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The 30 best restaurants in Cape Town

From multi-course fine dining to an authentic taste of South Africa, start with Time Out's authoritative list of the best restaurants in Cape Town.

Written by
Rebecca Weber
Alicia Erickson
Richard Holmes

Cape Town is the culinary capital of Africa, and has long been hailed as one of the world's most exciting destinations for foodies. Whether you're searching for a restaurant with a view of the winelands – hello Chef's Warehouse – or a contemporary fine-dining destination in the heart of the popular V&A Waterfront, we've got you covered in this authoritative list of the best restaurants in Cape Town. And because the landscape keeps changing, so does this list, with new additions including Heirloom, Ouzeri and The Happy Uncles! 

Cape Town is a cosmopolitan culinary landscape and one that is increasingly aware of the need for diversity both on the plate and in the kitchens. In selecting our favourite spots (and we know there will be those who disagree) we’ve highlighted a cross-section of the city’s kitchens. They are each memorable in their own way, and while they differ in approach and price they are all worth a visit. So, our advice? Come hungry, and get stuck into our (ever-changing) selection of Cape Town’s best restaurants. 

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This guide was recently updated by Richard Holmes, a travel writer based in Cape Town. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines

Time Out Market Cape Town

Best restaurants in Cape Town


PIER brings a long-overdue dose of fine dining to the popular V&A Waterfront. Set in a historic building overlooking the working harbour, Head Chef John Norris-Rogers dishes up a memorable multi-course journey of flavours. Expect a culinary experience that weaves together classical French technique, superb local produce and a subtle touch of culinary theatrics. Book ahead for a window seat, where a tableau of sea views suits the wave of seafood-focused plates that roll out from the kitchen.

Pierhead Building, V&A Waterfront

2. FYN

With a clutch of awards for both its innovative cuisine and commitment to sustainability, FYN offers a thoroughly contemporary fine dining experience in a beautifully eye-catching loft-style space boasting city and mountain views. But your eyes will be fixed firmly on your plate here, as you taste your way through a menu inspired by a unique fusion of South African ingredients and Japanese flavours and techniques. Cape Malay-style trout, prawns cooked in kelp and guinea fowl wontons are among the creations you can expect to find on the kaiseki set menus. Non-carnivores need not worry – pescatarian and plant-based menus are also available.

37 Parliament St, CBD, Cape Town, 8001


3. Salon

Gourmands wept when Luke Dale Roberts announced in 2021 that he was closing The Test Kitchen, his groundbreaking fine-dining destination that put Cape Town on the global map for well-heeled foodies. But at Salon there’s an echo of The Test Kitchen’s glory days, with a menu of layered, adventurous and creative cooking that takes its cue from Dale Roberts’ career in kitchens across the world. That globetrotting inspiration is blended with the talent of Executive Development Chef Carla Schulze, and together the pair have created a remarkable dining experience in an intimate, yet glamorous, space in Woodstock’s Old Biscuit Mill precinct.

The set menu of 11 dishes roams widely and changes regularly. The playful plate of ‘Padkos’ snacks celebrates traditional South African flavours, while the Duck Suzette (France) and ‘Black Forest Cake’ (Germany) reinvent these classic plates. And you won’t soon forget the remarkable ‘Beef Kalbi’ (Korea), served with shiitake and chestnut rice. Across the menu it’s playful, creative cuisine that’s perhaps less experimental than The Test Kitchen once was, but all the more enjoyable for it. The Journey menu can be ordered with a bespoke wine pairing, or select from the carefully curated wine list. Certainly don’t miss the signature cocktails: the Elderflower martini is superb. Advance booking recommended.

The Silo, The Old Biscuit Mill, 373-375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915

4. La Colombe

Hidden in the forests above the Constantia winelands, La Colombe – 'the dove' – is widely hailed as one of the world’s best restaurants. This is a destination, not merely dinner, so set aside some time for the extensive Chef’s Menu (there’s also a vegetarian option and a reduced menu at lunch) that combines flavours and textures from Asia, Latin America, Europe and Africa into an experience gloriously playful, interactive, and creative at every turn. The hours slip by as talented chefs send a wonderland of dishes across the table, while inspired pairings – from cocktails and craft beer to boutique wineries – make this optional extra worth the spend. 

