The 20 Best Restaurants in Cape Town in 2024

The 20 Best Restaurants in Cape Town in 2024

Our tried-and-tested picks.

In Cape Town, where new restaurants open faster than you can knock back a tequila, it’s easy to get caught up in the “hot-right-now” hype. But there’s a lot more depth to the city’s food scene. And, with the Winelands on our doorstep, we’re spoilt for even more choice – its magnificent vistas elevating an already-epic gastronomic outing to dizzying heights.

And while fine-dining eateries deserve their hard-earned accolades, we also love the simple, down-to-earth goodness of relaxed farm-to-table establishments, and the casual foodie fabulousness of our small-plate eateries.

It was tough narrowing it down, but here are our tried-and-tested favourites for a consistently excellent day or night out.

Which are your favourites? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

JAN Franschhoek

SA-born chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen (of Michelin-starred JAN in Nice, France) invites you to his summer table in the historical cottage in the lavender fields at La Motte wine estate. To experience his eight-course tasting menu and wine pairing at this sublime pop-up is to surrender to a culinary magician. A candlelit 18-seater dining table is set against a kaas en konfyt (cheese and preserves) cornucopia that looks like a Van Dyck still life. Look but don’t touch, yet… There is much to savour before the cheese course – such as a “slap-pap-tjip”, evoking memories of the corner café; the nostalgia of cinnamon and delicate doilies with dessert, moerkoffie made in the fireplace. And much more… It’s open until 30 April 2024.
Good to know The experience kicks off at La Motte’s Manor House 30 minutes before moving on to the Veepos cottage for your lunch or dinner.
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 6.30pm for 7pm
Sunday, 12pm for 12.30pm
Cost R2 850
Contact 021 876 911, jan.franschhoek@la-motte.co.za
Where to find it La Motte Wine Estate, Franschhoek
Book through DinePlan

PIER

Best Restaurants: Pier

PIER promises a fine-dining culinary adventure (as expected from a member of Scot Kirton’s La Colombe restaurant family), with a fabulous seaside location. Chef John Norris-Rogers has a knack for coaxing the best flavours from the finest produce. A set of 8 or 12 tasting dishes run the gauntlet with aplomb – from the opening “snacks” to the petit fours with the bill, by way of deeply delicious curried hake butter with the bread course, sublime tableside-poached oysters, poussin with turnip and truffle, scallops with bacon dashi and showstopping langoustine. The team traverses a spider-silk thread between theatrics, molecular gastronomy and classic French technique, overshadowing even the floor-to-ceiling vistas.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 1.30pm; 6pm – 7.30pm (last seating)
Contact 021 879 6328, reservations@pier.restaurant 
Where to find it Pierhead Building, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan

Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia

Best Restaurants: Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia

This perennially buzzed-about restaurant, a glass cube suspended above the vine-clad valley, offers a four-course menu of fine-dining-calibre tapas delivered with casual finesse and glorious views. Chef Ivor Jones (who co-owns the eatery with celebrated restaurateur Liam Tomlin) has created an array of imaginative dishes, with an emphasis on the harvest from the farm’s gardens, and added an inspired injection of global flavours. Coupled with the open kitchen, chic interiors and world-class wines, this is an unforgettable dining experience.
Good to know Request a table on the Terrace when the sun is out (call the restaurant on the morning of your reservation to secure a Terrace table).
Hot tip Chefs Warehouse Tintswalo Atlantic in Hout Bay is also making waves with its splendid ocean views and a set menu focused on marine delights.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 6pm – 8.30pm
Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Contact 021 794 8632, cw@beauconstantia.com
Where to find it Off Constantia Main Road (M41), Constantia Nek, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan

