This restaurant, in an elegantly restored 17th-century town house close to the Houses of Parliament and the Supreme Court, was an instant hit when it. The food has a northern Italian emphasis, but there is an almost obsessive focus on local ingredients; the restaurant has its own fishing boat, so the seafood is appropriately delicious. The desserts, especially the molten chocolate cake, also get top marks, as does the attentive service.
This contemporary steak house is run by chef Giorgio Nava whose first venture, 95 Keerom, is still one of the most beloved spots in town for a great meal in a relaxed setting. Carne is an ode to all-things meat, much of it organic and raised on the chef’s Karoo farm. The menu, which is printed on butcher’s paper, also offers a wide variety of classic Italian dishes, though most applaud such local dishes as kudu tartare and black wildebeest filet.
Il Leone Mastrantonio
This Italian trattoria in Green Point serves authentic pasta dishes in a congenial ambiance. It also has an impressive wine cellar, stocked with South African and Italian wines. Be sure to save room for the crème brulée.
Kyoto Garden Sushi
Kyoto Garden Sushi, a Japanese spot just off Kloof Street is a go-to for sushi-crazy Capetonians.
Loaves on Long
A pale blue heritage building on Long Street is the site for this delightful café featuring, as the name might suggest, fresh artisanal breads and pastries. But there’s a lot more to it than that: you’ll also find great coffee, eggs, sandwiches, and a particularly decadent French toast with homemade mascarpone and berries on offer. But if its carbs you’re really craving, owners Lyndal Wakeford and Ciska Rossouw also run baking classes.
Love thy Neighbour
This relaxed Mediterranean style eatery on lower Bree Street’s booming restaurant row serves classic Greek dishes, with ingredients purveyed locally, South African wines and beers. Guests can sit outside by alfresco patio in the warmer months and in the charming interiors in the winter.
Manna Epicure is a popular Argentine-inflected spot on Kloof Street.
Thanks to its easy, comfortable atmosphere and versatile menu, Sidewalk Café is a watering hole for all types of locals and visitors. Equally perfect for a lazy brunch, business lunch or low-key date night, this beloved neighborhood spot serves thoughtful, high quality food with a magnificent view of the harbor. In line with its versatility, the Sidewalk Café is especially known for creative cocktails as well as flavorful coffee beverages (Indagare Tip: buy a bottle of Chocolate Block, a South African chocolate wine).
At first glance, this restaurant, near the University of Cape Town, doesn’t look all that special. The interior is unexceptional, but the outdoor area is always packed and the relaxed, bistro-style cooking (lamb shanks, oxtail, salad niçoise with fresh tuna) is excellent.
The Pot Luck Club & Gallery
Adjacent to the Test Kitchen in the Old Biscuit Mill, this Luke Dale-Roberts venture is a small-plates restaurant and gallery that has a minimalist, almost Nordic look. Each month the black-tiled walls are hung with the work of a local artist, although the real art is on your plate: immaculately presented dishes, such as foie gras with a flourish of nectarine, or fried prawns with tom ka gai butter sprinkled with peanuts.