Silvermist Estate, Constantia Nek, Cape Town


5. Salsify

Stretched out across the upper floor of an 18th-century hunting lodge amid the forests above Camps Bay, the tables at Salsify boast Atlantic Ocean views that make the plates from chef Ryan Shell all the more enticing. The seasonal menu draws inspiration from the abundant nature around the city: langoustine gnocchi with spring truffles, linefish in lemongrass cream and smoked springbok are some of the inventive items to grace the menu. Come hungry – and in time to catch the golden sunset light pouring through this stunning art-filled space.

Roundhouse, Round House Rd, Camps Bay

6. Galjoen

Named for South Africa’s national fish, Galjoen celebrates seasonal seafood plucked exclusively from local waters. There’s a set menu served daily, with the chefs asking you to put your trust (and appetite) in their hands with a selection of plates that will likely run from freshly shucked oysters to fantastically fresh line fish. Of course, it all depends on what the boats bring in that day, so surrender to the surprise and enjoy a proudly local taste of South African seas. An excellent wine selection, open kitchen and contemporary décor by leading artists makes this a must for anyone with a taste for seafood.

99 Harrington Street, Cape Town


7. Heirloom

The iconic Cape Grace Hotel has enjoyed a long-overdue rejuvenation of late, with a top-to-toe refurb that has breathed new life into this famous city address. That new energy extends to the kitchens, with acclaimed chef Gregory Czarnecki – who wowed diners at The Restaurant at Waterkloof – at the helm. At Heirloom he brings his full talent to bear on a multi-course degustation menu that taps into local inspiration and flavours coupled with his deep love for classical haute cuisine. It’s all served up in an elegant space of white napery and a striking central bar. Afterwards, be sure to enjoy a digestif in the hotel’s elegant Library Bar overlooking the marine.

West Quay, V&A Waterfront

8. Seven Colours Eatery

Set in the riverside Battery Park section of the extended V&A Waterfront precinct, Seven Colours Eatery is a charming café-style eatery that takes its name from the traditional Sunday lunch served in many African homes, offering a contemporary take on traditional African cuisine.

While the menu extends to hearty breakfasts and sandwiches made with local igwinya or roosterkoek, the heart of the menu is the iPlate. Here you’ll be guided by a choice of the day’s dishes, whether it’s umngquso onembotyi (samp and beans) or amazimba red sorghum for staple starches, to slow-cooked beef potjie or lamb tripe for proteins. Served alongside are four traditional side dishes, including savoury spinach and bean chakalaka.

Owner-chef Nolu Dube-Cele also supports other young black-owned suppliers and producers across the city, so pair your iPlate with wines and beers by Ntsiki Biyela and Tolokazi, gins by Best Spirits of Africa, or beans roasted by Khayelitsha-based Siki’s Coffee. It’s a young, joyful, colourful South African dining experience that’s a must-eat in Cape Town.

Battery Park, V&A Waterfront


9. Nobu

From the first shout of irashaimasu (welcome!) as you enter Nobu you’ll realise this is no ordinary sushi restaurant. Chef Nobuyuki ‘Nobu’ Matsuhisa’s global empire now runs to dozens of restaurants worldwide, but the first Nobu restaurant in Africa opened in the One&Only Cape Town hotel back in 2009, and continues to impress.

Beyond the signature Peruvian-Japanese plates, the sushi is arguably the best in the city.  Book a seat at the counter to watch the sushi masters at work, where traditional sashimi and nigiri are elegantly plated, or opt for the inventive new-style sashimi. Our recommendation? Avoid the salmon or tuna and opt instead for the local springbok. Nobu certainly isn’t a cheap night out but is worth every cent for that special occasion.

One&Only Cape Town, Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001

10. Ouzeri

In an understated inner-city space, Ouzeri chef-patron Nic Charalambous celebrates the kitchens of Greece and Cyprus with a concise menu dishing up a contemporary take on deeply traditional cuisine. Across the menu, each dish spotlights produce and provenance, whether it’s a Greek recipe for octopus with potato and caramelised garlic, or the anari dumplings with fresh tomato dumplings from Cyprus. A summertime standout is the cured, smoked pork loin that is cooked over wild rosemary to offer a modern taste of Crete in the Mother City.

