Best Restaurants in Capetown?

Jul 27th, 2008, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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We ate at One Waterfront when we stayed at the Cape Grace a couple of weeks ago, and it was excellent.

We also ate at the Showroon - the whole experience was superb, although my son struggled with the pork belly. They were most apologetic, and took it off the bill.
fairyjay is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 07:47 AM
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you can take a look at my trip report where I write in depth about food.

I am a food writer, cookbook author and cooking instructor, so I think I know a little bit about food !

Here is the link:
tripgirl is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 07:49 AM
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somehow that link did not work.

Anyway, just click my name and you will see my Report:
Just Back From South Africa and Botswana: Best trip in 20 yrs of International Travel

tripgirl is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 10:08 AM
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I have heard that Mama Africa is a good place to eat. Food and loud music!
jgardner is offline  
Jul 27th, 2008, 02:29 PM
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Well as they say one mans meat is another mans poison and when it comes to restaurant choices I dont suppose there is much difference in this statement when it comes to what one person likes and another dislikes.

You quote your friends as liking 95 Keerom, Haiku, Wakame, Olympia Cafe 12 Apostles for sundowners, The Savoy Cabbage and possibly Ginja.

Fair warning as what follows is a personal comment about the above.

I love 95 Keerom. Great service and wonderful Italian food. These days I would still visit the restaurant for Italian food however I have found another gem in the form of Il Leone (,,3005,00.html) which I think is better than 95 Keerom. A small tip if you visit Il Leone is to sit upstairs as opposed to downstairs.

The Savoy Cabbage is a very dependable restaurant. The food is different and very individual. The service has to be amongst the very best in Cape Town. I would highly recommend this establishment.

There was a time that I thought Ginja was closing down when the owners opened another restaurant in Claremont (Myoga), however they most certainly did not close their doors. I think the food at this restaurant is excellent however I always feel very cramped at this establishment as the tables are placed one on top of the other. In the process privacy between tables is minimalistic.

To say that I don’t enjoy Haiku as a restaurant overall would be an understatement. The food is fantastic BUT the atmosphere is impossible in that the restaurant is very, very, very noisy and when one asks the management to turn the music down they refuse to do so. The restaurant has the feature of bare walls and roof so absorption of sound is terrible meaning that when your waiter speaks to you one cannot hear him/her at all. The restaurant works in two shifts at night so if you take the 19h00 shift you have to be out of the place by 21h00. I simply hate this rule. The food comes from 3 different kitchens so you are warned beforehand that everyone’s courses could come at different times. The night we went to Haiku as a foursome we all ordered starters and a main. My wife and I had finished both our courses when our friends with us saw their starters arrive. The noise in the restaurant was so overpowering that we decided to skip desserts and went somewhere else. Please bear in mind that we detest heavy noise in a restaurant and you might well like it. If this is the case you will probably like the restaurant because one fact that cant be faulted is that the food is absolutely wonderful

There is nothing special about Wakame excepting for the fact that their prices are ridiculous to say the least. I have been eating sushi for the past 25 years in Cape Town (long before it became fashionable to eat Japanese food) and believe me I know every sushi spot in town. Wakame does not rank as the best in my opinion. The hidden secret for good sushi in Cape Town is the Japanese fish salad (sashimi) offered by Yoshi San at Saigon restaurant.

Relative to all these places the one establishment that I have never mentioned on Fodors is our present personal favourite restaurant at the moment and that is Bizerca Bistro. Read the write-up at and you will see why I have not shared this info on Fodors in the past. Problem is that what the writer on the above webpage prophesized has happened and you now have to book far in advance to book a table at this absolutely wonderful hidden secret in Cape Town. To see more go to

The Olympia Café is a great spot to have lunch as their food is truly wonderful. Fair warning is that management does not take bookings and if you are on a tight schedule when going down to Cape Point this could become a problem as you might have to wait a long time for a table so.......rather go over the road to Kalkies as I have suggested in a previous mail in this thread.

You also mentioned Terroire, Le Quartier and Reubens. These restaurants have been touted over and over on Fodors and sorry to tell you but in my opinion they all have great marketing programmes that make them look a lot better than what they are especially when you look at their prices charged. I ate at Terroire 2 weeks ago after deciding that I should give the restaurant a second chance after not enjoying what the establishment offered me about 2 years ago. I was terribly disappointed not only in the food but also at the astronomical prices charged. Le Quartier falls into a similar category and while Reubens are not as expensive as the aforementioned I don’t think the food at this restaurant is as wonderful as all make it out to be.

