South Africa, especially Cape Town, is fast becoming a foodie hot spot and it’s easy to see why. With so many places offering local treats and using fresh, responsibly sourced produce, it’s hard to narrow down a single favourite spot. I could be here for months trying to pick a favourite! Good thing I like to eat and have had time on my side so I’ve been able to pick a top 5 best places to eat in Cape Town and trust me, these will not disappoint. From hand crafted baked goods to full three course meals, markets, to premium restaurants – Cape Town has it all, and this list will help you experience this for yourself on your next visit. In no particular order, here are the top places to eat in Cape Town…
1. NV80, Sea Point
Stylish and sophisticated, NV80 is a great place to sample some of the best food Cape Town has to offer. From the moment you arrive you’re made to feel welcome. With dark lighting and an open atmosphere, it’s the ideal restaurant for dates, intimate group gatherings or business dinners. There is a wide range of options with locally sourced produce featuring in all dishes. If you are after seafood or steak, this is your restaurant.
I had the springbok (yep, springbok), and it was potentially one of the nicest meats I have ever eaten. Served with poached pears, it melts in your mouth and adds sweetness to the meat. The one thing you need to try from here though, no matter your tastes, is the garlic bread. This was hands down the best I have ever eaten. Ever. It comes out as an unassuming bun, but when you crack through the baked top to the soft, warm, fluffy centre, you release a flow of garlic butter that you can’t help but fall for. You will need to order more. And more. For the wine drinkers, they have a local wine to suit every taste as well as a few quality imports.
2. Jason Bakery, Green Point
This hipster bakery is making a name for itself in a great way. Jason Bakery currently has 2 locations in Cape Town and I have no doubt there will be even more soon. When you walk in, you are met with the smell of recently baked pastries and freshly ground coffee. Their staff are friendly and attentive and happy to answer any questions about the menu. The menu is simple, yet still has something for everyone. I was spoiled for choice and was very happy with my decision of the Egg Sluut burger and juice of the day. The burger came out on a fresh brioche bun and the meat melted in my mouth. The ingredients were clearly fresh!
As I sat at the bar, watching the staff and customers, I noticed everyone was genuinely happy. A mixture of regulars and more casual visitors came through the doors, and a variety of sweet and savoury baked goods walked out the doors in a steady flow. Those dining together inside all seemed happy and I did not see a single plate go back to the kitchen with food on it. And these were decent portions too! These guys are doing great things and I can’t wait to see them grow.
3. Burger & Lobster, Cape Town CBD
The name speaks for itself. They do two things here: burgers and lobster rolls. And they do them very well. Burger & Lobster is tucked away and has a great converted warehouse vibe with modern finishes, exposed brick, dim lighting and a fiery finish. I had the lobster roll and whilst this place looked a million dollars, I was curious to see how their lobster roll stacked up. Well, I was not at all disappointed. The bun was warm, soft and fresh, and the lobster was also fresh and melted in my mouth. The butter sauce gave it that classic lobster roll flare and I was left contemplating if it was acceptable for me to order another one. This was complemented perfectly by a white chocolate crème brûlée for dessert. The top cracked open perfectly and even with all the noise from our table, I could hear that distinctive crack as my spoon broke through to the rich, smooth filling. Between us, we had at least one of each burger option on the table and there was not a crumb left on the plates. They ticked every box! The girls sampled some of their cocktails too and had nothing but praise. I can safely say, if we lived here, this would be a regular food haunt for us.
4. Mojo Market, Sea Point
Okay, so I love a bit of variety when it comes to food, and Mojo Market has nothing, if not variety.
Mojo Market is what every city needs. This venue combines food, drinks and live music in a seamless experience. First choose from one of the many food vendors who call Mojo home, and then grab a drink from the bar showcasing the most beers on tap in South Africa. Next, pop into the general seating area or take a birds-eye view from the balconies, where you can overlook the main stage and food outlets. Enjoy live music on the stage or even sports on the TVs while you enjoy your freshly prepared food. There is something for everyone here, from South African dishes to wood fire pizza and even churros. Once you are done with your meal, grab some ice Cream or waffles! Winning! There’s even a café looking after all those morning people walking past. Great location and a great vibe – that’s the winning combination of food and atmosphere.
5. Knead, Sea Point
Bakery cafes are popping up all over Cape Town, but Knead has been around for years. From fresh breakfasts to healthy, filling brunches, this is a wonderful option for any traveller or local. Friendly service is the norm in Cape Town, yet Knead seem to have an edge. I couldn’t place it but I instantly felt like I was a regular here on my first visit. The bread is baked fresh on site daily and all meals are prepared to order using the freshest, local produce. They have a wide variety on the menu so should be able to accommodate even the fussiest of eaters. I don’t think it matters what you order, you are bound to have a flavour sensation, but treat yourself and try their sourdough because it is divine.