If a holiday in Greece is not on the cards, get your fix of Mediterranean flavours at one of our favourite Greek tavernas in the Mother City.
The mere mention of Greek food evokes thoughts of a cobalt-blue sea, whitewashed houses, hot, white sand and long, lazy lunches of delicious, comforting and surprisingly healthy Greek food. Think homemade taramosalata (not that luminous pink stuff you buy in supermarkets), tender fried squid, wispy spanakopita, creamy tzatziki, moussaka, lamb chops marinated with oregano, lemon juice and thyme, and so it goes on… We’ve rounded up our favourite Greek eateries in Cape Town to satisfy your cravings – please let us know if we’ve left any out in the comments below:
Image Credit: Guy With Camera
In our opinion, this is the gold standard of Greek food and restaurants in Cape Town. It’s a delightful, modern Greek café located in charming Dunkley Square, with its piazza-esque cobbled pavement and trees. Hats off to Cleon (and wife Kate) Romano, who bought the restaurant 21 years ago and have consistently continued to deliver top-notch grub!
The food Traditional Greek fare based on Cleon’s mother Yvonne’s original recipes that’s fresh and bursting with simple, bold flavours. All the chicken and meat used is free-range and good quality, the vegetables and herbs are fresh and fragrant, and the beer-battered hake is delish!
Ambience Intimate, cosy yet contemporary – the type of place you could spend hours in.
Service Unparalleled! The friendly, professional wait staff are knowledgeable and make you feel very at home.
You must try We recommend everything! If you’re there for lunch, the chicken pita is light and delicious. For dinner, start with a platter of mezze to share, have one of the (free-range Karoo) lamb dishes for mains, or the calamari (which comes with heavenly homemade rosemary chips). And for dessert, go for the kataifi (crushed nuts, cinnamon and honey, wrapped in fine strands of phyllo pastry, topped with Greek custard).
Contact 021 461 3333
Where to find it Maria’s
2. MYKONOS TAVERNA
A family-owned and -run traditional Greek restaurant that’s been around since the 80s, when then-owner Peter Peroglou opened it on Sea Point Main Road. His son Dimitri has since taken over the reins, moving premises but retaining the festive atmosphere. It’s a great spot to enjoy traditional Greek fare while taking in the hustle and bustle of the passing trade.
The food Simple, delicious, full-of-flavour traditional Greek food, from mezze to moussaka.
Ambience A typical taverna atmosphere – festive and laidback – with all-white tables and chairs.
Good to know The last Saturday of each month turns into a festive plate-smashing fiesta, complete with Zorba-style dancing.
Service Friendly and professional.
You must try Kleftiko Lamb – slow-roasted (for six hours) shank in a light lemony sauce, served with vegetables or a fresh Greek salad; Calamari (as a starter or main) – Patagonica tubes lightly grilled or fried to a delicious and tender crispy golden perfection, served with either roast potatoes, vegetables or a fresh Greek salad; the Mezze Platter for four, consisting of dolmades, tzatziki, saganaki, keftedes (lamb meatballs), two pitas and four tangy chicken skewers. Round off dinner with a helping of homemade baklava.
Contact 021 439 2106
Location Sea Point
Where to find it Mykonos Taverna
Image Credit: Becoming You
A family-run, child-friendly taverna on Hout Bay Main Road.
The food A wide selection of Greek and Mediterranean-style dishes, including options for vegetarians and vegans.
Ambience Casual, vibey and festive The alfresco patio, with a kiddies section on the side, overlooks the busy sidewalk, and is nice for family lunches and dinners. There are cosy nooks inside, if you’d prefer a more intimate experience. (Note to the owners: the interiors and the loos were looking a bit shabby the last time we were there – the whole place would benefit from a lick of paint).
Good to know On Friday nights, there’s music and dancing.
Service The waiters are friendly and welcoming, but some could be a bit more knowledgeable about menu items.
You must try as many mezze as you can and, if you have space left, order the the lamb gyro or the lamb shank.
