Cape Town Eats
The foodie and traveler combination is arguably the best combination out there! What is better than getting to try different cuisines, ingredients and styles of dining in a place where it is indigenous? Once I get my basic trip logistics down, the first thing I start planning is the food and the rest of the details fall into place around that.
There is no shortage of delicious food experiences in Cape Town and there is not enough space to write about every experience, but here were some of my favorites. You could be in Cape Town for months and not scratch the surface of the amazing dining scene budding right now.
Den Anker: This Belgian restaurant affords diners floor to ceiling windows and views of Table Mountain in the middle of the harbor. If you need a break from South African wine, this is the place to come for a large selection of beers and delicious mussels and frites.
Pot Luck Club: It is safe to say if Pot Luck Club existed in Boston, this would be my weekly dinner spot. The industrial feel of the small restaurant on the top floor at the Old Biscuit Mill does not prevent it from also being chic. The small plates are sectioned off by flavors such as sweet, salty, sour, etc. which makes it easy to round out the different plates to try (the hardest part is realizing you cannot try them all!). This is the more casual sister-restaurant to Luke Dale-Roberts’ Test Kitchen, and is equally as good!
Baia: The night we did not have dinner reservations, our concierge recommended trying this seafood restaurant on the V&A Waterfront. The menu has a large selection of fishes and meats and an impressive wine list. It was an easy walk from our hotel and our table right up against the harbor was beautiful.
The Test Kitchen: Luke Dale-Roberts’ was not voted best chef in South Africa for nothing. If you have a trip to Cape Town booked, try to get a reservation now. I took Elle’s advice she posted about the Test Kitchen last year, and I hope others do as well. They book out months in advance and for good reason – there is nothing amateur about the Test Kitchen. The only option is the 11-course tasting menu filled with unique flavor combinations and a beautiful presentation. One of my favorite parts about tasting menus is that it usually pairs together flavors you would never have imagined together, and each course continued to blow us away. Additionally, the option for a Classic South African wine pairing enhances the flavors (spoiler alert: do it!). Any description I could try to conjure up of this incredible meal would be superfluous, just know if you are in Cape Town, this experience is a must! An added bonus for us was that Dale-Roberts was in the open kitchen that night and we got to see him in action. And if you do not believe me, this restaurant made it onto the list of Top 50 Restaurants in the World at #28.
Bistro Sixteen82: Located at the Steenburg Vineyards in the Constantia Wine Region, Bistro Sixeteen82 is a beautiful and posh place to eat. We stopped here on the day we rented our car, but caught them in between lunch and dinner. The waiter was so nice and offered to whip up a meat and cheese plate for us and a taste of their delicious Sauvignon Blanc. We were the only people in the restaurant and had personalized service and a charming experience. I would have loved to have found time to go back for dinner and highly recommend it anyone who finds themselves in the area.
Travelers and colleagues recommended a plethora of additional restaurants, but alas, I once again ran out of time to eat my way through the city. Just know if you visit, you will have numerous options in Cape Town’s dining scene.
I would love to hear any of your recommendations for great restaurants and dining experiences in South Africa!