We didn’t know what to expect when we arrived in Cape Town South Africa, both in terms of the city and its food. After a month of exploring and eating all over the city, we became Cape Town food savvy. Read on to see our favorite Cape Town restaurants, bars, markets and more.
Cape Town is famous for its beautiful topography, tumultuous history and fabulous weather. But what about its food?
That’s what we were wondering when we arrived in Cape Town with limited knowledge about South African food. Honestly, the little bit we knew was actually related to South African wine.
Having grown up during the era of Apartheid, we often saw South Africa in the news when we were young, but not in the most favorable light. Back then, the news was filled with segregation, poverty and violence.
However, in more recent years, South Africa has been getting lots of great press, with many people referring to the city as the ultimate vacation destination. Curious to check it out for ourselves, we started our South Africa odyssey with a full month in Cape Town.
Yes, we spent an entire month eating our way around Cape Town.
We arrived in Cape Town after two days of travel.
Tired and hungry, we wandered around aimlessly, eventually eating mediocre Chinese takeaway food. On day two, we visited the first (of many) specialty coffee shops and got our first tips of great places to eat.
We soon discovered the magic of biltong and boerewors, two popular meat products in South Africa. We had incorrectly expected to eat a lot of fresh fish in Cape Town given the city’s coastal geography, but as it turns out, due to South Africa’s long history of Dutch farm settlers, red meat rules the city’s protein roost.
Biltong and Boerewors
Both biltong and boerewors are prevalent proteins in South Africa. But what are they?
For the uninitiated, biltong is a savory dried cured meat that is similar to jerky but thicker and less sweet. Biltong has been popular in South Africa for centuries and is made with all kinds of meat including beef, chicken, fish, game and ostrich. Boerewors is a type of grilled sausage typically made with beef.
You can buy both biltong and boerewors at grocery stores and specialty shops all over Cape Town.
Cape Town’s prime location along the former Dutch East India Company’s Spice Route placed the city at the center of Cape Malay culture. That culture, with its heavy use of spices like cumin, coriander, star anise and turmeric, shows its presence in the food all along the Cape to this day. Local favorites include mild curries and triangularly shaped samosas which are smaller than the thinner shelled samosas more commonly seen in Indian cuisine.
We clearly had a lot to learn about the places to eat in Cape Town. Within a week, we had eaten at one of the best Cape Town restaurants, toured the city on one of the ubiquitous hop-on-hop-off buses and enjoyed an eight-hour food tour. Within a month, we had eaten at several of the top restaurants in Cape Town.
And then there’s the wine. Oh, how we miss South African wine.
Take a food tour to learn about the selection of Cape Town foods. We took the eight-hour Cape Town food tour with Cape Food & Wine Tours to learn about the local food scene including coffee, beer, chocolate, cheese and wine.
Cape Town Food Guide | Where to Eat in Cape Town
Our Cape Town food immersion was intense and thorough. Our taste buds thanked us, but not so much our waistlines. Such is the price we pay to be food travel professionals who create travel food guides like this one!
Top Cape Town Restaurants
With all of the adventurous things to do in Cape Town, you might think that people would be too busy or tired to eat out. The reality is quite the contrary – the vibrant Cape Town restaurant scene is filled with restaurants at every price point.
After eating our way through Naples, Italy for a month before our flight to Cape Town, we weren’t initially impressed by the fish or pizza in Cape Town. But we found some wonderful restaurants in the Mother City and lots of great food.
As a top destination for rich and famous people like Leonardo DiCaprio, Charlize Theron and Kanye West, it’s no surprise that Cape Town has its fair share of destination dining restaurants. Two of Cape Town’s restaurants, The Test Kitchen and La Colombe, regularly make the top restaurant list not just for South Africa but also for the entire world.
Advance reservations are absolutely necessary at the city’s top restaurants.
The Test Kitchen |The Potluck Club | The Shortmarket Club
Helmed by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts, The Test Kitchen is Cape Town’s most respected and lauded restaurant.
We heard great things about this gastronomic gem located in the hip Old Biscuit Mill but didn’t eat there, though not for lack of trying. Although we didn’t end up dining at The Test Kitchen, we recommend a meal there if you are able to get a reservation.
However, we did score a dinner reservation at The Pot Luck Club (also – not an easy reservation), a fortuitous circumstance since many of the authoritative locals we spoke to regard Dale-Roberts’ two other restaurants as good as and in some ways better than The Test Kitchen. The Pot Luck Club has two seatings each night and serves shareable plates in the following taste categories – salty, sour, sweet, umami and bitter.
