The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + The Northern Suburbs

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + The Northern Suburbs The Terrace D’Aria

From haute cuisine to authentic fare, these northern suburbs gems deserve a spot in the limelight.

Famous for its cool-climate sauvignon blanc, the best views of Table Mountain, and beaches where you can actually find parking, the northern suburbs is in the throes of a culinary renaissance. So, we went on a tasting expedition, and here’s what we found.

For the purposes of this article, we went as far north as Durbanville, and as far west as Melkbos, selecting the restaurants in each area based on consistency of quality, service, ambience and the experience as a whole. What are your favourite spots in the northern suburbs? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Where would you like to dine in the northern suburbs?

Durbanville Wine Valley
Durbanville Central
Bellville + Parow
Blouberg + Melkbos

Durbanville Wine Valley

Jéan at Klein Roosboom

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: Jéan at Klein Roosboom

This boutique winery is one of the best hidden gems in the Cape. Their wine-tasting caves put them on Inside Guide’s map in 2017, and now their brand-new restaurant has us contemplating residency on the farm. Unrecognisable from its predecessor, Café Ruby, the space has undergone a complete rebuild and redesign worthy of three centerfolds, spearheaded by owner and winemaker of the family-run estate, Karin de Villiers.
On our visit we sampled the Sunday lunch menu, which pays homage to Klein Roosboom’s family roots. In the same vein, the restaurant celebrates, and is named after, Karin’s late husband, Jéan. Chef Loríanne Heyns (formerly Spier) takes an uncomplicated approach to food, delicately balancing flavours. Hers is the type of food you can eat every day of the week, but still feel as though you’re experiencing something truly special. If you’re unfamiliar with the fruits of the Valley, in-house sommelier, Jamie-Leigh Rodgers, is on-hand to deliver on-point recommendations.
X factor Only a handful of wine-farm restaurants are positioned this close to the vineyards. It’s magical.
Don’t leave without doing a tasting at the wine-tasting caves a stone’s throw from the restaurant.
Opening times Wednesday, 12pm – 3.30pm
Thursday – Friday, 12pm – 3.30pm; 6.30pm – 9pm
Saturday, 9am – 11am; 12.30pm – 3.30pm; 6.30pm – 9.00pm
Sunday, 9am – 11am; 12.30pm – 3.30pm
Contact 079 693 9646, info@jeanrestaurant.co.za
Where to find it Klein Roosboom Boutique Winery, Tygerberg Valley Rd, Durbanville, Cape Town
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Diemersdal

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: Diemersdal

A mere 40-minute drive from Cape Town, you’ll find the luscious Diemersdal Estate, in the heart of Durbanville wine country. The restaurant has been brought to life by the Louw family (six generations deep), who restored an old stable to create a cosy country ambience. On weather-permitting summer days, the outdoor seating area is the best place to lunch, flaunting panoramic vistas of the encroaching hill-top farmlands. Captained by local chef Martin de Kock, the farm eatery serves a delightful array of dishes incorporating Eastern and Western influences, as well as local South African flavours.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm
Thursday – Saturday, 6pm – 9pm
Sunday, 12pm – 3pm (set menu, reservations only)
Contact 021 976 1810, restaurant@diemersdal.co.za
Where to find it Diemersdal Wine Farm, Koeberg Road, Durbanville
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Groot Phesantekraal

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: Groot Phesantekraal

Just outside the hustle and bustle of Durbanville, Groot Phesantkraal is a tranquil, otherworldly escape, with much of the heritage of the 400-year-old property still evident today. The restaurant – housed in a converted farm stable (built in 1767) – oozes charm and character, while the wine-tasting centre is more modern. Fourth-generation owner, André Brink, together with his wife Ronelle, were first to plant vineyards on this working farm, which today produces the spoils of their boutique wine range – an absolute must-visit in the Durbanville wine valley. The restaurant pays tribute to the history of the farm, with a menu that celebrates country-style bistro fare. The menu changes seasonally and is well-executed – and perfectly washed down with a refreshing glass the farm’s flagship sauvignon blanc. So pull up a seat under the original wooden mangers and soak up this wonderfully authentic countryside experience.
Opening times Tuesday – Friday, 8am – 3pm
Saturday, 9am – 2.30pm (brunch only)
Contact 021 825 0060, restaurant@phesantekraal.co.za
Where to find it Groot Phesantekraal Farm, Klipheuwel Way, Durbanville
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The Tangram Restaurant at Durbanville Hills