FYN

A regular on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, chef Peter Tempelhoff’s restaurant is one of the most exciting epicurean experiences in the city. The sophisticated, loft-like space on the fifth floor of an innercity block offers food and decor that is African-inspired, but with a unique Japanese twist, using flavours, aesthetics and techniques from the land of the rising sun. The multi-course kaiseki-style menu runs the full gamut of flavours and textures, where springbok, abalone, Cape wagyu and tempura dune spinach meet yuzu, furikake and shiso. Each yields a hit of flavour so lingering and sublime, you never want it to end. Pescatarian and plant-based menus are available for lunch and dinner seatings.
Good to know Tempelhoff’s no-reservations ramen bar is downstairs at street level.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 2pm; 6pm – 8.30pm (last seating)
Contact 021 286 2733, info@fynrestaurant.com
Where to find it Church Square, 37 Parliament Street, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Salsify

Best Restaurants: Salsify

Chef Ryan Cole is quietly pushing the boundaries and creating a new modern South African cuisine at Salsify, inspired by nature and the ocean, and driven by the seasons. The 10-course fine-dining menu tugs the nostalgia strings with its local flavours (amasi, perlemoen, fynbos, African potato, Karoo lamb), but given surprising and brilliant culinary twists. Enhancing the experience is excellent service, two top-tier wine-pairing options, fantastic views of the Atlantic from the hillside above Camps Bay, and edgy-chic interiors. Echoing the menu which up-ends tradition, this historical monument has become uber-contemporary with its avant-garde graffiti, art installations and a showstopping bronze statue.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12.30pm – 3pm; 6pm – 9pm
Sunday, 12.30pm – 3pm
Contact 021 010 6444, reservations@salsify.co.za
Where to find it The Roundhouse, Roundhouse Road, off Kloof Road, Camps Bay
Book through DinePlan

Ouzeri

This convivial restaurant on Wale Street, channelling the Aegean islands with its curved white walls, mosaics and tapestries, is owner-chef Nic Charalambous’ tribute to his Cypriot heritage. It’s where you’ll find some of the most exciting cooking in Cape Town at the moment. Nic takes you on a flavour odyssey, with thoughtful and beautifully presented dishes spotlighting the individual flavours of different Greek islands and regions. Snacks, meze and mains on the new menu include a delicious prawn savoro (cured in hibiscus vinegar), the incredibly moreish eliopita bread with confit garlic, coal-seared tuna from Serifos with a fresh yet robust fennel-and-cucumber sauce, and gorgeous anari dumplings with burnt tomato butter. The drinks list includes wine from the barrel, and an eclectic music selection creates a lively ambience. In keeping with its name, it’s the perfect spot for drinks and shared food.
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm – 9.30pm
Contact 061 533 9071, seeyou@ouzeri.co.za
Where to find it 58 Wale Street, CBD, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan

Rust en Vrede

There’s an enduring magic about dining at Rust en Vrede. Sitting out on the terrace with champagne and the lightest of flavour-packed canapés, the old oaks, historic Cape Dutch buildings, and lawns leading to vines and a wooded mountain kloof conjure an away-from-it-all country house appeal. Without theatrical flourishes, chef Fabio Daniel serves a superb six-course tasting menu that marries the flavours of his Brazilian-Italian culinary heritage with local South African ingredients in harmonious chords of entrancing and unexpected flavours. Housed in the original 1785 cellar, it’s a delight from start to finish, with thoughtful wine pairings from sommelier Gregory Mutambe (there’s an impressive international winelist), and seamless polished service that makes you feel immediately at home.
Good to know The restaurant is open in the evenings only for the memorable six-course tasting menu – or the “surprise” Experience Menu.
By day, a simple set-menu Winemaker’s Lunch is served in the tasting room or on the terrace.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 6.30pm – 11pm
Contact 021 881 3757, dining@rustenvrede.com
Where to find it Rust en Vrede Estate, Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
Book through DinePlan