From the very beginning, Charalambous has turned to the pages of his family’s recipe books for inspiration, coupling that with his own travels through the region and a healthy dollop of creativity in the kitchen. The result? A Mediterranean menu you won’t soon forget. 

58 Wale St, Cape Town


11. Clarke’s

Set halfway along the gourmet boulevard of Bree Street, Clarke’s is as famous for its homemade burgers served up on house-baked brioche buns, as the excellent smoked tomato soup served with a cheese toastie. It’s a favoured hangout for digital nomads and hipsters alike, and buzzes with a Brooklyn energy every day of the week.

133 Bree Street, Cape Town

12. Grub & Vine (& Culture Wine Bar)

Matt Manning has built a loyal local following at Grub & Vine, with his upmarket yet unpretentious New York-inspired bistro in the heart of the Bree Street strip, where a menu d’jour offers two- and three-courses from a dozen or so elevated bistro plates. ‘Good honest cooking, with proper sauces. That’s the style we do, and we do it well,’ says Manning. ‘And we serve it with a great wine list that we’re known for.’

The Grub & Vine wine list is certainly impressive, which led to Manning opening Culture Wine Bar alongside. Here you’ll find a few lighter plates, each with Manning’s signature touch, alongside a wine list of more than 600 labels. It’s the perfect place to take a deep dive into the world of Cape wine, in the heart of the city. 

103 Bree St.


13. The Pot Luck Club

Spanning the top floor of the original silos in The Old Biscuit Mill, The Pot Luck Club has floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the edgy Woodstock neighbourhood. The space is all modern, industrial elegance, with a rotating menu of small plates built on Asian flavours and superb local produce. Look for inventive spins on well-loved classics like fish tacos, and don’t miss the signature smoked fillet with café au lait sauce. The cocktail collection is superb, and the set menu Sunday Brunch is wildly popular with locals.

The Silo, The Old Biscuit Mill, 373-375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915

14. Chef's Warehouse at Beau Constantia

Chef Ivor Jones dishes up some of the best value fine dining in Cape Town in this elegant space pitched high above the vineyards of the Constantia Valley. Jones is a stalwart of the Cape’s culinary scene, and here his inventive selection of four-course set menus selivers a wonderful cross-section of culinary inspiration. Beyond the plates the views are sensational, and on a fine day al fresco tables at Chef's Warehouse at Beau Constantia offer stellar views across the Constantia winelands.


15. Nikkei

Nikkei is, simply, named for the style of cuisine on offer: a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian culinary traditions. On the menu that means a heady mix of flavours and textures, cooking styles and serving plates. At heart, Nikkei is all about sharing, and it’s the best way to sample the diversity of dishes on offer. There’s sushi, of course, and here it’s expertly crafted with a variety of seafood. The Crudo plates of raw and cured fish are more expressive though, with the likes of tuna ceviche, smoked jalapeno and shoyu neatly embracing the Nikkei concept.

Next tackle the Small Plates – the coal-seared scallops are worth the spend – and skewers of Robatayaki from the coal-fired grill, or opt for heartier mains. Across the menu the cross-cultural interplay of flavour and texture means that few dishes disappoint. That fusion extends to the drinks menu, where both sake and pisco define the impressive signature cocktails. Spread across two levels Nikkei is a thoroughly glamorous set-up, with both banquette seating and booths set beneath a riot of natural greenery.

87 Bree Street, Cape Town

16. The Happy Uncles

In the gentrifying suburb of Salt River chef Anwar Abdullatief leads the kitchen at The Happy Uncles, pioneering the concept of Halaal fine dining in celebration of the city’s ‘Cape Malay’ Muslim community. While he brings many of the same flavours to Barakat at Time Out Market Cape Town, at The Happy Uncles (a name in contrast to his previous bakery, ‘My Cross Aunt’) Abdullatief’s years of fine-dining experience are given a chance to shine here, with inspired culinary creations that draw heavily on childhood food memories. Across 4-, 6- and 8-course tasting menus the dishes are complex and conceptual, with creative plating adding a sense of the theatrical to a flavour journey through the history of the Cape.

