: Victoria & Alfred Waterfront
Mount Nelson: Planet Bar and Mount Nelson
Planet Bar: Cool, chic, yet timelessly elegant, Planet Bar buzzes year-round with well-heeled Capetonians and discerningly stylish visitors, sipping sleek sundowners or pre-dinner champagne.
The bar’s celestial décor and inviting seating make for a gorgeous ambiance oozing with opulent intimacy. Whether you’re people-watching from the terrace on a star-sparkling summer night — or curling up at the fire with a glass of pinotage in the cooler months, this is the place to be.
The Lord Nelson Restaurant has hosted a galaxy of stars since it first opened in 1899. Today, you’ll find our celebrated menus are vibrant and avant-garde — timeless classics suffused with irresistible modernity, served in a romantic, history-inspired setting with botanical tapestries, glistening crystal chandeliers and warm wood textures.
Cape Grace Hotel: Signal
Popular with our past clients for its incredible full-service, 5-star quality, the Cape Grace Hotel sits on a private quay — picturesquely positioned between the vibrant V&A Waterfront and the tranquil yacht marina.
Signal is at the heart of the hotel. Its innovative menu celebrates the Cape’s rich variety of cultures with dishes that pay homage to local flavours and accent European classics.
Aged Yellowwood furniture, crisp white linen, handcrafted crystal chandeliers, and ceiling-to-floor glass doors create an artful balance between comfort and grand occasion. Experience boldly designed flavours and textures in dishes that reflect the abundance of the South African land, an extensive wine list that includes the very best local and international wines, with desserts that delight!
Where: Victoria & Alfred Waterfront