Where to eat and drink in Cape Town: A foodie's guide

This at-a-glance guide to where to eat and drink in Cape Town highlights some of the city's most well-known establishments, as well as letting you in on a couple of local secrets too. Here are 12 top picks for eating or drinking in the Mother City...

Cape Town from the top of Table Mountain: photo courtesy of SA Tourism

Top eats in Cape Town

Lola's - Lola's is a cute and homely independent restaurant right in the middle of Long Street. This is a real day to evening place: you might stop in for a coffee and stay for lunch. It gets lots of praise for its laid-back and personable service, as well as its bright, colourful and contemporary interior. The menu is veggie-friendly and the atmosphere's similarly welcoming to all. Great for a casual lunch with a partner or friends.

Melissa's - Officially called Melissa's The Food Shop, this mini-chain is part deli, part café and has a great gift shop for your foodie friends (hamper, anyone?). Melissa's, which is probably best likened to a South African Wholefoods, serves wholesome, healthy and organic food, specialising in artisan products and picnic nibbles. The takeaway menu features baked goods and salads and the long wooden tables are crammed with people enjoying a laptop lunch or a weekend brunch.

Royale Eatery - The mantra is simple here at Royale: burgers, burgers, and more burgers, veggie options included. There's a real buzz to the atmosphere and though you may need to wait for a table it's worth it, as you munch on your dinner surrounded by the eclectic décor, lots of artwork and random items like hats adorn the walls, and there's a vintage feel to the place that sits just on the right side of junk shop chic.

The Royale Eatery © Damien du Toit (Coda) - Flickr Creative Commons

Also try:

Manna Epicure - beautiful restaurant/bakery with a chic and rustic all-white interior. Food is tasty, especially the cakes. The balcony is the perfect place to while away an afternoon.

Cafe Paradiso - a charming, relaxed restaurant in an old house on Kloof Street with a lovely alfresco eating space; this is a haven from the CBD and offers a great value lunchtime buffet.

Wakame - popular and rather fashionable sushi joint on two-floors overlooking the beach at Mouille Point. It's a little tricky to find, look for a non-descript door and enter up the stairs - but worth it if you're craving Asian food. It also has, you guessed it, a lovely outdoor section.

Top drinking spots in Cape Town

A coffee

Vida e Caffè - A café that's so serious about coffee it doesn't even serve tea, this South African version of Caffé Nero sells tasty savoury and sweet muffins and sandwiches, and serves complimentary Lindt chocolates with every caffeine fix.

Vida e Caffè, Greenmarket Square: © Discott - Wikimedia Commons

This is also the place to go if you want soya milk as many places in Cape Town don't serve milk alternatives. With a whopping 61 branches across the country, 36 of which are in the Cape Town, it's easy to stumble on a branch without even trying.

A tipple

Tjing Tjing - This trendy rooftop bar sits in a 200 year old building on Longmarket Street, near Greenmarket Square, and is popular with the fashionable local crowd. Tjing Tjing has a cool interior with exposed wooden roof beams, a feature fireplace and plenty of leather and metallic touches inspired by a Japanese aesthetic. Music is a big deal here, you can expect to hear indie and electronica while enjoying the casual tapas and snack menu, craft beers and great cocktails.

Long Street, Cape Town: photo courtesy of SA Tourism

A stiff drink

The Waiting Room - A cool bar with a retro style, and once the night gets going, a full dance club, The Waiting Room is on Long Street above the well-known Royale Eatery. The large rooftop area offers great views of Cape Town and the perfect time to visit is on Saturday night when the club is at its busiest. You'll find fairy lights in the ceiling, funky exposed wood décor with a football table and chill out zones in which to relax.

Also try:

Julep - this tiny 'secret' bar hidden away on one of the small streets off Long Street serves lovely cocktails, boasts comfy couches, and often has live music.

Cafe Caprice on Camps Bay: photo courtesy of SA Tourism

The Shack - If you want a grungy bar and a game of pool you'll need to know about this Cape Town institution. Hard to beat for a fun night out, it's all about indie music and good times.

Cafe Caprice - this is a Camps Bay legend, famous for being the place to see and be seen - think Cape Town's answer to Ibiza's Cafe del Mar. Open morning until late at night, seven days a week, if you ask any Capetonian where to eat and drink in Cape Town, Caprice will be on their list.

What would you add to this at-a-glance guide of where to eat and drink in Cape Town in South Africa? Tell us your suggestions below...

Jaillan Yehia

Jaillan Yehia
Posted on Tuesday 7th January 2014 in: Africa City Food & drink

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