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Obi sushi, Cape Town
Photograph: Obi

The 14 best sushi restaurants in Cape Town

From classic sashimi to creative Capetonian variations, these are the finest sushi spots in the Mother City

Written by Richard Holmes

When it’s summer in Cape Town, few things pair as well with a glass of South African sauvignon blanc than a platter of fresh sushi. Happily, this cosmopolitan coastal city boasts dozens of sushi restaurants, from upscale fine dining with all the frills to unpretentious izakaya-style local joints.

It’s a pleasure to sample sushi with a sea view on the Atlantic seaboard – though bear in mind you’ll pay (a lot) more for the privilege, so if you want to indulge on a budget, you’d be better off heading for the suburbs.

And another bit of advice: for a more sustainable sushi fix, opt for tuna over salmon. Yellowfin, longfin and bigeye tuna are all abundant in local waters, especially in the summer months. So say goodbye to food miles and hello to super-fresh sashimi.


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The best sushi in Cape Town

Hatsushiro Muraoka, better known as ‘Papa San’, is a legend among Cape Town’s sushi aficionados, and the platters flying out of his inner-city kitchen Obi show exactly why. Muraoka works alongside co-owner and chef Ben Bettendorf to bring a modern twist to classic sushi plates, with perfectly cooked sushi rice and generous cuts of fresh fish. Inside out rolls are the star of the menu, or ask about the selection of line fish sashimi. If you’ve had your fill of sushi, the ramen is also excellent. On a budget? Look out for the lunchtime bento box specials.

Shop 2, 14 Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, 8000

You won’t find 1890 Sushi House by accident. Located down a quiet side street in the boho-chic suburb of Observatory, this is the definition of a local secret. The sushi is excellent – ask if the delicious roast eel, unagi, is available – and extremely affordable. There’s a small menu of stir-fry and Chinese dishes on offer, but then you’re rather missing the point of 1890. Solo travellers will be happiest at the bustling sushi counter at the entrance, while the intimate rear dining rooms have cosy tables ideal for groups.

40 Trill Rd, Observatory, Cape Town, 7925


Don’t be put off by the location – it might be in the middle of a busy shopping mall, but there’s good reason Willoughby’s attracts long queues almost every day of the week. Owner Jens Tibshraeny has earned his reputation for faultless sushi, from classic sashimi and nigiri to signature plates like the Oyster Shooter, soaked in sake and ponzu, or the blackened salmon with miso sauce. Besides, you won’t be able to tell you’re in a shopping mall once you see the blonde-wood Scandi-chic décor and cosy booths. And, once you’ve had your first plate, you’ll see what all the fuss is about.

Shop 6132, 19 Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001

Venture to the top of Kloof Street and you’ll find Kyoto Garden, one of South Africa’s best Japanese restaurants (what’s more, it happens to be right next door to Publik, one of the city’s best wine bars). Owner Scott Wood goes to enormous lengths to source top-quality products – from Alaskan crab to proper wasabi root – and it shows in every plate. The sushi here is more traditional, with a focus on sashimi that celebrates the delicate flavour of the seafood, so don’t expect lashings of mayonnaise or deep-fried California rolls. There’s an excellent selection of imported Japanese sake, served warm or chilled, and the black sesame seed ice cream is a must for dessert. Kyoto Garden is one of the more expensive sushi restaurants in the city, but it’s worth the spend. Though do look out for early-evening and winter specials.

11 Kloof Nek Rd, Gardens, Cape Town, 8001


Long a favourite sushi destination in the city’s leafy southern suburbs, Salushi’s latest home in a renovated house behind the upscale Cavendish Square mall makes this an ideal choice for refuelling after retail therapy. The extensive menu includes the usual suspects of California rolls, maki and hand rolls, along with a few house specialities. Locals swear by the Fiery Tiger Roll; a spicy seared California roll with salmon, wrapped in prawn and avocado.  Every plate is made to order, which means you’ll wait a little longer – but it’ll be worth every second.

