Cape Town is a city that exudes aspects of many world-class destinations from around the globe. Its palm-tree-lined streets could be plucked straight out of Santa Monica. The mountains rising out of its city centre allude to visions of Rio de Janeiro. Its music scene is rooted in African nations such as Mozambique and Zimbabwe, combined with other intercontinental influences.
But nowhere is Cape Town’s worldliness more palpable than in its food scene.
In this vivacious gem tucked at the bottom of the African continent, you will find flavors of Malaysia, the Middle East, Italy, France, Japan, and beyond. There are plenty of vegan-friendly and veggie options, gourmet health food and farm-fresh eats, as well as mouth-watering treats to satisfy every sweet tooth. You will never be bored in Cape Town, but your taste buds are the ones who will really be taken for a whirl.
The good news is, there are plenty of epic adventures to keep your figure in check, so feel free to indulge guilt-free in Cape Town’s incredible culinary scene.
Here are some of the best spots to eat in Cape Town.
Sunset sessions: Tigers Milk Camps Bay
There are several Tigers Milk locations around Cape Town, each serving up a wide variety of elevated pub eats, from crispy fish tacos and juicy burgers to pizza and other grub. A classic starter is the Mac ’n’ cheese bacon bombs (what more could you ask for in a bite-sized snack?). The Camps Bay location offers an upstairs terrace with an incredible view of the beautiful white-sand beach, making for an amazing spot to soak in the sunset.
Sundays at the manor: Kloof Street House
Set in an elegant Victorian house on one of Cape Town’s most vibrant streets, Kloof Street House feels a bit like stepping into the olden days of romance and prestige. The ambience is on point, with various rooms exhibiting their own charm complete with chandeliers, Chesterfield couches, a library lounge, and fireplace. The brasserie-style menu features dishes that are great for sharing, and all meat is free-range, grass-fed, and responsibly sourced. Come enjoy lunch here on Sundays set to some live jazz.
Office of the day: Bootlegger Coffee Company
Digital nomads love to bring their laptops to Cape Town’s go-to café franchise, Bootlegger Coffee Company. With delicious coffee and juice options, fresh meals from wraps to bowls to burgers, open and airy seating areas, and of course, unlimited Wi-Fi, it’s a great place to do some remote working for the day. Bootlegger has locations all over town, whether you’re posted up in Sea Point, finishing a swim at Bakoven, or spending the day in Green Point, so pick your favourite spot and get to hustlin’!
Fresh farm eats: Oranjezicht City Farm Market
Cape Town has a number of amazing markets, from the Old Biscuit Mill and Hout Bay to Mojo Market, but a weekly go-to is Oranjezicht Market by V&A Waterfront. Open from 8:15-2 on Saturday, 9-2 on Sunday, and 5-9 on Wednesday evenings, this is a great spot to come get your locally-supplied eats for the week, from seasonal produce to freshly baked bread, to herbs and snacks and sips and sauces. There are also amazing vendors serving up flavors from around the globe, including Vietnamese, French, and Cape Malay cuisine.
Comfort food to go: Giovanni’s Deli World
Right on Main Road in Green Point lies an adored Italian delicatessen that serves up all the food you need to make you feel at home. There are a variety of freshly home-cooked meals from pasta, traditional meat and vegetable dishes, to sweet desserts and treats to choose from. Select your bread and fresh ingredients for a sandwich or stock up on some gourmet groceries to take home and enjoy later.
Rooftop views: Silo Hotel Rooftop
Cape Town is all about the views, and one of the best ones of the city skyline with its epic mountainous backdrop is from the Silo Rooftop in V&A Waterfront. Perched atop one of the most prestigious hotels in the city, this rooftop lounge serves up delicious dishes from fresh poke bowls and salads to mouth-watering pizza and a variety of sharing platters. Don’t forget to enjoy a glass of bubbly or hand-crafted cocktail while you’re at it, which the friendly staff will graciously provide. Best experienced at sunset, of course.
Healthy eats: Scheckter’s RAW
If you want to do right by your taste buds, your body, and the planet, a meal at Scheckter’s RAW is essential. The café’s organic gourmet health food is 100% plant-based, meaning you can feel good as you devour an incredible meal. A must-try is the signature RAW burger, with 100% plant-based, high-protein, soy and gluten-free ingredients set on a homemade dragon bun. Sweet potato fries on the side with basil aioli make for a perfect combination. Brb, drooling.
Rooftop brews: Aegir Project Brewery
When visiting the spectacularly scenic beach of Noordhoek, a great place to stop for some grub is Aegir Project. Set in a small shaded courtyard, this independent brewery features a rooftop that provides views of the surrounding fields, mountains, and beach. It’s a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of Cape Town, where your biggest concern will be choosing between the pizza and the burger (spoiler alert: you cannot go wrong).
Plant-based goodness: Nourish’d
Tucked into a quiet area off Kloof Street in Observatory, Nourish’d is the spot to treat your body to some healthy eats. This plant-based cafe serves up some of the freshest acai bowls in the city, along with juice cleanses, smoothies, salads, and plenty of delicious vegan options. The cafe’s airy boho design makes for a great Instagram opportunity as well, because we all know those acai bowls deserve their time in the digital spotlight.
Vibey Tuesdays: ASOKA Restaurant, Bar & Lounge
This internationally flavored lounge draws in the who’s who in Cape Town, especially on Tuesday nights where there is a lively jazz show (followed by a bumpin’ dance floor in non-COVID times). While the drinks are not to be missed (the Pornstar Martini is a passion fruit lover’s dream), the food is absolutely delectable. Plates are meant to be shared, so bring some friends and try some of the delicacies such as the braised lamb rib, baby spinach salad, and broccoli florets. Or don’t bring friends and enjoy it all to yourself, who are we kidding? You deserve it.