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: The Tangram Restaurant at Durbanville Hills

Even if you haven’t yet eaten at Durbanville Hills’ contemporary bistro-style restaurant, you’ve definitely seen their flagship sauvignon blanc on the shelves of your favourite wine shop! With lovely food prepared by chef Tamzyn Ehlers (formerly pastry chef at both Jason’s Bakery and Aegean Café), set against the backdrop of Table Mountain and Table Bay, the restaurant is definitely worth a visit.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 8.30am – 11am; 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 10pm
Contact 021 558 1300, info@durbanvillehills.co.za
Where to find it Tygerberg Valley Road, Cape Farms, Cape Town
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Patina Steak & Fine Wine D’Aria

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: Patina Steak & Fine Wine D’Aria

Following a successful launch of their flagship store in Newlands, Patina’s second branch has taken up residence at D’Aria Wine Estate. A new breed of steakhouse, Patina flaunts a refined, contemporary offering in a moody setting. If the weather is playing along, there are a few tables on the veranda that looks onto the garden and the buzz at the neighbouring Terrace.
Before settling in, enjoy a pre-dinner sundowner at Botany, the gin bar behind the restaurant. To start, we recommend the peri-peri prawns and roasted marrow bones. For mains, the tender-cut wing rib is a must-try for meat lovers, while the roasted-garlic rump with Brie and cherry tomatoes is also highly recommended.
X factor Patina’s meat is a cut above!
Don’t leave without having dessert! The creme brûlée is divine.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 205 0572, info@coppercollection.co.za
Where to find it D’Aria Estate, Tygerberg Valley Road, Durbanville
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The Terrace D’Aria

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: The Terrace D’Aria

The Terrace at D’Aria is exactly what the northern suburbs (and the Durbanville Wine Valley) has been waiting for: a cool, yet laid-back, everyday eatery. Envisaged by the group that brought us Copper Club, Patina, and Botany, The Terrace is the trendy spot (November 2019) that took the place of Poplars – and what a transformation indeed. A greenhouse-style building houses the buzzing open-plan kitchen that boasts a pizza oven (which is used for à la carte dishes) and a sushi-making station.
The interior is hot, featuring salmon-pink walls, Mediterranean-style tiles, and a terrazzo floor that stretches onto the patio. Surrounded by an established garden, this is the perfect spot for lazy lunches and early midweek dinners. We’re obsessed.
X factor The menu has a lot of seafood options, most of which we’ve sampled over multiple visits, and were thoroughly impressed by the quality of the produce, and the balance of flavours.
Don’t leave without sampling the salmon or tuna starter, and one of the sushi platters. Honestly, some of the tastiest sushi we’ve had in awhile.
Opening times Sunday – Thursday, 11am – 9pm
Friday and Saturday, 11am – 10pm
Contact 021 205 0572, info@coppercollection.co.za
Where to find it D’Aria Estate, Tygerberg Valley Road, Durbanville
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Durbanville Central

Shakespeare’s Boutique Restaurant

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: Shakespeare's Boutique Restaurant

