The Hot List: The 20 Best Restaurants in Cape Town 2022

The Hot List: The 20 Best Restaurants in Cape Town 2022 FYN, Bruce Tuck

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. Here are tried-and-tested favourites for a consistently excellent gastronomic day or night out.


Pier Waterside New

The newest addition to Scot Kirton’s restaurant empire is not “just another” La Colombe experience. Pier promises culinary adventure and theatrics, as expected, but with John Norris-Rogers in charge, the focus is clearly on the best flavours coaxed from the best local produce. On offer is a set of 9 or 11 dishes running the gauntlet of the La Colombe group’s skills with aplomb – from the very first “snack” to the petit fours offered with the bill.
We were particularly impressed by the depth of flavour from the bone marrow butter with the bread course; the sublime tableside-poached oysters (in MCC velouté, and just warmed through to perfection); and the seamless integration of mussels, soubise and Black Forest ham. As for the crayfish course… so sensitively prepared, you could taste the sea. The lamb and aubergine with Israeli couscous and harissa stole the show, an intense ras-el-hanout jus perfectly complemented by the young pinotage served alongside.
The extra cheese course (all South African) is a joy to anyone averse to dessert, and the best we’ve had locally. The team traverses a spider-silk thread between theatrics, molecular gastronomy and old-fashioned French technique, overshadowing even the floor-to-ceiling vistas of the harbour and the elegantly understated décor. A dining experience of this stellar quality in the Waterfront is long overdue.
Opening times Monday – Sunday; 12pm – 3pm; 6:30pm – late
Contact 021 879 6328,
Where to find it Pierhead Building, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan

Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia

The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia
Claire Gunn

The beautiful sister to the exceptional Chefs Warehouse Pinchos & Winebar in the city centre, this buzzed-about restaurant offers a set menu of fine-dining-calibre global tapas, delivered with glorious views across the famous vine-clad valley.
Chef Ivor Jones, who co-owns Beau Constantia with Liam Tomlin, has concocted a delectable array of imaginative dishes with an emphasis on freshly harvested produce from the farm’s gardens, and an injection of Southeast Asian flavours. Coupled with the stunning setting, chic interiors and panoramic vistas, this is a dining experience worth writing home about.
Good to know Chefs Warehouse Tintswalo Atlantic is making waves with its splendid ocean vistas and a set menu focused on marine delights.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 2:30pm; 5.30pm – 8.30pm
Sunday, 12pm – 2.30pm
Contact 021 794 8632,
Where to find it Beau Constantia, 1043 Constantia Main Road, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan


The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Fyn
Bruce Tuck

The concept had been simmering in chef Peter Tempelhoff’s brain for 22 years before he opened FYN, the 50-seater urban eatery that he co-owns with Jennifer Hugé (service and beverage director) and Ashley Moss (culinary director) – a dynamic and assured threesome. The menu (and decor) is African-inspired, with an overarching Japanese aesthetic, making for an utterly seductive (and delicious) combination of tastes, flavours, textures and styles.
FYN’s fast-paced innercity informs the menu – a condensed five-course kaiseki–style experience – with some of the most original wine pairings, courtesy of Jennifer (who spent 17 years at La Colombe as sommelier and manager). Bravo!
As for the setting, the restaurant perches on the fifth floor, boasting sky-high views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. The interiors are sophisticated, warm, up-to-the-minute, with the kitchen in the centre of the space.
One of the many highlights of my meal was sipping bubbly from a coupe. So chic!
Good to know FYN was voted 92 in San Pelegrino The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021.
Opening times Monday, 5.30pm – 8.30pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 2pm; 5.30pm – 8.30pm
Contact 021 286 2733,
Where to find it 5th Floor, 37 Parliament Street, Speakers Corner, Church Square, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan


The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Salsify at The Roundhouse