100 Voortrekker Rd, Salt River


17. Vadivelu

This contemporary take on Indian cuisine has fast become a local favourite, and an early entry on our list of the best Indian restaurants in Cape TownVadivelu is a family affair, with three cousins and in-laws coming together to create a space that celebrates South Africa’s Indian community on a menu that promises ‘Indian. With Attitude’. That shines through in the energetic service as much as the diverse menu, where you’ll find fiery pani puri alongside wafer-thin dosas and fragrant prawn curries redolent of southern India. The vegetarian curries are superb – don’t miss the aloo gobi – but the standout is the Durban lamb curry, a deeply flavourful local speciality that’s best mopped up with the flaky garlic parathas.

151 Kloof St, Gardens

18. Belly of the Beast

Reservations are essential at Belly of the Beast, an intimate spot in the heart of Cape Town, with only one lunch and one dinner seating per day. There’s no menu, but instead a daily table d’hôte set menu of courses that takes its cue from local, sustainably sourced ingredients. Wine pairings draw on some of the Cape’s leading cellars. Expect a creative, immersive dining experience that’s hard to find elsewhere in the city. 

110 Harrington St, Cape Town City Centre


19. Ramenhead

The team behind fine-dining juggernaut FYN take ramen to an entirely new level at this chic spot in the heart of the city. While you’ll also find a Ramenhead outpost at the bustling Time Out Market Cape Town in the V&A Waterfront precinct, it’s well worth a visit to the original to take in the impressive Yamato noodle machine, the first (and only) in Africa. Beyond the three soupy varieties of ramen on offer you’ll find a collection pre- and post-bites inspired by Japanese street-food favourites. Don’t miss the upmarket take on gyoza dumplings.

37 Parliament St, Cape Town City Centre

20. Dawn

Husband-and-wife duo Ronnie Mao and Giselle Li are trying to change perceptions of ‘Chinese’ food in the city, with a focus on authenticity and regionality on a menu that delves deep into Chinese culinary traditions. If you’re coming in search of sweet-and-sour pork with a fortune cookie to finish? Well, you’ll be disappointed.

Instead, look forward to a menu of remarkable plates – mostly small, to allow for sharing – that offer an entirely new perspective on the flavours of China. Start with dim sum, don’t miss the pork ribs in fermented tofu, and marvel at the eye-opening new flavours and textures in the jellyfish and chicken leg. 

The list goes on, from small plates, noodles and dim sum, to the signature Peking Duck. It’s a menu of remarkable plates that will make you rethink just what ‘Chinese’ food can be. If you love the flavours of Asia, Dawn is a must in the Mother City.

Cape Quarter, 10 Jarvis St, De Waterkant


21. Foxcroft

A more relaxed alternative to its sister-restaurant La Colombe up the road, the selection of small plate menus at Foxcroft focuses on hyper-seasonality and sustainability. Despite the calibre of cooking, this is not fiddly fine dining, with warm and attentive service, refined plating and perfectly pitched portions.

Shop 8, High Constantia Centre, Groot Constantia Road, Constantia

22. Upper Union


There are many great reasons to visit Kloof Street, which Time Out voted one of the world’s coolest streets in 2023. But there’s an equally good reason to step away from it and into the gate of Cape Cadogan Boutique Hotel.

Because here you’ll find Upper Union and the sublime menu of seasonal dishes dreamed up by chef Amori Burger. Her focus is firmly on letting the ingredients shine, with just enough kitchen creativity to elevate the produce from the merely delicious to the sublime. While a choice (Pasture, or Garden) of shared menus are available, the heart of Upper Union is the menu of small plates, built for sharing and taking inspiration from culinary cultures across the globe. In summer local botanicals shine through in the picanha steak with waterblommetjie and nasturtium chimichurri. Burger’s candied summer pumpkin will shift your perception of squash, while the grilled Karoo lamb and baharat sauce is a delight. The wine list is small but features a wonderful well-priced collection of Cape estates.

3 Upper Union St, Gardens


23. Thali

The atmospheric courtyard and dimly lit interior decorated with relics from the Indian sub-continent will immediately transport you to a vibey Bombay-style eatery. Thali offers a rotating tasting menu of contemporary Indian food shaped around the concept of thalis—a popular meal in India consisting of numerous small dishes. Here, the ever-changing menus are served in three courses, working their way from milder tastes to spicey dishes with an emphasis on the heat. Thali offers options to suit everyone in your group, from carnivores to vegans and vegetarians. If you thought the food was a showstopper, the inventive cocktails are equally as memorable, drawing inspiration from South Asian flavors. 