Shakespeare’s Boutique Restaurant is the baby of husband-and-wife duo, Johan and Adri Engelbrecht. Located in the Heritage Square building in Durbanville, the restaurant features a mix of turn-of-the-century, Art Deco and luxe-glam styles, created by Adri and interior decorator Merle Theunissen (who was also behind the interiors of Pistachio restaurant). An over-the-top wonderland-style visual feast. The feast continues in the kitchen where chef Floris Smith (formerly Bushmans Kloof) is given free reign to tantalise the palate with his contemporary twist on classic cuisine.
The menu An absolute must are the Punjabi Prawns: seared tiger prawns on a bed of corn relish, corn bavarois, and coriander sponge. The beef fillet, served with fondant, and biltong and Gorgonzola compound butter, was the main event, but we’re told that the pork belly is “next level”, so we have a reason to visit again very soon.
X factor The service is top notch. A tip of the hat goes to our waiter, Andile, who was the epitome of professionalism and made us feel so at home.
Don’t leave without sampling the handiwork of the in-house chocolatier, who also makes diabetic-friendly chocolates and ice cream.
Good to know A pianist serenades guests on Wednesday and Friday evenings, and the occasional weekend.
Opening times Tuesday – Saturday, 11.15am – 11pm
Sunday, 11.15am – 3pm
Contact 021 569 0244 (phone or WhatsApp), info@shakespeares.co.za
Where to find it Heritage Square, Vrede Street, Durbanville
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Annapurna

Annapurna Durbanville Restaurants

An intimate setting, passionate hosts and homemade dishes await at one of our favourite Indian restaurants in the northern suburbs. Tucked away at the back of the Heritage Square centre, this eatery is easy to miss, but you’ll be grateful for having discovered it. Numerous vegetarian and vegan options are available, as well as traditional chicken and lamb dishes. The butter chicken is to die for, accompanied with butter garlic naan.
Please note Lunch bookings must be made prior to arrival.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 9.30pm
Contact 021 976 2046, poovanricky@gmail.com
Where to find it Heritage Square, Shop 4C, Vrede Street, Durbanville
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Hussar Grill Durbanville

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: Hussar Grill Durbanville

Hussar Grill in Durbanville quickly became a favourite go-to, thanks to consistent quality and excellent service. Heartwarming in its familiarity, it’s the perfect spot for a lunchtime powwow or post-work debrief where you can look forward to an excellently prepared steak. Expect all the usual suspects on the menu, as well as a few surprises, like pork belly, and a large winelist featuring greats.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Sunday, 12pm – 4pm
Contact 087 809 3885, durbanville@hussargrill.com
Where to find it The Village Square, Oxford Street, Durbanville
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Bellville + Parow

De Grendel

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: De Grendel

This scenic restaurant and wine estate on the slopes of the Tygerberg Hills remains a jewel in this neck of the woods. Enjoy lunch or dinner in the estate’s glass-panelled eatery, accompanied by one of De Grendel’s homegrown wines, available at cellar door prices. The contemporary dishes, passionately created by head chef Ian Bergh include items such as soft-shell crab, cured salmon, grilled lamb loin, and organic pork belly, with desserts such as sweet potato cake and Valrhona chocolate cake, among many more.
Opening times Tuesday – Sunday, 12pm – 2:30pm
Tuesday – Saturday, 6pm – 9:30pm
Contact 021 558 7035, restaurant@degrendel.co.za
Where to find it Plattekloof Road, Panorama, Western Cape
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Ton Khoon

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: Ton Khoon

If you’re looking for an authentic Thai experience, but aren’t prepared to compromise on stellar service and an elegant ambiance, look no further than this must-try gem. The crisp decor borders on fine dining, yet feels warm and welcoming owing to tastefully authentic Asian touches. We love the wait staff’s colourful Thai outfits! When the weather plays along, sliding glass doors reveal stylishly dressed tables on the water-facing veranda. The chiffonade of carefully curated chefs each have more than 10 years’ experience.
The Tom Yum Goong soup starter is so good, I had to fight my dinner companion off with a spoon. Although Ton Khoon is predominantly a Thai restaurant, the sushi is in a class of its own. Manager Johan told us that chef Kammee is notorious among the local fish suppliers, refusing to settle for a batch that is not as fresh as logistically possible. With that in mind, you can bet you’re in for some fantastic sashimi.
We recommend duck pancakes, sushi, tempura prawns, and basil crispy pork, which is not your typical starch-coated dish, but grilled in the oven until the crackling is the perfect consistency.
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10.30pm
Sunday, 11.30am – 9pm
Contact 021 914 9898, tonkhoon.johan@gmail.com
Where to find it Tyger Lake Building, Tygervalley Waterfront, Bellville
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Pizza Vesuvio

