Cape Town and Peninsula Restaurants

Cape Town is the culinary capital of South Africa and quite possibly the continent. It certainly has the best restaurants in southern Africa. Nowhere else in the country is the populace so discerning about food, and nowhere else is there such a wide selection of high-quality restaurants. Western culinary history here dates back to the 17th century—Cape Town was founded specifically to grow food—and that heritage is reflected in the city's cuisine and the fact that a number of restaurants operate in historic town houses and 18th-century wine estates.

Cape Town dining today offers a global culinary experience, with Cape chefs showing the same enthusiasm for international food trends as their counterparts worldwide. French and Italian fare has long been available, but with Thai, Japanese, and Pan-Asian influences flooding in, accents of lemongrass, miso, and yuzu have become de rigueur in fine-dining kitchens. Middle Eastern cuisine is finally making some headway, and the Americas have also come to the fore, with plenty of burgers and ribs, and even chicken and waffles popping up on menus these days, not to mention a few South American and passable Mexican eateries. Ubiquitous pan-Asian fare is probably not as good as what you might be used to in major American cities; sushi is also easily found, though largely limited to tuna and salmon, and often prepared with lots of drizzled mayo and sauces. The locavore trend toward organic produce and healthful dishes is also gaining popularity, though attitudes toward vegetarianism in this meat-happy land remain somewhat backward.

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  • 1. Bistro 1682

    $$ | Tokai | Eclectic

    Named for the year the Steenberg wine estate on which it sits was established, this not-to-be-missed bistro serves dishes intended to be paired...Read More

  • 2. Hemelhuijs

    $$ | Cape Town Central | Eclectic

    Super-stylish Hemelhuijs is both a showcase for a range of exquisite ceramicware and fanciful lighting, and a centrally located restaurant serving...Read More

  • 3. Olympia Café

    $$ | Café

    This tiny Kalk Bay landmark with its mismatched tables and open kitchen is much beloved by locals as a super-casual destination for consistently...Read More

  • 4. Black Sheep Restaurant

    $$ | Tamboerskloof | Eclectic

    The menu at this relatively new but instantly popular Kloof Street eatery focuses on a small regular menu of comfort fare mixed with an ever...Read More

  • 5. Bombay Brasserie

    $$ | Cape Town Central | Indian

    Turning the old Reserve Bank Building into a scene of fantastical opulence with ornate, handblown glass chandeliers, lots of dark wood, and...Read More

  • 6. Dear Me

    $$ | Cape Town Central | Eclectic

    A leader in the Cape Town locavore food scene, this centrally located brasserie serves delicious fare that you don't have to feel guilty about...Read More

  • 7. Den Anker

    $$ | Waterfront | Belgian

    Take a break from your Waterfront wanderings at this Belgian-style eatery, where you can enjoy as good a pot of mussels with frites as you're...Read More

  • 8. Haiku

    $$ | Cape Town Central | Asian

    This Pan-Asian restaurant's complex menu of dim sum, sushi, and wok-fried items is very tasty, but with all the other great restaurants in town...Read More

  • 9. Hussar Grill

    $$ | Camps Bay | Steakhouse

    This branch of one of the Cape's favorite steak houses offers an unpretentious and friendly place to enjoy excellent and reasonably priced steaks...Read More

  • 10. Kloof Street House

    $$ | Tamboerskloof | Mediterranean

    Set in a fanciful garden under palm trees illuminated by strings of fairy lights, this magnificently dolled-up Victorian house on trendy Kloof...Read More

  • 11. La Boheme Wine Bar & Bistro

    $$ | Sea Point | Mediterranean

    Serving hearty gourmet meals at reasonable prices, this unassuming bistro and wine bar on Sea Point's Main Road is often packed, and deservedly...Read More

  • 12. La Mouette

    $$ | Sea Point | French

    La Mouette serves extremely reasonably priced, modern French-Mediterranean cuisine in a beautiful old Sea Point home that is all sash windows...Read More

  • 13. Societi Bistro

    $$ | Gardens | French

    This much-loved neighborhood bistro offers a reliable and seasonally adapted menu of French- and Italian-style classics. In a renovated 19th...Read More

  • 14. Salt

    $$ | Bantry Bay | Eclectic

    Floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the sea afford marvelous views at this restaurant in the Ambassador Hotel, so be sure to ask for a window...Read More

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