La Petite Colombe


Claire Gunn left image

A veritable jewel in Franschhoek’s culinary crown, La Petite Colombe is perched amid vineyards on Leeu Estates farm and remains one of the Cape’s most coveted dining experiences. The sibling of Constantia’s superlative La Colombe (a regular on the World’s Best Restaurants List) is a relaxed yet refined and flawlessly five-star eatery helmed by chef Peter Duncan. A theatrical array of superb dishes flows out of his kitchen – from oysters and crayfish to the sweets trolley. The dazzling presentation, professional service and a smart winelist create a sense of occasion that makes dining here very special.
Good to know The two menus (the full Chef’s Experience and Reduced Menu) both offer vegetarian options.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 202 3395, reservations@lapetitecolombe.com
Where to find it Leeu Estates, Dassenberg Road (off the R45), Franschhoek
Book through DinePlan

The Pot Luck Club

Opened by acclaimed chef Luke Dale Roberts in 2011, this restaurant (inspired by 1950s “potluck” dinners) introduced us to the small-plate sharing concept – and is still a master of it under chef Jason Kosmas. Combining a dazzling location on the top floor of the Old Biscuit Mill with an uber-creative, umami-forward global menu, the kitchen team’s intention is simply to “blow you away” with flavour combinations. A delightful journey of the senses takes you from Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean to Mexico and South Africa (sometimes all on one plate!).
Good to know Also in the LDR stable are Salon, a multi-course fine-dining journey by Luke and The Test Kitchen Fledglings, a training initiative.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12.30pm – 2pm; 6pm – 10pm
Sunday, 11am – 12.30pm (brunch)
Contact 021 447 0804, hello@thepotluckclub.co.za
Where to find it The Silo, The Old Biscuit Mill, 373–375 Albert Road, Woodstock
Book Through DinePlan

Grub & Vine

The casual name suggests a lack of pretension (true) but belies the delight of a meal at this Bree Street bistro – be it a leisurely lunch or atmospheric dinner. British-born chef Matt Manning does “no-nonsense, good tasty food and honest cooking”, which hardly conveys the nuance of his refined five-course tasting menu or shorter menu du jour. Beautifully prepared and plated dishes, combined with a superb winelist (it won Best Short List at the 2023 Star Wine List Awards) are served in the elegant dining room (with the bustling kitchen in view) or the Green Room, with garden-inspired decor and a tiny courtyard with two alfresco tables.
Good to know Fabulous Saturday sharing-plate brunches come complete with bottomless bubbly, mimosas and bloody Marys.
Inside info Grub & Vine Norval swings open its doors in a few weeks’ time. We can’t wait.
Opening times Monday – Friday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 6pm – 9.30pm (last seating)
Saturday, 11.30am – 2pm; 6pm – 9.30pm (last seating)
Contact 021 216 0035, hello@grubandvine.co.za
Where to find it 103 Bree Street, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

The Table at De Meye

It’s the stuff of dreams and the epitome of la dolce vita: long, sybaritic lunches in the country with people you love, delicious food and good stuff to drink. Leigh Williamson and Brendan Thorncroft offer an honest-to-goodness experience on the beautiful (yet under-the-radar) De Meye wine farm. In a charming garden, at tables laid with vintage crockery, guests tuck into a three-course sharing menu of refined, slow-cooked comfort dishes that change often depending on what’s in season – along with freshly baked bread, homemade butter and decadent desserts. In cooler weather, the white-washed farmhouse with large windows and wood-burning stoves is an equally attractive setting. It’s the kind of place you’ll return to time and again.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 5pm (closed Wednesdays in winter)
Contact 072 696 0530, bookings@thetablerestaurant.co.za
Where to find it De Meye Wine Farm, Muldersvlei Road, Klapmuts, Stellenbosch
Book through DinePlan