We tried six small plates during our dinner and loved the way that Dale-Roberts was able to integrate spicy Cape Malay flavors into the restaurant’s modern global cooking ethos. Case in point, the restaurant rubs octopus with local spices and serves it with Japanese ingredients like teriyaki and pickled cucumber.
We can’t pick a favorite dish since we loved them all from the spicy Peri Peri Chicken to the crunchy yet rich Pork Belly Pho. Even the Woodstock Bakery Ciabatta with chimichurri and carrot hummus rocked our world.
Do what you need to do, but make an advance reservation and eat at one of the three restaurants operated by Chef Luke Dale-Roberts and his team!
The Test Kitchen is located at The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa.
The Potluck Club is located at The Old Biscuit Mill, 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa.
The Shortmarket Club is located at 88 Shortmarket St, Cape Town City Center, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa.
Chefs Warehouse and Canteen
Located in the heart of town on busy Bree Street, Chefs Warehouse and Canteen is a must during any Cape Town visit.
Although the tiny restaurant serves global tapas dishes prepared by an Irish chef, the experience at Chef Liam Tomlin’s restaurant is a Cape Town classic. We enjoyed a range of dishes including popcorn-like deep fried squid served with summer fresh green basil and bright sun-dried tomatoes as well as luscious pork croquettes served Brit style atop fresh green mushy peas.
The restaurant’s eating style is casual, with diners sharing communal tables both inside the cozy space and on the sidewalk terrace. Tapas for two cost us R650 (about $50 US) at the time of our visit and was worth every rand. Desserts and drinks are extra.
Despite its popularity, Chefs Warehouse and Canteen does NOT accept reservations. We recommend that you arrive a few minutes before the restaurant’s noon opening time to put your name on the list.
Chefs Warehouse & Canteen is located at 92 Bree St, Cape Town City Center, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa.
After making his bones in the kitchen at London’s St. John, Fergus Henderson’s Nose-to-Tail standard bearer, Chef Giles Edwards returned to his native South Africa and opened La Tête in 2016. Nose-to-tail eating, a philosophy which espouses eating the whole animal and not just the prime parts, is a philosophy embraced by the likes of the late Anthony Bourdain and Mario Batali. This philosophy shines at Edwards’ Bree Street bistro.
We loved the creatively prepared food at this impressive restaurant and appreciated the chef’s passion for supporting local producers. The daily changing menu features dishes like delightfully creamy Lamb Brains on Toast, fresh local Mussels with Leeks and Bacon as well as meaty Grilled Ox Heart with Chips. During our meal, sharing a plate of freshly baked Madeleines provided a perfect ending and was well worth the 15-minute wait.
Don’t be afraid to dine at La Tête if you’re a vegetarian. The restaurant makes a point to include vegetable dishes on its meat-focused menu.
La Tête is located at 17 Bree St, Cape Town City Center, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa.
We loved La Colombe – on paper. The restaurant is situated on a hillside in Constantia and features a drool-worthy view of the vineyard-covered landscape. Chefs Scot Kirton and James Gaag are considered to be among the best in the world. The seasonal ingredients are locally procured, and the service is similar to what can be found in many European Michelin-starred restaurants.
However, in reality, we liked this restaurant but didn’t love it.
We found the dishes to be fussy and over-plated. Though the knife cuts were wonderful and the sauce preparation divine, there seemed to be a lack of cohesiveness that subtracted from the food’s overall wow factor in plates like the lamb cooked three ways.
In a way, it all played out like a big-budget movie with no plot or characters. Plus, the service team tried too hard with different servers appearing at our table way too many times during our meal. Considering the pedigree and reputation of this restaurant, we expected more.
Make sure you give yourself ample time for the drive from the Cape Town CBD to La Colombe. Although the distance is less than 20 kilometers, the drive can be a bear during rush hour. You don’t want to be late for your sunset view. It’s a stunner.
La Colombe is located at Silvermist Wine Estate, Constantia Main Rd, Constantia, Cape Town, 7848, South Africa.
Other Cape Town Restaurants Worth a Visit
Ask ten locals for their favorite Cape Town restaurant and you’ll likely get ten different answers. There are that many good restaurants in Cape Town. We ate at a lot of them and these were our favorites.
The definition of braai is to grill meat over an open flame.