If you are looking for a great lunch stop in the winelands go to Bread and Wine on Moreson wine farm. For dinner I still believe that nothing beats Les Bon Vivant, be it for quality of food and well as value for money.

There are two relatively new arrivals on the winelands scene for lunch. Dieu Donne - sorry website not operating yet but contact info is (021) 876-384 or write to info

The Overture restaurant at Hidden Valley Wine farm ( or .

Both these restaurant have fantastic views and offer great food. Both venues are in the upper price range but I believe you obtain good value for money in both cases. I feel that Hidden Valley is the first choice of the two but it all depends on the individual in terms of your own taste and opinion

Mama Africa‘s name has also been put into this thread. The food is very authentic and to be honest not my favourite but the atmosphere is unbeatable as there always is a great band playing and the dance and song atmosphere works well in this very casual establishment. Personally I would not go to Mama Africa for a meal; I would have a meal somewhere else and just visit the restaurant after 10PM, pay the entrance fee and join the party.

Sundowners at the 12 Apostles is a great idea. Very enjoyable however I think in a couple of weeks time when the bistro at the Roundhouse is complete it will be a better venue in this regard.

Finally eniehman76 what more can I say other than if you read this thread the one fact that comes shining through is that you should not go hungry in Cape Town.

Enjoy your forthcoming visit to our great city.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jul 30th, 2008, 07:43 PM
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Hello Selwyn-

I have written all of your choices down and am taking them with me on my trip. Thank you so much for your help. The only problem now is that you have given me so many choices that I don't know which ones to go to!

Sorry to keep asking you for help---but I need more advice. Since we only have 4 nights in Capetown (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday---we leave this Saturday) what sort of sundowner/restaurant combos would you put together for us so that we get to the best places and not miss too much? The reason that I ask this, is because I am not too sure of the closeness of all of the locations. For example, if we did sundowners at the 12 Apostles, where would be a restaurant that is kind of near there or at least in the vicinity of our hotel at the waterfront? I am just trying to get my bearings on Capetown and distances/taxi times.

Of all the restaurants you mentioned, the ones that seemed most interesting are: 95 Keerom, Roundhouse, Geisha, Ginja, and Wang Thai. [Which Wang Thai is best and has the best view: Greenpoint, Camps Bay or Milnerton?] I would say that Willoughby's and Biesmiellah fall behind those mentioned above.

Sundowner places that seem to have good views are 12 Apostles, Salt, and Roundhouse. Any thoughts? Will the round house have their bistro open next week or not?

Thanks so much!
enlehman76 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 09:04 AM
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As you are leaving for Cape Town in a couple of days time one can already consult a 7 day weather report and this tells me that Monday, Wednesday and Thursday you most certainly will NOT see the sun going down in Cape Town due to over-clouding. Tuesday you could enjoy a reasonable sunset. All that I am saying is chasing sunsets in Cape Town in the beginning of Winter is a rather risky event

What is also important to me is whether you will have your own transport as this will help matters in term of you getting to your sunset destination as well as your place of dining after sunset. I am gong to assume you will have transport. I will make this assumption because if you do not have this facility then the usage of taxis to travel from one place to another should also be fine as taxis in Cape Town are efficient, reasonable in price and safe to travel in.

Comments about restaurants
Wangthai establishments are not known for their views. I have not been to the Milnerton Wangthai and I suspect it might have a view but then Milnerton is pretty far away from the city centre. The Camps Bay and Sea Point Wangthai’s do not have views (Camps Bay has a very slight sea view but t is not worth speaking of.

Unfortunately I cannot tell you with certainty whether the Roundhouse Bistro will be open next week however my gut feel says it wont be as I saw the venue about ten days ago and their was very little that had been done at the bistro at the time.

Salt might claim that they have a view but this is not totally true as there are about 6 tables at Salt that have a sea view and to my knowledge the bar counter is set far back and has no view.

I highly doubt if you will be able to enjoy the sea view at the Apostles Hotel not because you cant see the sea but because it will be so cold outside and the Apostle sundowners really only work on their balcony. Believe me the minute the sun starts to drop you are not going to want to be outside as it is going to be very cold.

One place that I would not leave out for pre-dinner drinks would be Caveau Bar off Heritage Square. This is where most of the professional Cape Town community go for after work drinks. No sunset, no view but a great atmosphere. From Caveau you can walk to Ginja if this suits you.

Even though I have given you the above advice I do believe that no matter where you go for sundowners it should not be a problem to be able to travel to any of the restaurants that you want to visit as no place should be more than about 20 minutes apart by car ride.

