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. 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

  • 2. Nobu

    $$$$ | Victoria and Alfred Waterfront | Japanese

    World-famous chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa's exceptional contemporary Japanese cuisine with a South American twist may be costly by local standards...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. 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

  • 5. Belthazar

    $$$$ | Victoria and Alfred Waterfront | Steakhouse

    Boasting one of the largest selections of wines by the glass (about 100) in the land, Belthazar is also recommended for its consistently good...Read More

  • 6. Gold Restaurant

    $$$$ | Green Point | African

    In a huge brick warehouse space decorated with Africana like giant Malian puppets, beautiful beadwork, and wooden carvings, Gold instantly prepares...Read More

  • 7. Harbour House

    $$$$ | Seafood

    Built on the breakwater of a working harbor, the Harbor House's location is unbeatable—waves are known to crash against the huge plate-glass...Read More

  • 8. Panama Jack's

    $$$$ | Victoria and Alfred Waterfront | Seafood

    In this raw-timber structure in the heart of the docks, about three miles north of other V&A venues, the music is loud, the tables are crowded...Read More

  • 9. The Codfather

    $$$$ | Camps Bay | Seafood

    The Codfather serves an excellent array of fresh seafood in a casual yet buzzing environment by way of a slightly unorthodox system. Rather...Read More

  • 10. The Roundhouse

    $$$$ | Table Mountain National Park | Modern European

    Known for its exceptional natural beauty, Cape Town is surprisingly short on restaurants with killer views: The Roundhouse is helping close...Read More

  • 11. The Flagship

    $$$$ | Seafood

    In the bright and airy Simon's Town home of much-loved local chef Bruce Robertson, the delightful five-course sea- and farm-to-table lunch served...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. 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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