In Cape Town, Braai is so much more. It’s not just a style of preparing food – it’s a way of life that involves socializing with friends while eating and drinking. If you’re lucky, you can enjoy a braai with locals. Either way, head directly to Mzoli’s for the ultimate braai meal.
Eating at Mzoli’s is a unique experience. Located in a township just 20 minutes from Cape Town’s CBD, Mzoli’s is part meat shop, part restaurant, part party and all fun.
Crowds convene to Mzoli’s in droves to eat braai, drink a lot and dance to house music. Though in a township, Mzoli’s offered the most integrated crowd we saw during our month in Cape Town, with tourists mingling with locals regardless of race or skin color.
We arrived not knowing what to expect beyond that we’d be eating grilled meat. After parking the car (never fun to do with South Africa’s car guard culture), we bumbled through ordering our meats and sides.
We selected some chicken, ribs and boerewors plus sides like pap and veggies. The meat selection was huge, and we didn’t want to miss a thing.
After ordering the meat and sides, we took it all to the grilling station where the braai magic actually happens. Grill masters marinade the meat and cook over open flames.
The result is grilled meat with local South African spiced barbecue sauce cooked to a light char. Order some pap (a South African corn mash similar to grits) and chakalaka (a South African vegetable succotash), and you’re in for a party. This is an experience best enjoyed with a crowd – the bigger, the better.
Hire a guide if you get squeamish driving into sketchy neighborhoods. We felt a bit uncomfortable about parking our car at Mzoli’s. The only issue ended up being an unwanted car wash that cost us a few extra rand.
Mzoli’s is located at Ny 115, Guguletu, Cape Town, 7751, South Africa.
Woodstock, an artsy Cape Town neighborhood, has a slew of trendy restaurants including the famous ones at the Old Biscuit Mill mentioned above. But there’s something extra special about Woodstock’s The Kitchen.
The Kitchen, owned and operated by former caterer Karen Dudley, is more of a luncheonette with tables than a full service sit down restaurant. Known for salads and “love” sandwiches, the restaurant also serves hot food like roast chicken, in a cafeteria style.
We ordered one plate of food which was more than enough to share. As a bonus, sharing allowed us to save room for desserts like lemon bars and brownies. Trust us, you’re going to want dessert when you eat at The Kitchen too.
Rumor has it that Michelle Obama loved her lunch at The Kitchen. We loved ours too.
The Kitchen is not open on weekends or for dinner. Go early and go hungry on a weekday to The Kitchen.
The Kitchen is located at 111 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa.
Since Cape Town’s Bo-Kaap neighborhood was previously called the Malay Quarter, Bo-Kaap is clearly the neighborhood to try Malay food in Cape Town. We were intrigued by Cape Town’s centuries-old Malay influence and the food of this culture.
After tasting a samosa in Bo-Kaap during our Cape Town food tour, we wanted to get back to the neighborhood for a proper meal. Our research took us to Bo-Kaap Kombuis which translates to Bo-Kaap Kitchen. This is a great restaurant to try a wide selection of Cape Malay cuisine since food is served buffet style.
The selections are extensive with all kinds of seasoned meats, salads and cheese. Pork is not included since the restaurant is Halaal. (Many of the Cape Malay people descend from Indonesian Muslims.) You won’t miss pork though when you eat dishes like denningvleis stew with slow-cooked lamb cubes, vegetables and tamarind paste.
Make a dinner reservation to coincide with the sunset. Bo-Kaap Kombuis offers a spectacular view of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head.
Bo-Kaap Kombuis is located at 7 August St, Schotsche Kloof, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.
Dias Tavern Portuguese Restaurant
Although Dutch people settled in Cape Town by the droves, Portuguese explorers were actually the first Europeans to discover Cape Town back in the 15th century. These explorers and the subsequent Portuguese settlers made their mark on Cape Town, which drove us to seek out Portuguese food in South Africa.
We have as soft spot for Portuguese cuisine since we honeymooned in Portugal ten years ago. We were happy to find Portuguese-influenced African food all over Cape Town – dishes like grilled, spiced Calamari rings and Prego Rolls, open-faced roast beef sandwiches topped with peri-peri spiced beef gravy.
Located near many of the city’s best coffee shops and our favorite cookie bakery (see Charly’s Bakery below), Dias Tavern serves these Portuguese inspired dishes plus more in a festively casual atmosphere. Dias Tavern is a popular spot for locals due to the flavorful food and highly affordable prices. Many linger to cheer on their favorite ‘futbol’ teams or enjoy the live music on weekend nights.