Overlooking an exquisite stretch of the Atlantic Ocean in a leafy pocket of Camps Bay, Salsify at The Roundhouse is owned by 32-year-old Ryan Cole (who served as Luke Dale Roberts’ head chef at the erstwhile Test Kitchen). A nod to its ocean-facing setting – and Ryan’s father who was a professional fisherman – fish features prominently on the menu, skillfully and sensitively prepared.
Each dish is a miniature wonder: refined, sustainable cooking at its unshowy best. The interiors, too, are impeccable: a judicious mix of edgy sophistication, with avant-garde art set against sumptuous fabrics and furnishings. And, as you’d expect, service is exemplary.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday; 12.30pm – 3pm; 6pm – 11pm (last seating is 8.30pm)
Sunday, 12.30pm – 3pm
Contact 021 010 6444,
Where to find it Roundhouse Road, Camps Bay
Book through DinePlan

Homespun by Matt

The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Homespun by Matt

The unassuming front door to this Blouberg hotspot opens onto a curtain – a proverbial portal, if you will – that shelters the dark and cosy restaurant from the busy street. Candelabra and dimmed copper-pipe lights set a romantic mood; coasters and placemats made from wooden pallets sit atop exposed wooden tables – a relaxed setting for the gourmet journey that takes diners from Europe to Asia and home again.
The five-course tasting menu with wine pairings begins with Matt’s twist on ceviche served in a bed of steaming shells.
Good to know A second Homespun opened at Andros Boutique Hotel in Claremont recently.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm – 9pm
Contact 021 556 2824,
Where to find it Porterfield Road, Table View
Book Through DinePlan


The Best Restaurants Cape Town: ëlgr
Warren Heath

The brainchild of 28-year-old chef Jesper Nilsson, ëlgr marries his Nordic roots with an appreciation for the produce and wine of South Africa, where he has lived since his teens.  Taking its cue from minimalist Scandinavian design, ëlgr is suitably dressed in a soothing palette of charcoal, black and pops of sage green and peels back from the buzz of Kloof Street to a plant-filled courtyard.
The menu is designed to be shared, with dishes coming to the table in an effortless and exciting parade. The charcuterie platters and raw-beef salad have fans all over the city, and Jesper’s ability to transform ordinary vegetables like kohlrabi and beetroot into showstoppers is making food critics sit up and take notice. His “I make and serve food that I like to eat myself” approach extends to offering authentic Neapolitan pizza alongside the shared plates – and it works brilliantly. The clincher at ëlgr? The commitment to five-star excellence in what is a laidback and deeply urban environment and the polished sommelier service that reminds you just how seriously they take their craft.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 5pm – 11pm
Contact 021 422 0384,
Where to find it 75 Kloof Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan

The Foodbarn Restaurant

The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Foodbarn

Internationally renowned chef Franck Dangereux is widely recognised as one of the forerunners of the fine-dining scene in Cape Town, having established the original La Colombe restaurant on Uitsig farm over 20 years ago. Franck’s next adventure was starting The Foodbarn in Noordhoek Farm Village: “I wanted to bring fine dining to the streets.”
Here, diners are treated to decadent seasonal cuisine in a relaxed, family-friendly (and even dog-friendly) environment! Franck’s roots in southern France inform his hearty, earthy style (bouillabaisse, slow-stewed tripe and trotters), but it is the bonhomie of this converted barn, with its farm-inspired decor, and the relaxed Noordhoek Village vibe that make dining here a wonderful day out for the entire clan. Choose between the relaxed Café or Bistronomy menus, (vegetarian and plant-based options, too). From Tuesday to Saturday, the Café transforms into an atmospheric Tapas Bar with incredible dishes to delight.
Opening times Daily, 12pm – 2.30pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 7pm – 9.30pm
Contact 021 789 1390,
Where to find it Noordhoek Farm Village, Corner Village Lane and Noordhoek Main Road, Noordhoek
Book through DinePlan

