A green belt stretching out beneath the Table Mountain National Park, with the Constantiaberg mountains looming above it, Cape Town’s lush garden suburb has long been famous for its beauty and history, with sprawling vineyards and wine estates dating back to the 17th century. It’s no surprise, then, that this bountiful valley has seen an upsurge in hot, new restaurants – which, along with its elite array of established favourites – have made the suburb an even more appealing destination than ever… These are the best restaurants in Constantia…
1. Greenhouse at Cellars-Hohenort
Reached by a long winding road set against the eastern slope of Table Mountain, the Cellars-Hohenort Hotel is home to one of Cape Town’s timeless gems. As its name implies, Greenhouse is enclosed in a glass box that maximises its magnificent setting, with see-through panels overhead creating the illusion of being outside.
At the helm is brilliant executive chef Peter Tempelhoff (one of two Relais & Châteaux Grand Chefs in South Africa) and head chef Ashley Moss. Peter has been at Greenhouse for more than 10 years and, along with his devoted team, consistently elevates the benchmark of modern South African cuisine.
Good to know Also to be found at the Cellars-Hohenort is the elegant Conservatory Restaurant, a relaxed, country-style eatery with a 300-year old oak tree at its centre. The Conservatory offers unparalleled garden vistas, and a menu consisting of simple yet perfectly executed dishes (overseen by head chef Paul Nash and executive chef Peter Tempelhoff).
Contact 021 795 6226, email@example.com
Location The Cellars-Hohenort Hotel, 93 Brommersvlei Road, Constantia
2. Chefs Warehouse at Beau Constantia
When seven of the country’s top chefs – including Michelin-starred Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, Luke Dale-Roberts, Eric Bulpitt, Brad Ball, Rudi Liebenberg, Franck Dangereux and Reuben Riffel – rate Chefs Warehouse among the best restaurants in Cape Town, you can be sure that it is! So when Irish-born chef Liam Tomlin – 2017’s Chef of the Year – opened a branch at Beau Constantia Wine Estate, foodies in the southern ‘burbs danced a collective jig! With chef Ivor Jones (Luke Dale-Roberts’s righthand man at The Test Kitchen) in charge of the kitchen, guests can expect the same cutting-edge cuisine and laid-back atmosphere that Liam Tomlin’s original eatery is so famous for.
Contact 021 794 8632, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Chefs Warehouse Beau Constantia, 1043 Constantia Main Road, Cape Town
It’s one of the most talked-about restaurants in Cape Town – and deservedly so. The food at Glen Foxcroft Williams’ laidback fine-dining restaurant, which he co-owns with feted La Colombe chef Scot Kirton, is inspired and utterly sensational. Scot is known for his rigorous attention to detail, immaculate plating and boundary-pushing dishes, while Glen – who is behind the restaurant’s name and inspiration – is a patisserie whiz. Foxcroft is an inviting mix of modern design and warm furnishings that adds to the ambience of the whole experience.
Contact 021 202 3304
Location Foxcroft Restaurant, Shop 8, High Constantia, Corner of Groot Constantia and Constantia Main Roads, Constantia, Cape Town
4. 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 head chef James Gaag. The stylish restaurant’s pared-down interior is the perfect canvas for Scot and his team to conjure creative French-Asian dishes using foraged-for ingredients that they magically finesse into immaculately plated dishes.
Contact 021 794 2390, email@example.com
Location Silvermist Wine Estate, Main Road, Constantia Nek, Cape Town
5. Constantia Glen
Cars pack the parking area of this winery and restaurant – and for good reason. The view is stunning and the wines equally so. The interiors were refurbished by interior designer Graham Viney who transformed the stables into light, airy spaces sporting a chic wine bar.
Known for its cool-climate sauvignon blancs and Bordeaux-style reds, Constantia Glen offers wine tastings – with or without its delicious but limited charcuterie, cheese and salad menu.
The verandah, with its wicker chairs and tables, is the best spot to take in the sun-drenched vineyards and lawned terraces, as well as the spectacular mountain and valley views. The Glass Room also boasts glorious views and is probably a safer bet in winter.
Contact 021 795 5639, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Constantia Glen, Constantia Main Road, Constantia
6. Buitenverwachting Restaurant
This historic farm (originally part of an estate founded by the Cape Colony’s first governor, Simon van der Stel) is one of the most beautiful in the valley, with a rambling garden populated by squirrels, owns and fowls, making it an especially great spot for children.