Pizza Vesuvio Durbanville Restaurants
Carine Mukanga

Few topics are as controversial as where to find the best pizza in town, but who doesn’t revel in a bit of controversy every so often? Owned and run by husband-and-wife team, Jerarvo Cozzolino (operations) and Silvana Marztico (head chef), Vesuvio follows 100-year-old family recipes in the making of its pasta and pizza bases, which are wood-fired (of course) and made with imported Italian dough (to stay true to Mamma’s methods).
The interiors follow the Italian theme: warm and rustic. The roof’s exposed skeleton, facebrick accents, reclaimed furniture, walled display cases of bric-à-brac and long tables conjure a sense of life in Italy. Saluti!
The menu includes traditional antipasti and platters made using top-quality ingredients sourced from local Italian producers. The insalata caprese is made with real bufala mozzarella, while the carpaccio de bresaola is a winner among meat-lovers.
We recommend the Bianca Neve pizza (mozzarella, smoked provola, blue cheese, wild mushrooms, cherry tomato, rocket, basil, olive oil and pancetta).
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 12pm – 10pm
Contact 021 914 1414, pvesuvio@gmail.com
Where to find it Waterfront and Fountain Roads, Bellville Park, Bellville

Blouberg + Melkbos

Homespun by Matt

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: Homespun By Matt

Homespun – defined as simple and rustic; made at home – couldn’t be a more appropriate name for this Blouberg hot spot. The unassuming front door opens onto a curtain – a proverbial portal, if you will – that reveals the dark and cosy restaurant, sheltered 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 – all of which create a relaxed, homely and comfortable setting for the gourmet journey you’re about to embark on.
Choose between the á la carte or the tasting menu, the latter of which is highly recommended (vegetarians have a tasting menu, too), available with half or full-glass wine pairings.
The tasting menu comprises four courses with palate cleansers in between, and kicks off with a bang with Matt’s twist on panipuri, served on a piece of driftwood accompanied by a burning cinnamon stick, the first stop of the sensory voyage.
As we progressed through the mind-blowing culinary journey, with Matt explaining the various courses, it became clear that the Homespun we visited when it first opened in 2014 (and, obviously, on multiple occasions since), has grown, and metamorphosed into, what is, in our opinion, one of the best dining experiences in Cape Town!
Opening times Monday – Saturday, 6pm – 11pmin
Contact 021 556 2824, reservations@homespunbymatt.co.za
Where to find it Porterfield Road, Table View
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Café Orca

Cafe Orca Durbanville Restaurants
Alicia Taylor

This lowkey seaside destination is one of our favourite places to spend lazy Sunday afternoons. Sit inside the rustic beach cottage, or under the thatched patio. Feel the cool southeast breeze against your skin as you take in the sights and sounds of encroaching Melkbos Beach. As is the norm for a seafood restaurant that prides itself on serving the ocean’s freshest produce, menu items come and go based on availability. So do the daily specials that are usually excitingly uncommon catches of the day.
What makes Orca stand out is the whimsy with which they marry unexpected ingredients with seafood favourites. Think: mussels and blue cheese; and oysters with horseradish cream. Mind. Blown. And, the service is always superb.
We recommend chorizo squid with the Ataraxia Chardonnay (the wine is quite pricey but the combination, which we discovered by accident, is excellent). The seafood platter for two is great value.
Please note They take bookings for dinner, but they don’t take bookings for lunch, so arrive early if you want to sit outside.
Opening times Wednesday – Saturday, 12pm – 3pm; 6pm – 9pm
Sunday, 11am – 3pm
Contact 021 553 4120, cafeorca@mweb.co.za
Where to find it 88 Beach Road, Melkbosstrand
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On the Rocks

The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + the Northern Suburbs: On The Rocks