La Colombe

Best Restaurants: La Colombe

The acclaimed flagship of Scot Kirton’s gastronomic empire serves up inventive, immaculately styled and utterly delicious plates amid a tranquil forest setting. Staff circulate in a choreographed fashion, with different chefs and waiters revealing each of the 8 or 12 courses of the tasting menu. Beyond the ambience of the space and intricacy of the menu, there’s a playful sense of whimsy under executive chef James Gaag’s guidance – which makes it an event rather than a meal. From the charming ‘dove’s nest’ starter and tuna La Colombe (served in individual tins) to the final sweet bite, the feast unfolds with a sense of theatre that’s truly unforgettable.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 1.30pm; 6.30pm – 8.30pm (last seating)
Contact 021 794 2390, reservations@lacolombe.co.za
Where to find it Silvermist Wine Estate, La Colombe Road (off Constantia Main Road/M41), Constantia
Book Through DinePlan

ëlgr


Sean Gibson

The name is Old Norse for “moose”; the aesthetic is forest-inspired, with a palette of charcoal, black, wood and sage green. The food is seasonal, earthy, authentic and beautiful… Swedish-born Jesper Nilsson is a cheffy chef at heart but his sharing-plates menu is made “to put people at ease”. Different hubs suit different moods: there’s a streetside, light-filled front room with leather banquettes; the moodier heart of the restaurant; and a plant-filled courtyard, complete with a bar, sofa, café tables and pizza oven. It’s a place you can come for drinks with snacks or the chef’s choice menu paired with excellent wine.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm – 11pm
Contact 021 422 0384, reservations@elgr.co.za
Where to find it 75 Kloof Street, Gardens
Book through DinePlan

Chorus


Lukas Stander left image

In a heavenly Winelands setting, 300 metres up on the slopes of the Schapenberg, overlooking False Bay and surrounded by an amphitheatre of mountains, the name of Bertus Basson’s restaurant certainly evokes the angelic and rapturous… Waterkloof Estate’s glass-box dining space, an architectural marvel hovering over the vineyards above the hilltop cellar, offers four- and six-course menus inspired by fine local ingredients (including Basson’s famous soufflés) – what he refers to as “simple, focused, seasonal cooking”, and what should really be called a masterful symphony of flavour.
Good to know There’s also a lounge serving Waterkloof’s superb biodynamic wines with snacks from the Chorus kitchen.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2pm (last seating)
Thursday – Saturday, 6.30pm – 8pm (last seating)
Contact 021 007 4230, info@chorusrestaurant.com
Where to find it Waterkloof Estate, Waterkloof Drive, off Sir Lowry’s Pass Road, Somerset West
Book through DinePlan

Dusk

Best Restaurants: Dusk

With downlighting over the tables and the open kitchen only, this dark and mysterious eatery in Stellenbosch is the “disruptor” project of chefs Callan Austin and Darren Badenhorst. Taking a deep-dive into sustainability and “whole-process” cooking, they’re pushing fine-dining boundaries to the max. The dinner-only, 13-course tasting menu is a thought-provoking experience imbued with theatre and focused on seasonality, local and indigenous ingredients, foraging and fermentation. When a palate cleanser is called “Wash your mouth out with soap”, you can expect a few surprises.
Good to know Also check out their new cocktail bar-restaurant, Nocturne, at the same address.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 6pm – 8pm (last seating)
Contact 021 023 4100, reservations@duskrestaurant.co.za
Where to find it 43 Plein Street, Stellenbosch
Book through DinePlan

De Eetkamer

Best Restaurants: De Eetkamer
Claire Gunn

Hidden away at the top of Dorp Street, this heritage building (formerly a stable) with an oak-shaded courtyard, now pays homage to heartwarming gatherings around the dinner table. (The name translates simply as “The Dining Room”.) Here, chef Marco Cardoso celebrates elegant, indulgent small-plate eating in an array of punchy global flavours without a hint of pretension – from the Korean-style fried cauliflower (a menu fixture he dare not remove) to pan-fried gnocchi with French onion sauce and sushi-esque linefish tartare with jalapeño dressing, nori and rice. The short menu changes seasonally, the winelist features a fair number of unique labels, and the desserts are not to be missed.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 5.30pm – 9pm
Contact 021 001 8308, reservations@de-eetkamer.co.za
Where to find it 3 Drostdy Road, Stellenbosch
Book through DinePlan