Fresh from a new-and-improved renovation (after a devastating storm gutted the roof in June 2017), the restaurant has a fresh, contemporary feel, while still retaining its warm and welcoming atmosphere, thanks to a cosy fireplace, and the fact that it’s housed in one of the estate’s original thatch cottages. The view of the sloping vineyards and Constantiberg mountains through floor-to-ceiling panels is breathtaking, and service is always professional and friendly.
We recommend head chef and co-proprietor Edgar Osoijnik’s five-course Fine Bites tasting menu (with or without wine). The Austrian-born chef, who has been at Buitenverwachting for 21 years, has devised five deliciously varied dishes that are seasonally driven, attractively presented and very tasty!
Good to know Also on the estate, Coffee BloC is a low-key spot that serves delicious coffee, breakfasts and light meals. Buitenverwachting also hosts wine tastings (and charcuterie platters) in its historic wine cellar, with an indoor lounge and outdoor terrace.
Contact 021 794 3522 , 021 794 5190/1, email@example.com
Location Buitenverwachting Wine Farm, 37 Klein Constantia Road, Constantia
7. Green Vine Eatery at Silvermist
Situated on Silvermist Mountain Lodge Estate – a secluded wine farm that lies at the very summit of Constantia Nek, Green Vine Eatery offers unrivalled views of the sprawling vineyards and forests below.
The rustic restaurant boasts an array of seasonal dishes, utilising ingredients sourced from the estate’s own organic vegetable garden, as well as an impressive selection of Constantia Valley wines (including Silvermist’s own fine vintage).
Enjoy your meal in the cosy interior, warmed by fireplaces during winter; or outside on the terrace in summer, so you can enjoy the spectacular scenery.
Contact 021 794 7601, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Silvermist Constantia Nek, Constantia Road
8. Nest Deli at Constantia Uitsig
In converted labourers’ cottages on Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, Nest Deli serves delicious, farm-fresh dishes in a setting that feels as warm and welcoming as your grandmother’s kitchen. In addition to offering breakfast, light lunches and patisserie (some of which are baked on site), the laidback eatery also stocks a wide selection of deli favourites, including cheese, charcuterie, baked goods, olive oil, jam, and more. Owners Joy and Keith Henderson are always on hand to make sure their customers are happy.
We’re most excited about the coffee bar, open from 7.30am during the week (8.30am on weekends), which serves single-origin Rosetta coffee!
Contact 021 204 3133, email@example.com
Location Constantia Uitsig Estate, Spaanschemat River Road, Constantia
You don’t have to be vegan, vegetarian or even health-conscious to enjoy the utterly delicious, made-from-scratch dishes at SpiritCafé in Constantia. With its chilled vibe and cosy setting, the café is perfect for early-morning coffee meetings, light lunches, and smoothie sessions.
Contact 021 795 0167, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Spirit Cafe, Shop 10A on the Square, Constantia Village Courtyard
10. Eagles’ Nest
Cradled in a secluded valley, just 200 metres down the old Constantia Main Road, lies the 38-hectare Eagles’ Nest estate. This child-friendly winery has sprawling lawns so that younger members of the family can run free, while you get on with the more serious business of wine tasting.
Good to know Though the estate no longer offers picnics, it does have an excellent selection of platters, including Deli Cuts, Artisan Cheese Boards and a Biltong Platter, all of which can all be enjoyed on the lawn (picnic-style, if you so choose).
Contact 021 794 4095, email@example.com
Location Eagles Nest Wines, Constantia Main Road, Constantia
11. La Parada Constantia Nek
Just over a year ago, the iconic Constantia Nek Restaurant (the oldest restaurant in Cape Town) was reborn as La Parada, offering a delicious array of Spanish-style tapas and enviable views of the surrounding vineyards, sea and mountains. The renovation was carefully handled, ensuring that the upgrades did not detract from the beauty and timelessness of this grand old dame. The interiors are cosy and reminiscent of a tapas bar on Barcelona’s Las Ramblas, and every Sunday night the outside section heaves with revellers coming to enjoy DJ René’s percussion-flecked playlist.
Good to know You’ll find Harbour House Restaurant next door, for some of the best seafood and sushi in the city.