Enlehman76 as I have already intimated I think you could be placing much to much emphasis on views at places for sunset when it comes to the early Winter period in Cape Town. I would suggest that you just go with the flow by stopping for a pre-drink at the cocktail bar at whatever restaurant you are visiting. I doubt if this attitude wont satisfy your needs.

The above is the best advice that I can give you and I can but only hope that it helps. Enjoy Cape Town next week.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Jul 31st, 2008, 06:13 PM
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Hello Selwyn-
Thanks for the advice. I am in love with the sea so if I cannot see a clear sunset but can see the water, than I am ok with that. I already have a private guide for my day trips, but nothing for the evenings. We were just going to rely on taxis---although Mohammed said early that he used a driver named Ernest instead of a taxi. I am open to both taxi and guide---whichever is the safest and most cost effective. If we are driving from the waterfront to 12 apostles to city centre and back to the waterfront let's say---is it cheaper to do a taxi or driver? If a driver, who do I call to arrange this?
enlehman76 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2008, 09:24 PM
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Hi Selwyn. I realise that by now enlehman76 is enjoying the great weather we have been having, the sunrise yesterday was beautiful.

I was wondering what your opinion is on the Radisson for sundowners? We have been a couple of times (more than a year ago) and have thouroughly enjoyed being out on the deck overlooking the ocean.

We have also had a buffet dinner there which was good as they cooked and served some of the food out on the deck.

I was thinking it may be a good spot for tourists to enjoy the view all the way to Robben Island.

Here's a link that has pictures if anyone's interested.

Also, what do you think of the Nose Bar? We sometimes go down on a thursday night to do their wine tasting, and have discovered some good ones that way. I can't say their food in great but you could always move over to Andiamo or elsewhere after the wine tasting.

Thanks for all the restaurant info Selwyn, we'll be trying some of them.

Mischka is offline  
Aug 4th, 2008, 11:08 PM
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I think the Raddison is fabulous for sundowners in the summer. In the Winter one would more than likely have to remain inside the building and then I think a lot of the sundowner atmosphere could be lost but in the Summer when one can be outside on the jetty area or sit close to the pool it is a wonderful choice.

I have never had the buffet dinner at the Raddison but I have enjoyed the buffet lunch on a number of occasions. Personally I think it is one of the better lunch buffets in town and would recommend the experience to those who are into buffets. I can only guess that if the lunch buffets are good then the dinner buffets must be similar.

I love the Nose Bar to bits BUT only for an evening of wine quaffing. When it comes to food the venue is a bit "iffy" but then as you say you can walk 10 yards and sit down at Andiamo or even Tank for that matter where you can enjoy a good meal. I obviously would not recommend the Nose Bar as a sundowner venue in that it has not got any view whatsoever but I like the atmosphere and the product of the establishment.

In case Enlehman76 is reading Fodors while he is in Cape Town the Nose Bar wont be a good idea for him to visit as he says he wants to see the sea but the Raddison would be perfect. He/she have also lucked out because two nights ago I reckon the Winter sunset that I saw across Table Bay has to rate as one of the best I have ever seen so the weather is most certainly playing ball for our visitors to Cape Town right now. Furthermore the cableway is once again up and running after its annual maintenance. Now we just have to wait for Chapmans Peak to re-open.

Mischka thanks for the suggestion of the Raddison in particular because this is certainly a suggested sundowner spot which should have been mentioned in this thread already.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Aug 9th, 2008, 08:08 AM
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This has been a very informative thread for me, thanxs all...

After reading all the recommendations i'm wondering if there are any option for vegetarians..

I leave for cape town on 14th august . I hope i get some good vegetarian food, do places like showroom, savoy cbbage , jardine etc etc have decent veg options....

Or can anyone recommend some nice place which serves good vegetarian food.... or atleast has a few good options...

Thanks in advance
vns is offline  
Aug 9th, 2008, 02:11 PM
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I cannot think of a specific restaurant in Cape Town that specialises in vegetarian foods however you will probably find that in 90% of all restaurants there is a vegetarian option available.

The Africa Cafe serves a set menu that is 85% vegetarian based. The tastes that you will find will all be new to you and even though you will probably know all of the ingredients your taste buds will inevitably go through a brand new and wonderful experience.

The Thai restaurants in town all have quite a number of vegetarian options available. Take a look at any branch of Wangthai or Simply Asia in this regard. Another little gem is Tom Yum which is hidden away at 72 Regent Road, Sea Point.

If you are in Stellenbosch during the day go to the Greengage restaurant. This is a vegetarians delight. Absolutely brilliant but only open for lunch.