La Colombe

The Best Restaurants Cape Town: La Colombe

High up on the slopes of the Constantiaberg mountains, Silvermist Wine Estate is a veritable jewel in the Constantia Wine Valley’s crown. And it is here, on this farm, that you’ll find La Colombe, headed by multi-award-winning chef-proprietor Scot Kirton and executive chef James Gaag. La Colombe has circled the upper echelons of the awards lists for over two decades and seeded many a top chef’s career, but the Scot-James duo has further raised the bar. The stylish restaurant’s pared-down interior is the perfect canvas for James and his team to conjure creative French-Asian dishes using foraged ingredients that they magically finesse into immaculately plated dishes.
Good to know La Colombe was voted 81 in The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2021. Other restaurants in the La Colombe stable include La Petite Colombe, Foxcroft and Protégé, Epice, Pier and Waterside.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 1.30pm; 6.30pm – 8.30pm
Contact 021 794 2390,
Where to find it Silvermist Wine Estate, Main Road, Constantia Nek, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Grub & Vine

The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Grub & Vine

“So, this is Grub & Vine,” says chef Matt Manning as he welcomes us into his bistro on Bree Street. “Small, vibey, honest, unpretentious,” he adds in his signature Essex accent – a description we discover to be a gross understatement after taking a mouthful of our starters: new-season asparagus, ricotta beignet, hen egg, mushroom ketchup and hazelnuts.
Thirty-three-year-old Matt has certainly hit a culinary sweet spot – and filled a gap in the discerning-foodie market: beautifully prepared and executed dishes that taste heavenly – with none of the pomp and ponceyness that often accompany upscale dining experiences.
The characterful interiors – distressed concrete floors, avian prints, rattan chairs, atmospheric hanging lights and pot plants everywhere – enhance the buzzy vibe in the compact 50-seater. That, and the fact that the galley is on show, so diners can watch Matt and his busy team while they wait for their meal.
Good to know Across the passageway, within the same building, is Culture Wine Bar (also owned by Matt). And then there’s The Blue Room, a brand-new live jazz venue.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – late
Contact 087 153 5244,
Where to find it 103 Bree Street, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Belly of the Beast

The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Belly of the Beast

This online-booking-only fine-dining restaurant sprang up rather sneakily on Harrington Street when owner-chef Neil Swart chose to pursue dreams of unhindered culinary creativity, roping in long-time friend Anouchka Horn, whom he met while working at Terroir Restaurant. An exposed kitchen lines one side of the small space, with a street-facing window on the other. The industrio-mod eatery serves a maximum of 24 guests per service, as Neil believes smaller-scale cooking enhances the depth of flavour in each element.
There are no set menus – you’re treated to a number of excellent courses (be prepared for a sustainable feast), as well as bread service, a (life-changing) palette cleanser à la Anouchka, and an after-dessert delight (“a last hoorah”, as Neil calls it).
Opening times Monday, 6.30pm – 11pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 12.30pm – 11pm
Contact 0762 205 458,
Where to find it 110 Harrington Street, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan

The Pot Luck Club

The Best Restaurants Cape Town: The Pot Luck Club

From world-feted chef-patron Luke Dale Roberts, whose Test Kitchen was the best restaurant in Cape Town for the 11 years it was operational, The Pot Luck Club is headed by chef Jason Kosmas, whose ravishing menu is designed to encourage plate-sharing so that can diners can experience the gastronomical gamut of all five flavour profiles (salty, sour, bitter, sweet and umami). Situated on the top floor of the Silo at The Old Biscuit Mill, the stylish eatery boasts killer city views, especially at night.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12.30 – 2pm; 6pm – 10pm
Sunday, 11am – 12.30pm
Contact 021 447 0804
Where to find it Silo Top Floor, The Old Biscuit Mill, 373 – 375 Albert Road, Woodstock, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan


The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Thali
Claire Gunn

From Liam Tomlin (head honcho of the Chefs Warehouse group of restaurants), this exciting Indian-tapas eatery is a case of the more (dishes you share), the merrier. The popular Tapas for Two, curated by head chef Nate Coe, comprises eight dishes, including sambals, poppadoms and tandoor, culminating in the most heavenly curries that, combined with the exotic interior decor and lighting, will transport you to the fragrant streets of Delhi.
Good to know Thali caters for vegetarians, vegans and pescatarians, and doesn’t take reservations.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 4pm – 9.30pm
Contact 021 286 2110,
Where to find it 3 Park Road, Gardens, Cape Town


The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Aubergine

An oldie but a goodie, Aubergine Restaurant in Gardens has been going about its business of serving carefully conceived and creative dishes for more than 25 years, unperturbed by the constant and chaotic flurry of restaurant openings and closures around it. The 19th-century home has been tastefully converted into a warm and inviting dining area, where a floor-to-ceiling wine rack takes centre stage.
Committed to the ethical and sustainable procurement of produce, chef Harald Bresselschmidt and his team change the menu regularly, but diners can expect delights such as the Cape Sea Harvest seafood feast; slow-roasted lamb rump and loin in strudel; springbok loin medallion and Iberico pork. The dessert round features souffléd ginger crêpe; chocolate fondant; toffee parfait; crème brûlée; as well as a South African artisanal cheese selection.
Opening times Thursday + Friday, 12pm – 2pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm – 10pm
Contact 021 465 0000,
Where to find it 39 Barnet Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Book through DinePlan

Tjing Tjing Torii

The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Tjing Tjing

You’ll find this brightly coloured street-food joint at street level, where the pulsating pace, ultra-cool electro-indie beats, Harajuku-inspired decor and on-the-ball service are the perfect backdrop for flavour-popping, Japanese street food.
Torii serves an array of options, including ramen and yakitori (skewers), rice bowls, tebasaki (chicken wings), and classic Japanese confections (such as mochi truffles with a Tjing Tjing twist and fluffy Japanese cheesecake).
Good to know Pop into the perennially cool rooftop bar where top-drawer tipples, Torii’s full menu and ice-cool beats are the order of the night. Both Torii and the rooftop bar operate on a first-come-first-served basis.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 11pm
Contact 021 422 4374,
Where to find it 165 Longmarket Street, Cape Town


The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Hemelhuijs

Owner Jacques Erasmus’ passion for travel is evident in the ever-changing, thoroughly modern and whimsical decor of this oasis in the CBD. The highly creative seasonal menu is bursting with options, one more delicious than the next. Whet your appetite with a freshly squeezed juice, then settle in for a comforting homemade potato rösti with lightly smoked trout, soft whipped herb cheese and a soft poached egg, or old-fashioned grilled farm-style sausage in a rich tomato smoor with buttered toast.
Good to know Jacques co-owns Jonkmanshof, a boutique guesthouse In Montagu. If you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods, book a stay!
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 9am – 3pm
Contact 021 418 2042,
Where to find it 71 Waterkant Street, Central Business District, Cape Town

Athletic Club & Social

The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Athletic Club & Social

Refined yet edgy, this social club stirs up the bar and restaurant scene in downtown Cape Town, with three storeys of impeccable interiors, an easy-eating Mediterranean-themed tapas menu (of surprisingly generous portions) and friendly service.
The Edwardian building’s colourful history is on display in the trophy-filled cabinets, vintage sports equipment and memorabilia and framed newspaper clippings of erstwhile stars who frequented it. (The original owner was a maverick pharmacist and sportsfan, who converted the basement into a speakeasy for people of all races to gather without fear of being arrested under apartheid’s Group Areas Act during).
An evening at ACS always feels like a triumph, almost as if a sprinkling of the venue’s pioneering spirit has rubbed off on you!
Opening times Monday – Thursday, 12pm – 11pm
Friday + Saturday, 12pm – 11pm (kitchen closes at 10pm)
Contact 084 087 5566,
Where to find it 35 Buitengracht Street, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan


The Best Restaurants Cape Town: Beyond

Peter Tempelhoff (chef-patron of FYN) returns to his old stomping ground, the Constantia Winelands, with his latest opening at Buitenverwachting, bringing talented chef Ashley Moss and general manager Jennifer Hugé along for the ride. Helmed by Julia du Toit (also from FYN and Greenhouse), the kitchen delivers a compelling lineup of pitch-perfect à la carte dishes that are pared-back and accessible. Nab a vineyard-facing table and make sure Jennifer keeps topping you up with the 2019 chardonnay – intoxicatingly fragrant; I could’ve sprayed it all over my body.
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 5.30pm – 9pm
Sunday, 12pm – 3pm
Tuesday, 5.30pm – 9pm (from 1 December 2021)
Contact 021 794 0306,
Where to find it Buitenverwachting, 37 Klein Constantia Road, Constantia, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan

The Waterside

The La Colombe family of restaurants has garnered a well-deserved reputation for top-notch dining in the Mother City for close on two decades. The most recent addition to its seven-strong
stable is a harbourside eatery at the V&A Waterfront – a light, bright, pared-down space with views and a deck that make you feel as if you’re on a superyacht. Roxy Mudie’s creative five-course Chef’s Menu reveals refined, beautifully plated cuisine – in the La Colombe style, but more casual than its sibling, Pier, upstairs. From the unique Japanese-inspired milk bun stack for starters, through a Cape Malay-tinged prawn salad; snap-pea risotto with zucchini and asparagus; grass-fed beef; and exquisitely prepared seabass, to a “treasure chest” of hand-crafted bonbons for a sweet finish. At R795 for essentially five courses, this is ridiculously good value for money.
Opening times Monday – Sunday; 12pm – 2pm; 6:30pm – 8pm
Contact 021 879 6328,
Where to find it Pierhead Building, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town
Book Through DinePlan

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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: 17 November 2021

38 Responses to “The Hot List: The 20 Best Restaurants in Cape Town 2022”

  1. Bernhard Wenk


  2. Ncumisa

    Looking for the best restaurant in Cape Town

    • The Inside Guide

      Hi Ncumisa. Thanks for your message.
      We recommend subscribing to our newsletter for up-to-the-minute news about cool happenings in and around Cape Town. Let me know if you’d like us to subscribe you.

  3. Rabi

    Hi All,

    I’m visiting South Africa next week as Solo traveller for my B-DAY

    I need the best restaurant in Johannesburg on 14th May with some live music, nice food and awesome decor or views

    Also I need the same in Cape town for 15th May

    Looking forward to get your amazing suggestions (price doesn’t matter, I need joyful & fancy for 1 person)

    • The Inside Guide

      Hi Rabi. Thanks for your message.
      We recommend subscribing to our newsletter for up-to-the-minute news about cool happenings in and around Cape Town. Let me know if you’d like us to subscribe you.

  4. Rafiek

    Please send me weekly updates thank you.

  5. Xander

    Thank you for this great list, I am a General Manager of a 5 star Villa in Cape Town, The Residence by Atzaró, and guests always ask me where they can dine or lunch. Recently guests wanted a restaurant with some entertainment, any suggestions?
    Spier in Stellenbosch is also great for Families, and Kloofstreet House is a good option on a Sunday evening if you in luck with good service…

    • Nikki Benatar

      Thanks for your comment, Xander. The Mount Nelson has started doing live-music picnics and high teas, and Boschendal also has live-music picnics on the weekends.

  6. Nokwazy

    Me and my husband are traveling to Cape Town on the 24th this month and pls share we looking for a fine dining restaurant-Many Thanks.

    • The Inside Guide

      Hi Nokwazy. Thanks for your message.
      We recommend subscribing to our newsletter for up-to-the-minute news about cool happenings in and around Cape Town. Let us know if you’d like us to subscribe you.