This shore-hugging restaurant has become somewhat of a Blouberg landmark, having upheld its stellar reputation for delicious food by the sea for over 56 years. The extensive menu includes eggs benedict breakfasts, ostrich carpaccio starters, Cape Malay curry and lamb rack mains, and cheesecake and crème brûlée desserts.
Southeaster-free summer days call for a seat on the outdoor terrace, while in winter a seat by the toasty indoor fireplace is the place to covet.
The Hatch is the establishment’s resident coffee and pastry bar, and is open from 7am to offer early risers (and sleeper-ins) a hot coffee and tasty snack.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 9am – 10pm
Contact 021 554 1988, ontherocks@seascapecollection.co.za
Where to find it 45 Stadler Road, Bloubergstrand, Cape Town
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The Indian Chapter

Indian Chapter Durbanville Restaurants
In Search of the Good Life

Former TV and radio personality, Prim Reddy stepped out of public limelight and into the kitchen when she took over a failing restaurant and turned it into the go-to Indian restaurant in Table View. Chapter 1 opened in 2013, shortly followed by adjacent Chapter 2 in the Carnaby Centre in Table View, with murmurings of more Chapters to come. Chapter 2’s interiors are understated with striking pieces scattered throughout the restaurant. Chapter 2 is more formal (if you’re looking to book for a special occasion). The appetisers are a variety of deep-fried specialities, kebabs, tandoori chicken and marinated and grilled linefish, while the aromatic mains of lamb are delicately balanced in flavour. Order the basmati rice and tandoori naan to complement your mains. Do BYOB if you’re a wine snob.
We recommend the chicken samoosa (Punjabi-style pyramid samoosa stuffed with spicy chicken mince), vegetarian pakoras (assorted vegetables dipped in spicy gram flour and deep fried). Lamb mains are the speciality and definitely worth the wait if the restaurant is busy.
Opening times Monday – Sunday, 12.30pm – 10pm
Contact 021 557 5524, primnaidoo@gmail.com
Where to find it Carnaby Centre, 9 Marine Circle, Table View
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If you have time, you might also like to try

  • Zibaldone for traditional Italian in Bellville
  • Arugula Bistro & Bread for bistro-style fair in Welgelegen
  • Trattoria Maranello for hearty Italian in Melkbos
  • Saltwater Grill for seafood in Durbanville
  • Cowboys & Cooks for a good steak in Sunset Beach
  • Jerry’s for the best burgers in the northern ’burbs
  • Chocolat for breakfast in a Parisian-style setting in Durbanville
  • The Hart for a laidback meal in Melkbos
  • El Barrio Tacos & Tequila Joint for Mexican chow in Blouberg

Researched by Michelle de Bruin, Bianca Hausle, Kent Cloete

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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: 26 February 2020

8 Responses to “The Best Restaurants in Durbanville + The Northern Suburbs”

  1. Avatar

    Precious jiri

    You provide best services ever

    Reply
  2. Avatar

    Paul

    Dos Chido BBQ in Durbanville do Southern Style BBQ, smoked meats to perfection!

    Reply
  3. Avatar

    Janice

    I have to say that I have been to many of those restaurants and Homespun is simply the best. The food is always top class, service excellent, very good wine selection, and the personal attention given to each and every customer by Matt has to be a highlight.

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Janice,

      We couldn’t agree more!
      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts.

      Reply
  4. Avatar

    Jon Halle

    You ommited Catch 22 from your Blouberg list. One of the best seafood places in the Peninsula

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Jon,

      Thank you for your comment. We visited Catch 22 while researching this list, and although the ocean views are great, we felt the food let it down.

      Kind regards,
      The Inside Guide

      Reply
  5. Avatar

    Debby Myers

    Again you have left out some of the best.
    Damhuis -Melkbos
    Marionella -Melkbos
    Did I miss DeGrendel??

    Reply
    • The Inside Guide

      The Inside Guide

      Hi Debby,

      Thank you for your comment. De Grendel is indeed on the list! You’ll see them under the Bellville + Parow subheading. Trattoria Maranello is also on our list, under “If you have time, you might also like to try”. 

      We’ve been to Damhuis a few times in the past few months while researching this list, and although the setting is lovely, we felt the food let it down, which is a pity as we used to rate them as one of the best.

      Kind regards,
      The Inside Guide

      Reply