I want to repeat that in most restaurants you will always find something that will suit a vegetarian diet so just stop in at most of the restaurants mentioned in this thread and you should be ok vegetarian wise.

Hope the above helps you to enjoy our city and its surrounds to the full.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa

Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Aug 9th, 2008, 11:08 PM
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thank you so much selwyn... Your reply is such a relief...

Since we are not wine drinkers i've not included stellenboch in my trip..Hows the weather in cape town now... We gonna be there this weekend...

Thanks once again
vns is offline  
Aug 10th, 2008, 01:10 AM
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Today (Sunday Aug 10) the weather is absolutely wonderful. Predictions for the weekend that you arrive are medium to high winds, an average of 70% overcast skies and temperatures of 14C (60F). Most important is that there is a no rain prediction. Your stay in Cape Town should be good as I see matters.

Saturday is a big day in Cape Town as the Springboks (SA) are playing the All Blacks (new Zealand) at Newlands rugby ground and as this is one of the biggest clashes in the rugby world expect massive "rugby fever" in town when you arrive especially if SA win.

Hope that you have a fantastic stay in my city.

Very proudly part of the wonderful nation of South Africa
Selwyn_Davidowitz is offline  
Aug 10th, 2008, 04:15 AM
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Yeyyyyyyyyyyy.... I'm all excited, can't wait to aboard my flight.....Fantastic weather, i hope the rain god has some mercy on us....

It wud be something to witness a ruby fever as i hardly get to see any ruby aound my side of the world, its always cricket....

Thank you sel, can't thank you enough

vns is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 06:09 PM
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Hi All-
I was the one that posted this question so I thought I should reply on the restaurants now that I have been to SA.

In Capetown, these are the restaurants that we went to that were great and yummy! They were also suggested by a friend of mine that has lived and travels alot to CT.

1) Wafu (above Wakame) in Mouille Point for Sundowners and then 95 Keerom for dinner...view of sea and sunset is amazing at Wafu! 95 Keerom was awesome italian food.

2) Bhukara (Indian)...we had apps here and was excellent...then we walked downstairs and ate dinner at Haiku (Asian/Sushi)...both are in the city center

3) Sundowners at the 12 Apostles Hotel....view is gorgeous! Just a $$$ cab ride back to the Waterfront. Il Leone (Italian) for dinner...was good...not as good as 95 Keerom but we are Italian foodies and thought it was good.

4)Giovanni's Deli in GreenPoint had good pre-made foods and pastries...loved this place and can walk to it from the waterfront during the day.

5) OMG...if you go to the winelands, you HAVE to eat at La Petite Ferme in Franschhoek...the food was EXCELLENT and the view from the hilltop over the winelands was BEAUTIFUL! Can you tell we both loved it?

Happy Eating (and drinking too)!!!

If anyone needs a tour guide, Charlie Ratcliffe was our private guide and he was awesome! I highly recommend him! [[email protected]]
enlehman76 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2008, 11:57 PM
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Just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed to this posting, we leave on Sunday 2/11 so all the information will be v.useful. and I can't wait, I love Cape Town.
twotravel is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 05:01 AM
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We were in SA last summer and our favorite restaurant in Capetown was Bukhara. The indian food was truly exceptional. All the dishes we had were wonderful, and I had one of the best desserts I have ever tasted there, the carrot halva.

If you want a great burger, definitely stop for lunch at Cafe Royale. It's always busy, but the wait usually isn't too long.

We stayed at the Cape Grace and although one. waterfront is supposed to be a great restaurant it is still a hotel restaurant, and there are so many other places I try. We also ate at Jardine, the food was good and the atmosphere, nice, but nothing exceptional. is a good website to look at. Hope this all helps. Have a wonderful time; it truly is an unforgettable trip
GDKSS is offline  
Oct 29th, 2008, 04:39 PM
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We stayed at the Table Bay Hotel which was WONDERFUL! We did not eat at the restaurants at the waterfront because they are so touristy and we wanted to get more of a feel for the city itself. There are many good restaurants in the city center that you can take a short cab ride to.

Also, there is a divine Gelato place (can't remember the name) that is a little east of Giovanni's deli in Greenpoint. The gelato is AMAZING....I have been dreaming about it since I left. The same gelato place is in Franschoek as well if you miss the one in Capetown.
enlehman76 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 10:59 PM
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If you have a choice between staying at The 12 Apostles or Table Bay which would you choose? There are 4 ladies and one couple.
Tootscuba14 is offline  

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