  7. Adrian Thorn

    I’m very interested in socializing and meeting new people and also very enthusiastic towards the Cape Town culture ,fun and entertainment 🥳

  8. Adrian ThornT

    I’m very interested in socializing and meeting new people and also very enthusiastic towards the Cape Town culture ,fun and entertainment 🥳

  9. Zolile

    Your selection is great and we were not disappointed when my in-laws invited my family to visit most of your listed restaurants.

  10. Nicola Slingsby

    Appreciate all of the work that has gone into compiling this list Definitely going to sample one of these this weekend

    • Nikki Benatar

      Thanks for your message, Nicola. Let us know which one(s) you decide on, and how your experience was.

  11. Lew Rood

    I believe you have a list of your top Italian restaurants? I hope you have included owner/managed ‘Mamma Roma’ Dean Street Arcade Newlands on that list. Warm welcoming management and staff, great atmosphere, delicious authentic cuisine, and happily, secure parking.

  12. Jane Parsons

    Yes please!

  13. malcolm jacobs


    • Nikki Benatar

      Hi Malcolm
      Thanks for your message from icy London!
      We love Magica Roma, too – you’ll find it on our Oldies but Goodies and Best Italian lists. As you know, there are only 20 spots on our Best Restaurants list – each one fiercely contested. And, this time around we felt that others were more deserving than MR. Hope to see you in sunny Cape Town soon.

      • Lew Rood

        Can’t quite get this ongoing hype about ‘Magica Roma’ ? Yes there are staff from the good old days of La Perla, but it lacks charm, atmosphere and frankly a bit of fresh decor wouldn’t go amiss. We also know that there are certain areas used for the ‘top clients’ but if you’re not in that league, prepare to sit elsewhere which does not inspire.

        • Richard H

          Lew, I couldn’t agree with you more. Regulars all seem to rave about it for the special treatment and off-menu dishes, but for the average punter merely spending their money in the hope of good food, surly service and pretty average plates seems to come standard

          • Jacqui Goodwin

            Add me to the list of head scratchers. Once a year I’m invited to dinner at Magica Roma when I’d far rather be going Osteria Tarantino, Il Leone or the oldie-but-goodie, 95 Keerom. Perhaps the Cape Town restaurant scene has moved on, while MR’s fans, most of whom, it appears now live offshore, have not?

          • Chris

            Apologies I dine out at the best restaurants in Cape Town (for work reasons) and you just can’t beat Magica Roma for food and atmosphere

  14. Ian Kaye

    Thanks for this excellent restaurant review. Very helpful as I haven’t been to CT for 5 years now and the restaurant scene has changed.

  15. Sipho

    Majority of these don’t “accommodate” couples/family with kids under the age of 12. My wife and I are traveling with our 2-year-old daughter, we’re currently in Cape Town, and would like to eat at a fine dining restaurant, as babysitting facilities are not offered at the hotel we’re booked in.

    • Nikki Benatar

      Hi Sipho. Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, most fine-dining restaurants are aimed at adults and older children. The Foodbarn in Noordhoek accommodates young children, as there is a play area right outside. Salsify in Camps Bay also accommodates children (we ate there with our four-year-old son a while back). Good luck!

  16. Mercia Kildaire

    Please subscribe me to your weekly newsletter.

    Thank you.

  17. Ebbe Rabie


  18. Hamish

    Great list – do you know which offer outside dinning please ie. More Covid safe 🙂

  19. malcolm jacobs

    you forgot Magica Roma

  20. Shelley Sherman

    I’m shocked that Oku is not on this list..

    • Inside Guide

      We, too, highly rate Oku, Shelley. However, this list is strictly Cape Town-focussed.


    Great place to be the food is delicious … The atmosphere is awesome the Decor is magnefique with a vibrant Music finish up with a Iran Lyric … Fabulous Staff with Amazing Experience.

  22. zeek

    Good list – well balanced between between oldies and newbies.

  23. Carol Metcalfe

    thank you