Contact 021 791 3897, email@example.com
Location Hout Bay
Where to find it Spiro’s
4. SLOPPY SAM
On Green Point’s buzzy Somerset Road, this rustic taverna, owned by Persian chef Hooman Saffarian, serves wholesome Greek and Persian cuisine.
The food A veritable feast of made-with-love Middle Eastern delicacies.
Ambience Farmhouse chic: think rustic, taverna-style décor.
Service Warm and friendly. Hooman is ever-present, ensuring that diners are satisfied and the restaurant runs smoothly. His obvious love of feeding people shines through.
You must try Slow-roasted lamb shank with, what many claim are, the best roast potatoes in town!
Contact 021 419 2921, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Green Point
Where to find it Sloppy Sam
A mom-and-pop affair owned and run by Marika and husband Frank that serves Mediterranean and Greek specialities in the Gardens.
The food Unpretentious, home-style Mediterranean cuisine prepared from recipes handed down from generation to generation.
Ambience Easy, relaxed dining in the heart of the city with gorgeous views of Table Mountain and the harbour from the upstairs balcony. The basic tables and chairs, coupled with the Greek music in the background, gives it a Greek-island-taverna feel.
Service Friendly and attentive.
You must try the homemade halva ice cream or the Nougatine cake (layers of meringue, nougat, nuts and whipped cream).
Contact 021 465 2727, email@example.com
Where to find it Marika’s
6. ARI’S SOUVLAKI
What A casual eatery in the heart of Sea Point that’s been around for over 30 years.
The food Affordable and tasty Greek street food, including juicy shawarmas, souvlaki and other Greek street food.
Ambience Don’t except white-glove service; this is a glorified fast-food joint with plastic tablecloths, wine served in tumblers, and so on. Order a takeout, if you’d prefer, or grab a seat on the upstairs balcony overlooking the busy main road and let the Greek music get you into the vibe.
You must try a traditional souvlaki or shawarma – the recipe hasn’t changed in three decades.
Contact 021 439 6683, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Sea Point
Where to find it Ari’s Souvlaki
7. OPA GREEK TAVERNA
What A modern-rustic Greek tavern on Somerset West’s Main Road.
The food Tasty Greek food made with love and passion by Greek owner and head chef Andreas Skiathos.
Ambience The rustic Mediterranean decor creates an instant vibe. On a hot summer day, ask for a table in the leafy alfresco garden – it’s delightful.
Service The owner is charming and hands-on. Our food was delicious, but I had a slight issue when the bill came – I had mistakenly been charged for the Catch of the Day and not the kingklip.
You must try a selection of mezze to start, and the lamb loin chops or any of the gyro (sliced shawarma meat served with tzatziki).
Good to know There’s belly-dancing on Friday and Saturday evenings.
Contact 021 851 2618, email@example.com
Location Somerset West
Where to find it Opa Greek Taverna
8. THE GREEK CLUB RESTAURANT
What A true community restaurant run by two second-generation Greek women whose love of entertaining and cooking shines through.
The food Every week, new dishes are added to the menu. The food is cooked using true Greek ingredients with buckets of olive oil, naturally!
Ambience The no-frills, community-hall ambience has a certain charm.
Service Warm, friendly and knowledgeable.
You must try the moussaka or the soutzoukakia (spicy meatballs in a tomato sauce, served with rice).
Contact 021 801 4514
Location Mouille Point
Where to find it The Greek Club Restaurant
9. THE GREEK FISHERMAN
Image Credit: In Search of the Good Life
What Established in 1992, the Greek Fisherman is one of the oldest restaurants at the V&A Waterfront and is still owned by its original owners.
The food It’s well-known for its huge selection of 25 mezze and the melt-in-your-mouth Lamb in the Oven.
Ambience The decor has a decidedly unGreek-taverna vibe, but the views of Table Mountain and the working harbour are special, and the food is authentic.
You must try The Lamb in the Oven!
Contact 021 418 5411, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location Quay 5, V&A Waterfront
Where to find it The Greek Fisherman