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Belly of the Beast restaurant in Cape Town
Photograph: Belly of the Beast

The 21 best restaurants in Cape Town

South African meat feast? Or a 12-course tasting menu? Both? Here’s our pick of the best restaurants in Cape Town

Written by
Ashleigh Arnott
Rebecca Weber
Alicia Erickson

Buzzy food markets, romantic rooftop restaurants, laidback beach picnics, gourmet wine farms – there’s no doubt about it: eating out in Cape Town is one of the best things to do when visiting the Mother City. Fresh, local ingredients dominate menus, and the city’s blend of cultures makes for an exciting and diverse dining scene. The best restaurants in Cape Town are a delight from start to finish, whether you’re picking up informal street eats or sitting down for some gourmet goodness.

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Best restaurants in Cape Town

Reservations are required at this petite spot in the heart of Cape Town. With only one lunch and one dinner seating per day, Belly of the Beast isn’t somewhere to go to on a whim, but the advanced planning is well worth it. There’s no menu, but there is a daily rotation of courses made up of local, sustainably sourced ingredients. You may want to go all out and add in the wine pairing to sample some stand-out local vintages. Expect a creative, immersive dining experience that’s hard to find elsewhere in the city. 

110 Harrington St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000

Homely, slightly out-of-town Miller’s Thumb is so good at what it does that you might need a return visit. What it does is super-fresh fish and incredible steaks – and the portions are way too big to have both. The place is always buzzing but the staff will always be happy to help you decide what to eat. You can thank them later.

10B Kloof Nek Rd, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, 8001



Get a taste of Cape Malay cuisine at this Bo-Kaap restaurant with unassuming furnishings and keen prices. The extensive menu swerves from grilled cheese to ‘Biesmiellah spice pasta’ (their quotes), but stick to the traditional chicken curry and maybe some samosas and you’ll be laughing.

2 Wale St & Pentz St Bo-Kaap, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, 8000


Celebrated for its authenticity as well as its cheery disposition, this dinky dim sum joint’s changing menu generally offers potstickers, wontons and bao plus 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


Can’t function without your flat white? Got a craving that only kimchi can fix? The menu at Clarke’s could be straight outta Shoreditch or Williamsburg, but sometimes things are cliched because they’re great. Order the avo on toast and feel no shame.

133 Bree St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8001


Located in the quirky Observatory neighborhood, Reverie Social Table is as fun by day as it is by evening. Enjoy the plat du jour — which is whatever inspired Chef Julia that day — during a relaxed lunch, or book a spot at the 18-seater table for an excellent 5-course dinner that is newly curated each day. That’s right: no two meals are the same here, but ingredients are always impeccably fresh, the plates are as beautiful as they are delicious, the wine list is fun and innovative, and the communal dining experience is as memorable as the food itself.

226A Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925

If you blink, you might just miss this tiny Sea Point eatery – but trust us, it’s worth keeping an eye out. The Sunshine Food Company offers fresh fruit juices, smoothies and a small menu of affordable plant-based dishes. A must-try? The vegan black bean burger, plated up on an activated charcoal bun and stacked high with avocado, sprouts, and delicious sauces, served with a side of lentils. There are only a few seats at a window bar here, so you may want to grab your grub to go and enjoy it at a nearby beach.

2 M61, Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town, 8005

The Test Kitchen
Photograph: The Test Kitchen

9. The Test Kitchen

Chef Luke Dale-Roberts has been showered with awards since this inventive fine dining restaurant opened in 2010. The tasting menu is packed with local specialities given a modern European flourish. If you’re struggling to get a table, though (you will), try casual sister restaurant Pot Luck Club for tapas-style small plates instead.

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

Far more affordable than its even showier forerunner La Colombe, Foxcroft even offers à la carte for those whose budget can’t stretch to the tasting menu. Up in fancy-pants suburb Constantia, this French-leaning restaurant is turning local and seasonal produce into fine-dining dishes and doing a very good job of it.