Contact 021 795 0620, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location 1 Hout Bay Rd, Hout Bay
12. Blockhouse Kitchen
Chef Brad Ball returns to the beautiful Constantia Uitsig Wine Estate, where he served as executive chef more than 12 years ago when it was River Café. Loyal fans of that restaurant will certainly recognise some dishes from the original River Café menu, which Brad has tweaked and reincarnated – the salt and vinegar chips that accompany the soda-and-spice-battered hake, for example; the sticky pudding, and the heavenly eggs benedict – all of which taste as ambrosial as we remember them.
Blockhouse Kitchen is a modern, airy and beautifully dressed 250-seater space, offering a chic yet child-friendly dining experience. (We visited on Mother’s Day weekend and it was packed to the brim.) “It’s a big restaurant, and our aim is to fill it at every service,” says Brad . “Most of our team have worked in high-volume spaces, so they can definitely handle the numbers.”
The restaurant’s tagline: “Social. Seasonal. Simple” echoes this sentiment. Here, you’ll find delicious, easy-to-eat comfort food. If you’re looking for highfalutin haute cuisine, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 8am –11.30am, 12pm – 10.30pm; Sunday & Monday, 8am – 11.30am, 12pm – 5pm
Contact 021 794 3010, email@example.com
Where to find it Spaanschemat River Road, Fir Grove, Cape Town
13. Bistro Sixteen82
Bistro Sixteen82’s location is hard to beat. Surrounded by the verdant vineyards and mesmerising mountains, the elegant eatery’s terraced dining area overlooks the estate’s indigenous garden with its dazzling water features and intriguing metal sculptures. Chef Kerry Kilpin’s seasonal menu offers a mix of Asian- and Spanish-inspired dishes that are fresh and flavourful.
Good to know Steenberg Farm is also home to Catharina’s Restaurant, named for the farm’s founder Catharina Ras (South Africa’s first female landowner).
Contact 021 713 2211, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Bistro Sixteen82, Steenberg Road, Tokai, Cape Town
14. Chardonnay Deli
town/chardonnay-deli/”>delightful gem in a renovated old farm-style house near Groot Constantia. Owner Charmaine Anne Lilje’s passion for wholesome food and warm hospitality makes meals here utterly pleasurable. Add magical foresty views, friendly staff and a laidback vibe – and it’s the stuff that breakfasty dreams are made of.
Contact 021 795 0606, email@example.com
Location Chardonnay Deli, 87 Constantia Main Road, Constantia
15. Jonkershuis Restaurant
Situated on the oldest wine-producing estate in South Africa, Jonkershuis at Groot Constantia is ripe with breathtaking views of the valley, vineyards and False Bay in the distance.
Entering the estate, it’s hard not to be drawn towards this charming eatery, which offers outdoor seating in front of the Groot Constantia Manor House beneath the vast, aged oaks. Inside, old-Cape grandeur permeates, with a flicker of fireside intimacy during winter.
Contact 021 794 6255, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Groot Constantia, Groot Constantia Road, Constantia
16. Little Stream Tea Garden
The name evokes images of a tranquil English country setting, as does the tea garden itself – surrounded by lush greenery and sylvan expanses on three hectares of land between Groot Constantia and Klein Constantia Wine Estate.
It makes for a wonderful party venue – whether it be a kitchen tea, toddler’s birthday, milestone anniversary, or even a team-building event (the conference venue seats 50 people).
Contact 021 794 9147, email@example.com
Location Klein Constantia Road, Constantia
Located in the historic Alphen Hotel, Blanko’s chic, gallery-style space – with Italian marble tables, a dramatically lit-up bar, and textured furnishings – reflects executive chef Amber-May Deetlefs’ culinary philosophy: “The best food not only has to taste good, it should be something sincere and uncomplicated”.
The restaurant’s walls are adorned with the art of some of South Africa’s top artists, such as William Kentridge, Brett Murray and Michael Subotzky, courtesy of Goodman Gallery. So, all round, it’s a sensory feast.
Before you leave Try the Rose Bar at the Alphen Hotel, an outdoor garden lounge where you can enjoy cocktails and finger food overlooking the hotel’s lush lawns.
Contact 021 795 6300, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Blanko, Alphen Hotel, Alphen Drive, Constantia
Research by Matthew Flax, Nikki Benatar, Jackie Lange