Be sure to order a Prego Roll when eating at a Cape Town Portuguese restaurant. This open-faced sandwich is Cape Town’s equivalent to the Philadelphia cheesesteak or Buffalo‘s beef on weck.
Dias Tavern Portuguese Restaurant is located at Opposite Buitenkant Street, 15 Caledon St, CBD, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.
** Important Update – Sidewalk Cafe is now permanently closed. **
Located uphill from our City Bowl apartment in the Vredehoek neighborhood, Sidewalk Cafe appealed to us on several levels.
We loved the cafe’s beachy laid-back vibe and welcoming service. The cafe has a wonderful menu with comforting dishes like a great prego roll, fish & chips with a batter spiced with turmeric and open-faced grilled chicken with bacon and brie.
Word is that the coffee is good at the cafe too, but we don’t know that for sure since we always opted for cocktails and local South African wine. However, we do know that the wi-fi is good at Sidewalk Cafe which is not always the case in Cape Town.
Plan for a leisurely meal at Sidewalk Cafe. You will want to savor the experience, not to mention the free wi-fi.
Sidewalk Cafe was located at 33 Derry Street, Vredehoek, Cape Town 8001, South Africa. It is now permanently closed.
To us, the best part of eating at Live Bait Kalk Bay is the view. The restaurant’s picture windows look right out on the sea, providing a front row vista of hypnotic waves and the occasional gull.
As we mentioned above, we found the fish to be disappointing in Cape Town. We’re not big fans of the tough, overly meaty kingklip, which is the most popular fish served throughout the city.
Live Bait serves a variety of seafood options beyond kingklip. While some of the dishes, like the crayfish, were enjoyable, the seafood linguine medley with parmesan cheese and overly creamy sauce was an absolute gut buster. But we did love the beer and the view.
Take a walk around the restaurant after lunch. If you’re lucky, you’ll see seals swimming in the harbor next to the fish market.
Live Bait has two locations. We ate at the restaurant located at Kalk Bay, Cape Town, 7975, South Africa.
Bacon on Bree
We first sampled Richard Bosman Quality Cured Meats at the Oranjezicht City Farm Market (see below), and it quickly became our cured meat of choice while in Cape Town. To our pleasant surprise, Richard Bosman and his wife also own and operate Bacon on Bree.
Bacon on Bree is a great spot to enjoy food like the Hall-Elujah Salad with Grilled Halloumi Cheese. After walking by the cafe numerous times, we finally ate at the “baconporium” and cafe during our last week in Cape Town.
Along with Kamili coffee, craft beer and local wine, the restaurant serves a range of accessible salads and sandwiches. Half of the fun is reading the menu with sandwich names like The Meryl Streep and The Sophia Loren. The other half is eating tasty food, especially the dishes with bacon. No surprise there.
Pick up some bacon to enjoy later. In addition to the restaurant, Bacon on Bree has an on-site shop.
Bacon on Bree is located at 217 Bree St, Cape Town City Center, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa.
The Dog’s Bollocks and The Bitch’s Tits at YARD
True confession – we picked our Cape Town apartment based on its proximity to specialty coffee shops.
The closest of those coffee shops, Deluxe Coffeeworks, shares its space with YARD and its two restaurants – The Dog’s Bollocks at night and The Bitch’s Tits during the day. Thanks to our love for coffee, we ended up eating massive hamburgers at The Dog’s Bollucks during our first week in Cape Town and tacos at The Bitch’s Tits not long after that.
Whether you go at night for burgers or during the day for tacos, dining at YARD is an interactive experience where diners write their orders on a chalkboard and pick up food once the counter staff yells out their names. The atmosphere is casual, and the service is sarcastically friendly. Plus, Deluxe coffee is readily available.
Go at night for the burgers. Although the tacos are more photogenic, we preferred the burgers which are not available during the lunch service.
YARD is located at 6 Roodehek St, Gardens, Cape Town 8001, South Africa.
** Important Update – Beijing Opera is now permanently closed. **
If you like to eat dumplings with a side of tragically hip service, then Beijing Opera is the restaurant for you. Even if you don’t, it’s still worth a visit for the excellent dumplings served in a communal style setting. Just like an actual Chinese opera performance, this dining experience can be highly entertaining if you’re in the right mood.