6 Cavendish St, Claremont, Cape Town, 7915

There are seven Sushi Box outlets across the city, but the idyllic location on Uitsig wine estate makes Sushi Box Constantia the one to head for. Here tables spill from a whitewashed cottage onto a sun-splashed terrace, offering superb views of Table Mountain and the vineyards of Constantia. The menu ticks all the usual boxes, with a good choice of value-driven combo plates and platters. But traditionalists be warned: Sushi Box revels in a thoroughly modern style, so expect plenty of mayonnaise and sauces. In any case, this is good-quality, value-for-money sushi in a stunning location.

Spaanschemat River Rd, Constantia, Cape Town, 7806


Location, location, location. On that score, Harbour House wins hands down when it comes to seafood with a sea view. Set on the breakwater of Kalk Bay Harbour, front-row tables may receive a saltwater splash at high tide, you’re that close to the ocean. There’s an extensive seafood menu, and the grilled line fish is always excellent, but you’ll also find a solid sushi menu that is dependably good and well-priced. There’s also a nice wine list of local estates to boot.

Harbour, Main Rd, Kalk Bay, Cape Town, 7975

Set along the scenic False Bay coastal road, Deep South Eatery is an ideal stop for road-trippers to Cape Point. It may tempt tourists, but at heart it’s a local hangout where you can come in off the beach with sandy feet and keep your dog below the table. It’s an unpretentious spot that punches above its weight when it comes to superb sushi. There’s a good selection of vegetarian sushi, and a generous ‘sushi salad’ if you’re hungry.

2 Glen Rd, Glencairn, Cape Town, 7975


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

If you’re driving out to Blouberg beach for the classic view of Table Mountain across Table Bay, schedule a stop at this unassuming seafood eatery. It’s a popular spot for locals, and while the décor is nothing to write home about, the excellent sushi comes with a side order of sea and mountain views. Keep an eye on Blowfish’s social pages for regular half-price specials.

1 Marine Dr, Bloubergstrand, Cape Town


This trendy little sushi joint is a hit with office workers, and its downtown location on vibrant Long Street makes Aiko an ideal lunch option when you’re out exploring the Mother City. The a la carte menu runs through the usual sushi suspects, but there’s also a selection of rather unusual sushi-related plates. Ever fancied a sushi burger, sushi burrito or a sushi donut? Now’s your chance. Their daily all-you-can-eat special is a steal at R199 (£10, $11). Just be sure to finish what you order, or you’ll have to pay a penalty for wastage. Aiko also keeps vegans happy, with a new selection of tofu-based tempura plates.

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

This hole-in-the-wall sushi restaurant is a sleeper-hit in the suburb of Hout Bay, and a great option if you’re looking for a takeaway platter for sundowners on the white sands of Llandudno beach. Look out for their fresh yellowfin tuna, sourced from the harbour just down the road. It’s best ordered as a generous hand-roll.   

38 Victoria Ave, Hout Bay, Cape Town, 7806


Hidden in a side alley a few steps from Green Point’s main drag, this traditional izakaya is worth seeking out for its creative collection of unusual sushi plates from chef Arata Koga. Think crunchy tempura eel or spider rolls with real crab legs, alongside wonderful plates of sashimi that include eel, octopus and mackerel. Izakaya Matsuri has an impressive wine and sake offering to enjoy too.

6, The Rockwell, 32 Prestwich St, Green Point, Cape Town, 8001

Three Wise Monkeys built a solid local following for their superb ramen dishes, and the recent addition of sushi and poke bowls have made it more popular still. The 24-piece Monkey Platter is your best bet, with a good selection of rolls, roses and nigiri. Located at the heart of Sea Point’s buzzy main road, this a great option after an amble along the nearby promenade.

La Rhone Building, 77 Regent Rd, Sea Point, Cape Town, 8060

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