Wine and dine: Delaire Graff Restaurant
Cape Town’s wine lands are world-renowned, and you mustn’t visit the Mother City without spending a day soaking in these peacefully breathtaking landscapes. Delaire Graff Restaurant is set on a beautiful property in Stellenbosch, and its cuisine is nothing less than five stars. Shaded by oak trees, the wooden terrace looks out onto the Banghoek Valley, and each meal is as incredible as the view. If you’re looking to treat yo’self, this is it.
Quirky brunch: Our Local
Our Local feels like you’ve walked into someone’s antique dining room combined with a lush leafy nursery. Plants adorn the floor, walls, and ceiling, ornate armchairs and chests sit on the sidelines, long communal tables run down the centre, and the spare chairs are hanging from the ceiling (what else would you do with spare chairs?). The captivating decor is only enhanced by the delicious food — open for brunch 9 AM to 3 PM, Tuesday to Sunday. Try the shakshuka, your taste buds will thank you! (You’re welcome in advance, taste buds).
Coffee stop: The Fix Beans and Bagels
Nestled in a tree-filled clearing with Lion’s Head Mountain towering proudly overtop, The Fix Beans + Bagels is a quaint little coffee truck on the corner of Higgo Crescent and Bellevue Road. This is a go-to spot for locals and increasingly popular for visitors, as it’s a perfect refuel after morning yoga (held in the same clearing on Monday and Wednesday mornings) or a cold morning swim. The Portuguese pasteis are highly recommended.
Most Instagrammable: Lexi’s Healthy Eatery
Everything in this cheery restaurant seems made for photos, from its plant-adorned ceiling to its lattes sprinkled with edible flowers, to its “EAT MORE PLANTS” sign on the wall. Along with incredibly creative and delicious healthy meals from bowls or burgers, Lexi’s also offers an affordable price point. Nestled on the main street of Sea Point, it’s a great spot for a bite of healthy lunch.
Quintessential Cape Town: Old Biscuit Mill
This vibrant and dynamic market features live music, local vendors, and some of the best food from all over Cape Town. Set in the edgier neighbourhood of Woodstock, the Old Biscuit Mill is one of the city’s utmost displays of craftsmanship, arts and music, and the culinary delights that makes this city so diverse, unique, and appealing.
More bagels, please: Kleinskys Delicatessen
A traditional Jewish delicatessen with more bagel options than we care to admit we eat on a weekly basis, Kleinskys feels like a mix of old New York charm and vibrant Cape Town modernity. The space is open and breezy, the staff are friendly, and there are both take-home and sit-down options from which you can take your pick, depending on how your day is going. The salmon latkes are a crowd favourite, but you really can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here.
Vineyard viewing: La Petite Ferme in Franschoek
One of the most scenic gems in the winelands of Franschoek is La Petite Ferme, overlooking a valley of mountain-framed vineyards. Its homely country-style cuisine pairs perfectly with a glass (or bottle) of wine from the estate vineyard, and each dish is plated impeccably with a fresh contemporary flair. Bon appétit!
Eat-your-heart-out brunch: Jarryds Espresso Bar and Eatery
Weekends in Cape Town are for getting out and enjoying the city, and what better way to fuel up for your adventures than a feast of sweet or savoury brunch? Jarryds is always packed with brunch-goers due to its mouth-watering dishes from eggs benedicts to French toast, using locally produced and seasonal produce. Coffee lovers can enjoy the fair trade brew, and mimosas are certainly not off the table — bottomless on weekends!
Vibrantly vegan: Sunshine Food Sprouting Co
This lively little vegan cafe serves up some delicious smoothies, juices, wraps, and burgers, with a focus on microgreens and sprouts as the main ingredients. Their 100% organic food, cheery atmosphere, and friendly service all serve to energize and uplift anyone who visits, and the veggie burger is definitely worth biting into.
Pizza lovers: I Love The Dough
If you love pizza (who doesn’t?) and neon-lit diners (maybe more of a niche crowd for that one), I Love The Dough is the spot for you. This Neapolitan-style pizza restaurant is known for its soft, doughy, delicious pizzas, fresh salads, bespoke cocktails, and lively ambience. If you eat for Instagram, the neon pink “It’s all good baby baby” sign ought to be making an appearance on your feed.
Something for everyone: Mojo Market
Situated in the heart of Sea Point, Mojo Market offers a wide variety of delicious international cuisines with an atmosphere and views to match. The 30 food stalls serve up dishes ranging from tacos and ramen, to burgers and poke. Wash it down with some gelato or a beverage from the bar. They’ve got live music, sports screenings, and artisan shops to round out your experience. Grab a seat in the upper level with views of the Sea Point pools and palm tree-lined promenade, and get your mojo on.
Best coffee: Truth Coffee
Dubbed the “world’s best coffee shop” by the Daily Telegraph, Truth’s luxurious blends of artisanal coffee are a must-try for all coffee lovers. A trendy and inviting place to go work on your laptop, set up a meeting, or just sip and ponder, Truth serves up a variety of sweet treats and comfort food to go with each cup — try its brunch complete with free-range, pasture-reared eggs, artisanal thick-cut bacon, and delicious sourdough bread sourced from Woodstock Bakery. Everything tastes better after coffee.
… We could go on, but are sure that by this point you are salivating onto your keyboard just like us. So start your tasting tour with these recommendations, and let us know which options tickle your taste buds the most. Happy dining!
Looking for more to explore in South Africa beyond food? Check out our Guide to Having an Adventurous Time in Cape Town as well as Towns Unexplored by the Average Tourist in South Africa.