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 Bizerca

    $$$ | Cape Town Central | French

    With its superb cuisine and excellent service, diners adore this French bistro located in an old Cape Dutch building on Heritage Square. Using...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. 95 Keerom

    $$$ | Cape Town Central | Italian

    Chef-owner Giorgio Nava is so passionate about using only the finest ingredients that he catches his own fish and farms his own beef. Diners...Read More

  • 4. Birds

    $$$ | Cape Town Central | Eclectic

    This charming and centrally located café draws diners with simple but exquisitely rendered food in a soothing setting of exposed brick and blond...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. Dias Tavern

    $ | Cape Town Central | Portuguese

    This Portuguese taverna in District Six is Cape Town's answer to a dive-bar-meets-diner. Serving classic South African Portuguese fare—think...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. Sababa

    $ | Cape Town Central | Middle Eastern

    This bright, all-white café on trendy Bree Street is the go-to place for delicious, creative, and relatively healthful Middle Eastern–style...Read More

  • 10. Skinny Legs & All

    $ | Cape Town Central | Café

    Serving delicious, organic fare from breakfast through lunch, this unpretentious yet design-conscious café is a great addition to Cape Town...Read More

  • 11. Jardine

    $$$$ | Cape Town Central | Eclectic

    Highly acclaimed for its tasting menu and signature Cape lobster risotto, you can also expect slow-cooked pork belly with star anise or rib...Read More

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