There’s a lot more to see in Cape Town than just Table Mountain (although that is incredible,) and a lot more to eat than overpriced calamari at the tourist traps on the Waterfront. Cape Town – in no small part thanks to the amazing ingredients and wines produced in the Cape region – was recently voted The Best Food City in the World. Quite an accolade, you’ll agree, but one that the city fully deserves. If you’ll be spending time in South Africa – and why wouldn’t you? – come hungry, and enjoy chowing down at the best foodie restaurants in Cape Town:
1. Bardough by Jason, Loop Street
What do you do if you’re already Cape Town’s most famous baker, and the man responsible for bringing the “doughssant” to the fairest Cape? Simple, you dust the flour off your tattooed arms and open a new joint. Bardough is an evolutionary offshoot of the original (and permanently packed) Jason Bakery, only this time around it’s not so much about the artisanal breads, as about chilled, vibey hangout moments like the new institution of Dog Day Afternoons. A sort of hipster version of a pajama day, this is your excuse to enjoy beer and hotdogs on a Saturday. As the man himself says, Bardough is “similar but different.”
2. Scheckter’s Raw, Regent Road, Sea Point
With its world-famous braai culture, South Africa has not traditionally been known as a veggie haven. That’s starting to change, however, and Toby Scheckter is at the forefront of the green revolution. This is the dining equivalent of running through a country meadow – natural, authentic and raw. Oh yes, and delicious! Nutrient-dense and cruelty-free ingredients jostle for space in astonishing vegan recreations of classic dishes, or burst out of entirely new recipes. Enjoy a meal where the flavors match the feel-good factor. And you’ll feel good, doing the planet a favor at the same time. Now, if only we knew how to pronounce “quinoa,” we’d order it.
3. Hoghouse Brewing Company, Morningside Street, Ndabeni
In total contrast to our last choice, but equally down to earth, Ndabeni is a joint founded on beer, bread and barbeque. Tour the brewery or smokeroom, and if that doesn’t give you a serious appetite and a thirst that must be quenched, nothing will! Enjoy the authentic Texan-style smokehouse experience, washed down with a pint or two of Hogtale African pale ale. Or match an artisanal chin with their homemade tonic water as the Rooikrans wood smoke drifts across the green lawns and under the Cape Dutch gables: it’s time to eat.
3. Truth Coffee HQ, Buitenkant Street
Coffee lovers, follow your nose to this dedicated roaster, and you’ll have every reason to linger. The quirky Steampunk décor (think Willy Wonka meets Mad Max) and waiters dressed in waistcoats and welding goggles will keep you distracted while you wait for your cup of Joe – or Joy, as it’s known here. Each shot is lovingly extracted from beans roasted on site. This is a café where coffee is not a beverage; it’s a religion. Factor in an all-day breakfast menu with stacks of wholesome goodness, and prepare for a revelation.
5. Kalky’s Fish and Chips, Kalk Bay
Okay, so there’s nothing new about Kalky’s – but that’s the whole point! A Peninsula landmark for decades, it’s well worth the short drive out of town. The restaurant couldn’t be any closer to the sea, and what you see is what you get. Choose classic hake or haddock and chips, fishcakes and mushy peas from the backlit menu, and cozy up to your fellow diners on long benches at communal plastic-topped tables. Pass the ketchup and watch the gulls wheel above the harbor as you enjoy Cape Town’s finest fish and chips. Entirely unpretentious and completely unmissable.
6. The Test Kitchen, Albert Road, Woodstock
You didn’t make a reservation weeks ago? Ah, then we may have to disappoint you. We’re all for being spontaneous on holiday, but this is one of those times when you should plan way in advance, and book that table. Superstar chef Luke Dale-Roberts is a man who knows his shallots, and his layers of flavor approach to world-class cuisine has put his contemporary Woodstock restaurant firmly on the foodie map of Cape Town. As the name implies, the Test Kitchen is a laboratory of foodie innovation producing edible experiments. It’s also a delectable labor of love that regularly features on lists of the world’s best restaurants. Bon appétit!
Want to visit any of the restaurants listed above or embark on your own food tour of Cape Town? Contact us, and we’ll put something together for you.