Dine Like A Cape Town ‘Local’

April 19th 2017  |  South Africa, Travel, Unique Experiences  |  by  Charlotte Opperman
dine local in cape town montage of food © Chefs Warehouse

Cape Town is awash with superb restaurants and you’ll find styles and prices to suit all tastes. However as tables at places like La Colombe are hard to come by, and the Tasting Room is about to close its doors, we felt it was time to get some local advice on other options.

Here are a few current favourites from our local friends in the know:

The Foodbarn
Noordhoek Farm Village, a drive to the south of Cape Town

The Foodbarn has always been a great choice for a lazy weekend lunch and boasts a loyal following of diners who appreciate chef Franck Dangereux’s French-style.

It’s worth making the trip out to Noordhoek to sample the delights of this local eatery. At the time of press the restaurant is about to start renovation “more of a barn look and feel, removing the mezzanines and the whole building is going to be painted white” – Pete de Bruin.  Try the tasting menu without wine for £35 or with wine for £44.

“The Foodbarn is an ideal stop for our guests on a Peninsula tour and the food is absolutely amazing. You definitely get a glimpse into how us locals live in that area” Lindsy Terry – Ellerman House

The Shortmarket Club
88 Shortmarket Street, in the centre of Cape Town

Open less than 12 months, this Luke-Dale Roberts’ venture has already created a buzz in the Mother City and offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The menu consists of classic dishes transformed into something fresh – think scotch eggs with truffle, and reinvented Arnold Bennett amongst others.  There’s a great braai (BBQ) section too, which features grilled crayfish with smoked sweetcorn and wow-factor steaks.  Breakfast starts from £3.50; expect to pay £40 for dinner for three courses and half a bottle of wine per person.

“We’ve received great feedback from guests for the Shortmarket Club” Tanya Johnson – Cape Grace

Chefs Warehouse & Canteen
92 Bree Street, in the centre of Cape Town

This lovely spot, run by Liam Tomlin, is one of our current favourites, and serves some of the best food in Cape Town.  They don’t take bookings and the kitchen closes at 8pm, so get here early to be sure of a table.

The small relaxed space serves up a selection of simple, but sublime, daily changing dishes – with the emphasis on enjoying large platters of light bites, a bit like tapas but heartier. Tapas and desert around £25 per person.

“We recommend The Black Sheep, our favourite local, The Shortmarket Club, and Chef’s Warehouse” Colleen – Welgelegen Guest House

“Three of my favourites are Kloof Street House, Chef’s Warehouse and Thali. We often recommend Kloof Street House for those looking for a fun and vibrant night out. They have a great bar and the Sunday Jazz is fantastic. Thali is a wonderful new addition, just off Kloof Street delivering delicious and contemporary Indian inspired cuisine served tapas style.” Ross Bowers – The Silo Hotel

La Parada – Constantia Nek
1 Hout Bay Rd, Constantia Nek (on the road towards Hout Bay)

Good for a Friday night watering hole, but equally good for Spanish tapas.

Amazing vibes on a Sunday afternoon with DJ Rene playing as well!

Expect to pay £33 for tapas starter, main and desert and half a bottle of wine per person.

Grand Africa Café and Beach – Granger Bay
Haul Road, just on the western end of the V & A Waterfront

“Great for putting your feet in the sand, having a good glass of wine or cocktail and nibbling on one of their famous long pizzas!” Anna Ridgewell – Londolozi

Pizzas from £6.

Villa 47
(As the name suggests) 47 Bree Street, in the centre of Cape Town

This three storey restaurant complex serves contemporary/modern Italian:

Locanda, the stylish Italian bistro occupies the ground floor serving regional speciality dishes.

Stuzzico is a buzzing tapas-style bar serving Italian and Asian-inspired finger-food on the first floor.

Head to the second floor and you’ll find Restaurant offering a sophisticated boutique fusion experience.  Mains from £7.

Open Door, Constantia Uitsig
Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia

The team behind Bocca and Burrata opened its third restaurant in 2015 in the space formerly occupied by the River Café at Constantia Uitsig.