Interestingly, Beijing Opera originally operated as a pop-up restaurant before setting down permanent roots. We liked the menu filled with creative dim sum including one of our favorites – pork bao buns. These dumplings were steamed until beautifully tender and juicy, and the savory, meaty flavors brought back memories of our time in China.
Don’t let the surly service scare you away. Our hour wait only took 30 minutes, and the food well was worth the wait.
Beijing Opera was located at 48 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa. It is now permanently closed.
Proving that every type of cuisine is available in Cape Town, this neighborhood cafe caught our attention. Featuring traditional Greek dishes like gyros and dolmades along with an array of surprisingly good seafood like giant prawns as well as local South African wine, Marika’s is a great spot to enjoy simple Mediterranean flavors far from the Mediterranean Ocean.
Service is friendly, and the decor is highly influenced by the owner’s love for Greece. This is a good choice when you’re in the mood for something different from typical South African food.
Be sure to reserve a table at Marika’s in advance, especially on weekends.
Marika’s Restaurant is located at Upper Buitenkant St, Oranjezicht, Cape Town, 8001, Južna Afrika.
We mentioned that Cape Town doesn’t have a lot of seafood. Sevruga is an exception to that rule.
With a prime location at the V&A Harbour right by the city’s Ferris Wheel, Sevruga offers an elegant dining experience featuring a wide selection of seafood. Yes, the restaurant serves kingklip, but also so much more.
We’re talking about options like shellfish and sushi, plus dim sum if you’re really hungry. We tried a few dishes, but we especially enjoyed the more than abundant sushi platter with its colorful selection of tuna sushi, salmon sushi and specialty rolls.
Specify that you want to sit outside when you make a reservation. Sevruga’s outdoor dining area offers a fantastic view.
Sevruga Restaurant is located at Shop 4 Quay 5, Victoria Wharf, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town 8001, South Africa.
Cape Town Dessert Spots
As you would expect in a resort town, Cape Town has plenty of sweet options. We taste-tested a variety of desserts from chocolate to ice cream. These were our favorites Cape Town desserts.
If a rainbow were to explode, the result would be Charly’s Bakery.
Charly’s bakery, located in a colorfully painted building, displays its true colors inside with whimsically decorated cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Owner Jacqui Biess brings the fun to the popular District 6 bakery along with lots of sugar and glitter. Cape
Town residents have long known about Charly’s Bakery, but the secret went international in 2011 with the debut of Charly’s Cake Angels. Their buttery glazed cookies with an array of colorful, cheeky messages are not to be missed.
The shareable “mucking afazing” cookies at Charly’s Bakery are perfect to take on a road trip. They’re also popular to share on Instagram. The cookie photo pictured above is currently our most liked post (and it’s not even close).
Charly’s Bakery is located at 38 Canterbury St, Zonnebloem, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.
We ate some fairly forgettable sandwiches for lunch at Jason Bakery, but the same can’t be said for their Pistachio Raspberry Doughssant that we shared one sunny Saturday morning. A kissing cousin to the Cronut famously invented at Dominique Ansel Bakery, the Doughssant is a flaky cross between a donut and a croissant.
Discover more great donuts eaten around the world.
Jason Bakery offers a different Doughssant flavor every week, often using local and seasonal ingredients. They also bake some fine loaves of bread.
Get your Doughssant early. These popular pastries tend to sell out.
Jason Bakery is located at 185 Bree St, Cape Town City Center, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.
Unframed Ice Cream
Leave it to somebody from Lyon, France to open the best ice cream shop in Cape Town.
Yann Rey opened tiny Unframed Ice Cream in August 2016 with a focus on the finest ingredients and methods. Using cream imported from his home country, Rey offers diverse ice cream and sorbet flavors that change on a daily basis plus toppings and sauces. But not just any ice cream…
We’re talking about flavors like Dirty Sea Salt Caramel, Burnt White Chocolate and Turmeric Latte. Go for the five-flavor ice cream flight if you can’t narrow down the choices to fit on one cone. After all, this is the best ice cream in Cape Town.
Don’t skip Unframed Ice Cream if you follow a vegan diet. Instead, choose from flavors like Vegan Coconut Raspberry and Vegan Lusty Coconut.
Unframed Ice Cream has multiple locations in Cape Town and the Cape Winelands. We visited the original shop located at 45C Kloof St, Gardens, Cape Town 8001, South Africa.
