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 1682

    $$ | Tokai | Eclectic

    Named for the year the Steenberg wine estate on which it sits was established, this not-to-be-missed bistro serves dishes intended to be paired...Read More

  • 2. La Colombe

    $$$$ | Constantia | Eclectic

    Among South Africa's most lauded fine-dining restaurants, La Colombe recently moved its award-winning French-Asian cuisine to a new location...Read More

  • 3. The Greenhouse

    $$$$ | Constantia | Eclectic

    Wondrous culinary magic happens at this conservatory-like dining room overlooking the beautiful gardens of the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel. The cuisine...Read More

  • 4. 5 Rooms

    $$$ | Constantia | Modern European

    Located in a grand old manor house, this gorgeous restaurant serves many of the usual Euro fine-dining suspects, but in a setting that is anything...Read More

  • 5. Catharina's

    $$$ | Tokai | International

    Serving excellent, unpretentious fare in an elegantly quirky space with lovely views across the historic Steenberg wine estate, this is a great...Read More

  • 6. Cheyne's

    $$$ | Asian

    Serving Pacific Rim cuisine from a funky little location in Hout Bay, Cheyne's is the place to go for inventive, pan-Asian small plates. The...Read More

  • 7. Massimo's

    $ | Italian

    Having begun as a pizza joint, this casual Hout Bay eatery, which is in an old barn, now serves a range of delightfully simple Italian fare...Read More

  • 8. Myoga

    $$$ | Newlands | Asian

    This relaxed but glam eatery in the posh Vineyard Hotel & Spa outside Cape Town attracts well-heeled regulars, who come for chef Mike Basset...Read More

  • 9. The Cape Malay

    $$$$ | Constantia | South African

    In an 18th-century manor house, the finest traditional Cape cuisine is served in three courses with your choice of starter and dessert. The...Read More

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