There is a promisingly short à la carte menu, with highlights including lamb neck and tasty pan-roasted line fish with oyster velouté, complemented by an extensive wine list.

It’s a comfortable, stylish space; bay windows, white walls and wooden tables with cast iron legs give a nod to the history of the building – which was once a schoolhouse. And…there’s a fantastic-sounding children’s menu – cookies and steamed milk included!  Three courses from £22.

Bacon on Bree
217 Bree Street, in the centre of Cape Town

The brainchild of Richard Bosman (famous for his range of Quality Cured Meats), this quirky, cool eatery is neatly sandwiched between Mother’s Ruin gin joint and Culture Club Cheese Bar.

BLT’s with a twist are the order of the day – simply order and pay at the counter, grab a stool at the blonde-wood counters or alternatively, wander down the stairs to peruse the boutique art gallery, or grab a seat in the secret courtyard. Big breakfasts start from £4 and BLT sandwiches are £4.50.

“One&Only Cape Town recommends Bacon on Bree – the city’s first ‘baconporium’ on hip Bree Street! In the summer we enjoy a pavement table in the sun, and in winter cosy up to the counter to enjoy the best bacon butties in town. Excellent coffee, and charcuterie boards served by charming staff for breakfast, sandwiches, salads and light bites. Try the Bacon Mary cocktail – a Bloody Mary with bacon-infused vodka! “ Ashleigh Fleming – One&Only Cape Town

Burrata, The Old Biscuit Mill
375 Albert Road, a short drive from the centre of Cape Town

Expect contemporary plates of modern-Italian food – not piles of mama’s pasta at this stylish eatery. Apart from authentic Neapolitan-style pizzas with moreish, chewy crusts, there are also exquisite mains to choose from.

The wine list has been carefully curated by the owner, Neil Grant, a qualified sommelier, with a superb selection of hidden gems and lesser-known varieties.

Raw brick, wood-panelled walls, and steel blend together in an industrial-chic style that is ever-present at the Biscuit Mill. Three courses from £15.

“Burrata is a great lunchtime option, offering Italian-inspired fare with a flair for the exciting and unexpected, this restaurant offers interesting mains and handcrafted pizzas of the highest quality, attention to detail, as well as a superbly appointed wine list. The pizza oven was hand built by a third-generation family-owned business in Naples. This oven is able to reach higher temperatures than the average pizza oven, which means every pizza turned out by Burrata is delicious and cheesy. The supporting dishes don’t fall by the wayside thanks to the considerable talents of executive chef Evan Coosner. The interior takes its design cues from the trendy restaurants of New York City’s Meatpacking District with the wine cellar and the kitchen both in full view. The centrepiece is the aforementioned wood-burning oven which also fills the space with a delicate smoky smell. We also recommend the Test Kitchen or The Pot Luck Club” Roberto Viviani – Wilderness Safaris

The Stack Brasserie
Leinster Hall, 7 Weltevreden Street, near Kloof Street

Although a members only club, the gorgeous brasserie downstairs is open to all and guarantees simple, impeccable French dishes and a great wine list. Owner Nigel wanted to make it “comfortable with great lighting and simple French food. No foams, soils or smears!”

The plats du jour are changed daily and the menu has classics like salmon gravadlax for starters and duck à l’orange. Starters from £5, mains from £7.

“I really enjoy The Stack – part private members’ club and part open to the public, conveniently located with stylish decor, great ‘club’ style food, The Stack is close enough to be part of the hip and happening Kloof Street scene, while providing an oasis of calm in the mother city. “ Suzanne Bayly-Coupe – Classic Portfolio

Any questions?

If you’ve got this far and not found a recommendation that we should have included, please let us know in the comments section below, or pop us an email. We’ll be sure to read your thoughts and may amend the article.

What next?

We would be delighted to help you plan a holiday, or answer any questions if you’re at an earlier stage. Our team of experts have travelled widely throughout Africa. They can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris.  If you would like to talk to someone who has been there and done it, please just send us an email or give us a call.

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