Cape Town Specialty Shops
Believe it or not, we didn’t just eat at some of the best restaurants in Cape Town. Since we lived like locals in our Cape Town apartment, we often cooked meals at home. Sure, we bought most of our food at grocery stores, but we also shopped at specialty shops for our most of our cheese and meat.
Culture Club Cheese
** Important Update – Culture Club is permanently closed. **
Thanks to British couple Luke Williams and Jessica Merton, Capetonians have access to world-class cheese on a daily basis. Their cheese shop, Culture Club Cheese, sells a full range of cheese options from South Africa as well as some delectable European cheese imports like Brie de Meaux from one of the best producers in the world.
Williams earned his cheese chops at La Fromagerie in London, and he now uses those chops to champion local cheesemakers. We shopped at Culture Club Cheese on our first day in Cape Town and returned several times to satisfy our dairy cravings with wedges and cheese plates. Watch our YouTube video for the full story.
Buy your cheese after you eat a meal at Culture Club Cheese. The shop also offers lunch and dinner menus.
Culture Club Cheese was located at 215 Bree St, Cape Town City Center, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa. It is now permanently closed.
Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants
Although meat is readily available in Cape Town, not all of the meat is created equally. For the times that we wanted a better meat product, we shopped at Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants (FFMM).
Located in the Woodstock neighborhood, the FFMM headquarters is a butchery with an attached shop. The butchery sources organic meat procured from local farmers, ensuring the quality and sustainability of everything that the store sells. FFMM is a great spot for buying meat and also for drinking a Rosetta pour-over coffee.
You can buy other braai necessities like olive oil, fig marmalade and sauces at FFMM.
Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants has three locations. The Woodstock butchery and store is located at 143 Sir Lowry Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa.
Cape Town Markets
Shopping at markets is the ideal way to access fresh produce and eat lunch in Cape Town at the same time. We shopped at several markets during our month in Cape Town, and these were our favorites.
Oranjezicht City Farm Market
It was a sad Saturday (at least for us) when a triathlon caused the Oranjezicht City Farm Market to close.
This weekly market became one of our favorite things to do in Cape Town, so missing a week was a shame. Not only does this community farmers market feature a wide selection of local produce, artisan products and prepared food, but it also offers a fantastic view.
We loved shopping at Oranjezicht for produce like farm-grown, fresh tomatoes and figs from Paarl. We also loved picking up food at stalls like Son of a Butcher, Woodstock Bakery and Richard Bosman Quality Cured Meats.
Top your shopping off by eating hot shakshuka and drinking cold peach ice tea. The result is the best way to start a Saturday afternoon in Cape Town.
Oranjezicht City Farm Market is located at Granger Bay Blvd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8051, South Africa.
The Neighbourgoods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill
The Saturday farmers market at The Old Biscuit Mill was probably cool when it started in 2006. Today, though, the market skews toward being too crowded and overpriced.
Despite these shortcomings, we still enjoyed meandering our way through the sprawling space and checking out the 100+ stalls selling all kinds of food and drink options. If your goal is to see and be seen while you shop for food and grab a bite, then this is the market for you.
Combine shopping at the Old Biscuit Mill market with other Woodstock sightseeing. It’s often good to kill two birds with one stone when you have limited time in a city.
The Old Biscuit Mill is located at 375 Albert Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915, South Africa.
V&A Market on the Wharf
The V&A Market on the Wharf was our go-to market on days of the week that weren’t Saturday. This daily market features 50+ vendors selling all kinds of artisan products and fast-casual food. As a bonus, the market is located on the V&A harbor, making it convenient to both a large shopping mall and the Ferris Wheel pictured above.
The V&A Market makes for a good refreshment break when touring the V&A Waterfront. It’s close to a lot of Cape Town attractions including the aquarium and the hop on hop off bus meeting point.
V&A Market on the Wharf is located at Dock Rd, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.
Cape Town Coffee
The Cape Town coffee scene is the best we have experienced in the entire world. (Disclosure – We haven’t been to Australia yet.)
Seriously, we loved many of the city’s different coffee roasters including Deluxe Coffeeworks, Kamili Coffee and Truth Coffee. We were so enamored with Truth Coffee’s owner and steampunk decor that we even filmed a video at the city’s most famous coffee shop.
Read our Cape Town coffee guide.