Arkeste

Perched on the edge of a forest on Chamonix Wine Farm, this restaurant is a culmination of chef Richard Carstens’ 30-plus years of experience in some of the top kitchens in the land. The menu combines past passions and triumphs (molecular gastronomy, Asian-fusion), classical French techniques and recent musings on clean eating and pescetarianism. The result? Beautifully prepared and utterly delicious plates (in a casual fine-dining, à la carte format), enjoyed on the deck or inside, with floor-to-ceiling glass allowing the serene greenery to permeate. (The restaurant was washed away by the Franschhoek floods in September 2023, but Richard’s determination – along with the support of the chef community – has quickly restored the interiors.)
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm; 6pm – 8.15pm
Contact 021 876 8415, reservations@arkeste.com
Where to find it Chamonix Farm, 40 Uitkyk Street, Franschhoek
Book through DinePlan

Gåte at Quoin Rock

Looking out over vineyards in the secluded Knorhoek Valley, exquisitely designed Gåte (pronounced “gah-tay”, meaning a riddle) has established a niche of its own in the fine-dining world. Chef Paul Prinsloo describes his artistic approach as “modernist”, pushing boundaries with perfectionism, intense focus and creativity – the “hot dog”, for instance, turns out to be a dessert of raspberry and mango. If you count the bread course, canapés and petits-fours, the tasting menu stretches to 10 over a leisurely few hours (a parallel vegetarian menu reveals equal complexity). Or go for the simpler but still delectable six-course menu. Add to the experience with wine pairings from the multifaceted Quoin Rock and Knorhoek wine ranges.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2pm
Friday + Saturday, 6pm – 10pm
Contact 021 888 4750, gate@quoinrock.co.za
Where to find it Quoin Rock Wine Estate, Knorhoek Road (R44), Stellenbosch
Book through DinePlan

Rykaart’s at Longridge Wine Estate

Best Restaurants: Rykaart’s

It opened with a splash on Stellenbosch’s Dorp Street in 2022, but husband-and-wife owners  Alex and Ella Rykaart have given up their pavement perch for a new home on Longridge Wine Estate. Long, country-style tables on a wide terrace, dotted with raised-bed vegetable gardens, offer never-ending views (all the way to Table Mountain) and the three-course set menu, served family-style, is perfect for long, lazy lunches. The food pairs beautifully with the award-winning biodynamic wine; the chefs have beautiful organic herb and vegetable gardens within arm’s reach… They haven’t changed their winning food philosophy, though – simple, contemporary flavours, unfussy, welcoming and delicious.
Opening times Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 3pm
Friday + Saturday, 6 – 9pm
Contact 021 855 2005, rykaarts@longridge.co.za
Where to find it Longridge Wine Estate, Helderberg Road, off the R44, Stellenbosch
Book through DinePlan

Spek & Bone

Bertus Basson and Michael Fuller’s lively wine bar just off Dorp Street is named after Bertus’s pet pig, Spek, and dog, Bone. The courtyard at the back is perfect for sunny lunches under an ancient vine, which is lit up with fairy lights at night. Chef Michael Fuller focusses on superb tapas with bold flavours, and excellent wines, in a relaxed but adventurous menu. Korean fried chicken is one stalwart, or roast fish with cabbage and tonkatsu broth; potato gnocchi with mushrooms, or smoked cauliflower with burnt butter and hazelnuts. Can’t decide? Sign up for the full seven-plate chef’s menu.
Good to know A conservatory off the courtyard serves as a private dining room seating eight.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 2pm; 5.30pm – 8pm
Contact 082 569 8958, info@spekenbone.com
Where to find it 84 Dorp Street, Stellenbosch
Book through DinePlan

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Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 08 November 2023

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