You are probably more familiar with Cape Town as a historical venue where Nelson Mandela fought for a free South Africa; or maybe you are more familiar with its Instagram staples: Table Mountain and the colourful streets of Bo-Kaap. But did you know that this thriving city is home to a melting pot of cultures and cuisines too due to its vibrant trade history? That’s right, Cape Town is a haven for foodies, from generous tapas to glorious steaks and even some Turkish delights (we mean the culture, not the sweet), there are too many cuisines to choose from. Whether you’re a first time visitor to the city or a seasoned veteran, we have 7 must-try eats in Cape Town to get you started on their unique food landscape. In no particular order, here we go!
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With their fine wine and astonishing night view, you will probably be hard-pressed to leave the Chef’s Warehouse. Set on Beau Constantia, their main offer is tapas for 2 served over 3-courses with a focus on fresh and seasonal produce. Beau Constantia is known for their boutique wines so go ahead and order a glass or two. Better yet, make it a bottle! Bookings are required here but their branch on Bree Street in Cape Town Central take walk-ins.
Must Try: If you have room for dessert, the lemon posset is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
Address: 1043 Constantia Main Rd, Glen Alpine, Constantia.
#2 PotLuck Club
If you have heard of The Test Kitchen, then meet its sister, the PotLuck Club. It is more casual and features an open kitchen. Like the name suggests, the menu is the plate-sharing concept divided into five flavour profiles: salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami. Have your dinner accompanied by a gorgeous almost-360-degree view of Cape Town but be sure to make your reservations in advance.
Must Try: Smoked beef fillet with black pepper and truffle cafe au lait from the umami section.
Address: Silo Top Floor, The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 – 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town.
Being the newest addition to Luke Dale Robert’s award-winning restaurants, The Short Market Club certainly lives up to its legacy. It is more casual, more relaxed and the food is a little more conventional and bistro-inspired. Don’t be put off as there is still a little luxe in the restaurant with a service trolley carrying drinks (think champagne!), oysters and more.
Must Try: Duck fat roasted potatoes. You’ll be mindblown.
Address: 88 Shortmarket Street, Cape Town.
Baa baa black sheep, head to the restaurant on Kloof Street! Cheesy rhymes aside, both comfort food and adventurous blackboard platters find a home at the Black Sheep Restaurant. The menu, displayed on a blackboard, changes every day, depending on the chef and his ingredients. Warm, inviting and with a spectacular view of Table Mountain, this family-run restaurant is a local hotspot so be sure to make your reservations in advance!
Must Try: Every day brings a new surprise so you’ll never know what you get.
Address: 104 Kloof Street, Cape Town.
A Cape Town legend, the authentic Turkish cuisine at Anatoli’s is definitely high up on a foodie’s list to try. Your food journey begins with a selection of meze (appetisers) presented to you on a large serving tray. Try everything with warm bread to tingle your tastebuds. If that doesn’t satisfy your cravings, the mains consist of a variety of kebabs, lamb, chicken and vegetarian dishes.
Must Try: The lamb shank is slowly stewed in orange juice and a myriad of spices and served on a bed of smoked aubergine puree.
Address: 24 Napier Street, Greenpoint, Cape Town.
Unleash your inner carnivore at Carne because it definitively serves some of the best steaks in South Africa. Carne is an authentic Italian joint but pastas aside, their steaks rivals all the other restaurants in Cape Town. Do try and make a reservation (especially during weekends) but fret not, as the restaurant does have two branches in town and another in Constantia.
Must Try: The La Fiorentina is a beautiful T-bone cut that stands at 1.2kg and is perfect for 2 persons to share!
Address: 70 Keerom Street, Cape Town
Champagne and tapas? Not the most likely of combinations but at Hallelujah, it works! It’s Asian street food served tapas-style with a distinctive South African flair. Come with a group of friends so you can order one of everything to share. Don’t be fooled by the tacky decor (pink flamingo wallpaper, neon pink sign) as Hallelujah is as delicious as it sounds.
Must Try: Roast pork on steamed buns, served with cucumber and housemade BBQ sauce — comfort food given the five-star treatment.
Address: 11 Kloof Nek Rd, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town.
And a villa to go with it.
Image credit: Main and Instagram.