Cape Town Bars
We didn’t hang out in many Cape Town bars because it was too darn easy to enjoy amazing wine in our air-conditioned apartment. Sometimes, though, we ventured out to drink cocktails and beer. These are our two favorite spots to drink potent potables in Cape Town.
Devils Peak Brewing Company
A proponent of “beer as it should be”, Devil’s Peak Brewing Company has been brewing and serving craft beer in the Woodstock neighborhood since 2012. Head brewer JC Steyn brings an Oenology background to the brewing process, which favorably impacts the brewery’s flavor profiles. That being said, this beer is accessible and pairs well with food.
Devil’s Peak Brewing Company’s onsite taproom serves a food tasting board as well as traditional pub fare to go with its full beer selection.
Devils Peak Brewing Company is located at 150 Cecil Rd, Salt River, Cape Town, 7925, South Africa.
Outrage of Modesty
**Important Update – Outrage of Modesty is now permanently closed.**
Outrage of Modesty is a rare breed of cocktail bar where the drinks are prepared by expert mixologists, with each drink a miniature masterpiece in terms of presentation and delivery. Drinking at Outrage of Modesty brought back memories of our experience at Aviary, the groundbreaking luxury cocktail bar in Chicago.
Don’t give up if you don’t see the entrance to Outrage of Modesty right away. The entrance is hidden behind a nondescript door. Look for the bouncer, and he’ll let you inside. Reservations are suggested.
Outrage of Modesty was located at 88 Shortmarket St, Cape Town City Center, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa. It is now permanently closed.
We can’t end our Cape Town Food Guide without mentioning the great food and wine available in the nearby Cape Winelands. Check out our Cape Wineland Food Guide for awesome restaurants in Stellenbosch, Paarl and Franschhoek.
Cape Town Restaurant FAQs
Cape Town restaurant serve a range of international cuisines including Chinese, Indian, Italian and South African.
Cape Town restaurants run the gamut from cheap eats to upscale. Prices vary accordingly.
Yes. Expect to leave at least 10% tips at Cape Town restaurants.
Anthony Bourdain never filmed an episode of The Layover, No Reservations of Parts Unknown in Turku.
Phil Rosenthal visited the following Cape Town spots while filming the second season of Somebody Feed Phil: Faeeza’s Home Kitchen, Fish on the Rocks, Honest Chocolate, Melissa’s, Mzoli’s Place, The Test Kitchen and Truth Coffee.
People typically eat dinner between 7pm and 9pm in Cape Town.
Yes. Reservations are necessary for Cape Town’s better restaurants.
Cape Town does not currently have any Michelin-starred restaurants.
Things To Do in Cape Town
But wait – there’s more to do in Cape Town. We found 25 fun things to do in Cape Town and enjoyed a great day trip to Durbanville. If you’re looking for even more ideas, check out these Cape Town activities:
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
Original Publication Date: July 13, 2017
Sunday 15th of November 2020
I personally think I could have given you a few places you would have loved which are not mentioned.
Monday 18th of March 2019
I definitely want to go now!
Tuesday 23rd of October 2018
I will be in Cape Town and along the Garden Route in December. Some people have mentioned that it is important to make dinner reservations in advance. I tend to be a traveler that is spontaneous with food, and I wonder into the least touristy places I can find. Would you recommend trying to make daily dinner reservations for my Christmas-time trip, or will I manage off the beaten path?
Daryl and Mindi Hirsch
Tuesday 23rd of October 2018
We strongly urge reservations especially at restaurants like the Test Kitchen (if you can get in), Potluck Club and La Tête. Chef's Warehouse, one of our favorite restuarants, does not take reservations and seating is limited. There may be some local restaurants that you can dine at on a spur of the moment but bear in mind that Cape Town is super popular with tourists, especially in prime season (Dec. thru Feb.). It can't hurt to plan ahead. On the Garden Route you can be far more flexible. Generally, we opt for more cafes and shacks like Oysters r Us when eating over there. Have a great trip!!
Wednesday 19th of July 2017
Thanks for sharing such a comprehensive food guide in Cape town. Everything looks delicious but more than that I loved the presentation. The outrage of modesty cocktail goes to must try list for me and the specialty shops too.
Sandy N Vyjay
Wednesday 19th of July 2017
We usually do not fine many posts about food in South Africa, the focus is always on safaris and wild life. So this is definitely an informative and much needed post. I was fascinated seeing the Cape Malay appetizers at Bo Kaap Khombus, it reminded me of an Indian snack called Samosa.