We’ve divided this section of the guide up into four distinct areas:
These places are mainly in the Kloof Street and Gardens area. You can walk to them and back safely day and night.
Walking Distance / Short Taxi Ride
These places are mainly in the centre of old Cape Town or in the business district. You can walk to them but it would be better to take a taxi, especially on the way back if you leave late.
Short Taxi Ride
These places are in De Waterkant or the V&A Waterfront. They are too far for a comfortable walk. Take a cab, please.
Drive Out Of Town
These places are all in other suburbs or towns on the peninsula or in the area of Cape Town.
WALKING DISTANCE(less than 10 minutes on foot)
The Gardens and Kloof Street Area
Kloof Street is the buzzing heart of Gardens, a boho residential suburb of Cape Town. Originally, it was just a main road linking the old town to the residential suburbs south of the centre but now it’s a thriving little area by day and by evening (it winds down around 11 p.m.).
You should go here for lunch and for dinner as not all the places do both meals and you’d be missing out if you don’t try at least one lunch and one dinner here.
The majority of restaurants in this area are owner managed, small, personal, informal and not fine dining. (There are exceptions, though.) Most places have no more than about ten tables, some even less. Expect bustle and laughter, not restraint and refinement.Recommended Restaurants :
Saigon Vietnamese (Cnr Kloof and Camp) (021) 424 7670 Societi Bistro Italian/French bistro (021) 424 2100 Miller’s Thumb Family bistro (Kloofnek) (021) 424 3838 Kyoto Garden Sushi Formal Japanese (Kloofnek) (021) 422 2001 Melissa’s Deli with eat in (Kloof St) (021) 424 5540 Nelson's Eye Steak, steak and red meat pub (021) 423 2601
WALKING DISTANCE / SHORT TAXI RIDE(between 10 – 15 minutes on foot, 5 minutes by taxi)
The Historic Centre
Long Street and its offshoots are the central streets for the younger, vibier crowd in Cape Town. This area has several high-end eateries: here, the restaurants are typically larger, more ostentatious and have prices to match.
The Centre has a day, an evening and a night time character. By day, you’ll find it a bizarre mix of the African, the Western and the Orient all mixed into one. You’ll trip over numerous art galleries, museums, cafes, craft shops and markets. In the evening, you’ll notice almost all the shops and cafés shut and the restaurants take over. The nighttime vibe on Long can be a little daunting at times: if you prefer your clubs more classy and exclusive, try De Waterkant.
The majority of restaurants in this area are medium sized businesses, most not owner managed. They offer fine dining in the main. (There are exceptions, though.) Most places have between ten and twenty tables, usually not more. Expect high end food and wine for quiet and relatively formal dining.Recommended Restaurants :
Birds Cafe Quirky Cafe in trendy Bree Street (021) 426 2534 Savoy Cabbage Sophisticated and traditional (021) 424 2626 Bismillah Local Cape Malay food (Bo Kaap) (021) 423 0850 Aubergine One of Cape Town’s oldest. Upmarket (021) 465 4909 Manna Epicure Lunch for serious foodies (Kloof St.) (021) 426 2413
SHORT TAXI RIDE(between 5 - 10 minutes by taxi)
The Foreshore, De Waterkant and the V&A Waterfront
These are three very distinct areas in Cape Town: the Foreshore is our central business district. Busy by day with business people and the like, it’s a bit of a dead zone in the evening and at night, so this is not a place to go for a stroll. However, it is redeemed by the truly excellent Bizerca Bistro.
De Waterkant used to be a very down-at-heel district, housing the dockers for the harbour. When the Duncan Dock was built and later the V&A, it became the haunt of the super trendy and is now Cape Town’s answer to SoHo. Gay friendly, full of bars, nightclubs and restaurants as well as excellent shopping, it’s a scene by day and night.
The V&A Waterfront is either the best thing about Cape Town, a great disappointment or just good fun, depending on your point of view. It’s ultimately about commerce (there are six five-star hotels here) but it is very well designed, fun and entertaining. Most eateries here are not really great value for money and can either be excellent or awful depending on the weather, the season, etc. but we’ve listed the exceptions here.Recommended Restaurants :
Bistrot Bizerca Upmarket bistro (Shortmarket Street) (021) 423 8888 Salero Great views of harbour and sunset (V&A) (021) 421 1916 Den Anker Belgian, super location (V&A) (021) 419 0249 La Mouette Loosely French, popular with the locals (Seapoint) (021) 433 0856 Codfather Camp’s Bay, extraordinary fish (021) 438 0782
DRIVE OUT OF TOWN(between 20 - 40 minutes by taxi)
Take a beautiful, scenic drive out of the Cape Town City Bowl to discover the many interesting and exciting eateries dotted around the Peninsula and in the suburbs surrounding Cape Town.
Recommended Restaurants :
The Food Barn Barefoot food, Noordhoek (021) 789 1390