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. 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. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. The Pot Luck Club

    $$$ | Woodstock | Eclectic

    A playful and inventive tapas-style venture from Cape Town star-chef Luke Dale Roberts, this hip eatery on the sixth floor of an old silo is...Read More

  • 6. The Test Kitchen

    $$$$ | Woodstock | Eclectic

    Star chef Luke Dale Roberts put South Africa on the culinary map when he opened this deceptively casual-looking eatery in Cape Town's trendy...Read More

  • 7. Azure

    $$$ | Camps Bay | Eclectic

    Although Azure's blue-and-white nautical-theme decor may feel a bit outdated to some, the restaurant's jaw-dropping sea and mountain views are...Read More

  • 8. 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

  • 9. Black Sheep Restaurant

    $$ | Tamboerskloof | Eclectic

    The menu at this relatively new but instantly popular Kloof Street eatery focuses on a small regular menu of comfort fare mixed with an ever...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Mondiall Kitchen & Bar

    $$$ | Victoria and Alfred Waterfront | Eclectic

    Claiming a sweet spot at the V&A Waterfront with fabulous harbor and mountain views, this versatile eatery focuses on updated versions of...Read More

  • 12. Paranga

    $$$ | Camps Bay | Eclectic

    Attracting models and folks hoping to spot celebrities along Camps Bay's beach strip, Paranga is a high-attitude, stylish vantage point and...Read More

  • 13. Planet Restaurant

    $$$ | Gardens | Eclectic

    The refurbished fine-dining restaurant at the iconic Mount Nelson Hotel, the Planet occupies one of the most glamorous rooms in the city and...Read More

  • 14. Ginja

    $$$ | Gardens | Eclectic

    Ginja's position in the culinary firmament is well deserved, but it does mean advance booking and dining at one of two sittings staggered from...Read More

  • 15. 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

  • 16. Salt

    $$ | Bantry Bay | Eclectic

    Floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the sea afford marvelous views at this restaurant in the Ambassador Hotel, so be sure to ask for a window...Read More

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