Cape Town, South Africa has been known as a food and wine destination for many years. La Colombe & The Test Kitchen are two of Cape Town’s top restaurants that are regularly rated as best in the world. While these two restaurants are fairly impossible to get a reservation, the fabulous news is that there are literally hundreds of other quality choices to pick from.
After a five weeks of “restaurant testing” all over the city I can confidently say that Cape Town is indeed a foodie destination. There is a vibrant restaurant scene for every person's price point - whether you want the more casual style or a seven course fine dining experience.
Below are just a few samplings of my favorite restaurants....
The daily changing blackboard menu always has something for everyone. Fresh and simple foods in a fun relaxed atmosphere is what this restaurant is about. The portions are generous but delicious enough it is worth ordering a starter to split. They have a lovely selection of wines, beers and mixed drinks. This was one of my favorite relaxed dining options. We tested out both the lunch and dinner menus and everything we tried was two thumbs up.
This is part of the award winning chef Liam Tomlin’s group of restaurants. The Indian meal is a set meal (but with variations for any dietary preferences or allergies) and is out of this world. Using a huge variety of Indian spices the eight dish meal brings to the table a glorious feast of flavors. Drink choices are abundant and the service was top notch with explaining the various dishes. Neither of us could stop eating even though the eight dishes were way more food than we would normally eat. This restaurant does not accept reservations and is on a first come first serve basis but is well worth it to include while you are in Cape Town.
KLOOF STREET HOUSE
This was a favorite of ours in the ambience category. The restaurant is set in an old Victorian house with lots of charm right on Kloof Street – so a great location for those folks staying in the City Bowl. When the weather is good see if you can get a table out in the fairy lit magical garden. The food is Mediterranean inspired with a South African twist. They have a large menu varying from small plates, sharing platters, main course and dessert.
Owned and operated by the same folks that run La Colombe, this restaurant is well worth the trek. It is located in Constantia which is roughly a 30 minute ride from the city center (depending on traffic). We tasted their set four plate menu, which was delightful! The service was some of the best we experienced in our dining out, and not only helped us through picking our choices from the menu, but also had incredible wine knowledge to make pairing recommendations. Each plate was well presented and extremely colorful and full of flavor. Overall an amazing experience from start to finish.
POT LUCK CLUB
This is a sister restaurant to Luke Dale Robert’s Test Kitchen. The downside is that it is difficult to get a reservation as they only open up reservations on the 1st of each month. It’s in a fun setting in the Woodstock region of Cape Town. The restaurant is on the 6th floor of a silo that sits in the Biscuit Mill complex. Before or after dining set aside some time to take a stroll through the numerous fun shops at in this complex. The menu is all tapas options. The staff will recommend three to five small plates per person and there are plenty of options to please everyone. The bring the dishes in order from lightest to heaviest flavors. We loved all of our choices with the exception of the dessert being a disappointment. The service was friendly and the location is fun.
HONEST CHOCOLATE SHOP
Last but not least - if you need a quick sugar fix while you are in Cape Town make sure you stop by Honest Chocolate shop located between Bree and Loop Street. Their signature dish is called the banana bread bunny chow. It is a banana bread muffin hollowed out in the middle to be filled with ice cream and a rich chocolate sauce. YUM!
The Mango team delights in making you restaurant reservations while you are in Cape Town. We think the dining experience should definitely be a part of your overall experience while in this amazing city.
Images from the restaurants.