Shop 8, High Constantia Centre, Groot Constantia Road, Constantia, Cape Town, 7806


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 herbaceous salads, to name a few, and an impressive selection of South African wines to match. 

30 Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8005

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


Round off your day of window shopping in Kalk Bay with fish and chips from Cape Town’s favourite fryers. Bring cash, but not much – the prices at Kalky’s are small fry. You may have to queue but the people-watching opportunities are ample, and the fish here is well worth the wait.

Harbour, Cape Town, 7990


Yindee’s is hands-down the best spot in town to indulge in authentic Thai fare. Expect fan favorites like pad Thai and aromatic curries, alongside regional specialties like spicy chili fish and tamarind marinated pork neck. It’s best to come with a few friends so you can sample your way through the mouthwatering menu. The space is filled with artifacts from around Thailand and the dark wood, low-sitting tables and luxe textiles will immediately transport you to tasty food joints in southeast Asia. 

22 Kamp St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001


A little bit chic with a dose of fun, Seabreeze’s sky blue exterior will grab your attention as you’re walking down Bree Street. While the seafood-centric menu is on the smaller side, each dish is expertly executed. 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

Spanning the top floor of the Old Biscuit Mill, the Pot Luck Club is has floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the edgy Woodstock neighborhood. Landing a seat at the Pot Luck Club requires a bit of advanced planning — and for good reason. The space is all modern, industrial elegance, and the rotating menu of small plates draws inspiration from flavors around the world, with inventive spins on well-loved classics like fish tacos and coconut milk curries. Don’t fill up too quickly on savory small plates, though, as the dessert menu is just as good.

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


Sometimes all you’re craving is a quality ‘za, and Pizza Shed will surely satisfy that craving. Located along the dangerously delicious stretch of eateries on Bree Street, Pizza Shed serves up a slim menu of wood-fired pies 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—and maybe opt to add rocket on top if you’re feeling fancy. 

242 Lower Main Rd, Observatory, Cape Town, 7935

18. Marco’s African Place

A landmark of Cape Town’s dining scene, Marco’s African Place has been serving up a mix of pan-African and Mediterranean dishes since the late ‘90s. Adventurous diners might be tempted to sample local game like springbok, crocodile, kudu, or ostrich. If you’d rather play it safe, stick with pumpkin soup, veggie pastas, and local fish dishes. This lively Bo-Kaap favourite doesn’t just serve up delicious African cuisine – head here for live music, marimba bands and dance performances. 

15 Rose St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, 8001


Experience ancient Ethiopian traditions at Addis in Cape, the best spot in town to dig into East African shiro (a type of stew) and other saucy dishes atop traditional injera (a sour flatbread). Coffee fans will enjoy the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, where coffee is served from a traditional jebena alongside burning Frankincense. Addis frequently hosts live music events as well, so you can enjoy your meal to the soulful strums of Afro-Jazz.  

168 Loop St, CBD, Cape Town, 8001

FYN is a contemporary, experimental space in the heart of the CBD with a fittingly intriguing and innovative menu. But FYN is also incredibly relaxed: expect your senses to be wowed as you taste your way through a menu inspired by an unusual fusion of  South African ingredients and Japanese flavours. Cape Malay king trout, prawns cooked in kelp and guinea fowl wontons are among the concoctions you can expect to see on the menu. Non-carnivores need not worry – pescatarian and plant-based menus are also available.

37 Parliament St, CBD, Cape Town, 8001


Spanning the top floor of an eighteenth-century building in Camps Bay, Salsify’s tables boast Atlantic Ocean views that make its dishes all the more enticing. The seasonal menu draws inspiration from the abundant nature around 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 sunlight pouring through this stunning space.

Roundhouse, Round House Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town, 8040

After more solid recommendations?

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There are few better places to saunter aimlessly – and get a thrill out of it – than Cape Town. A fascinating blend of African, European and Malay influences, this wonderful city has emerged over the past two decades not just as one of the world’s great capitals, but also as South Africa’s thriving, diverse, exhilarating heart.

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