3 Park Rd, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001

24. Beyond

At beyond chef Peter Tempelhoff delivers a superb à la carte menu of elevated cuisine that places provenance and produce in the spotlight. That means starter plates of local handcrafted Burrata, plated with seasonal vegetables, or a tataki of local game fish enlivened by wild herbs and seaweed foraged from the shoreline of the peninsula.

Main courses are built around your choice of protein, and the free-range steak – well aged and perfectly seared – is a standout, served with a clever take on a classic salad. It’s a concise menu, with a handful of options per course, but with enormous care taken over every element it strikes the right notes of relaxed fine dining at friendly prices. Set on Buitenverwachting Estate in the Constantia winelands, expect expansive views of mountain and vineyard; a perfect counterfoil to the elegant organic décor indoors.

Buitenverwachting estate, 37 Klein Constantia Rd, Nova Constantia


25. The Test Kitchen Fledgelings

At The Test Kitchen Fledgelings acclaimed chef Luke Dale Roberts turns his energy towards offering opportunities for a new generation of talent. Aspiring chefs, often with zero formal training, are brought under the wing of former-Fledgelings and professional chefs, and taught the basics from the scullery to the pass. It’s a remarkable project offering employment, training and hope to a new generation.

While the goals are laudable, they don’t come at the expense of great food. The focus is on elevated cuisine, not fine dining, with an à la carte menu that runs from starters of umami-packed Korean Fried Chicken and fiery Fish Tacos, through to elegant mains of Springbok with a heady coffee jus, and creative vegetarian assiette of beetroot. At the table, the atmosphere is infectious and the service exemplary.


26. Seabreeze Fish & Shell

A little bit chic with a dose of fun, the sky-blue exterior of SeaBreeze will grab your attention as you’re walking down Bree Street. SeaBreeze is the perfect spot to sample the best of the Mother City’s coastal cuisine in an unpretentious setting. You can’t go wrong with the squid ink tagliatelle for dinner, while ahi tuna sliders make for a dangerously tasty lunch. Wash it all down with a glass of vino or two, selected from some of South Africa’s best vineyards.

213 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000


27. Pizza Shed

Pizza Shed is the perfect place to satisfy that pizza craving. Located along the dangerously delicious stretch of eateries on Bree Street (with another branch in Observatory) Pizza Shed serves up a slim menu of wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizzas that master the perfect crust: a crispy exterior with a pillowy-soft interior. Sometimes simple is best and you certainly can’t go wrong with the Margherita. If you want to spice it up, try the Diavola topped with spicy sausage and kalamata olives.

231 Bree St, Cape Town

242 Lower Main Rd, Observatory

28. Kloof Street House

Kloof Street House is a well-loved Cape Town classic. Come here for weekend brunch, summer dinners, or late-night cocktails — Kloof Street is fantastic at any hour. Whether you land a table in the lush garden lit by twinkling fairy lights or slide into a seat in one of the eclectic rooms of the grand Victorian house decked out with chandeliers and fireplaces, you’re sure to be enchanted. The menu is as delightful as the décor, featuring seafood platters, steaks, creamy gnocchi, and herby salads, to name a few, and an impressive selection of South African wines to match. 

30 Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8005


29. South China Dim Sum Bar

Celebrated as much for its authenticity as its buzzy atmosphere, South China Dim Sum Bar dishes up an ever-changing menu of Asian streetfod favourites, from potstickers and wontons to pillowy bao, alongside a few heartier favourites such as spicy prawn laksa. Its Long Street location makes it ideal pre- (or post-) drinking food, but order plenty as the portions can be on the slight side.

289 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000


30. Biesmiellah

Enjoy a taste of local Cape Malay cuisine at Biesmiellah, a  much-loved Bo-Kaap restaurant where you’ll find unassuming furnishings and pocket-friendly prices. Start with a selection of local samoosas, or homemade vegetarian starters, before sharing a few of the famously fragrant Cape Malay curries. The lamb denningvleis and savoury bobotie are classics not to be missed

Cnr Wale St & Pentz Street, Bo-Kaap, Schotsche Kloof

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